Thursday, July 22, 2010

Stress-O-Rama

            Michelle’s stress level has finally reached its peak.
            They say that the biggest causes of stress in a persons’ life are:
                        1) Moving
                        2) Having a baby
                        3) Death of a close one
                        4) Health issues
            Unfortunately, Michelle’s had all four.
            It’s not what we’d planned, of course, and a few days ago Michelle was saying she’d never do it again (planning a move right after having a kid), but I know what she’s really saying – the accumulation of all four major stress-factors has been overwhelming.
            Of course, she was snappy and not in her normal chipper form, but that’s totally understandable. I had a talk with her in the middle of our packing and running around. I was literally at the bottom of the front stairs talking up to her in her pajamas in the doorway as I was about to run one of many errands.
            I explained that “stress” is an engineering term, and if you think of a bridge, they’re designed to handle a certain amount of traffic. The problem is when a big truck stalls out on top of it, and the bridge starts to crack.
            Different “bridges” are built to handle more stress, but eventually every bridge has its breaking point. The key is what you do when the stress level has maxed out. Our tendency is to try to push the truck off (our normal habit), but that doesn’t always work when it’s way more stress than we’re used to. At this point, we need to use our creativity, and enter into some reflective prayer so that we can come to a place of peace in the midst of it.
            She nodded her head. That all sounds good in theory, but how do you live it out?
            On Sunday our church wanted to send us off with a blessing, and they asked us a few questions at the front. At one moment Michelle said, “We still need lots of help!”
            In retrospect, that was the absolute best thing she could have done, the creative cure for our situation, because numerous friends and acquaintances offered to come over and do anything.
            On Tuesday we had a woman we barely knew come over and do everything from burp our baby to pack our spaghetti. A true blessing. And then yesterday, the house never sat still. We had friend after friend arrive, many with food, and our children were constantly coddled and played with while all the miscellaneous items I couldn’t bear to pack for some reason were whisked away into boxes with labels such as “Closet.”
            It was perfect.
            At the end of the day I sat on the porch and breathed a sigh of relief. I think we’ll manage this move now. We’ve got today and tomorrow to finish packing, and then I pick up the moving truck. I am so utterly thankful for our friends. It’s hard to imagine what our lives would have been like without them.
            Probably late-late nights and arguments.
            Instead, we got our rest and woke up today to a mostly packed house.
            Thank God.

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