I found myself snapping at my children last night. Little things that probably did indeed need my correction had me yelling like a crazy woman instead of gently disciplining. Have you ever been there?
As I realized my stress levels were off the charts, hot tears threatened to spill out of my eyes. I realized I had made a mistake. And it was one I could have avoided.
I’ve been reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes. This fantastic book talks about saying no to the wrong things in our lives so we are available to say yes to the things God has for us to do. It talks about letting go of saying yes out of obligation or guilt and saying yes out of obedience and joy. I’ve been reading off and on in the midst of other things in my life. But I should have gotten a key element already. God had given me some tools and I’d forgotten to use them.
In chapter five she outlines some simple questions to ask yourself when deciding if this is a Best Yes decision or a time you should say no. She writes about considering if this decision is one you have the resources to handle, “physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally.” It’s only a small part of an awesome book, but I realized my off-the-charts stress could have been avoided this week had I asked this of myself.
I had signed up for a second craft fair. It seemed financially a good idea. I had extra inventory after the only craft fair I said I was doing two weeks ago. I was worried about affording Christmas for the kids and this seemed a practical idea. As a widow, Christmas is stressful emotionally and financially. Maybe this would help?
But as the week went on the stress of having to get myself ready for another show started to build. I had other things that needed my presence and my focus that had to get set aside. A child came down with a flu bug. Grandparents needed me to send them Christmas gift ideas yesterday and I still hadn’t ironed out a list with the kids. Sisters started bickering in escalating levels that needed me to shepherd their hearts instead of just yelling like a crazy mama to knock it off. The thought of leaving my kids another Saturday to their own devices left me torn in two yet again.
My eldest son asked me, “Is there anything I can do to help your stress, Mom?” Conviction hit my heart.
I realized that though this extra fair had looked good on paper, I had not prayed about it. How often do we make those kinds of decisions?
Two days ago I received news I would be receiving a little extra money in December. My Heavenly Father who longs to give good gifts to His children knew I longed to give them to mine. Had I asked Him, my week would have looked much differently.
I thanked my son and apologized. I told him after today, I wouldn’t feel so stressed. He said “ok.” I took time to calm down and try to gently deal with the attitudes of my girls instead of just their bickering. And I stopped trying to sew anything else last-minute and sat and enjoyed some time with my son.
So today I head off to fulfill my commitment to this craft fair with a repentant and thankful heart. My Heavenly Father is providing for more than just my needs. And He loves me enough to provide gentle correction in the midst of my chaos.
The next time an opportunity arises, I pray I will remember the tools He has shown me to weigh its value in my life and to ask Him for guidance. He has promised to always provide wisdom when we ask. We just need to remember the asking part.