I was thinking today about some of the most stressful times in my life...
...the week before my wedding (NOT because I was nervous about marrying Scott but that it was my WEDDING!).
...calling pitches for conference championship games.
...the entire last month of both pregnancies (where I prayed my water wouldn't break in the middle of Target).
...buying a house (our current situation!).
It's funny how they don't seem like that big a deal when you write them down. I recognize the fact that things stimulate me differently now because I am surrounded by all things "little kids" every day...I have trouble watching anything suspenseful or scary - especially if it involves kids (think Criminal Minds or Law and Order). And the same applies to little stressful things that tend to disrupt my bubble of happiness easier then they may have before I chose to work out of my home.
I think we are all faced with stress and even if we label it as insignificant, it can still cue the same negative body responses: My workouts become horrible and I have no strength or energy. I have trouble sleeping. I can't write...my words become all gibberish. And I become short-tempered with my girls and husband...especially when they sprint laps around the stacks in the library yelling, "Mama!! Where are you?!" as I peruse the section on parenting advice for the Terrible Two's...(the girls, not Scott).
The little things officially become big.
Sometimes so big that, if I'm not careful, I'll miss God tapping me on my shoulder saying, "Woo-hoo! I'm here! I've got you! Just you WAIT and see what awesome things I have in store for you!"
Like this morning... I dropped the girls off at the nursery and was walking back to the women's locker room with a storm cloud over my head when I saw a little old lady with her walker, waiting at the elevator. Now, our Y has an incredible program for senior citizens and there are many classes and options for them every day. You could hear the Zumba class music and instruction floating down from upstairs and the old lady pointed her finger at me as I walked by and said, "I may be 85, but don't think I don't know what they're doing up there! With all that moving and shaking and what-not..." Through my laughter, she went on to tell me that she was going to a cardio class with her son and that it was supposed to be good for her heart. When I came out of the locker room, she was gone...and so was my storm cloud.
I ran my warm-up mile while listening to one of my favorite Joyce Meyer sermons...which always has a way of giving me exactly what I need... and then went through my workout. I was about to get all mopey about my bench press being less than stellar when my little ipod selected Walking on Sunshine. Now agree with me or not on my choice of music, it is my favorite song of all time and has never failed to make me happy, this time included. Especially because today offered a perfectly blue sky without a trace of clouds. Funny how I didn't notice it until then.
I continued riding these waves through my hour workout until I saw a man in a wheel chair load up the incline bench press rack and pressed for three strong sets. It took him a while to get the plates loaded and get set-up, but he was focused on getting his lift in and was not in the least feeling sorry for himself.
Oh Annie, get over yourself.
Message received. Thank you, Lord. How much time did I just waste feeling sorry for myself and wallering (I'm from WV and we "waller" there. You may wallow where you're from.) in my stress. And if I hadn't gotten out and gotten active, would I have recognized it even later? My favorite Bible verse is Isaiah 40:31 because it links trust with verbs that are near and dear to my heart:
but those who trust in the Lord will renew their strength;
they will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary;
they will walk and will not faint.
As soon as I snapped out of my funk, my workout improved. My strength returned and my mood flip-flopped. I rocked my girls a little extra before putting them down for naps and opened the windows to let the day in.
I remain so blessed - even through my stress...no matter how big or little. Sometimes, we just need the small reminders.