Come Stressed, Leave Blessed
“He is going to fight you on this!” my husband warned me.
I knew he was right, but this conversation with our then 16-year-old son, Grant, needed to happen. It would be a battle of wills, but as his mom, I could tell my son was stressed and in desperate need of rest.
As a junior in high school, Grant’s schedule was filled to the max with advanced courses, after-school clubs, and play practice. He often didn’t get home until the evening, which made late-night studying a new habit for him.
“I’m fine, Mom! I can do this!” he often proclaimed.
He was right. He could do it. But at what cost? The mental and physical fatigue not only affected him but the rest of the family. It was happening week after week.
While Grant was trying to do it all, the stress and anxiety were becoming unwelcome guests in his life.
One particular week, on top of his regular schedule, a standardized test was scheduled. To perform well, Grant needed to get some rest. My husband and I felt it was in Grant’s best interest to miss a play practice.
Grant had only missed one play practice in his high school career. And that was due to ‘real’ sickness, never because he needed rest.
I entered the battlefield (also known as our dining room) and found Grant surrounded by his laptop, a pile of school books, and bottles of water to keep him hydrated and energized.
“Grant, I’ve been looking over your schedule this week,” I said, sitting down beside him. “With the test coming up, you need to miss a practice to get some rest.”
“No, I’ll be fine. I have never missed practice because of a test, and I don’t intend to now!” He replied.
“You don’t understand what I am saying. You are not going to practice.” I sternly said.
And with that statement, the battle had begun.
Grant was determined to do it all, despite the stress and anxiety he faced due to this lack of rest. This unhealthy trait was handed down by his momma. I used to be the same way.
At one time in my motherhood journey, I tried to do it all. I filled my calendar with playdates, moms’ groups, and volunteer opportunities at school and church. I was the “Yes, I can do that!” mom. A mom who thought if she said no, she would be looked down upon, or worse yet, labeled as unreliable.
I eventually reached a breaking point.
Not only was I suffering physically and mentally due to the stress of accomplishing all of my commitments, but because of my emotional state, my words and actions were having a detrimental effect on my family. I needed strength, hope, and peace. I needed the Lord.
“The Lord gives his people strength; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” Psalm 29:11 (CSB)
The Lord gives strength to you and me. Whether it’s an overloaded calendar, an exam, or a medical diagnosis, the Lord will provide us with the strength to get through it. All we need to do is accept it. The strength that He gives us also comes with peace. The Hebrew word for peace is shalom.
The definition of shalom is one of completeness, soundness, and well-being in every sense, physically and spiritually.
The battle with Grant turned out to be a minor skirmish. He realized it was best for him to miss the play practice and rest before the test.
I have also realized it’s okay to say no. It’s okay to rest. The Lord will give me strength and peace to get through these crazy parenting years. After all, when we come to Him stressed, we always leave blessed.
**Originally written during Grant’s junior year of high school. He just finished his freshman year at Baylor University and is home for summer break. The last few months of his freshman year were stressful, and I sent this devotional to him as a gentle reminder that it is ok to rest!
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My name is Missy, and I am a Child of the King, wife, and mom.