Thursday, June 17, 2010
Our stress levels have a very close relationship to what resources we have to give to the things that we want or need to get done. If we have the resources, be they time, money, or energy then when something requires those resources we are able to respond. If, however, those resources are in short supply when they are required of us, then stress ensues.
Think about it in terms of your budget. When you have budgeted $120 for the electric bill, then when it comes and it is $115 ..you are golden. No stress, no strain on the resources because they were already assigned for that need. If, however, you did not budget at all or budget $60 instead, then that bill would be a major stressor that month!
Same with our resoures - they require a degree of "budgeting" or at least identifying the areas where they are needed and used the most. Coupling that with our priority list and what we need to reserve our resources for, we can use them better.
If you need a reminder of what we are calling resources ...go here and here.
For me, budgeting my resources means that I evaluate what I have available to me today. I have found that resources are dynamic ..they shift with situations, hormones, statuses of relationships, amount of sleep I got last night, this month's paycheck, my schedule, etc.
Today, I may have some time, a little energy, alot of motivation for doing what God has planned for me. Tomorrow, I may be a little short in any and all of those areas. Noting where you are at any given time is important ..ask the question, "what do I have to give today?" ..or, even better "what has God given me as my "everything I need" today?"
At this point, its a good idea to pray and ask God to both show you what you have, and what he has for you to do. My most frequent prayer is "show me the priorities you have assigned me and give me what I need to accomplish those things." You may be surprised when those priorities have nothing to do with laundry or vacuuming. :)
Then, one more step is realizing what your budget will allow of you ..what can you do, and what do you need to let go of? Its the hard part, but sometimes you have to not answer the phone from that particular friend, be okay with a messy living room, stay home for the afternoon, say no to a friend for a request for you to babysit. On the other hand, being able to identify what is the most important and where your priorities are you may find that you are able to sit and read to your little one, spend some special time with your husband, declutter a room, write a note to someone, pay that bill or perhaps you need to do that laundry for the sake of your family.
I have found for me, that my heart is much more at rest when I know what I have and how I need to use it. I have a much easier time letting go and saying, "I just dont have the resources for that today." (I really do say that on a regular basis!)
What does your budget look like today? Are you rested, or weary? Are you emotionally stable, or feel a little on edge? Is your schedule full, or lite today? Is your mind cluttered, or feeling sharp? ...note those resources and then pray God will show you how to use them!