Those of you who know me well know that I work at a flower shop. And there are two words that bring fear into any floral designer's eyes: Valentine's Day. In my pre-flower shop days, Valentine's Day was a holiday filled with love and romance and flowers & chocolate Now, it brings exhaustion. Both physical and mental. One thing remains: the chocolate (used as the sole means of self-medicating in order to cope with the chaos). I worked 4 straight days last week...a total of 49.5 hrs. And I have officially decided that I very much dislike Vday. I'm pooped! I feel like I could take a nap at any given moment and am lacking the motivation to do anything productive.
This morning I awoke to more snow. And the text telling me my kiddos would be spending the day with me because school is cancelled. I am trying to take it slow today so I don't overdo it (the older I get I am finding that my body needs a bit more time to recover from stressful & tiring situations it gets itself into!) so I hopped in my comfy "God-chair" and grabbed my laptop and earbuds and got caught up on the past two sermons at church that I missed due to, you guessed it, SNOW. And boy am I glad I did. It was just what I needed to hear. You see, I have had a few situations arise in my life recently that have caused me a good amount of stress and fear. I will spare you the details but I have found myself not able to sleep at times because my mind is full of worry.
As I have recognized this worry, fear, and stress in my life, God is teaching me a powerful lesson. I see it all around me. In the book I am reading. In the sermons at church. In my online Bible study. There are times when I feel as if God is miles away from me, but this time I feel like He is right by my side, taking my hand, and leading me in His will for my life in these situations. I still don't know how each situation will resolve itself, but I have peace. Trust me, I didn't always. When these situations arise, my emotions can become out of control and I can think thoughts that are unlovely. But I am learning that my emotions have to be under control in order to be open to seeing God's plan. I cannot let these negative thoughts and emotions control me. Sometimes I get upset and I don't even know why. But when pray and ask God to reveal it to me, He shows me...and it can be very enlightening! It reveals my desire to control the situation in order to receive the outcome I WANT...not necessarily the outcome HE is planning. One thing I have learned through this all, is that trying to control things is also exhausting...sometimes even more exhausting than working 49.5 hrs in 4 days! When my mind is overcome with worry and emotion, it wears me out physically. And when I am worn out physically, it makes it even harder to control my emotions. So the cycle continues, but the one who is truly suffering is ME. I have learned that when I immediately hand over these situations to God, He fills me with His peace that passes all understanding. I am able to calm down, allow God to work in and through the situation, and I am able to trust Him fully to work it out on my behalf. (well, this part I am still working on...) And when I do this, I start to feel the exhaustion decrease, my hope increase and I feel 100 lbs lighter as God lifts the weight of my burdens off of my shoulders and places them onto His. Allow Him to do the same for you!