Stressed Out? Time for a 'Worry List'!

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Stressed Out? Time for a 'Worry List'!

Have you ever seen a horse worry? I know Tex never does. He knows if there's no grass on one side of the fence, get it off the other side. And if worse comes to worse, we'll bring him a bale of hay. He has absolutely no worries. However, we people are just the opposite!  Of course, he didn't arrive at my dad's house to get it ready for pictures for a realtor who was arriving at 3:00pm on Wed.  I found the mess below at 11:30pm the night before when my son and I dropped by to leave our cleaning supplies at the house before going to the hotel to sleep.  We had hired an estate sale guy to handle the left over stuff, but he couldn't get the thrift stores to come pick up the leftovers. So he left it all stacked on the front lawn. The neighbors had a great time..I must say. But it was a little overwhelming to find at the end of a four hour drive.  Jacob, my 17 yr. old, standing next to me on the lawn, just hugged me and said, "'s time to pray!" Wow.. out of the mouth of babes...
Needless to say,  I have been so stressed this week!  In fact, so much so, that I could hardly sleep last night. For me that is usually caused by one of two things, either I'm struggling between what I ought to do versus what I want to do, or there is simply too much to do all together and there is just flat not enough time to do it all.(As in the above situation.) It feels like everything that needs to be done, needs to be done NOW. If my problem is the first scenario, the solution is pretty easy, I just go have a little talk with the Lord and ask him to change my 'have to's' into 'want to's.

But if it's the second cause, and today, that's where I am, then I usually have to make a 'worry' list.  The first time I ever did that is engraved on my was the day my husband to be decided that we should get married this summer rather than next summer, which meant the wedding was exactly four months away.  Now, granted, I was thrilled beyond belief! But it also meant that whatever was on my to do list got joined by a thousand other items and suddenly, for the first time in my life, I had too much to do.  And there were other things worrying me...things that weren't just tasks, but nagging gnawing things..fears, minor failures, relationship stresses with family members, insecurities.  If fact, the reason I finally wrote that first list is I just couldn't really tell why I was so 'down in the dumps' when it was the most exciting time of my life!

So I got out a piece of paper and started writing down everything..this wasn't just a to do list--this was things that were worrying me to. Things that were making me feel stressed or anxious. Sometimes these items were things to do and sometimes they were just situations that I could do very little about. I then marked everything that absolutely had to be done and could be done with a one. These were things that had to be done or the world would I might have ended up with 10 or 15 ones on the list. Then I marked everything that I FELT like needed to be done today, but in reality could probably wait until tomorrow or even later. Those items were all 2's.

Next I marked everything that really needed to be done, but could  probably be done any time with a 3.It's funny how many important things were on that list. It's amazing how often the important is rarely urgent.  That's why we put off things like making wills and calling family members or apologizing and making a bad situation right. Those are all important..but they don't have to be done today or the world will fall apart.  (Not a good thing..right?) The next  group, is all the things that I'd love to do, but don't have to do..they can wait but I probably would prefer to do them and skip the 1-3 items! They all get 4s. The very last group is things that it would be nice to do, but if they don't neither I or any one else is going to care. You know you will have time to get to them my 15yr. old's baby book or the chicken border I bought a year ago to put in our kitchen.

So far, that sounds like a pretty normal sort of to do list right. Here's why I call it a worry list.  I went all the way back through the list now and highlighted everything that was on the list, that I could do nothing about at all except to pray. They were things that I could not do a thing about. I highlighted all those things and wrote them on a prayer list. There were things on the list that I had done wrong, had tried to make right, and the situation was still bad. Some things I need to forgive myself for..  I had to acknowledge right there that those situations were not my responsibility any more. They were the Lord's burden to carry. I got on my knees right there and just gave that part of the list up to the Lord and asked him to carry and or fix, what I could not.

The bible says not to worry about any thing, but to tell your heavenly Father everything you need  with a thankful heart, knowing that he not only knows about your needs, but cares about them and will meet them in His perfect timing.  I've had a lot of things like that on the list..difficult things--really logistical situations that I could not in my own efforts change. In fact, he already fixed several things this week. Nothing is too small for his loving attention. Difficulties and impossibilities are His opportunity to show us his love and his power. He just wants us to ask. That's it..

Then I wrote the ones on a separate list and quit worrying about the rest.  That meant that a huge part of the list, at least for today, was off my mind and my back.  I felt like a new woman instead of a deer staring into the headlights of an oncoming truck!

Well, I'm off to make my worry list, but I feel better all ready.  I didn't get to do any sewing this week or projects, but I got a lot of things off my worry list!!! I still have a ways to go..(I hate deadlines like two week trips that start on such and such of a date.) But at least I'll have a plan.

How about you? I'll say a prayer this morning for all my readers, who might be worrying to day or stressed. Let's make those lists and give all those difficult items to God and while we're at it, lets give him the rest of the list and ask him for wisdom to know which ones we REALLY have to do TODAY.

Never worry about anything. Instead, in every situation let your petitions be made known to God through prayers and requests, with thanksgiving. Philippians 4:6


Anonymous said...

Oh dear Donna,

I know exactly what you must have felt when you saw what awaited you. But what I feel very encouraged about is that you and I tend to become overwhelmed by the same things...either I am doing what I am not supposed to be doing or that I have way too much to do.

This of course, causes a great deal of stress and I become quite sick.

But as long as we lay our cares at His feet, all our troubles will not go away, but we will not have to worry ~ because He is in control !

Thank you for sharing and for praying,


Lorraine said...

Hello Donna, hope you managed to make a start on your to do list..I couldnt cope if I didnt have lists for that cartoon..ha ha. I see that you mention artists blogs in your can you let me know which part of my blog you want to feature..thanks

Donna said...

I really love art and have a lot of my own 'fabric' art... I love your paintings and your felted art--any kind of textiles..everything you do is amazing Lorraine!

antmee said...

Finding a loved ones things trashed by strangers is heart breaking. Wish I could help. My thoughts will be with you while you go through this hard time.

I had few of my sons things stored in a shed and a arsonist that was lighting fires in the district got into my shed and set my sons stuff alight. Losing my son to cancer and then some *&&^%$ burning his beloved toys was pretty hard to deal with.

Diana Ferguson said...

Great verse to hang on to!

Diana said...

Oh antmee, thats really awful.. *Hugs..

Donna, hope your to-do list gets sorted out. I have several and whenever I get too stressed out, I just ignore them and attend to the really important stuff like appointments.. :p

Trudy said...

Donna, I'm so sorry about your dad's stuff being thrown out on the lawn. I can just imagine how stressful that was. Thanks for sharing how you deal with your worry and stress. I know it will be a help to many of us.

Donna said...

Thanks everyone for the support! It wasn't Dad's really special stuff thank goodness, but it still was bad. I got a lot done today. Wow Antmee, that is really heart breaking. I can't imagine losing a son to cancer and then having that happen on top of it.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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