Take a Break Before You Break
By Sharie King
Friday, December 1, 2017
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance. Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (NIV)
What happens when you hear the words traffic, bills, computer virus/crash, or to-do-list. Yep, I can feel your heart beating faster and your blood pressure rising through our internet connection right now.
I know the feeling. A few years ago, my husband and I were paying two mortgages because we decided to build just before the housing market crashed.
Thankfully we were able to rent our old house, but then his mother died suddenly of a heart attack. We had to find time to grieve, plan a funeral and start caring for his terminally ill father.
Every day I woke up wondering when our stress marathon would end. It lingered. A year and a half later my husband’s father also passed away and I discovered my mom was filing for bankruptcy and divorce.
In such intense circumstances, we felt like we were holding up, but we decided to ask for an outsider’s diagnosis.
My husband asked his counselor, “How are we doing?”
The counselor responded with this: “I want you and your wife to figure out what you really enjoy. What do you do for fun? What things make you laugh or put a smile on your face?”
When I first heard the question, I thought the counselor was crazy. Who can smile with so much sadness? Who has time for fun with so many responsibilities?
But, that was the counselor’s point. Stress tempts us to tense up, but healing lures us to laughter.
The mind, heart and soul need a break when we’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed. Many of us think we can “handle” stress by working through it, by conquering it.
But healing comes when we give our emotions permission to let go, to laugh, to discover again what we love in life.
I don’t remember who wrote these lyrics, but “You gotta laugh a little. Laugh into the wind. Go ahead and lose yourself, go on and laugh out loud my friend.”
Make a list today of the things that bring you joy or enjoyment. Think of things that cause you to crack a smile and then make yourself do one of these things when you feel your blood pressure rising.
God, I pray we would be able to let go and discover what makes us laugh. When life’s stresses pile up, help us to remember Your goodness. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.
© 2017 by Sharie King. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 01 December 2017.