Tag Archives: stress

Me Compete? Really?

Me Compete? Really?

Today I am competing in a slam. I’m not a competitor at least not in a formal way. I love to play games and enjoy winning. Still I enjoy losing as well. I play for the fun of it. I’m not interested in prizes. Games are more fun without them. There’s no stress or pressure. I seldom send my manuscripts into a publisher because I don’t like rejection. For me there is no thrill in the competition. Yet for some unknown reason I voluntarily entered this slam. No one suggested I enter, or coerced me.

Last month I went to my writer’s group meeting in Whitby and heard, for about the third time, about this slam competition. Tell a story from memory in no more than three minutes. The thought entered my mind,  maybe I could do that. That thought took up residence, surfacing now and then, every day. Finally, two weeks ago, I filled out the registration form and sent the email. Why not? What do I have to lose?

When thoughts like that persist in my mind, I tend to listen to them. Usually I blame God for them. This time I just doggedly prepared and practiced my three minute story. As the days have passed my stress level has risen. I’ve spent the last few days wondering why am I doing this, especially now as I am preparing for the Easter services at Lakefield United Church? What kind of a masochist am I? I hate this kind of thing.

This morning I rose earlier than I needed. Good I thought. I’ll do my morning devotions. I opened “Our Daily Bread”. Today’s reading affirmed the assurance of God’s presence in all we do.

I chuckled and said thank you. Of course, you’re with me in this foolishness God. Of course, you will support me. I truly believe in your presence always. Yes, I was foolish to enter. Yet, I am as ready as possible. Yes, stress my turn me into a stuttering idiot. Does it matter? No God is with me. God will use this, is already using this experience to teach me and others. The teaching is not my job. My job is the doing.

So I ask you my followers. pray for me this morning. I’m going to need your support.

Have a blessed day. Remember you will be a blessing to others whether you know it or not.

We Are Not Alone!

 “We Are Not Alone”

by Rev. Janet Stobie

God's sign of love.
God’s sign of love.

Beginning with my fall last January, stress dogged our footsteps through 2013. Over the last twelve months I have yelled at God, pleaded with God, even doubted God’s existence.  For sure, I lost patience with God’s time schedule. Healing my back is taking away too long. The closing date on our house sale loomed and still we had found nothing affordable to buy. We were one week from moving in with friends (couch surfing in today’s terms) before we had both a house sitting job and a house to buy with a long closing date. For me that was much too close to comfort.

We have begun a New Year. We’ve settled into our housesitting job. At first, I felt displaced, like a refugee, but after spending Christmas here, this beautiful place has become our home. Living beside the river brings a special gift. I never tire of watching its different moods. My back is healing. I’m almost back to “my normal life”. We’ve bought a wonderful house, and come April, we’ll move to it.

The silver lining to 2013 is that my relationship with God has deepened. Instead of making New Year’s Resolutions, this week I listed the areas of my life in which I need God’s help. First and foremost are the boxes of books that line the walk-in closet upstairs. “Fireweed” has sold tremendously well, but there are lots left. I need God’s help in planning speaking engagements, workshops, selling on the internet. That’s only one aspect of my busy life. I even need God’s help in resting.

What do you need from God for 2014? Think about your goals. Ask God for strength and leadership. We don’t have to be in trouble or sick or broken to take time for God. Line your year with prayer rather than resolutions. Remind yourself every day of Jesus’ words, “I will be with you always, even unto the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 20)

“In life, in death, in life beyond death, we are not alone, thanks be to God.” (United Church, New Creed)