Stretch

Remember a couple months ago when everyone was all “one word for 2013”? Yeah, me too. And at the time I thought my word would be balance and I had these grand dreams of working my butt off to get caught up at work so going forward I could actually plan and work ahead and stop the panic attacks I kept having from cutting too many projects close to the wire.

Isn’t there a verse in the Psalms or Proverbs that says man makes plans and God laughs? I am pretty sure there is and I am pretty sure God must have laughed at my plan. Truth be told, I had every intention of writing all about my word for 2013 but then on New Year’s Eve I had the stomach flu and two days later I had a head cold. Yep, I am pretty sure God must have been chuckling.

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On Instagram I joked that my one word for 2013 could be sick. Two months later, I have to confess I have often thought “2013 might just beat the life out of me.”

Ironically, at church we started out the year with a sermon series entitled: Stretch. The only sermon I can remember out of that series is the one entitled “Stretched by suffering.” I don’t want to go overboard and say that every stressful thing in 2013 has been about suffering for the gospel. I think sometimes we just have a lot of stress in our life and it doesn’t mean God caused it or willed it to happen. Basically all I am saying is that I am uncomfortable right now and sometimes that can be a form of suffering. I get that there are many Christians in the world who suffer far more than I and I have no intention to minimize their suffering.

In a nutshell, this year at work I have had once crisis after another. I have crisis overlapping crisis. I have huge work projects in the midst of these crises. On one occasion my supervisor said to me, “I’ll come in tomorrow if you’ll come in tomorrow.” When you start making contingencies like this with your supervisor it’s never a good sign. I can’t go into specifics about what happens at work (confidentiality or something…) but all I can say is I feel like I have PTSD from some of the things I have witnessed.

So, here I am two months into this year and I am ready for 2014. The stress just keeps coming at work and I don’t think there is an end in sight. I will continue to press on and remind myself that somehow, by the grace of God, this too shall pass.

Fortunately 2013 is also stretching me in positive ways. If all goes well, a month from today I will be a homeowner. Now, that is some positive stress. I am looking forward to being able to decorate a home. I think it is just the thing I need to give me something to focus on besides work. Also, it has been the kick in the pants I need to get back on track with staying on a budget. It also means that there will probably be a puppy in the not so distant future and I am a firm believer that puppies make everything better.

After all, happiness is a warm puppy.

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