Wednesday, December 30, 2015

You Will Find Rest

Matthew 11:28 "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." I love this verse and just want to say a few things to go along with it. We all bear burdens but, I'm specifically thinking of retail workers at the moment especially during this time of year. It's no secret that working in retail really, really stinks a lot of the time. I personally have never been in a management position in retail but, I've worked in retail long enough and know people who are in those positions, to know that it is ten times more stressful and hard. I'm sure nothing is more frustrating than having employees under you who have no respect for you whatsoever. And then there are the times when you have so much responsibility that it is just too overwhelming, then to top it all off you have to deal with rude customers with a sense of entitlement. It's too much. But that is the beauty of this verse! God is not telling you to tough it out. He is not saying "Well, it’s part of the job you signed up for it." No, He is saying come. “Come and give me your burdens, give me your weariness. Give them to me and you will find rest.” The kind of rest that is not just sleep, but the feeling of a weight being lifted off of your chest from an issue that was somehow solved. Or the calmness that comes in knowing that in the end it will all be okay, the shift will end, the problem will be solved. God doesn’t have to do any of this, but His love for us is so great and vast that He chooses to. Amen :)

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Finding a Healthy Outlet

Let’s be honest: We all get stressed. As much as we may not like to admit, like myself, or whether we readily admit to it, it happens. For college students this time of year is extremely stressful with finals and shtuff. And I guess I will mention the stress that the holiday brings. Personally, being 21 I don’t really feel the stress of the holidays yet, but I recognize that it is there and a real thing. But that’s beside the point! Bottom line: December = STRESSSS. And here it comes, that verse many of us know all too well but are really sick of hearing: “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God.” If you don’t know that verse, it’s a good one to memorize. (BTW its Philippians 4:6. Great book, great book.) “Well Marissa, that’s fine and dandy and all but no matter many times I pray that, the stress still doesn’t go away.” You know that’s a fair point because, truthfully, that way doesn’t always work for me either. Why? Because I’m not perfect and I can’t ever seem to let the stress go and I can’t stop thinking about and its hard and scary even though it shouldn’t be and the more I think about the worse it gets then it becomes so overwhelming but I try to keep it in and it just makes it worse *bursts out crying*. Relax, deep breaths, calm. What do I do when I can’t seem to let the stress go? I write. I take out my journal and just start writing. Sometimes it turns into a conversation with God, with me asking lots of questions. Other times it is just a big, fat, huge venting session. I call this my ‘outlet’. Personally, I think everyone should have an ‘outlet’. It doesn’t have to be writing/journaling like me. I have friends who go on long walks, or draw, or play music. Honestly I’m sure there are people out whose outlets are just straight up praying. The point is you are releasing the stress in a healthy way. God doesn’t like seeing his kids being grouchy butts or being emotional wrecks. So my advice: find your ‘outlet’. It may sound hard but you would be surprised. My first journal entry was when I was in Bulgaria March, 2013. Now here I am, 2015, about a quarter of the way through my seventh journal. Do you know how many “diaries” I had when I was little and wrote in them like maybe four times? Let me tell you, I had quite a few. Now, I have one more thing to say on this topic. There is probably a good chance that your ‘outlet’ lines up with some of the gifts and talents God gave you. Because chances are that the gifts and talents He gave you are things that make you really happy and that you enjoy doing. Like for me, I have always loved writing. My grandma has three paged “books” made out of construction paper that I “wrote” when I was four. Now, go find a guitar or an empty journal or a sidewalk or a park bench underneath a tree that a squirrel has called home. There millions of lonely outlets in the world, waiting for a lifelong friend. So be a friend, adopt one today! What will yours be? :)