Prepared!

Last weekend I knew that the upcoming week (the week we’re currently in) was going to be a killer. You know, those kind of weeks where it’s hard to find time to rest, to even take a breath. The kind of week where eating is a bag of Doritos and a Coke (Diet be darned!), or something similarly quick.

So I thought maybe I should be prepared.

This was my house on Sunday afternoon:

That’s right – THREE slow cookers. Three meals for the upcoming weeks, two soups and a big cilantro-lime chicken; 2 dozen hard-boiled eggs, and some veggies already cut up. Not enough for the whole week but a whole lot more than I usually have. And LOTS of dishes!

Now I’m somewhat prepared.

When it comes to life, no slow cookers can help us prepare for the unexpected twists and turns of life. Are there ways to get ready for the times when life throws a curveball?

Here are some ideas:

  • Remember that God is there. He is not only there in the hard times with you, but He has been there before you and will be there after. He knows what you are going through and cares deeply about you.“’For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.’” (Jeremiah 29:11)

  • Know that hard times will come. No one escapes from this life unscathed, and you will not be the first. Just knowing it’s normal to have difficulties and that everyone experiences that, too, can be very comforting.

  • When bad stuff starts to happen, pretty much regardless of what that bad stuff is, know that taking care of yourself first will help you not only get through the trial but also be able to help others. It is really true that you can’t help others when you are not ok. Eat. Sleep. Exercise. Take care of yourself emotionally and mentally before you try to help someone else.

  • Talk to those you trust. Processing the stress and trauma really helps you to know what action to take (if any) and how to make sense of it all.

  • Acknowledge and feel your feelings. Feelings don’t go away if you stuff them or refuse to accept them. They only go away when you live through them, process them and deal with them. Postponing your feelings only means they’ll come out later, probably when you least want them to.

  • Try to keep a positive perspective. You have gotten through hard times in the past, and you likely will this time, as well. Sometimes hard times are even a blessing in disguise. Try to keep a good outlook.

  • Let go of what you can’t control. Sometimes we get lost in fear and worry, but the bad thing that’s happening is truly beyond us. Remember, God is in control. Not us. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7).

  • Be careful who you spend time with. Too much negativity can really bring you even further down and cause you to get sunk in lots of negative emotions. Stay close to those who are trying their best to handle the situation positively, with grace and compassion.

  • Seek help. Sometimes bad times just get us down. When you are really being stressed, and life has just become too hard, speak up. Ask someone to walk alongside you and help you. The help of an objective, compassionate person can make a world of difference.

Are you experiencing a difficult time in your life for which you have not been adequately prepared? We’d love to talk to you about it. Give us a call or reach out to us by email. We can be that compassionate ear you need right now.

Call 717-377-0869 or ellen@sanctuarychristiancounseling.com, susan@sanctuarychristiancounseling.com or andrea@sanctuarychristiancounseling.com.

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