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Seeking and Finding God in the Stress of Newness

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

We landed in Alabama this week after our trial run trip to visit Chris' daughter in South Carolina. The new car will do but with much less cargo capacity than we thought. It is now packed with essentials: one week's worth of clothing for us both, a year's worth of good reads (books take priority over clothing), our toys (bikes, kayaks, golf clubs, tennis rackets, Scrabble), one emergency box for "what ifs," one computer (because life does require some work still), and a few odds and ends. The newness of everything is creating a good amount of stress that is evidenced in our tone, temper, and sighing.

If we were to allow ourselves to be parked in the stress I believe we would be forever paralyzed or frustrated or both. I am not as intentional about managing stress as Chris. He has regular routines (devotion time, nap time, gym time, together time). He is also much more thoughtful than I am in the midst of a stressful conversation; as a result, he, even in the heat of a stressful moment, is able to hush mid-stream, breathe, and ask, first, "What are we doing?" and second, "How did we get here?" and then, "How does this conversation help get us where we want to be?" Our ungoverned hearts can get us into tricky places fast because we have high expectations and passionate visions to love the LORD. His ability to refocus away from a stressful problem or disappointment and redirect to "Stay the Course" brings a rationality and calming perspective to the stress. I am grateful that God has given him the ability to work through the hard things and the stressful things with intention and kindness. In the midst of one particularly stressful conversation (remember, as newlyweds we are working through the essentials of coupling and blending two lives that have seen many, many days already) he asked me, "What about looking for the good in every situation instead of the disappointment and difficulty?" He was right! His words rang in my ears as if God had spoken them directly to me. So here's my list of what GOOD THINGS happened this week.


  1. We successfully navigated our first big purchase together (a Bronco Sport).

  2. We made our trial road trip safely and joyfully.

  3. Chris met my mom's 88-year-old twin sister and we spoke of the wonderful things of God with her.

  4. We shared time with my 90-year-old dad and laughed and hugged and played Scrabble (I was victorious, btw, barely, 217-214, with Dad coming in a close second).

  5. I met my stepdaughter, Lauren, her husband, Jacob, and my granddaughter, Emery, for the first time; we were able to share family meals, laughs, and worship together.

  6. We enjoyed a beautiful long day together as we walked hand-in-hand through a picturesque downtown park.

  7. We rented our home for the year and are almost ready to turn the keys over to our new tenants.

  8. We are saying our "goodbyes" with many friends and receiving many blessings from them.

  9. We are growing in faith as we work through each detail on the checklist by calling on God for help when obstacles arise -- and they do, often (broken tooth repaired, name changed, bank account opened, car registered, cough from Covid gone and taste 50% restored).

  10. I am able to walk through the house at night without walking into the walls because I now know where to find each light switch.

God, you are in each moment of every day. Whether it is stress or joy, difficult or easy, You are with us. All is well. There are three days left before we launch into the wild blue yonder. We are leaning in to the yonder with ungoverned hearts to be part of God's plan to love those He has called us to love. Wish you could go with us!

(Susan of the Wildflowers)

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