Surrender

bing imageBy Sandy Kirby Quandt

During one particularly stressful year of teaching, I developed an unhealthy habit of eating Tootsie Roll Midgees. Not just one or two pieces at a time…one or two HANDFULS.

It was mindless munching in a failed attempt to ease the never-ending pressure of too many demands and not enough time.

As was my habit, I sat in my classroom long after the students and everyone except the janitorial staff had left the school, trying to find ways to help my students grasp essential concepts.

One of my sweet co-teachers stepped into my room and spied the pile of discarded candy bing imageswrappers next to the pile of uneaten candy on my desk.

I offered Paula several Tootsie Rolls as I continued to unwrap and pop the remainder into my mouth with record speed.

“What are you doing?”

“Going over these math scores again. Susan’s not happy with the results,” I said between bites.

“No. What are you doing eating all this candy?”

“Stress.”

bing imagesPaula held out her hands. I gave her another piece of candy. She shook her head.

“I’m here to save you from yourself. Give me all the candy.”

I looked at my friend, then back to my desk. I willingly scooped up the Tootsie Rolls and handed them to her. She must have been suspicious regarding my lack of resistance.

“Any more?”

After a moment, I opened my desk drawer and pulled out a sandwich sized baggie.

Paula smiled.

I sat for a moment. Then I walked to the closet. From there I pulled out a half-full bag of that chocolatey delight. It wasn’t just a small sized bag. Nope. This was one of the mega sized bags you need two arms to carry.

Paula’s eyes grew big as I sheepishly handed over my stash.

“Do you have any more?” I doubt she really believed I did.

bing imagesWhen I walked to the front of the classroom and opened up the file cabinet, we both started laughing.

Paula wiped tears from her eyes as I handed over another 720 piece bag.

After all these years that moment in time is as fresh as if it just happened. But I’d like to explore the concept of surrendering all my Tootsie Rolls to what Jesus asks us to do.

Jesus asks us to surrender everything to him. Not just the candy on our desk that people see, but also the candy we’ve hidden away hoping no one will discover it.

We are asked to surrender our time. Our resources. Our talent.

We are asked to surrender our families. Our health. Our jobs.

Our hurts, scars, addictions…

We are asked to surrender our hopes, dreams, ambitions, wants, desires…all so we can become the person God created us to be.

It is my belief that as Paula stood in my classroom with her hand outstretched to receive all the bing imagesTootsie Rolls I’d stashed away to save me from myself, Jesus holds out his hand to save us, as well.

Jesus wants us to lay it all down. Hand it over to him and pick up only what he wants us to pick up in his perfect timing.

I survived the year, and even though Paula promised she’d hold onto my candy and dole it out a little at a time if I needed it, I realized those Midgees really weren’t what was going to get me through the stress of that year.

Jesus was.

And he did.

Dealing with stressful situations? Surrender them to Jesus.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

So give yourselves completely to God. Stand against the devil, and the devil will run from you. James 4:7 (NCV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Fibromyalgia and the Holidays

As a fibromyalgia sufferer, the approaching holidays, and all the busy-ness that usually accompanies them, are a time for me to reassess and readjust what activities occupy my time.

Christmas Light Display

Although I would love to involve myself with all the things I used to do, it is not going to happen. Not with the limitations fibro imposes. So, I have a choice. I can listen to my body, and slow down when I need to, or not listen, plow ahead at full speed, and suffer the consequences. I try to listen.

Notice I said, “try”.

Two big triggers for my fibro flares are stress and not enough deep, restorative, sleep.

Both seem to be a given for even “normal” people, where major holidays are concerned, but are magnified for fibromyalgia patients.

In years gone by, I decorated for every holiday. Right down to the shamrock candy dish with pale green mints. Not so, any more. Just getting decorations on the Christmas tree, some years, has been a major accomplishment.

Some things I am learning, in no particular order, which might be helpful for other fibromyalgia sufferers are:

  • pace myself
  • stop when I get tired – whether I have completed what I set out to do, or not
  • fatigue is real – it’s not all in my mind
  • prioritize – do what’s most important first
  • give myself permission not to go to every worthwhile function
  • every meal does not need to be an elaborate occasion
  • ask for help – something I do not like to do
  • exercise daily – something else I don’t particular care for
  • make spending time alone with God number one on my daily “to do” list – no compromise
  • soaking in a hot tub of bubble bath and Epsom salts is not a luxury
  • quit beating myself up for not having a perfectly clean house – those days are long gone, if they ever truly existed
  • I can no longer do what I used to do, and that’s okay
  • fibro fog does not mean I have Alzheimers
  • avoid situations, and people, I know will make my stress worse
  • understand what is essential, and what is not – despite what others may believe (I love the poster – Poor planning on YOUR part, does not constitute an emergency on MINE!)
  • don’t cave into others’ expectations, or even my own

Each person is different. What works for me, may not work for you, and vice-versa. If you have any other tips on how to lessen holiday stress, I’d love to hear your ideas.

One song I play as Christmas nears, is Emmy Lou Harris’s Christmas Time’s a Coming. I tried to find a video of Emmy Lou singing it, but couldn’t, so we’ll go with this video of Ricky Skaggs singing it, instead.

I wish you well.

Sandy

PS

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