I went to a workshop on stress yesterday at Camp Christian.
First a word of disclaimer - I was kind of irritated because it was on my day off and so I did not stay for all of it and spent half the time planning Grandparents Camp for this spring. (a whole nother story....)
BUT - I actually learned somethings -
or maybe remembered some things which I thought I would share here.
Here's my learnings - many of which I can relate to - but I am not going to say which ones :)
1. Clergy can be kind of stubborn about living in stress and wear their stress as "stripes" as a badge of honor. Look at how stressed I am! I must be busy and I must be important.
2. Our "bad habits" are related to stress. We engage in them because we are stressed and then they cause more problems (ex: drinking, adultery)
3. Family really pays the price of our stress. Having families is almost more work than parents know and when we are stressed we often can only give our spouses and kids maybe 20% of ourselves. Not good.
4. Depression can really get in the way of effective ministry. The definition of ministry that he used (which I really like!) is "going to troubled waters" and if you are depressed you will find every reason not to go visit that person or make that phone call.
5. The Stressor is an event - the stress is our reaction to it. Different stressors affect different people in different ways. What stresses one person may be nothing to another.
6. Dealing w stress is not about eliminating stressors - it is about self management.
You are a powerful corporation and the embodiment of many gifts. You need to manage this corporation that is you
7. Coaching is necessary for dealing with stress. AND we are to be our own coach.
The coach is on your side and does not let you get away with stuff.
8. Good stress helps us to get stronger. It comes as we place ourselves into situations in ministry.
9. Bad stress goes on and on and wears at you. We can eliminate a great deal of it in a pursuit of excellence.
10. We manage stress as we check our attitudes
- bad attitude: Everything should go my way
( 2 ways to ruin children - never give them everything they want, or give them everything they want)
- good attitude - live in the present. Be careful setting goals so that we are not fully present. If you have a "to do list" that is too much you may feel like a LOSER even though you got a lot done but not everything.
- good attitude - love your people - judge not, condemn not (Jesus said this too!)
God created us as loving beings and we have to clear out the obstacles to love
11. Look upon anything that any does or says
As either an expression of love or a call for love
Changes us from defensiveness to love
As I write this up I recognize that there is a lot of good info here - probably should have stayed for the 2nd half - but I had too much to do!
I always like when people say - "Too Blessed to be Stressed!"
May it be so.