This is my only third September without back-to-school shopping and I still get the itch. Something about new pencils and pens, blank notebooks, and the smell of new textbooks always made me more excited than I should have been for the end of summer vacation.
I love school and if I could I would probably be an official lifelong student.
The fall has always been motivating for me, but as I engage more with older family members and friends I can see how easy it is to be overwhelmed by the ever-growing demands of work and the start of the school year. And I am sure that as I grow older and my own family changes I will feel this stress as well.
How do I deal with stress? Well, if you ask my husband, my parents, or my sister, their answers would be unanimous: “Terribly!” (Maybe they would be more polite than that.) While I like to think I have a handle on everything in my life, I am usually good about keeping it to myself until that one little thing happens and then I implode.
When I was younger, dealing with high school AP tests and college decisions, I read a passage that I have kept written down on a notecard in my Bible. “Stress boils down to one idea – lack of trust in God.” Every time I read this it is jarring. Why do I think I have control over the things that happen in my life? Objectively, I know I do not control the future, other people’s actions, or even my own. Subjectively, I am master of the universe.
Perhaps keeping this notecard in my Bible is not where it will do the most good. Perhaps, this fall, I will tape this phrase to my desk at work, to my refrigerator, and to my bedside table. In these obvious places, the daily reminder that my trust should be in God will change my response to stress and strengthen my faith.