Thriving When Stress Reduces Life to The Basics

 620As every mother knows, a newborn takes at least eight hours a day to nurse, burp, rock and comfort, bath, change clothes and change diapers. Then a mother must washall those diapers, clothes, receiving blankets, sheets and baby blankets as well as their clothes which tend to get covered in vomit, and other nasty surprises.

The lack of sleep leads to a rather narrow existence where the best days are when you can sneak in a nap or shower and dress before noon. Oh, those were the days when stress reduced life to the basics. Those basics were actually miraculous when I relaxed and allowed myself to live in the moment, enjoying my newborn rather than bemoaning all the important activities that I couldn’t seem to even start. The very fact that everything that my little one required to grow and thrive was inexpensive and near at hand was amazing. My baby didn’t need a lot of money spent on him, he simply needed arms to hold him, mother’s milk to drink and warm clothes and blankets. Accepting reality meant letting go of trying be everything and do everything I did before I had a lot of kids.

The pivotal point in my personal growth was realizing that, in fear, I  clung to control. I have let go of this control at least a thousand times already. A thousand times of choosing to surrender fear and lies and trusting. Each time I peel back a layer, another deeper level of fear pops up.

An image which described my struggle to surrender control, was a wagon wheel suspended over a deep chasm.

My large family of 10 stood on the rim of a wagon wheel,

while I crouched on the hub,

frantically turning this way and that,

grabbing all the broken spokes,

desperate to hold the crumbling structured together.

I realized that I had to let go of this futile sense of responsibility and control but

I was afraid to stop,

afraid that one moment of inattention would cause my entire family to tumble down into the abyss.

I was trapped.

Yet, I realized that

my tension prevented natural, organic growth and healing.

My control acted like a wall, shutting out all divine intervention and grace.

My sincere concern and earnest self-sacrifice actually magnified everyone’s brokenness by

freezing everyone and everything.

Suddenly an arrow of light

pierced through my confusion.

It was as if a sharp pin burst a huge, black balloon of deception.

Suddenly the image was gone,

like a mountain done in by a mustard seed.

I had been wrestling with an illusion,

a phantom mountain.

There was no dilemma.

I laughed at myself.

With joy,

I finally surrendered control.

The broken spokes were instantly repaired.

The kids and my husband started smiling.

I was free.

We were free.


18 thoughts on “Thriving When Stress Reduces Life to The Basics

  1. Very nice post Melanie. I remember telling my oldest daughter that all she had to do as a new mother is want to be with your child, love your child, and wrap your arms around your child. Those are the natural things to do for your child, everything else becomes a habit, but the love in the arms of a mother will always refresh the bond.


  2. Nailed it! Beautifully written. The fear of giving up the steering wheel after so many years of doing all the driving. I get that. Switching gears. You have done a good job. Enjoy auto pilot now. (Holy car metaphors batman!)


  3. There are a lot of things we can’t control, but we can still choose to look at the bright side despite adversity! There’s always a solution a to a problem, you know! And besides, failure is definitely something we will encounter in life, so what we should focus on is how we deal with it!


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