Ever felt like balling up your fists, running into a pillow, and then yelling random words at it like, “Flibber-dee-gibbet! Arrrrgh! FRENCH TOAST STICKS!”??

Well, so do I. (Side note: Those may be my choice words, but I’m not going to judge you on yours)

Anyway, I have these moments on occasion where all the expectations of the world crash down on me in one swooping motion, and all I can do to get through it is to curl up in frustration.

What causes this, though? What can we do to avoid the pent-up anger rushing in like a tidal wave and bursting our all-too-comfy bubbles of life?

First off, breathing helps. That’s what I’m doing right now in between writing sentences. Deeeeep breath in… deeeeep breath out… Okay, much better.

Next, find the root cause.

One of the biggest reasons for feeling this way (that I’ve noticed in my life) is putting too much pressure on myself. Whether I start the week with a to-do list the size of Mt. Everest or just listen to professors rattling off the assignments due, I find myself internalizing the expectations of success.

Now don’t get me wrong — there are a lot of things that we all need to get done, and being productive is good. The issue arises when you let the need to DO get ahead of the need to BE.

What do I mean by this?

We are called to BE still before the Lord and truly rest in His presence. That cannot happen when all we do is jump from one task to the next. When my focus is taken off the gentle and compassionate nature of Jesus and placed on my giant to-do list, I lose myself in it.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)

Anxiety is real. Panic attacks are real. The stress of too much to do, too little time is real.


Jesus’ comfort is real, too. So is His kindnesslove, and peace. When we run to Him even for a brief moment, our entire day can turn around for the better.

I’ve noticed this in my life, so this isn’t me saying it to say it — it’s me saying it because I have lived this out for years and years, and I want to share the secret with you.


Stop doing. Start being.

Stop running after perfection. Start acknowledging the beauty of imperfections. Only Jesus is perfect. All of us are flawed, and God still loves us and forgives us and provides for us. Every good and perfect gift is from Him.

Stop drowning out God’s voice with countless details of “What’s next?” or “Who asked for that document?” or “Why didn’t that person watch where they were going because can’t they see I’m busy?” Stop.




Start writing out a to-do list and setting it down.

Walk away to a quiet place, and sit.

Rest in the fact that He works everything for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28).

Listen to what the Creator of the universe has to say for a change rather than what you expect Him to say.

Then, and only then, will your day turn around. You’ll realize that He wasn’t going to condemn you for not getting enough done. You’ll realize that He just wanted a minute of your undivided attention to say, “I love you.”

That’s right — He LOVES you.

YOU — the guy or gal who felt hopeless just twenty minutes ago because of how much needed to get done. The person who wanted to scream at a pillow out of frustration at the harshness of reality. The child who just needed some reassurance that everything is going to be okay.

He. Loves. YOU.

So, guy or gal who took a few minutes to read this post, that’s my word for today. Let’s stop together and receive what God has for us — peace, rest, joy, comfort, and hopefully a little bit of our sanity back. 😉

“One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in his temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NIV)