Lately, I’ve had a lot of stress and pressure in my life. Mainly because I feel spread way too thin.
Trying to co-run a business, make time for design work or stuff for clients that Drew needs me to do, trying to finish up all my assignments, papers and projects to end this year of school, study for final exams, trying to wrap up all the ten million little things that still have to be done for our wedding and honeymoon in three weeks, planning to have family and company over for Drew’s graduation next week and not to mention all the bazillion household things like laundry, cleaning, dinner and loading the dishwasher that have to be done on a daily/weekly basis. I’m juggling too many balls in the air, and then that happens, one or all of them are bound to drop at some point.
The last few weeks have been a struggle to keep those balls all up in the air, and lately it feels as if one after another after another keep dropping.
Wedding planning has been really, really stressful lately. That is something I’ve been trying desperately to avoid. I want this planning time to be enjoyable. I want to soak it all in and remember these days as good ones preparing everything for our lives together. It is a day that I’ve been planning for my whole life, and more intensely for the past year and a half that we’ve been engaged. I’ve spent that time making lists to make sure that things got done ahead of time and spaced out so that there wouldn’t be any one time of planning that would get more intensely stressful. I’ve worked extremely hard planning out all the details, talking to vendors, designing the paper and stationary all myself, etc. etc. etc. I have put so much time, energy and hard work into this event and I want it to come across beautifully in the end.
Lately, I’ve had this overwhelming sense of worry about the wedding plans. What if things don’t come together like I’ve envisioned? What if all these ideas that look great in my head look horrible or unfinished together in the end? A million “What ifs.” I’m afraid other people will look at the stuff that I put together and not like it.
Which is a totally silly thing to think. Who cares if someone else doesn’t like it, right? It isn’t their wedding. All that matters is that I like it and at the end of the day we are husband and wife. The food, flowers, decorations, weather, all that doesn’t mean a thing. But it is still so hard to get those thoughts out of my head.
It has been especially hard these last few weeks because I’ve gotten a lot of negative comments about wedding stuff. Vendors, family, friends saying things like “So and so didn’t like the RSVPs,” “Those are too small, why would you pick those?,” “those are too big,” “you really want that color?,” “No one else likes that,” “When are you going to do this,” “Why don’t you do it this way,” “That is going to look horrible together,” “That is going to look like a 5th grader put it together,” etc, etc, etc… I don’t know why so many people feel it necessary to express their negative feelings to a bride three weeks before her wedding day, but it isn’t very nice and it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on me. It makes me feel self-conscious about myself and my choices and when I let it get to me, it makes me a really sad and unhappy person.
I’ve been really sad the past few weeks. Upset about wedding stuff, pressured to get things done right this second when I don’t have any seconds right now to give to them, stressed about finals and school projects not going the way they should.
I’ve been trying to hold it together the past several weeks, but I’ve fallen apart more than once. Yesterday in particular was a really bad day. Yesterday was my last final. I’ve been done with classes for over a week and have been studying for finals and finishing projects. Surprisingly with everything else on my plate, I feel like I did really well at all my finals and got everything in on time and did my best. I thought I would be relieved once I turned in my printmaking final yesterday. However, I got the news yesterday that my French class that I’ve been working hard to try to take this summer at UNO isn’t going to transfer to Tulane for stupid reasons. I spent the last month, applying to UNO, paying money for application to them, talking to a million people, getting everything taken care of so I could register for classes, messing with residency information and immunization records to try to get this all worked out so that I could pay a bunch of money just to take one French class there. I need another French class to graduate and I need to take it during the summer so that it is all I have to worry about at one time because I really struggled with my previous French classes. I’m getting married and we are going on our honeymooon, so I had to take the class online because I won’t be in New Orleans to go to class everyday during that time. My academic advisor said before I even started the process that it should all be fine. But the French department refuses to offer credit for any online class, and they didn’t feel the need to inform me of that until after I put in all the work to try to make things work at UNO.
So now I have to try to fit that into my schedule next year along with all the other crazy hard classes I have to take to finish up a double major in both English and Studio Art. Talk about balls dropping, next year is going to be nearly impossible.
After dwelling on all that stuff yesterday along with all the other stresses in my life, I was starting to get really depressed. Saddened by the way things are going and how lately it seems like one thing after another keeps going wrong. When you start thinking about all those things, then you find a million other things in your life that you are unsatisfied with and it is a horrible downward cycle.
Last night, while wallowing in my sorrows, I saw this quote that a Facebook friend had shared on her wall. It was exactly what I needed to hear in that moment.
How perfectly true is that. It is so easy to have one bad day (or even a string of them) and then all of a sudden find it hard to remember all the million great things you have in your life. All your blessings, all your talents, all that you are capable of, forgotten in the midst of a few stressful circumstances.
But my words of encouragement didn’t stop there. Every night before I go to bed, I read the bible verse of the day on my Bible app on my phone and focus on that and how it relates to my life and then often go on and read the rest of the chapter it comes from. The past few days, every single scripture has been spot on to things that have been happening in my life lately. God always has the right words to say in every moment. Yesterday’s scripture was from Philippians 4 (one of my favorite chapters of the Bible).
Multiple parts of this scripture were exactly the positive words I needed to hear.
Philippians 4:4, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
I was so not rejoicing to God for all the wonderful things he has given me in life by focusing on all the bad things.
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
By spending all day worrying about what I was going to do about my wedding plans, what I was going to do about my French class, how I would handle all those classes next year, talking myself through all the bad things happening, I wasn’t spending enough time praying about those situations and giving them over to God. I was worrying myself to death and for what? Over a French class? It might be a hard class, but it is such a minor detail in the scheme of life.
Philippians 4:8, “Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.”
Such an excellent reminder any day, but specifically yesterday, where were my positive and lovely thoughts instead of those negative ones?
Philippians 4:13, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”
French class next year, finishing up two majors, hours and hours of art studios each semester. Bring it on. It might not be the most fun year of my life, but I can do it.
One of the things I really like about my Bible, is the study notes that it has for every verse. Those often bring more understanding about the scriptures and give it a better relevance to everyday situations. I found this one particularly pertinent:
“It’s easy to get discouraged about unpleasant circumstances or to take unimportant events too seriously. If you haven’t been joyful lately, you may not be looking at life from the right perspective.”
Umm hello, I think that was written specifically for me to get through yesterday. Really wise words.
So I’m trying, trying to take all that to heart and forget about the unimportant stuff. I should be excited and happy and joyful! My 21st birthday is in 2 days! The love of my life graduates from college in a week! My bridal shower is in two weeks and our wedding is in three weeks! I have a wonderful person to share my life with, we have a cute little house, we have food to eat, we have a nice event planned to share the start of our married lives with the rest of those people closest to us. We have a lot of great things going on! We have a lot of people that care about us and want to be a part of that day.
We have a lot to rejoice in the Lord for!