Stress, Wine, and Jesus.

I’m sitting here trying to figure out the best way to write this post. On one hand, I want to push/encourage. On the other, I’m terrified of being judged. However, I feel like it is something to share, so here I go.

Since being quarantined, stress greets me daily. Not only does it greet me, it likes to hang out for a while. In my previous post, I shared that I have been working on changing my perspective, which changes my attitude. And it definitely helps. Before I was changing my perspective though, I was going to a glass or two of wine. The kids would stress me out, I would pour a glass to “chill”. It became a daily habit without me even noticing.

Here’s where I want to address the people who will judge/be offended. I am not saying a glass of wine is wrong. I am not saying alcohol is the devil. What I am saying is this: relying daily on it to relieve stress is not healthy.

Continuing on.

I was having probably three glasses a night, every night. April 11th at 2:50am I was suddenly awake. I felt convicted. I felt God speaking to me, even in my tired state in the middle of the night.

“You cannot influence when you are influenced.”

*Big humble pill ready for Candice*

The biggest thing I am thankful for in my life is conviction. I would rather be convicted lovingly by God, than numb. I am so grateful that He still guides, teaches, and is oh so patient with me. I hope I never know what it is like to not have Him kindly instruct me.

3am, lying in bed, I repented. I do not want to rely on anything other than Jesus for my peace. I do not want to seek out something to take the edge off on the daily. Why? Because those things we rely on, become habits. Wine had become a habit. I would justify it in every way possible.
“I’m not getting wasted.”
“I’m still working my job, and being responsible.”
“Jesus turned water into wine. So.”
You name it, I thought it. And again, I’m not saying wine is wrong. Relying on it…. is.

Since that night, I have had no alcohol. The first couple days, I was an emotional mess and I could not figure out why. I wanted to cry about everything. Here’s the thing: alcohol is a masker. It masks things we don’t want to deal with. I could not figure out what I was masking, until it hit me in my very sober face.
STRESS.
I didn’t want to deal with the stress of my kids. The fighting, whining, complaining, etc. I just didn’t want to deal with it. I realized, I was neglecting actually raising my children *one more big humble pill*. Instead of tackling the stressful moments with listening, instructing, and helping them learn to be good, decent people… I was having wine and sending them to their rooms. I still send them to their rooms, but now it is with a discussion of right and wrong. I discipline with a prayer, helping them understand WHY we don’t act like that, and how we should treat each other.
I have only been a week with no alcohol, and I can assure you, I feel all the feels. I am aware when I am angry, when I am stressed, when I am happy, sad, confused, all the emotions. BUT, I now look at why I feel those things. What stresses me? What can I do instead of pouring a relaxing glass of wine? I have taken away my “go to” for stress and replaced it with new habits. Spending more time with Jesus, working out from home (Amazon Prime has some awesome workouts), stretching, reading. I procrastinate less. I’m much more aware of my children’s feelings and where they are at mentally.
I am not here just to keep them alive and meet their basic needs. I am here to make sure they grow up to be people who love the Lord, who are kind, compassionate, giving, and good little people. That is our job as parents.
I am in no way a perfect mom. I have snapped and yelled at my kids more times than I care to admit. But, I am a mom who always wants to be better. Each day is a new day. A new day to do better. A day where His mercy is new every single morning. And for that, I am beyond thankful.

Perhaps this is too early in my blog to be so vulnerable, but maybe it isn’t. I’m sure there is someone (hopefully) that can relate.

“But everything exposed by the light becomes visible–and everything that is illuminated becomes a light.” Ephesians 5:13

“Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:20-21

Is there something that you rely on for stress? Is there stuff that is kept hidden from friends or family that makes you feel shame/guilty? We are not meant to carry shame. We are meant to live in the Light. I love these verses that let us know, ANYTHING we bring into the Light, turns to Light. God can use the Light. How encouraging is that?! He loves for us to come to Him with all our dirty stuff, no matter how big or small, and not only help us, but use it for His good.

Good is good. He loves you. He hears you. And like a good Father, He will always help you 🙂

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