I wish I could say I handle stress and worry with ease. Two years ago I would have told you that I could handle most anything thrown my way. I’m strong. I work out. I eat oatmeal
and pray nearly every day. What more does one need to face the hard times?
Then life came. I had a kidney go bad and required nine hours of surgery to get back on track. A few months later, I was in a bad car wreck. Then my husband lost his job, my
daughter’s appendix ruptured, and we moved across the country. Then there was the small stress of trying to sell a house in a pitiful economy, even as we moved into a two bedroom
apartment with what I’m certain was a rock band (and their roadies) living above us. Then just to keep things interesting, our adult son moved back in with us and is, as I write these words, in need of a kidney transplant. My husband will be the donor. I don’t feel so invincible anymore.
I need more than oatmeal and exercise. I need tools. I need day-to-day coping-with-life tools so I don’t follow through on my temptation to move to the mountains with twenty pounds of chocolate, a few warm blankets, and an armload of romantic comedies.
I figure you understand my pain. You wouldn’t have picked up this book if you didn’t have your own litany of life stuff–things you never expected to happen–worries, fears, heartbreak, stress over finances, marriages, kids, illness.
So join me. Join me as I investigate healthy ways to handle the worry and productive ways to walk through the stress. And maybe together we can move forward, not into our hiding places of choice, but through this season into hope, with smiles on our faces.
Excerpted from 99 Ways to Fight Worry and Stress by Elsa Kok Colopy. Copyright © 2009 by Elsa Kok Colopy. Excerpted by permission of WaterBrook Press, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.