Stop the Drama by Taking an Intermission
by Cindi McMenamin
You know what drama is. Busyness, running late, not being prepared, not having enough energy to get through your day, or slipping up when it comes to your children, your husband or your friends.
While I was writing my book, Drama Free, I became aware of how easily overwhelmed we can be if we push ourselves to exhaustion. Requests can feel like demands, previous commitments can feel like pressure-filled obligations, and someone else’s ill-timed words can set off fireworks in our emotions and actions.
To the contrary, when we take proper care of ourselves and make sure we are taking an “intermission” we can avoid making a scene and being labeled a drama mama when unexpected events hit us or someone rubs us the wrong way.
It’s easy for us to talk about how much we need to rest. But until we actually do it, it’s still just talk. Here is a tried-and-true process I had to practice in my own life – and not just once – in order to dial down the drama and live in a way that my emotions don’t get the best of me. Every time I start to feel overextended, I come back to these three steps to keep myself rested and available to God to accomplish what He wants for me, so I can be a patient, drama-free mom.
- Release the Things You Cannot Do
You know your limits. When you wake up in the morning and think I can’t do this one more time that’s often your body and mind telling you to slow down, take a break, and cross something off your schedule. Just because something happens in your sphere of influence doesn’t mean you are the one expected to run to the rescue and fix it. Just because you are made aware of something doesn’t mean God is assigning it to you. Much drama can be avoided when you get in the habit of running your schedule past God and asking Him what needs to go.
Whether you supervise others in the workplace, or you supervise your kids at home, practice the art of delegation and allow others to share the load. You are only one person. Cut the drama by cutting your schedule.
- Refuel Your Body Through a Healthier Lifestyle
My friend, Gayla, a mom and grandmom who ministers to hundreds of women at her large church said, “When women eat right and exercise regularly, they do better and cope easier with stress. Having a disciplined life of health, along with spiritual disciplines, helps a woman cope so much better when the drama of life hits.”
Gayla said the key to being drama free in her own life is recognizing the need to take an intermission.
“Now that I’m older, I’ve learned a few things about what a woman – including myself – can do to diffuse the drama in her life: eat healthy, exercise regularly, be disciplined in church attendance, read the Bible every day, pray about everything, listen to praise and worship music often, stop feeling guilty, and take more breaks.”
- Rely on God to Care for What You Can’t
My friend, Donna – a business owner and mom of two teenage boys – learned recently that the more she rests and trusts, the more God goes to bat for her. She had just learned of her mother’s sudden death in a car accident and felt the pull to leave her family and business and travel out of state to be with her extended family and help make final arrangements. But although her heart was saying You must do this, her mind was saying It’s a busy month, you can’t leave…you have to be here at home and work to keep things running smoothly. In the midst of the mental battle, she listened closely for God’s voice: Trust Me. Go do what you need to do.
Donna left her sons in the capable hands of her husband and left her business in the hands of her seasoned employees. When she returned a month later, she discovered her business experienced its highest grossing month on record! Then when she stepped away from her job a second time, this time for two months after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis, her business experienced its best two months ever, financially. God was affirming to her, again, the principle that He can take care of more while we rest than we can while we stress!
Go ahead. Give yourself a break. Move past the dramatic role of Superwoman and Supermom, in which you feel you have to take care of every need around you. That is drama. And it’s not what God expects of you. Instead of being Superwoman, depend on your Super God to do what you cannot, and listen to His command to rest.
Cindi McMenamin is a national speaker and author who helps women strengthen their relationship with God and others. She is the author of 16 books, including her newest, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You (Harvest House Publishers). Cindi and her husband, Hugh, a pastor, live in Southern California with their grown daughter, Dana, and their adventurous, drama-filled cat, Mowgli. For more on her ministry, see her website: http://www.strengthforthesoul.com/.