Sunday, February 24, 2008


If the HAT fits….wear it!

“Why do you always wear a hat?”
“Cause it fits my head.”

-Robert Redford, Actor

Do you like wearing hats? You do not see many women wearing them anymore. I can remember a few years ago, that shopping for a new Easter outfit ALWAYS included a new hat. I have not given much thought to including hats as part of my wardrobe; if I cannot pull a ponytail thru a hat…it serves no purpose for me.

The thought of hats reminded me recently of all the different kinds of relationships we find ourselves in. I put on a wide variety of hats as I deal with people in my daily routine. A few that I find myself wearing are:

* the hat of Wife
* the hat of Mother
* the hat of a Business Owner
* the hat of a Christian
* the hat of a Pastors wife
* and many others too lengthy to mention!

Unfortunately, the hat we wear many times enhances the stress that we feel in our life and in our relationships.

In last weeks YOUR OPINON MATTERS, a poll asking “what best describes your style of dealing with conflict” revealed the top 3 results:

1. We respond as a BEAR…. We attack when threatened
(50% of votes)
2. We react as a TURTLE…We turn inward and remain silent
(43% of votes)
3. We act like a BIRD…We flee
(6% of votes)

When it comes to dealing with conflict in our relationships, we CANNOT be responsible for what others say or do. However, we are responsible for the choices that we make. Some of the choices we have made in our relationships have caused deterioration and because of it, our spirits have withered. At times, we feel like we can no longer extend love or be loved. We are so burnt out that we feel like we can no longer give. If this describes you….you are stressed out in your relationships!

We cannot be totally stress free in our life, but we can make choices that will reduce our stress!


The enabler is a person who attempts to be all things, to all people, all of the time. If you are an enabler, most likely you are like me and totally stress out when visiting relatives or friends come to stay at your house. You stress over what food to cook, keeping the house in order, where your guests will sleep, etc. You stress the entire time they are visiting, so much that you miss out on enjoying time with them.

The dumpster is the person who allows everyone to dump everything on you. You are the garbage collector. If you are a dumpster, you find yourself caught in the middle of two other loved ones. You allow the stress and discord that exist between them to now be your stress and discord.

The busy bee is the person who strives on fixing things. You put yourself in everyone else’s problems. You have the need to know everything about everyone. Your role is to fix everyone’s problems and make their lives better.

Most likely, you can identify with one of these three stress personalities. Choices we make really can reduce our stress!

LUKE 10:38-42
“Now as they were traveling along, He entered a certain village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. (39) And she had a sister called Mary, who moreover was listening to the Lord’s word, seated at His feet. (40) But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him, and said ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.’ (41) But the Lord answered and said her, ‘Martha Martha you are worried and bothered about so many things; (42) but only a few things are necessary, really only one, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her’. ”

When I read this passage, I have to insert my name in verse 41 ; ‘Martha, (and LAURIE), you are worried and bothered about so many things'….Martha was also an ENABLER.


SET BOUNDARIES: Enabler's need to set boundaries. If having visiting relatives stay with you totally stresses you out…give them the phone number to a local hotel to stay in. You will enjoy your visit much more!
STAY NEUTRAL: Dumpster's need to stay neutral. Be firm and respond to your loved ones “That is between the two of you, I love both of you and will pray for you. Please don’t ask me to take sides.”
MIND YOUR BUSINESS: Busy Bee’s must only give their opinion if asked. Remember that sometimes your business is just that …YOUR BUSINESS. Don’t get caught up in talking about everyone’s problems. If a friend confides something….just listen and pray and that’s all. It is not your job to fix it, let God work it out!

You will never be able to eliminate all the stress in your life, but if you choose to be more like Mary than Martha, you will feel more hopeful, more peaceful and you will feel renewed. (and that will reduce your stress load!!)

Your hat of relationships will fit better now that you are not heavy laden with the stress and worry. Thank you for being a Woman Who Takes a Stand. Have a wonderful (and more relaxed) week!

MATTHEW 11:28 " Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."


YOUR OPINION MATTERS: Please take time to vote in this week’s poll, “Which of the following losses have you experienced in the past five years?” Your opinion really does matter!!

“Lord, you have given so much to me. Give me one thing more- A GRATEFUL HEART.”

MATTHEW 22:39 “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

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