I like R. S. Lazarus’ way of defining stress “Stress arises when individuals perceive that they cannot adequately cope with the demands being made on them or with threats to their well-being.” I understand this to mean if I perceive that the situation is more demanding of me than my perceived level of energy to deal with it, my stress level goes up. It’s all about perception, which may explain why the situation that stresses me may not stress someone else. So this past week when an issue arose with my 96-year old mother, my thoughts included “do I have the energy to deal with this gracefully?” And when the demands of leading this organization seem endless, again, my question is “can I effectively handle all this, at this time?” Of course, there are those combined moments when the needs of my family, the concerns of friends, the issues of life and volunteering all come together at once. Yes, that is stressful. So I stop and I think and pray. I can do all things through him who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13) reminds me that there is an endless well of grace and strength to draw on and extend to others. And I have a large group of KDS friends who have gone through the same or similar issues and are always ready to offer encouragement, support and help. That’s what keeps me going!

Christine Dawson
International President


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