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Monday, July 9, 2012

Stress, Home, and the Workplace: Being an Instrument of the Peace of Christ

By Jkadavoor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (
licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The atmosphere of my days takes a sharp shift in the first week of July, as I leave the peace of home and return to the workplace.  No matter how many years I have done this, my stress level always soars at this time.  Part of that is due to the heavy workload of a public school speech pathologist.  A good measure of it, though, is due to something else.

This is, in my opinion, a good reason for a mother's workplace to be restricted to home. Through careful planning, my husband and I always ensured that our daughter was home with one of us.  During her childhood, neither of us really ever worked full time.  While she was an infant and toddler, I only worked on Saturday mornings.  As a preschooler, she attended preschool two two hour mornings per week, while I worked.  Later, as a school employee, I was always home when she was home.  Still, I believe that the stress of the workplace touched my family in a way that was not ideal for us.  But, that is the subject for another post...

As I returned to work this year, I contemplated what that "something else", beyond workload, that generated stress, might be.  This is what I have come up with:

European honey bee extracts nectar
By John Severns = Severnjc (Photo by John Severns.)[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
It seems that whenever adults are assembled in any sort of joint endeavor, power struggles are wont to ensue.  Schools are no exception.  I suspect that we human beings, frail as we are, always find ourselves grasping for validation.  It may be human nature to believe that the shortest path to validation is to subtract it from another, thus evening the score.

One of the really wonderful things about school based employment, is that one is enabled to start fresh yearly.  My goal this year is to rise above the grasping for power and control, or at least, to allow it to float by without touching me.  After all, it is my job as a Christian to spread the love of Christ, feeble as I am.

Perhaps the Peace Prayer, attributed by legend (although probably not accurately) to St. Francis, is the perfect guide for this endeavor:

Monarch Butterfly Pink Zinnia 1800px
By Photo (c)2006 Derek Ramsey (Ram-Man)
 (Own work (Own Picture))
 [GFDL 1.2 (],
 via Wikimedia Commons

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

Pax Christi,
Peace of Christ, May We Be Instrument of His Peace

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  1. Just discovered your blog..blessed to find another head coverer..I try to cover whenever I pray or teach in public. Love the liturgical/seasonal tenor of your blog and look forward to being encouraged!!!

  2. This is so true in any workplace. You have inspired me to try to stay out of this struggle this year as well. Thanks and good luck.


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