Are you overwhelmed?
When I look this word up, the definition is bleak:
Giving away too much of a good thing.
Oh, that last one hurts.
I don’t know about you, but that’s not who I want to be. Yet, there are times I look in the mirror and that’s exactly what I see. I wish I could blame someone else for this. I wish I could make excuses or write a tidy list explaining why it just has to be this way.
I know better. Just this past month I slowed way down and refueled. It was sweet. It was intentional. We were still really busy, because that’s our life.
That’s when I realized: The things we need to do will never, ever go away. There will always be one more thing. One more opportunity. One more need. One more thing I can pile on the schedule. Almost every woman I know battles this, and there are seasons and factors that we can’t change.
Yet we are not helpless.
Let’s begin today by giving ourselves permission to not.have.to.do.it.all.
[ctt template=”4″ link=”2dqk0″ via=”no” ]When the good thing you are giving away too much of is you, it is time to reevaluate. #livefree https://ctt.ec/2dqk0+ #giveaway[/ctt]
My friend, Glynnis Whitwer, shared this verse this week:
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29 (NLT)
As she shared it, I heard it as if it were the first time. I understand the concept of physical rest, but this was deeper.
You will find rest for your souls.
I wanted to grab that verse with both hands and pour the words over my heart.
Listen, daughter. I have rest for your soul.
Is that a word you need to hear today?
If the good thing you’ve been giving too much of is you, it’s time to re-evaluate. It doesn’t mean that God won’t use your life, or that busyness will completely come to a halt. It simply means that we acknowledge that God isn’t asking us to do it all, all of the time.
We can say no to some things.
We can acknowledge that not every opportunity is our opportunity.
We can put down technology that pulls at us and let silence settle in those harried places.
I don’t know what this looks like for you, but I’m asking Him what it looks like for me.
As we go into 2017, let’s look back.
What causes that overwhelmed feeling and overwhelmed life?
Answer this question with as much honesty as possible.
Take a good long look at it. Let’s ask the Lord to show us our part in it, and how to begin to seek soul rest in the midst of it.
Lord, we desperately need soul rest. Show us how. We thank you for leading us to fill back up.
I’m reading a pretty terrific book by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory titled Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity
Question for today:
Q: What is one tangible change I can make, with God’s help, to feel less overwhelmed?
Related blog posts:
If you want to take this topic deeper, you might want to check out these blog posts:
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Stop working after 6. A hard must for me!
Guilty here, too!
One thing I could do is put away the social media,
We all need to do this, Terry. Thank you.
Stop taking on others responsibilities.
One thing I can do to not feel overwhelmed with God’s help is to be honest about my struggle and ask for help!
I found this theory very helpful to me too! Laying it all down and acknowledging the struggle and the fact “Be Still” has helped me tremendously! Blessings to you for sharing.
I must remember that, when God makes my to-do list, it will be workable, manageable and fruitful.
I was just overwhelmed yesterday. I need to focus on resting in Jesus and not on the situation. The Lord helps us to do what we have to do and we need to receive the help.
When I’m overwhelmed at work today, I can take a deep breath and pray for God’s help, right in the pressure moment.
Stop thinking about the problems that some loved ones are facing.
I should pray for them more each time it bothers me.
Stop thinking so much about what needs to be done tomorrow and focus on what God has for me to do today.
Find contentment where I am…..I am in a season of trials, BUT GOD, my favorite phrase in all the Bible, is working on me though it. I am learning more about trusting Him and trying to learn how to keep my focus on Him and not my circumstances so that I don’t get into an emotional fretting state. Trusting That He is in control is SUPER hard for me, as a first born fixer, I have always been one to “take care of things”. I am learning that I need to focus on taking care of ONLY the things that I truly have control of and that doesn’t include my husband and children. I can’t “fix” anything for them. I can just love them, encourage them and support them in their journeys. Making sure that I am showing them my faith in God, and trusting Him to show me how to do that. Being willing for Him to use me to bless them, even when I don’t feel like it. Submitting my entire life to God and letting go of self is not an easy process, but I am committed to doing just that. I desperately want to know Him more and serve Him in ways I can’t even imagine.
Thank you Susie for “Come with me”, as it really spoke to me in ways I had never felt before. I still get overwhelmed by life as a full time working mother of two adult/almost adult girls, one with learning challenges and a husband with chronic pain and health issues. BUT GOD, is leading down a better road and I am finding some of His joy again. Looking forward to reading this book, and would love to win a copy. Thank you for your inspiration and encouragement.
Thank you, Linda. You are a blessing.
One thing I can do is realize that I really have two lists of things to do: God’s to-do list, and my to-do list. The tricky part is trying to figure out where the two align and then following God’s to do list first. The rest can wait!
That’s a great point, Kara!
Get more sleep! I know it sounds unrelated, but if we aren’t resting our bodies, our soul and our spirit will grow weary and overwhelmed. Sometimes the only way to get a grip on our mental and emotional issues is to first tackle our physical ones, and rest is at the top of the list! How can we expect to deal with the stress of the day when we haven’t rested for it?
It’s so related, Sarah. When I don’t sleep, I lose a part of myself. That may sound exaggerated, but it’s not. There are seasons where we are robbed of sleep, but there are also seasons where we forget the value of it and rob ourselves. Thank you for bringing this up.
Let go of worries and trust God in all things, even rest, which is hard!
I can learn to just be. Be still. That is what I keep hearing form Him. it is so hard for me to Be still and Wait on Him and trust Him. Those are the three things He is asking me to do right now. I just need to be obedient.
One thing I am going for to do more of to feel less overwhelmed is pray and leave my cares/worries at the foot of the cross. So often I pick my worries up again, but I plan on letting go and letting God even more in 2017. Eager to see where he takes me as I follow! Thanks Suzie for all you do!
I need to stop during the day and take some time to refuel by just sitting in silence listening for God’s direction or turning to Scripture to refresh me instead of pressing on to the next thing on my endless “list”.
This was good for me to hear today. I was asked to take another position at church and have been praying whether I should or not. Well after a lot of prayer and council from a friend I had decided not. To say no is not easy but I’m learning it’s ok. Especially if God has put his stamp on it. So many times when asked to take on something I get caught up in (oh they asked me)instead of does God want me to do this.? I think this was a perfect fit today to hear that we don’t have to do it all.
You are the winner of Kathi Lipp’s and Cheri Gregory’s book, Overwhelmed!
This is Suzie.
I have felt overwhelmed the past year because I have been gone so much on trips, mostly to help family members with illnesses or moving, etc. So, as I read this post today and the question, I realized that i need to only say yes to going after I have asked God about it. I think I’ve just been too quick to say yes to every need. I’m just so tired and worn out. So, with God’s help, I’m going to wait before answering. 2017 is going to be a new adventure and I’m looking forward to it.
Embrace the silence.
This seems to be difficult for me. My brain is always rolling, always heading into the next thing and place and to-do. I need to learn to cultivate an environment of intimacy on a DAILY basis, not just when I’ve hit the wall and need to find my way back.
This was a timely and powerful post for me today, Suzie. I participated in your 21 days of prayer, which were extremely helpful and powerful in creating a space (and time) for prayer, and have been participating in a quiet time challenge just this week, and WOW, the two together have been incredible for me. I’ve heard God speaking again. I’ve stopped. And it has been b.e.a.u.t.i.f.u.l.
This line above spoke particularly loud, “If the good thing you’ve been giving too much of is you, it’s time to re-evaluate.” Whoooooo, that is GOOD!
Thank you for these words, friend.
Crazy that you work with someone who has those same tendencies. The brain never slows down. Yet when I put on worship, it forces the thoughts to take second place to what God is trying to do in me. I’m with you, friend. I’m praying for all of us to simply stop, breathe, notice, and thank Him.
It’s what I need. <3
That person you work with being me. : ) Just in case someone doesn’t know that!
I need to shut off my negative thoughts that poison my mind and let God take care of the things I cannot control. I know I am to cast my worries on the Lord, and I ask Him repeatedly to take care of everyone and everything I cannot. However almost immediately I will grab these worries back and think the literal worst about the situation(s) until I am driven near mad. It is time for me to dry the line and say No to this behavior. I must give all to God and allow Him to work in my life as He sees fit.
To trust Jesus more in the midst of toxic environmental conditions causing household sickness until He moves us forward to the next chapter of our life.
“Let’s begin today by giving ourselves permission to not.have.to.do.it.all.”
That would be me. Although lately, the theory/belief that I have to do it all is in my mind…I don’t always act on it. I THINK I have to do it all, but “my list” is an impossible feat. Therefore, I get overwhelmed. It can be a vicious cycle.
Give my best time to God, instead of other things. Turn off social media (which I’m getting much better at doing) and stay with set work hours! I have learned this year, the more time I spend with God, with HIM in HIS WORD, the less overwhelmed I feel, even though the pressures (work, family, life) remain the same.
Spend time with God first and foremost before I start the day for this sets the tone of my day.
Let God handle those things that I have no business handling. Pray for others and give it to God.
God has been working on my heart lately and asking me to spend less time on social media and more time with Him…I am working on it! Praising Him!
Be still in His presence 😊
I sooo relate to feeling overwhelmed so very often in my life!
In answer to the question… Quietening my soul before Him every morning before starting my day and really listening to Him, letting Him set the priorities for my day.
I need to give it all to God and remember He is in control and can help me with anything. Really need to remember this and apply. Worrying and stressing definitely gets me no where.
I understand about trying to give it all to God. When I feel overwhelmed by circumstances that I may or may not have created (I admit that I can take on too much but my intentions are good) I try to STOP and ask God to show me the way. Next I really try to lay all of my burdens on the altar and just walk away; but more often than not I find myself running back down the aisle to pick up a few things that I know I can handle. It’s as if I am saying to God ” I know you are busy and I will just take this to handle myself.” When I realize what I am doing I see God just laughing at me, in a loving way of course, because I think I can handle this on my own. It’s hard for me to accept that I can’t do everything but I am getting better and really accept that God is in control. I appreciate all of these comments. So many resonate with me.
One way I am learning to prevent feeling overwhelmed is to create buffer time within my day. All too often I try to cram as much as possible into my day. A friend and I were talking and she shared with me about making sure she doesn’t have anything scheduled 30 min before or after anything she has scheduled during a day. (Depending on what it is or where it is….she may even surround the event with more buffer time.) She said this helps her to not rush around and it prevents her from putting too much in her day.
With this new suggestion, I started writing my schedule in an appointment book. When I have something planned…I then mark out the 30 min before and after. It has been amazing how this has helped me! I find that I am not as overwhelmed with my daily schedule.
Focusing on what God wants me to do TODAY. I’m savoring everything about Christmas this year a moment at a time – absolutely no stress this year because of the focus.