I’m standing in the kitchen in panicked state. I am lost and I am pulled. My spirit and my schedule is stretched to almost snapping.
There are emails that need to be answered. My phone shows several missed calls, texts and voice-mails. A child needs help with homework. Another is supposed to be cleaning up the bathroom, but is trying out karate moves on a now wailing younger sibling. My arms are full of laundry, but I have forgotten if it was clean and needed to be put away or dirty and needs to go to the hamper. Two dogs are doing the “potty dance” by the back door. As I just drop the laundry in the floor before a bladder busts, my phone rings as I open the back door. It’s a friend reminding me of an appointment. I check my calender and see that I also need to pick up a cake for a birthday, plus get some Thanksgiving shopping done. “When am I going to find time for that?!?” I dutifully look at the clock and realize I should have started dinner an hour ago. Then I hear something fall and break as Karate Kid does his grand finale.
I snap…and that is putting it mildly, because I think on-lookers would have requested an exorcism for what I morphed into.
Overwhelmed way past being frazzled. It is an easy place to get to when you are a “Yes” person. In my intense efforts to not disappoint anyone, I stay disappointed in myself. Constantly teetering on the edge of failure and trying to prioritize what failures I can maybe live with. I am suffering and now those around me are going to.
How did I get to this point as I watch children scramble into their rooms and even the dogs flinch at my outburst? Guilt, anger and disappointment are now the only things on my “to-do” list and I’m really good at executing those. I just need time to breathe, permission to say “No” and somehow carve in some peace.
I know where to find peace. I know who can bring me peace, but some days I can’t seem to make an appointment for that and it slips to the back burner beside the dinner that is boiling over and burning.
So how do I restart again in the wake of the devastation of an overwhelmed mind?
First I have to step back and realize that God was waiting for me in all of this. He’s not an office I have to rush to and the door is always open. Whether a 2 second prayer while I am huddled and hiding in the bathroom or a 2 hour unloading of my heart, He is ready to pull me onto His knee as a Father and pet my head reassuringly. I have the time, because He holds all the time. It’s where I am going to find a peace that can not be found in the bottom of an Oreo bag.
Second I can realize that I can say “No” and I don’t need to have a reason for someone. I’m not being cruel when I tell my children they need to pick up their own clothes; I am holding them responsible the same way adult life will treat them. I am preparing them, but more importantly I am valuing myself and my time. They may not do it perfect, but it frees me up to do the fun stuff with them. When a friend calls and I’m already overwhelmed, I can say “No.”
Better than just saying “No;” I can ask for help. (Of course they may be practicing this and say “No” but I digress…)
How can I expect God to put peace in my life when it is so crammed full of everything else I have to do? There comes a time when the laundry, the appointments, the promises and the business of life pushes out the hope and purpose He created me for. It creates an emptiness within me even though I am obviously full of everything else.
But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. – Isaiah 40:31
By taking that time to renew, regroup and refocus under His will, I get a promise that I will have the strength to make it through the schedules before me. Yet, I also have to look around the chaos and determine if what I have committed myself to doing is going to bring me glory or Him glory. If I am barking at the kids and snapping; is that bringing Him glory? If I walk away from the laundry and pop in a movie on the couch with the kids so that we can laugh together; is that going to bring Him glory?
So today….will you take a moment to stop? Will you look at everything that is threatening to crush you and embolden yourself to say “No?” Will you clear the things in your life that push out the peace and allow Him some room to do His work through you?
Categories: christian life stuff