In the next 10 days I have more to do than is humanly possible! Have you ever had one of those times in your life – when you look at your calendar, appointments, “to do” list and upcoming deadlines – and simply feel overwhelmed with the weight of what has to be done? Of course you have!
Without giving you my “laundry list” or playing the “I am busier than you” game – let me just say that besides all the work that it takes to pack and get my family of nine ready to head to the beach for our annual “hiatus” in Aptos next week – I have to complete my yet to be started taxes (yes, I know it is way before the April deadline – but for financial reasons and college aide forms it must be done before I leave), I am smack n the middle of the adoption process and begin interviews for our home study today (yes, we are “biting the bullet” and using most of our adoption fund for it & believing God to provide the rest), I have a monumental and major event I am responsible for this Saturday night, “The Founders Gala” for Jim Elliot Christian High School with over 250 in attendance!
So, what do you do when you have bitten off more than you can chew? You chew it, of course! But let me give you a few things that get me through these seasons of life with a smile on my face and joy in my heart.
Give it to God! – The good thing about doing more than is humanly possible – it means you must let God do it! So often when we get overwhelmed we forget to stop and give it all back to the Lord. Life is so much easier and less stressful when we let God control it.
Let others help you! This is something that I am still learning to do. Ultimately when we feel like we have to do it all ourselves (read here – “or it won’t get done right”) – it is really another way that we are trying to be “in control” of everything. Another reason we don’t ask others to help us is because we don’t want to impose on anyone. Neither of these reasons is valid. Again – God wants to be “in control” (and He can handle it far better) and we rob people of the opportunity to serve and be blessed when we do not ask for help.
Do the next thing! Often when we are overwhelmed we get paralyzed and do not do anything or we do meaningless tasks to distract us while trying to ignore the BIG things looming ahead that we need to take care of. I have found if we will simply focus on what it is we need to do next and then do it, not fretting over what is ahead, we will get it all done. We all spend far too much time worrying about all that we need to do and far less time actually completing the tasks.
Done is better than perfect! Enough said – all you perfectionists out there – join me in my recovery – and get over it!
Let go of the little things! There are certain seasons of life where some things just don’t matter. When I am in the midst of an overwhelming time I let things that are not all that important go. These things include but are not limited to – having a spotless house, doing my hair and make up (and sometimes if I don’t have to go out – I don’t even get dressed at all!), or preparing meals (you can still sit down at a candlelit table with your family eating grilled cheese sandwiches and canned soup).
Keep your priorities in order! When we have an overloaded schedule the first things we often let go of our are priorities. We don’t have time to – pray, exercise, play with the little ones or stop and talk to a friend. I have learned the hard way that when you let go of your priorities, you lose. So despite my current abundance of “tasks” to accomplish – I start the day with prayer asking God to “HELP ME!” (and yes sometimes I am shouting that), I make myself take a walk daily (and dear darling Dan comes with me so we can get some good quality time together talking too), I stop and walk away from the computer to play with the baby or cuddle and laugh with Joy (and note to self – I need to take more time with the older girlies as well), I sit down on the couch with a friend who drops in unexpectedly needing to talk about her current heartbreak. In past days I would have seen all these as distractions, disturbances and obstacles to overcome so that I could get my tasks accomplished – today I call them “divine appointments” that the Lord sends my way to keep my priorities right!
And one of those priorities – the cutest baby boy in the entire world – is up and ready to eat breakfast…so I will end this post here and look forward to the work ahead of me knowing that God is in control!
- Proverbs 16:9
- “The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”