Thursday, April 11, 2013

When You Get Overwhelmed Then {What?}

We drew pictures of what our lives look like right now. One sister's was orderly and told a sequential story: past-->present-->future. Another sister's was progressive. One day she drew how she felt and then she went back and added things. I drew where I spend my time and I ran out of room on the paper! In seeing it, I began to feel overwhelmed!

There are seasons of life when we find we have said 'yes' to one thing too many. When we do that, we have put ourselves in a position of living with little energy or inner-reserves to handle the incoming interruptions {sometimes we call them 'wits' and they can come to an end!}. When the milk is spilled, or the car cuts you off in traffic, or too many kids come through your door at the end of a long day and you feel like running and hiding or yelling at the top of your already-strained lungs.

Lungs that inhale hard because you feel like you can't get enough...

And then there are seasons when it is not due to a choice, but life circumstances. Loss of a loved one, disagreements with a friend, or spouse. And transitions are stressful, like a move or job change. Circumstances involving change can deplete our inner-strength bank.

The question we all face in these times is, "How do I manage this crazy life without going crazy or driving everyone around me crazy?" or more importantly, "How does God want me to respond in these overwhelmed seasons? In my overwhelmed moments?"

Surely we need to step back and take a look at what we have said yes to and ask God if there is anything that He wants us to eliminate. Then we need to do it. {that is the hard part, right?} Then we need to remember He is in it with us. {AH! That's right!} Sometimes He leads us into places where we are limited so we will learn to tap into His strength. Then we re-learn that we still are human. :)

When we feel stretched to the limit and on the verge of anxiety, we may have failed to consider that God is with us, and the very simple-yet profound passage stating that, "Without Him we can do nothing." John 15:5 

Or we might be doing things for wrong reasons (like to build our own kingdom instead of God's) and with our own energy (without God) and soon come to the place where we are ready to plant our face in the pillow for awhile.       Matthew 6:33

When we need a guide for our choices, when we need to know what God wants us to do, He is there willing to lead us. He reminds us that we can hear His voice and follow Him through prayer, reading His word and usually He also confirms what He is saying with outer circumstances or other people in agreement.

Isn't it good to know that He is always with us and just a prayer away? That even in sustained dark-valley seasons, He is working things for our good. Romans 8:28

Once again we find that our perspective and our attitude have much to do with our experiences. They determine our motivation and the value of the things we spend our life on. We are all given gifts, resources and time. If we follow God and use our resources His way, we will reap rewards that will come with us to eternity. {See 1 Corinthians 3:11-15} 

The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.  Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:7-11


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

One of the things Alicia Chole is focusing on in my 7th year experience is understanding the indwelling, constant relationship we have with God. We are never alone - never. So when we come to those harried seasons, days, hours, minutes, we can take a pause, drink in the presence of Jesus, and process the chaos with his witness alongside. Sometimes, really most times, I just forge ahead without even noticing God's presence. Oh how my perspective and response would change if I could just remember his "withness" in all of life's situations.

Praying you feel the tender touch of our loving Companion this day.


Jedidja said...

Thank you. A useful blog for me. Practical too. I'm happy with it

Alicia said...

Oh, the wisdom here---- yes, I need SPACE to breathe, to inhale His Word and exhale grace and to just "be" in the midst of it all. Seems SPACE is rare in my life right now and breathing- a bit frantic most of the time. But I love the reminder in this post. I'll keep fighting for space and trying to slow down my breathing :) Thanks for all the encouragement on my blog, friend. Your words spur me on when I'm writing in the wee hours of the morning! Blessings to you.