Friday, May 13, 2011

for when you’re overwhelmed

It’s been rough around here.
Tough days, tired parents, whiney kids do not make for happy houses.
You know those kind of overwhelming, I cannot bear to have to do one more thing, spank one more booty, clean one more dish kind of days? Those have been my days lately. And let me tell ya, my friends, they have left me weary. Bone weary, no matter how much sleep I get.
But my mother’s day was wonderful, it really was. I was spoiled in grand fashion.
I had coffee served to me in bed.
I had lovely gifts and hand made cards.
Zac took all three kids to church with him (he has to leave and get there super early) so I could get ready alone, in peace. (cue the hallelujah chorus)
We went to lunch and had the most wonderful fish tacos, at my most favorite fish taco place. It really was a good day.
But Monday always comes, doesn’t it?
The plate of a mom can get really full, really fast. I homeschool my kids and that alone is a giant undertaking. I have three kids, that is a giant thing as well. And then there’s life, things needing my attention, bills to pay, weeds to pull, and appliances to replace. (We just discovered that one on Monday, and I’m convinced we about nearly avoided a house fire when the dryer suddenly turned freakishly hot, like so hot I could barely touch the clothes to get them out. But that’s another story for another day.)
All of that to say that Wednesday I felt done before I even began. I got up early to pound out 5 miles and finish off the upper body workout I didn’t finish the day before. That gave me a later start on everything else and a frantic feeling as I considered the things I needed to do today, including schooling the kids. I was feeling worn thin. My attitude was all wonky and my perspective was wrong. That led to a grumpy mom and therefore, grumpy kids.
And as I was scurrying and worrying I slowly realized that I had barely considered God’s perspective on the day. In that moment I was gently reminded that I can find rest in the middle of my life right now. For whatever it is that I am chasing, whatever I am feeling behind on, whatever there is to do, however insufficient I feel, however pressed for time I feel I am; there is an answer. The answer is that God alone is the one who can give true rest, if I come to him.
Sometimes I think that I need to actually get away to find rest, that getting a break means changing my location. In reality, that’s really hard to do and the things I want to get away from are always still there when I come back. I need to remember the words of Jesus, spoken in Matthew 11:
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
I can find rest when I come to God, no matter what else is going on around me. Real rest really isn’t a place, it’s a frame of mind and it is found in God’s presence.
I stopped in that moment and invited to rest giver into my day. And something interesting happened, my stress melted and in that moment I felt renewed. That feeling has stuck with me. It’s easy to forget, isn’t it? I work myself into a self imposed tizzy over things but what I really need to do is come to Jesus, first.
Lesson learned and apologies given to my family, I was ready to take on the day. Was it stress free? Nope. It had it’s moments, but it was still good. I’ve got the one who gives rest, no matter what is going on, to thank for that.


  1. Your saucer is my Great Grandmother's china pattern. It's called Mildred, and seeing it here made me smile!

  2. God has been graciously revealing this to me too over the last couple years.

    My attitude has been all wonky and my perspective all wrong this week on 3 issues. my post today expresses that what i NEED is God's presence. otherwise broken septic pumps, realtors, relationships, and ever little thing stress me out!

    so this a.m. i rested in the middle of the wonky. moments of rest, and God's presence sweeping over me;
    as my 9 yr old read our daily devotional (because i was running late) "cast all your anxiety upon Him for He cares for you" (of course this was the scripture).
    over a late bowl of cereal and taking in the view out the window.
    stopping and turning the jump rope for my girls.

    life is still "wonky," but because of the rest i am a little less "wonky."

    thank you. your post helped me formulate my feelings today.

  3. Denise, we must be reading the same devotional. I had this post planned for Wed but it didn't post when I tried's funny how God sometimes repeats things over and over for us to get it. At least that's what he's doing for me! Hope you're weekend is amazing and not wonky at all!

    Megan, thank you for letting me know this! I love this little plate and always wondered what it was and if I could find more!

  4. I loved reading this because I'm in the same boat. I laughed allot while I read because I love your wording. Booty and wonky. I love it when someone gives you a look into reality, and where I can identify , and then gives the key to facing it all. JESUS! God is Good all the time. ;)


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