On a crisp fall morning, I sat with my precious friend and writing assistant, Karen, in her upstairs office. Phil was out of town, and we planned to work on some new book proposals together.
I had started writing my first book just one year earlier and now found myself on a fast track. I wasn’t sure if I was driving, being driven, or a combination of the two. In addition, my travel schedule had swollen with opportunities that I didn’t feel I could or should turn down.
But this was all okay with me. After all, I was growing, learning, and being stretched in the process.
If that weren’t enough, I’d also decided to redecorate and update our master bedroom.
The painter was finishing the transformation of my boring beige walls to exciting artichoke even as we worked. I was so excited about returning home later to put the finishing touches on the room.
As Karen booted up her computer, though, I fell silent and began that quiet quiver we seem to adopt when we are trying hard to hold it together.
“Are you all right?” Karen asked.
That’s all it took. Her question was like emotional Drano. I burst into tears midsentence.
I still don’t fully understand the reason for the sudden cloudburst, but I think it had a lot to do with exhaustion. Raw, unforgiving, relentless tiredness. Not so much physical, but mental, emotional, and spiritual. I was empty, drained, and desperate with fatigue.
Later, when Karen dropped me off at home, I barely held my composure … that is until I walked into my bedroom. It was then that I burst into a Niagara of tears.
The painter had not put my curtain rod back up. Even worse, he had removed all the nails and painted over the holes! And—the furniture was still in the middle of the room.
Alone, I couldn’t hang the rod. I couldn’t move the furniture, and I couldn’t hammer the nails back into the exact places where the pictures had hung. I remember sitting in the middle of my bedroom floor between a bedpost and a mirror, leaning against the dresser and feeling desperate.
It wasn’t the condition of my bedroom, it was the condition of my life that caused me to cry. I just wanted to crawl into the bed in the middle of my room with my faded green comforter and sleep, sleep, sleep.
I was overloaded. The time had finally arrived when my fatigue became more powerful than my fortitude.
You’ve been there too, right?
It’s that moment when you can’t crank the engine anymore. It’s just done … out of gas!
We feel overwhelmed for all sorts of reasons. And, when we feel this way, we most likely need to reduce what’s on our schedule. But often, we can’t change our situations. We can only change our emotional and spiritual response to our situations.
On this episode of the 4:13 Podcast, KC and I chat about three things not to do when you feel overwhelmed. Because, girl, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, giving you one more thing to do may just send you over the edge!
3 Things Not to Do When You Feel Overwhelmed
- Don’t fixate on your problem. If you spend all of your emotions and time focusing on your issues, then you’ll spend all your remaining energy trying to fix your situation, and your overwhelming situation becomes the biggest thing on your mind. Focus on prayer instead. When you do this, you get a better perspective of your God and your problems.
- Don’t rely solely on your own strength. God’s power in you is so much stronger than your own strength. And His family can also help bear the burden and give you the perspective you may not have. So, be honest with others and with God and receive God’s strength instead of relying on your own. When you admit your own powerlessness, you invite God’s power in your life and let Him be strong in you for the things that matter.
- Don’t run from your situation. It’s important not to run from your situation but to meet it head on. You can do this by running to God’s Word. It is the sword that can cut your big problem into smaller pieces so you can deal with them.
No matter how overwhelmed you may feel right now, sister, remember, you can do all things through Christ Who strengthens you!
Books by Jennifer Rothschild
- 3 Questions Every Mom Needs to Ask Herself
- 3 Scriptures to Pray When You Don’t Know What to Do
- 3 Ways to Become a Balanced Woman
- 3 Ways to Fight Expectation Temptation
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What would you add to this list of things to take off your to-do list? Share in the comments below.