I wonder sometimes if you’re all sick of me talking about overwhelmtion. Well, today is your lucky day because I’m not going to talk about it. I have however, enlisted some good friends in helping me encourage you as you experience overwhelmtion. So, I guess we are going to talk about it after all.
In case you have never heard me talk about overwhelmtion, read this first.
My guest today is my friend Sarah.
And I’ll let her do the rest of the talking.
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself. First, I am a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ. By His grace, I have been washed in His blood and am redeemed and free! I am married to Ryan, the love of my life. He works as the Connections Coordinator at Abiding Savior church. He and I have 5 children – Sierra (9), Jaeden (7), Allegra (5), Stetson (3), and Tristan (17 months). We adopted Tristan at birth.
I believe the largest calling God has on my life is mothering my children. I work outside the home full-time as the Director of Operations at Raven Aerostar. I enjoy my job and the challenges and opportunities it provides. We live in the country west of Tea. I love anything outdoors – running, camping, and gardening are just a few things that heal my soul.
2. Share about your experience(s) of overwhelmtion.
For me, overwhelmtion occurs when things start to pile up and I struggle to know how I will get it all done, or I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel and when my energy runs out before my day is done. Sometimes it builds slowly and sometimes it seems to come out of the blue.
3. What challenges have you experienced as you have faced overwhelmtion?
Sometimes I face overwhelmtion because I lack discipline – I would have been able to tackle my day if I would have woke up on time and exercised and done my devotions, but I stayed up too late and was tired and so didn’t start my day right and didn’t get filled up by God so that I could pour myself into others. I wouldn’t go into an emotional downward spiral if I had trusted in God with my frail emotions rather than chocolate and some ice cream. In those times, I need to trust God’s goodness in His discipline and by His grace grow in the discipline He has for me.
Sometimes I face overwhelmtion because life just happens – kids get sick, cars break down, bills add up, etc. During those times, I need to trust God that He has things under control and follow His guidance and rest in His peace knowing that all will work out.
Sometimes I face overwhelmtion because I DID have a plan and life didn’t follow it. I get frustrated by an interruption and God needs to remind me that it is a ministry opportunity. I get impatient because my kids don’t do as I ask when He is providing me a beautiful window of teachability with them. I get weary when God is providing an incredible opportunity to practice gentleness. I have a to do list and the kids want me to turn off the lights and turn on the strobe light and have a dance party in the dark. It is then I have to trust God that completing my list does not make my life. Living does. And living means loving the people He put in my life. I need to trust that He knows way better than I how to love my children and that I can’t let my desire to instruct them be too rigid. I can’t make my kids righteous. By God’s grace, I can show them unconditional love and lead them to the feet of Jesus.
In all things, I have found overwhelmtion is because of fear. Fear that I have failed. Fear that God won’t provide or take care of us. Fear that my kids won’t turn out ok, that my marriage will get rocky, that I am not doing enough, that I am doing too much and not sitting enough. Fear, fear, fear. But perfect love casts out fear. It is for Freedom that Christ has set me free!
4. Have you felt God’s presence in the midst of overwhelmtion? If so, in what ways? If not, why not?
God has really been working in me to help me have peace in the midst of turmoil. When I am restless and I try to do things on my own, or wrestle my way back out from being buried – I get worn and frustrated.
When I trust in Him, my soul is well. God has given me two verses that have been life changing for me in this regard.
The first is Prov 4:23 – “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” And Prov. 14:30 “A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones”.
What an incredible thing it was when God spoke truth over my heart that regardless of the storm going on around me, that doesn’t have to dictate that there is also a storm inside me. I can be at peace in the middle of any trial. Peace is a heart thing – a mindset. So I have begun praying for God to help me guard my heart and to make me sensitive to when my heart is not at peace. The Holy Spirit has over time prompted me often when I am letting peace slip away and has guided me on how to protect it. I am not overreaching when I say how life changing this has been for me.
The second verse hit me square because I didn’t think I envied others – but the Lord showed me that so often my heart isn’t at peace because I compared myself to others and to the life others had. This caused a restlessness and jealousy and led to a “woe is me” time. That does no good. Jesus called me to follow Him, not to wonder why my life is how it is. I need to obey Christ.
5. What advice do you have for others who are experiencing overwhelmtion?
1) Be at the foot of Jesus and in His word, every single day. Bask in His love, seek His grace and wisdom and thank Him for His blessings.
2) Remove the ideal from your brain – I have some facts for you – there is no woman alive with the perfect body, or the perfect house, or the perfect marriage, or the perfect yard, or the perfect children, or the perfect “insert your area of struggle here”. There isn’t. Stop comparing yourself and live in peace and freedom. God meant us to be at peace and to be free. Those are beautiful things! Don’t let Satan mess that up.
3) Spend time truly seeking from the Lord what your priorities are and then live that way – not out of another list of to-dos, but by grace as a way of life. I did this process while going through an incredible book in my women’s Bible study a few years ago. We will never have enough time in our day to accomplish everything. That is a blessing by the way, because it gives us permission to prioritize. Get crystal clear on what top few things God has for absolute musts for you.
For me – there are 3 – being a wife to Ryan, a mother to my children, and the ministry of encouragement. Do I work hard at work, absolutely. Do I try to exercise regularly – you bet. I do a lot in my day – but these 3 are non-negotiable. So I don’t try to fit these in my day. These will be in my day. Period. Then I fit in what else I can. It also requires enlisting the help of others and being humble enough to do so. We are surrounded by people who would love to help if we let them. Don’t do it all. Don’t even try. Purposefully don’t. But do what God called you to as well as you can by His grace and goodness. Soak up what He has for you. We are in this together, dear one. We are not meant to go at it alone. We need the fellowship of others to be encouraged. God loves you just the way you are and not because of anything you have done. So live life not out of guilt, but out of freedom in grateful response to His overwhelming love.
Thank you so much Sarah! Wow, I am so encouraged by what you shared!
Give Sarah some love by leaving a comment, and if you would like to share about your experiences with overwhelmtion, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blessings on your day,