According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, one definition of “overwhelm” is “to overpower in thought or feeling.” How often does that describe your day? Does it seem like you can never escape?
We each live through different seasons of life. Each season comes with its own unique set of responsibilities and activities. Some we enjoy; others we merely endure. But they all come with the necessity of making daily decisions and choices. Perhaps you really want to make homemade bread for your family every week; however, the reality is that you could choose to buy it at the store or bakery during a particularly demanding season of life. Maybe you are quite capable of sewing your children’s clothes, but sometimes choose to buy them at thrift stores or garage sales. You know that you certainly know how to clean your home, but decide to hire a friend from church who needs the extra work so that you can gain a few hours of extra rest. Each of these choices helps you to escape the feeling of being overwhelmed.
We often are very quick to rescue someone else who needs extra help, but fail to extend the same kindness to ourselves. We jump at the chance to relieve another’s burden, but not our own. We insist on doing tasks and chores that could be delegated to others. And each day we sink deeper into the quicksand of our “to do” lists. Maybe it is finally time to evaluate what we have put on those lists and to accept the reality and limits of each day, week, or season.
Your day may be different than mine, but we each have 24 hours every day.
Each day brings time to work, to serve, to share, to nurture, to rejoice, to rest.
What prevents you from doing that?
Too many unrealistic expectations?
Too many commitments?
Too many activities?
Too much debt?
Too much clutter?
Too much TV?
Too much laundry?
Too much bitterness?
Too many memories from the past?
Give yourself permission to choose a ticket to calm! Learn to say “No.” Take time to relax. Take time to smile. Eat your meals slowly. Listen to the birds. Smell the flowers. Create something beautiful. Arrive early. Keep it simple. Choose what is best. Choose calm.