Monday, April 25, 2011

About that Battery & Soli Deo Gloria Party

Welcome to Soli Deo Gloria, whether it's your first time here or your 25th.  Basically, we are a community of women that seek to encourage, support, love each other with our words.  It's a fun party and I love hosting you here each week.  If you would like more information about this community, please click here.  Just a note:  Please don't feel that you have to visit every single person that links up.  We are all on a time budget.  That being said, I do invite you to pray and ask God which blogs to visit simply because there may be words for you left in that place or words that God has given you to share to those specific people.  Blessings to everyone!


I just updated my facebook status to say this:


Have you ever looked at all you have to do and think that maybe if you're going to drown you might as well do it someplace like the Bahamas?


Can you tell I'm a little stressed?  Last Monday, I wrote about being aware of how much energy is left in the tank and when it starts to run low, I must take time to recharge.  That was last week when the amount of work that I needed to do hadn't fully registered.  As I napped and read on the couch on Palm Sunday, I was blissfully unaware of the storm a-brewing.  Guess what?  It made landfall last night as I laid in bed and started ticking off all the commitments that I had this week, all the VBS prepping that I needed to do (and at that point, I didn't know the half of it), the curriculum that needed developing, the running that probably wouldn't get scheduled in, and the articles and blog posts that needed writing.  I didn't sleep too well, needless to say.


Here is the challenge that I face:  When it looks like there is no downtime, how do I choose to make good choices about capacity, energy, busyness, and commitments?  Do I forgo that rare lunch with my husband because there are a lot of VBS prep projects to be put together?  Do I give up yoga for this week so that when my daughter is in preschool, I can devote that entire time to work?  Do I sacrifice my daily Bible reading to do some planning for Children's Church?  Do I cease writing in this space because it's not part of my paying job?


If my life was only going to be crazy for a week, then maybe I could do this.  But, let me be real here -- I don't see things slowing down until late June because of work, birthday parties, and other commitments. So, if I start forgoing rest and recovery now, what will I look like, sound like, feel like at the end of two months?


I've been there.  You don't want to know.  Or perhaps you've been there, too, and you know.  And, I realize, as I tap out these words that it's time to enter in one of those seasons where I offer up my calendar and my to-do lists, my priorities and my wants and my needs, on an hourly basis.  I scoop everything off my shoulders and I lay it down.  I sound the call for help and allow Him to organize my days.  When I fall short, I ask Him to help pick up the slack.  When I am overwhelmed and know in the core of my being that I must take a break, I ask Him to help me receive the grace to do it.  Maybe I even have the guts to tell others that I need help or that I can't do something I promised to do?


So here it is:  It's easy to rest when I feel like there is time.  It's much harder to rest when I am overwhelmed by the amount still to do.  But, perhaps that's when it becomes most crucial.  And perhaps, it is how God teaches me, yet again, how to relinquish control and let Him be in charge.


Now, go have some fun blog hopping!  Can't wait to see what's happening in your space!  The link is up until Wednesday, April 27th at 9PM. 

36 comments :

  1. Oh yes, so much harder to rest when we are overwhelmed! You hit the nail on the head. Praying for you in this busy season :)

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  2. yes, a familiar cycle. until i hit rock bottom and HAD to learn to say....no. not to everything, but i learned to see the danger signs and reevaluate before the downward spiral. only took me 38 years....

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  3. I've been thinking about this lately too. And I think about Jesus, and what he did. He spoke, he healed, he taught, and ate lunch with others. But he always withdrew, and would go off alone and just pray and be with God. Whatever he did, he did because he loved his Father. Everything was for him. But he knew when to go and do, and when to rest. I think we just believe that the Holy Spirit is in us, and we listen to Him. Every day is different. Every day he tells us something different. And every day, we just need to listen, and obey. He will lead us. I'm not linking up because I'm doing recipes on Tuesdays now, and not sure if I should link that up since it's not a written post?

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  4. I can only speak for myself. I can have a crazy busy time only for a predetermined time. Then I have to have some normal days with quiet and routine.

    I pray you can find those moments.

    Fondly,
    Glenda

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  5. "I scoop everything off my shoulders and I lay it down. I sound the call for help and allow Him to organize my days."...ah yes...

    one of the best pieces of wisdom I ever received was from Oswald Chambers (not in person:), but in MY UTMOST FOR HIS HIGHEST)...as I read "The need is not the call"

    Echoing BFM, follow in JESUS' steps...doing what He was sent to do and not getting distracted by the myriads of extra things he could be doing...counting the cost...pause, pray, focus...

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  6. I am feeling overwhelmed regarding my housework...I think I need to develop one single chore to do every day. Otherwise as soon as I start cleaning I insist on doing the whole thing...And then I'm tired and cranky by the time I get to go to bed. So, my new challenge is to choose one chore a day...

    But none of them got done today because I went to Bunco!

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  7. Oh, I hear you in this post, Jen! I struggle with saying no or asking for help. Actually, my post is all about my struggle to rush around...

    May the Lord grant you and I wisdom in what we need to be involved in. And may you find moments of rest...even in the busy.

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  8. Oh, Jen - do guard your heart and body during this busy season. I've been where you are too many times to count and the lesson is always, ALWAYS - take care of yourself in the ways that nourish and center you...that's where you meet God, that's where you find rest for your soul, that's where the energy for everything else can be found. Blessings as you seek just enough solitude/silence/family time/YOU time to get you through other commitments. And wisdom to know which of those commitments should rise to the top of that to-do list. :>)

    Diana @http://drgtjustwondering.blogspot.com

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  9. Jen, these are times when sometimes the body shuts down and says "no" and it's like I want to pull the covers over the head and not get up!

    It's hard to find balance in times such as these. I just came out of one of those, I know what you mean.

    Hang in there!

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  10. Oh Jen...I am praying for you some much needed rest of mind and body and spirit...I don't know how you do it all...but I sure do love you!

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  11. Yes! I have been in a long season of hourly advice needed about how to spend my time. I don't know that I have mastered this IN ANY WAY...but I can totally relate. I am coming off about two months of it and see the light at the end of the tunnel as different responsibilities are wrapping up. Thanks for allowing me to commiserate.

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  12. Rest assured you are not alone Jen! Finding the balance in our lives can be such a challenge. Don't be hard on yourself, and definitely keep rest a high priority. Take it from this night owl--skipping rest doesn't pay!

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  13. You're right -- when you're overwhelmed is when the rest is most crucial...but the most elusive. Yes, you're not alone. In fact, I wrote about this craziness today, too!

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  14. This sets me in mind of those times where I live the song, "I need Thee every hour...Most precious Lord..." My heart TOTALLY "got" this post...Thank you!

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  15. Fantastic, just fantastic. You hit on a hot button with me because the wrong way to handle stress or an overburdened schedule is the way I seemed to have been hardwired to handle it.

    I am convinced (and my doctor agrees) that it was just such a weakness that ended me with a chronic illness. I had to learn the hard was, the FORCED way, that I the rest is essential.

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  16. Oh goodness - I can hear the "overwhelming-ness" in your words. I'm so sorry - I've had weeks like that too. I always feel like I can hardly breathe...

    Praying for you this week as you navigate it all - and you know what? It's perfectly just fine to take a "blog sabbatical" especially if it's just "one more thing to do" and will have a negative impact on your family. :)

    Natalie at Mommy on Fire
    http://www.mommyonfire.com

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  17. Yes, crazy busy is a theme for so many of us! I had an Aha! a while ago and maybe it will help...
    When I am scheduling and saying "yes" to so many things that fill up all my time,(all good stuff) I leave no room for God to lead me into the things that have real eternal value. When I refuse to ask for help when I'm in over my head, or I can't get it done without sacrificeing my health or sanity... I leave no room for the real authentic me. I have to put on a "together mask" in order to get through, and no one can speak into my life, or come along side me with love. What happens if you open your hands and let some of this go? I know that when I did, God stepped in. He is in control, and He will give you permission to say "no" I am praying for you. I know that He wants to take some of these things that you were never meant to carry....
    Blessings and ((hugs))

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  18. Oh Jen,
    It's a juggling act, isn't it? And I'm sorry to tell you that it doesn't get easier as we get (ahem) older. But you're doing the right thing, submitting it all to the Lord, relying on His strength.

    My prayer is always for God to give me wisdom so that I don't over-commit, though at certain times it seems almost unavoidable. But I always follow after peace, which I've learned makes a huge difference.

    Praying God's grace for you in this busy season. Sweet blessings!

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  19. Thank you for your honest words. We all struggle with the overwhelming, the busyness, the stress. And I think you are absolutely right - it is in these times that God speaks to our hearts and whispers rest, slow down, I am in control.
    I always enjoy coming to this space - thanking God for you today!

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  20. Oh Jen I am right with you being overwhelmed at times. I love the statement - How do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time. That helps my perspective. I find too when overwhelmed at first, it is more difficult even to get started but once going things flow. so get in the flow and you may find small snatch of rest inbetween the to-dos

    Thanks for a good and honest post.

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  21. You are overwhelmed dear one. Plain and simple!

    Time to cut back and to truly line your priorities where they need to be. The work of Our Lord begins at home my dear Jen. Everything else is just gravy :-)

    Your honesty shows how much this is truly a burden to your heart. I am sorry for that. But dear one, put things in perspective and realize that others can probably help you...sometimes all we have to do is ask :-)

    Maria

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  22. It's so funny you write this. I am too having similar issues. It's so hard to ask for help when you know everyone else is busy too. If I could just get the "give it to God" part right, then I am sure my schedule would not be so overwhelming! I need to just LISTEN.

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  23. The most important thing, I remind myself, when I find myself repeatedly being overwhelmed is to make it a priority to find time to sit at Jesus' feet. That's an image a dear friend gave me during the week before my wedding and one I return to often. When Peter began sinking into the waves, Christ called him to stop looking at the water and cry out to the Lord for help. I think you're right--sometimes this cry needs to go up on an hourly basis; sometimes minute-by-minute! But rest, and turning our eyes toward Jesus are what save us from sinking.

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  24. I often go through this maybe once a week. Once a day is more like it. I am in school right now getting my Bachelors in Elementary Education. On top of that, I am doing my own preschool for my 5 year old daughter, who is starting Kindergarten this fall. And I have a 6 month old daughter. Plus, all the errands, housework that needs to be done. Plus trying to fit in my own bible time. By the end of all I have to do, there's only maybe one hour left until my husband comes home from work and another 30 minutes after that until I start dinner and the nightly chaos ritual begins; taking baths/showers, helping my daughter read a book, and reading my daughter's devotional bible.

    Through it all, I know I wouldn't want my life any other way. I would want this chaos. I often miss it when I don't have it. I just say little prayers during the day to help me have peace with all that is going on and to help me get rest when I can(with two kids is not a lot).

    I hope you can find time to rest and refresh yourself. :-) Have an awesome week.

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  25. This was beautiful. Thank you.

    Sandy

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  26. Very important post Jen. I appreciated you suggesting that we pray about which blogs to read each week and I've found several that were taylor made for me, including this one. It is about trusting God with the overwhelm. Very hard to do, but very good for growth.

    I started copying and pasting the significant quotes from todays blogs into a word doc to save and review. It helps me retain and apply the insights. I've got my marching orders for today and the rest of my life, just in todays postings.

    Thanks!

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  27. I don't have a lot of words lately, Jen, but these are definitely words I needed to hear. Thank you!

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  28. i haven't read all the comments, but i agree with kendall...i think that once you've gotten to where you have absolutely nothing to give, you learn to make better choices on the front end. busy-ness is definitely a choice that many of us believe we HAVE to make. i'm excited to see this process continue to unfold for you.

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  29. Oh Jen! praying for you and yes, you rounded out where you need to...for me, as much as I love blog land--the three weeks away immersed in the call and the travel it requires--I did come back free-er. I'm not saying here is where to give (who am I to say that?) but I have been so convicted how 'stress' simply does not glorify Him...so, well, entering my own what could be so stressful season--I am asking that He do a new thing and grant peace that I might glorify Him...bless you, friend!

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  30. While you were commenting at our place...I was reading this post :)
    And nodding in total understanding...
    I call it "swirling"...when I take a look at the calendar and immediately start feeling overwhelmed, like I'm spiraling into craziness.
    Stopping to pray for you as soon as I actually hit "post comment". I've been distracted about 10 times since starting to respond.
    Margins...that's my new goal...so that when real life happens I haven't already written clear to the edges of my paper.
    Praying that God will show me how to do that.
    Will pray that for you as well.
    Always, always appreciate your posts Jen.
    ~k

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  31. "It's easy to rest when I feel like there is time. It's much harder to rest when I am overwhelmed by the amount still to do. But, perhaps that's when it becomes most crucial. And perhaps, it is how God teaches me, yet again, how to relinquish control and let Him be in charge."

    Very true! I hope are able to find Rest.

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  32. Blessings to you Jen as you search for best among the good. That's often a difficult task but I'm praying that your life will be refreshed and renewed in the days ahead. Blessings!

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  33. BREATHE! That's my advice. I have many weeks like that and it always seems everything happens those weeks. It is definitely a reminder from God to let Him be in control. Praying that you get the REST you need my friend.

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  34. When you find the magical balance to keeping it all going smoothly and keeping everyone happy, clean, fed and spiritualy fed, let me know! :)
    Praying for clarity for you as you prioritize...

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  35. I like what you say... offering up our calendars, to-do's, ourselves...hourly!-- yes, I think you are right, that is what we need and hardest to do when busiest. Good words, Jen...

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  36. Oh, bless your heart. Are you the VBS go-to gal? I feel your pain. What a big big job that one is.

    I just slipped in under the crack of the door, Jen! I know what you mean about the time thing. I am feeling a bit beaten up tonight. On top of it all, I now have a terrible cold.

    I want my mommy.

    Love to you, friend.

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