Wednesday, January 25, 2017


The dishes are stacked at the sink. The laundry is piled on the floor. The to do list is a mile long. The inbox is full. Meals need to be cooked, bathrooms need to be cleaned, the kitchen needs to be swept. The list is endless. Overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.

I felt that way in the autumn. We had returned from holiday and I felt like school was behind, the house was a mess. I felt like I was going from one thing to the next and not getting much done. I needed to drop some of my expectations and get caught up on things.

"Overwhelm - to affect (someone) very strongly; to cause (someone) to have too many things to deal with; to defeat (someone or something) completely" - Merriam-Webster

Being overwhelmed is an easy feeling. At times when you are overwhelmed you don't know what to do or where to turn.

What are some of the causes of being or feeling overwhelmed?

1. Distracted, loss of focus, or wrong priorities

2. Literally too much to do

3. Not using time wisely

Martha was distracted with much serving; she had a lot to do. She was anxious and troubled about many things. Her heart was not peaceful. Martha was busy preparing food, making sure everything was ready, but she was missing the important event. She was distracted, had lost focu,s and had the wrong priorities. Jesus reminds her of what is important and brings her focus back to the priorities.

At times it doesn't matter how focused we are, how wise we are in using our time, the tasks are just beyond what we are capable of doing. Think of the disciples at feeding the 4,000 in Mark 8:1-10. It was overwhelming, the number of people and the amount of food. In that overwhelming moment, Jesus showed who he is and what he is able to do. Sometimes that is what we need when we are overwhelmed.

I am sure at times David could say he was overwhelmed. He was on the run trying to keep himself alive. Later he was running a kingdom. In Psalm 61 when he is overwhelmed, he cries out to God. His heart is faint and he calls out God. What he wants when he is overwhelmed is to take refuge in God. What is the cry of your heart when you are overwhelmed?

Are you feeling overwhelmed?

Spend time with God, reading the Word, praying all of that will help you to gain focus and keep priorities in the right place. Cry out to God. He gives direction and peace.

Evaluate your priorities - are you doing the things that you need to be doing now? Maybe you are doing things that should not be done now.

Use your time wisely - Work hard but also take time to rest. It is tempted when we are overwhelmed to just work, work, and work some more and while that might help get things done, it might not give the ability to keep that pace.

At times you might need to enlist the help of others. Ask a friend to help you with an organizing project or decluttering. Ask a friend to watch your children so you can have some time to work alone.

Maybe your are not feeling overwhelmed at this time, offer to help someone who might be feeling that way -- bring a meal, watch their children, offer to help, or just sit and listen.

Right now I am not feeling overwhelmed but I know it can easily happen.

What causes you to feel overwhelmed? What do you do when you are overwhelmed?

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, 

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