Post by: Katie M. Reid
I was overwhelmed.
Our summer was jam-packed with events, responsibilities, conferences, and a move. It felt like we had little room to breathe and not much time to enjoy the slowness of summer.
But, who am I kidding? Those of us in the Midwest don’t sip in summer, we lap it up with an unsatiated thirst—birthed in the bowels of winter. The cold months leave our souls hungry for lake days and firefly nights.
Last week, as the weather prematurely cooled—with school days on the horizon—I sat on my bed, in our half-unpacked bedroom, feeling stressed.
I was on the phone with my life coach, Darlene, and she asked me about my plan for each of the roles that I play in this stage of life—wife, mom, keeper of the home, and writer.
I quickly unveiled my writing plan, proud of the boundaries I had set—at least in theory—and the way I was going to finagle our schedule to find pockets of time to write.
Then Darlene made an observation. “I hear you talking about your writing plan. But what about the plan for your other roles?”
I had made my writing more important than the living, breathing loved ones that fill the places ‘round my table and fill my days to the brim.
Darlene addressed the house first as we hashed out a plan. The sobs came quickly as I confessed, “It’s just too much.”
Within fifteen minutes she helped me outline a plan to tackle each cluttered area of our partially unpacked house. I was reminded of the saying, “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.”
How do you stop feeling overwhelmed? Just take the next step in front of you and then take the next one after that.
It sounds simple yet it isn’t for this creative brain of mine. I start something and am distracted by something else and pretty soon I just have a big mess and nothing is finished.
Just take the next step
Running a half marathon is on my Bucket List and doing it before I turn forty seems like a good idea. So I signed up for a race, in November, with my sis-in-law (yes, it could be really cold).
As I ran last week, putting one foot in front of the other, I tried not to get overwhelmed by the fact that the race will require thirteen miles out of these feet. I’ve only ran a 10K before, and if you do the math you’ll soon realize that this half marathon is more than double that mileage.
The elephant and the house plan came to mind as I tried to focus on the next step.
One bite at a time. One box at a time. One step at a time.
Instead of being known as that wife, mom, homemaker and writer who is often overwhelmed by her roles and responsibilities, I long to be known as a woman who is overwhelmed by Jesus’ love for me.
I want to live from a place of assurance that He is able to be a Rock when my resolve feels shaky.
Do you get overwhelmed by the pace and pressures of life?
Are you allowing the light of His Word to illuminate the next step?
Do you need to take a deep breath and regroup?
Are you dehydrated spiritually because you aren’t coming up for air?
As summer gives way to fall let’s take our weary hearts to the greatest Life Coach there is, the One who has poured out wisdom and longs for us to lap it up as we thirst for righteousness and hunger for His Presence.
That’s where I want to find myself this autumn, at the feet of the One who loves this try-hard woman and longs to give her rest.
I want to take refuge on the Rock that is steady and secure and able to help me face the frenzy.
I want to run this race victoriously, not at a breakneck speeds, but faithfully—one foot in front of the other.
Psalm 61:2 “From the ends of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed, lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
I am praying that God will show you the next step.
Your next step might be to sit down, it might be to speed up, it might be to rest, it might be to stand.
Whatever the Holy Spirit reveals may you be strengthened and encouraged that He has a plan. God is more than able to uphold you as you go forth.
May His love overwhelm you more than your circumstances.
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Katie M. Reid is a tightly wound woman, of the recovering perfectionist variety, who fumbles to receive and extend grace in everyday moments. She delights in her hubby, four children and their life in ministry. Through her writing, singing, speaking and photography she encourages others to find grace in the unraveling of life. Connect with Katie at katiemreid.com
9 CommentsLeave a comment
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Love this. One bite at a time. I have to reassure myself of this every single day. Especially in this writing life. I will never have it all figured out. And God can use every little morsel we bring him. I wrote about this too a while back. http://bit.ly/1LeKQ2V Thank you for this post.
Great words from Katie!
HI Christina! Me too. I think I could use this reminder every minute. Going to check out your post now.
Katie, what a poignant and freeing post! I get you. I have been guilty of the very things you mention here. Thank you for being honest so that others can learn from what God is doing in your life. I’m like you- I often get distracted, overwhelmed, and flustered but your words help me see that one step at a time is the only way to move forward. Thank you, friend. xoxo
Thank you Abby. I’m glad I’m not alone, but hoping all us overwhelmed gals can get a handle on His overwhelming peace despite our circumstances. Thankful for you and your encouraging and empathetic heart.
Yes, girl. Lately, yes, I have been feeling this way: Are you dehydrated spiritually because you aren’t coming up for air? Thank you for pinpointing some heart work that God needs to repair within my heart. Love you.
I hear ya Kelly. May we breathe deep of His Presence even in the midst of messy days.
I know I am a tad bit writing this, but I am trying to play catch-up with my e-mail for when I couldn’t get internet. Just got married, started a new job and trying to help a hoarder clean her house. I feel extremely overwhelmed! So this blog was something I needed. I like the idea of eating an elephant one bite at a time and taking one step in front of another; it puts everything in perspective for me!