Archives For overwhelmed

A Spoonful of Grace

November 21, 2015

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There are some weeks where I feel like I am just winning at life! I’m sure my fellow moms out there know what I am talking about. I manage to get all the laundry folded and put away, I’ve cleaned the entire house, cooked and cleaned up the kitchen daily, taken care of any miscellaneous errands/chores along with homeschooling and spending quality time with my boys and husband. When I have weeks like this I seriously do feel like I am on roll, finally in a good groove and being a great mom and wife.

Then there are the weeks where the laundry is piled up. Sometimes it’s that I can’t get to the laundry so it’s waiting to get washed, or (like right now) it’s clean and in a pile on the couch. If I’m really lucky then it’s clean and folded sitting on the piano in the living room waiting to be put away. Clutter is everywhere, toys everywhere, I need to clean, honestly the kitchen is driving me crazy! Am I the only person whose kitchen seems to be the catch-all for everything? It’s like we come in the from garage and that’s as far as everything goes, right to the kitchen counter. Ugh! And the dishes, OH the dishes! Do they ever end? I don’t know what I would do without that dishwasher!?! But I just need to find five minutes in my day to load that said dishwasher.

When I come off of a week like this I feel like I am definitely not winning, let alone even doing a half decent job at being a wife and mom. I mean how can I have one week where everything goes so smoothly and I get everything done on my lists along with plenty of fun things for the kids and I to do, just to have the following week be the exact opposite of that. It’s not even like I did anything differently, yet somehow there wasn’t enough time in the day to do everything. I’m not a mathematician, but I’m pretty sure that I have the exact same amount of hours in every day. It just doesn’t add up to me that one week I’m winning the race and the next week I’m in the back of the race sprinting trying to keep up.

I just finished reading the new Jen Hatmaker book, For the Love. (If you haven’t read it, you should stop what you are doing and order it on Amazon because it is wonderful!) This book was perfect, I felt like she was literally talking right to me. It’s all about grace, and the most important part I took away from it is giving yourself grace. We can NOT do it ALL! I repeat we can not do it all! And guess what… that’s OKAY! What? It’s okay that I can’t do it all and that I might need some help? Yes, we are only human. Some weeks I might have less energy than other weeks due to my lupus, so the laundry might just have to wait until the next day, and guess what… it’s okay! Also, it’s okay to say no and put your time and energy where its most important. Do the dishes later that night and go play a game with your kids or read a book together. Give yourself permission to embrace this time and not get bogged down by the chores and chaos of the day. Ask for help when you are having a day or week where you feel overwhelmed. I don’t know why I can have such an easy and productive week when the next week makes me feel like a failure. The only explanation I have is that we are human, not super heroes and some times that’s just the way life goes. Give yourself some grace because your kids and your husband love you, they aren’t worried about the dishes in the sink. It’s all about grace, give yourself some. It’s okay!

December, oh how I love you! It brings colder weather, Chase’s birthday, snow on occasion and the Christmas season! It really is my favorite time of the year! The joys of bundling up with a good book in hand while the fireplace sends off it’s warmth, decorating the Christmas tree, shopping for loved ones in wonderfully decorated stores that are playing those catchy Christmas tunes. And you can’t forget all the fun Christmas movies that are always a great addition to this time of year! There is only one thing that puts a damper on this glorious season… STRESS! We all get stressed from time to time. Those packed shopping malls can be the cherry on top of a stressful sundae. You all know what I am talking about… the crowded walk ways that no one can ever get through without feeling squished. Then there are all the other stresses that can come around this time… budgeting for presents. We all want to be able to afford to give everyone we love something nice for Christmas, but on a nice fee-sable budget The last thing anyone wants is to give a gift that screams budget.

While most of these things are never really that big of a deal, when the moment comes that we feel overwhelmed the stress has finally come and everything is a big deal! Here is a confession… when I am stressed chocolate and I are best friends-especially Reese’s peanut buttercups! I know, this is a terrible habit to form. It’s either the chocolate or crying. Well this month I am attempting to tackle this issue! Month two of my Searching for Simplicity began this week and I am doing the stress fast. Yes, I am well aware that I can not prevent from stressful situations coming my way, but that is not the point of this fast. This month is all about being intentional in how we respond to stress, making it a habit to run to God in prayer instead of our typical responses.

This fast is all about setting aside seven times in my day for prayer, praying over specific subjects during each prayer time. Currently my alarms are set for midnight, 6:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., noon, 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.! Yes that’s right, my alarm is set for midnight! It won’t be easy, but already in the first week I am amazed at what I have begun to learn about myself, but that I will share with you another time!

 

Photo Credit: Allie Caulfield

The last couple of days have been a little busy, which is why I haven’t had the chance to make a new post. My husband works for Lifechurch.tv and it was the annual family reunion where all the staff and spouses come together to fellowship and worship God, it was great! So glad I was able to be there. If you have followed some of the latest posts a continuing theme that has started in my family is the calling God has placed on our lives to be debt free. This is an overwhelming and in a way scary thing because we really don’t know exactly how that looks for us. How He is going to make it happen. But, I know that it will. Between last weekend at church and then this week at the family reunion there are two key points that have been placed on my heart. The first is that God is in control no matter what! The second is that we dream to small! God can do far more than we could ever dream! Chase and I dream to be debt free, not only that but we dream to do this in five years. We have no idea how that will happen, but He does because His dreams are far bigger than ours! We sang this song last weekend at church after a long conversation Chase and I had about our finances. I could not get past the first verse before breaking into tears! It truly said what was on my heart. The first video is how the song was written and the second is the full song.

God I look to You by Jenn Johnson

God I look to You, I wont be overwhelmed
Give me vision to see things like You do
God I look to You, Youre where my help comes from
Give me wisdom; You know just what to do

I will love You Lord my strength
I will love You Lord my shield
I will love You Lord my rock forever
All my days I will love You God

Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns
Hallelujah our God reigns forever
All my days Hallelujah

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.” Jean Jacques Rousseau

“I am still learning.”  Michelangelo

This weekend I decided I would try to take a step into the world of coupons. There have been a few things that I have used coupons for, mostly because they had been sent to me in the mail. I have never ventured into the true coupon world, searching, clipping, getting free stuff from coupons. I thought what a great way to help keep my grocery bill down and I know that would make my husband happy! I bought the Sunday paper, actually I bought two, and last night I sat down to start searching through it. I clipped out a good amount but I did not feel like it was substantial. A lot of what I found were the accessories like deodorant, shampoo and things like that. Those coupons are wonderful and will save me money but I was really hoping for more things that were for food to help the regular grocery bill. I also found myself a little overwhelmed and confused. I mean when flipping through the pages I saw ones that actually said coupon, then I saw ones that advertised a special sale… so are those coupons you take to other stores to try to price match or are they just something you now know a store is selling and that’s it? I pretty much decided that I have no idea what I am doing! I have also begun to look online for some coupons but have found a few things here and there, nothing crazy awesome. I know that if I stick with it I will find myself getting awesome deals and saving money not to mention I will begin to actually understand it, but I must have patience. It’s never easy stepping your foot into something new that you have no idea what you are doing, but with a little patience and lots of questions it all comes together. So I have decided to be patient, which means here come my questions… how does this all work? Do you coupon, if so where do you find the best coupons? Am I even doing this thing right?

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.” Psalm 34:4 (NIV)

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” Luke 12:25 (NIV)

I believe that we all have specific struggles that are harder for ourselves than they might be for other people. Certain things are just not a struggle for some people and I think that we all have certain struggles so that it causes us to lean on God more, trust Him and have faith. As many of you know from earlier blog posts I struggle with anxiety/worry. I believe this is my hurdle that I am supposed to over come with God’s help. To be honest there are some days or weeks that are great, it feels like it isn’t even work. But then there are other days when it feels like I am right back at the beginning before I ever even realized this was my struggle, having anxiety and worrying over everything. I pray pretty much every day that God will take this struggle away and heal me of it. I keep praying and waiting. Last night though God brought something to my attention. Before He will heal me of this I first have to realize that I have to give everything to God and believe in His power, authority and plan for my life. See, here was my problem… when there would be something that I would start to worry about my husband would tell me to pray about it and my response would be… of course I’ll pray, but it may not be in God’s plan. What I kept telling myself was that I would pray about the situation but it didn’t mean that the horrible wasn’t still God’s plan. I realized last night that deep down I was never truly letting it go and giving it to Him. I was almost afraid that if I did then that would mean the bad would have to happen, almost like He would test me instantly of my faith by making the worst occur. I know this is not how He works, I know that because I put my faith in Him does not mean that the worst will automatically happen to test my faith, yet for some reason I was telling myself it was. This is what it came down to last night when God was opening my eyes… I can not change anything by worrying or having anxiety, I am only hurting myself. When I give my fears to Him and truly give them up then He will give me peace and the strength to get through anything that comes my way. Good and bad will happen, that is just part of life, but when I live in peace and faith in God then I will be able to face any circumstance head on. And most important (for me)… God will not make my worst nightmares come true once I give it all to Him, He loves me beyond understanding so if something bad happens He will carry me through!