Monday, November 28, 2011

For Those Days When You're Feeling a Little Overwhelmed (Or Maybe Even A Lot)...

I wake up full of vigor and ready for the day. I have so much that needs to be done, but that's okay. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to tackle that to-do list. I can't wait to start checking off all the completed tasks. I spend a quick moment in the Word, thinking I'll read more if I grab a moment later in the afternoon.

But then the kids awaken. And the needs start making themselves known (and in a much demanding way, I may add.) And I'm the mama. I'm the one that must meet those needs. And slowly, my thoughtfully planned out day begins to become undone.

Soon it's noon, and I reluctantly head to the kitchen to prepare lunch. "Didn't I just do this a few hours ago?!" Boy, it feels like a large portion of my day is spent in the kitchen in front of the stove or sink. I'm either preparing food or cleaning it up. It seems never-ending.

I quickly glance over my to-do list. Great, not one single thing is checked off yet. I haven't completed one single thing that I set out with such vigor to tackle when I first woke up this morning.

Oh, and did I mention that it's now 3pm and I just realized that I never took the roast out of the freezer to defrost. Gee, wonder what I'm going to make for supper now????

Sound familiar?

Far too often, we busy moms operate on our own fumes. We've got big plans for our days, and we might even jump out of bed in the morning ready to go. But then we get sidetracked and our plans slowly get dumped right into the trash, one by one. As we run out of day, we run head-on with the reality that our day just is not going as planned. And we feel like failures.

I've been there far too often. And it's always when I set out on my days with my own agenda, my own ideas, my own strength. And it's a horribly unsettling feeling to feel like you've failed. And when I don't accomplish, I almost always feel like a failure.

And the really unfortunate thing is that I should know better. I should know by now that a day undedicated to the Lord is a day headed for disappointment and those awful feelings of failure.

Here's what I've discovered since becoming a mommy, and particularly a homeschooling mommy: when I get up in the morning and say a quick prayer to God, asking Him to be Lord over my day, I am much better equipped to float through the day with a joyful and thankful spirit and overlook those tasks and personal agendas that go uncompleted.

Because when I dedicate my day to God I am, in essence, telling Him that I am surrendering my day to Him for Him to decide what gets completed that day.
And maybe I need reminded of this when I am standing in the kitchen for, what seems to me, way too many hours of my day. And so many times I find myself praying for a refueling of the Holy Spirit as I go through the day teaching my kids, preparing food, cleaning up, and doing laundry.

Another thing He's taught me is that He didn't design me to do it alone. As a believer, I am not called to my service to Him to work on my own strength. He calls me to the works He has prepared for me knowing full well that I'm inadequate in and of my own flesh. And so He provides me with what I need to do His good works. And when I get either lazy or proud and start operating out of my own strength, He finds good reason to remind me of my insufficiencies. (I can usually tell when I'm working on my own because I feel drained, exhausted, grumpy, miserable.)

Your work at home is holy work. Did you ever consider that? When you're called by Him to motherhood, when you're called to be a wife, when you're called to be a keeper of the home, your mission field is your home. Your home is your holy domain.

So, are you feeling discouraged? Are you feeling overwhelmed? This busy time of year makes many wives and mothers even more susceptible to feelings of discouragement and exhaustion just because we want to make the holiday season perfect.

Well, I'm challenging myself to reevaluate each day that God blesses me with and the plans I plan for those days. There's absolutely nothing wrong with a to-do list. In fact, these types of lists help us to stay on task and focused. However, we are not to become slaves to our lists. If we find we are feeling enslaved to that piece of paper, then we're out of God's Will because God has not called us to be a slave to anything. That's not freedom in Christ, is it?

And I'm also challenging myself to begin each day with a quick and simple prayer, asking God to guide my day, give me discernment to decide which tasks need to be given priority and which can be done at a later time. I'm going to ask for an extra dose of the Holy Spirit to help me live each day to the full, accomplishing only those things that He wants me to accomplish.

And I may add that I have found that on the days I do approach my day in this manner, it often seems as though I get a lot more done, almost as though a few extra hours have been tacked onto my 24 hour day. And not only do I get more done, but I get it done with a joyful heart and not a grumpy, get-out-of-my-way-kids kind of mood.

Will you join me in this challenge to treat each day as your holy work for Him? As your devoted and dedicated service to Him? Real life isn't about the list, it's about the living. And living can be messy, but He has the awesome ability to take the messy and make it beautiful!

Have a most blessed Monday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this inspiring post! I know that most of the time I function on "Me" alone and stead of with the Lord. In spending the first hours of my day with the Lord everything goes much better. I however have a hard time getting up at 5:30 for that time with Him. Thank you for sharing this and reminding me to not act on my own strength but His!