Can I be really honest? As I write this, I’m sipping my twice-microwaved coffee, my three-month-old baby is screaming instead of sleeping, and there is a toddler-sized dirty diaper floating in the toilet down the hall. I’m watching a seven-year-old son jump off the back of the couch and my five-year-old keeps asking Alexa to play Christmas songs. These crazy kid behaviors are common around here, but too often I find myself overwhelmed by life and stressed out.
When life is trying to stir us up, we can hit pause. We can breathe. We can change our perspectives and our attitudes. We might not be able to control what happens to us, but we can always control our responses. Here are 4 things that overwhelm us, but don’t have to stress us out anymore.
- Overwhelmed by Schedules
Before we even wake up, our day is full and we know it. You know that commitments, conversations, meals, commutes, and confrontations are coming at you as the minutes tick by. Instead of letting worry and dread stress you out, be overwhelmed with God’s good gifts. I don’t have to feel stressed out about how I am going to get it all done tomorrow; I can remember that God always comes through and expect help throughout the day. Sigh. We can slow down and even enjoy today when we remember God’s faithfulness every single morning.
- Overwhelmed by Work
If you’re feeling stretched thin and like your time, energy, and heart are not enough every day, this one’s for you. Maybe in your own messy home or decorated office you feel out of place and exhausted. There’s good news though! When I believe who God is and what He says about me, I begin to understand how to do my work. I don’t have to stress about getting dinner on the table; I am overwhelmed by God’s love for me even when tasks are undone. We don’t have to feel stressed out about all the deadlines, lists, and goals, but we can be overwhelmed by God’s careful attention to our lives. Go ahead, leave the pile of dishes or emails and let yourself smile because you are so loved.
- Overwhelmed by Grief and Disappointment
The reality of life is that terribly hurtful things can happen. If you’re faced with the heartbreaking life stressors of chronic illness, battle with addiction, poverty, or even death of a loved one, you can be overwhelmed by God’s compassion in the middle of it. He knows your deepest pain or struggle and wants to hear your worries and lift your burden. Even though your pain is unbearable right now, He promises us the gift of a glorious future as He shoulders life’s load in the meantime.
- Overwhelmed by Blessings
Do you ever feel stressed out by some of the best things in your life? It seems backwards, but it’s easy to look at the piece of nature I own for my kids and pets to freely enjoy and only see an overgrown plot of weeds that’s a hassle to mow. I can overlook the slide, bikes, grill, trampoline, and picnic table people have given to us and call it an undersized, overgrown, cluttered backyard. In fact, even the mower was a gift! When I begin to feel stressed by even the good things in my life, I want to stop there and be overwhelmed instead by God’s provision. Can you make a mental list of good parts of life you’ve been overlooking? When I can give thanks for all life’s things, I learn to see God’s blessings in a new light.
So when your days get filled up with lots of reasons for you to pull your hair out or curl up and cry, may you remember the overwhelming presence of God, His love when your heart is grieving, and His never-failing strength that holds you up whenever you need it. Whatever parts of life are daunting you right now, God’s waiting to overwhelm you with His goodness!