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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thanks for stopping by today.  A special welcome to those who are visiting for the first time after reading my Encouragement for Today devotion titled, "There's always something I can do."

Being a woman with a high tolerance for responsibilities, I know what being overwhelmed feels like.  In spite of my best efforts to build margin into my schedule, it seems every couple of months I start to feel the tension rise.  Although there's no dire threat, the deadlines and expectations mount and so does my stress.  It becomes difficult to figure out what to do next, and I'm simply overwhelmed.  

When those days hit, I've developed a few habits that help me cope.  Every situation is different, and so not every response works every time.  Hopefully something will resonate with your situation.

1. Do nothing!
OK - I know this seem contradictory to the main point of my devotion.  But I mean a productive nothing.  Although everything in me screams to do something ... anything ... sometimes the best thing to do is nothing.  I don't mean the nothing that involves watching TV or playing hearts on the computer.  I mean the nothing that involves sitting at my kitchen table with a blank pad of paper.  Often I'll pray first to quiet my spirit, and invite God's direction.  Then I think - productively.  I think about what needs to be done. I bring order to the scattered thoughts, write ideas on paper, or brainstorm solutions.  Thinking is highly underrated, and it's something we all can do.

2.  What has to be done?
When I'm overwhelmed with too much to do, asking myself "What has to be done?" helps bring order to my tasks.  This might mean addressing a project with an imminent deadline or getting ready to go somewhere.  This question helps keep me on time, especially when I'm trying to get ready to leave the house and a hundred small to-dos pop into my head. 

3.  Make a menu for the week.
I believe creating a menu for the week is one of the best time-saving, stress-reducing things I can do.  Especially when I feel overwhelmed.  If I've got a busy week ahead, I plan easy Crock-pot meals, or a dinner that others can prepare.  I post my menu on the fridge so everyone can see it. 

4.  Make a list of everything I have to do.
Avoidance is an ineffective solution to being overwhelmed.  Making a master list of EVERYTHING I need to do removes things from my overloaded brain.  With things captured on paper, I stop stressing that I'm going to forget something.  It gives me a wide-angle view, and better perspective. 

5.  Ask others to pray for me.
In the past month, God has answered prayers in some amazing ways.  Read this post to see three of them.  Asking others to pray for me is difficult.  There's this mixed-up idea that I'm bothering them.  I'm pretty sure that's a lie from the enemy.  God moves on behalf of His children when they pray.  So share your situation honestly with some friends, and ask for their prayers.

In my devotion today, I wrote about how I can become consumed with worry in overwhelming situations.  Those circumstances happen less and less as I practice habits developed after times of bombardment.  The five tips I've shared today have made a significant difference in my life.   I pray they help you as well.

Since I love making lists and it's still Christmas time, I'm giving away a beautiful "clipboard" note pad by Anna Griffin.  The paper is lined with a faint floral background, and it affixed to a beautiful backing. 

Just leave a comment, and a way to contact you.  I'll pick someone at random and announce a winner on Friday.

Grace & Peace,

Glynnis

52 comments:

Lisa V. said...

I definitely struggle with having times of feeling overwhelmed. I think my problem is with the things that HAVE to be done, I too often dig in my heels and do nothing. In my case, doing nothing is not the best choice. What I HAVE gotten better at is talking to God about it and He really is there for me to guide and direct. I just have to be willing and obedient.
Lisa V. lisa07110@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Oh how I struggle with this too. I keep thinking if I could get organized, life would be so much easier. But this is such an overwhelming task that I don't know where to begin....and so I do almost nothing. I just never get it done. And then put lack of funds on top of it all and yes, I'm at my rope's end. I keep praying about this situation but I don't seem to get any answers or relieve. Nanci @ kelbla@aol.com

kareng said...

They say timing is everything your post was God breathed and great info. My life is nothing but calamity right now. So many issues I feel like a spin top and go through the motions doing what is basically rote and mechanical for me and I don't like it. The joy is not there so each task is difficult. I used to write everything down and now I know I need to get back to that. I must send arrow prayers up much more frequently and then be still.
Thanks for your awesome encouragement!Blessings and Peace,
kareng @ kareng24u@msn.com

The Lemons Family said...

Boy, was this what I needed to hear today. I woke up telling God that I quit. I told Him how big a failure I am and how useless it is for me to keep making efforts because they are so futile. Thank you for sharing some practical tips. It's like a life line for me to hold on to. Ashley.lemons@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

I really like the fact of writing down what needs to be done for the day and check it off the list. Sometime, I get so lazy I don't do a thing and I do not like that feeling at all.

Jennifer said...

Oh, I can so relate to the feeling of being overwhelmed. My problem is that I think that EVERYTHING is urgent and must be done NOW! I become consumed with worry and/or guilt. I battle insomnia thanks to my mind not being able to shut off. But I'm working harder at talking with God when I wake up in the middle of the night frozen by fear and worry.

The Calm of His Presence said...

This is just what I needed today. I am feeling overwhelmed by all that needs to be done before the end of the week. Thank you for the tips you shared. Now I'm going to sit quietly and make a list of what NEEDS to be done. mboswell98@bellsouth.net

Mary

Sheena said...

I needed this today.I am a teacher and its a new semester when the new year begins.I have just been given my workload for next year and its overwhelming.I was just asking God what plans He had for me giving me all this workload.

The devotion really hit me today to focus on what i can do rather than what i cant.I feel the burden leave me just now as i read your devotion.Thank you God and glynnis for your apt word been spoken in my life

Sweetest blessings

Sheena

patty said...

Good morning... Yes... "sit down", "gather in groups" are two bits of really good advice... Think of "Mary & Martha"... think of "where 2 or 3 are gathered" ..Yes.. the devil wants us to wander around aimlessly and be isoloated.. two of his main tactics to pull us away from intimacy w/ Him and w/ each other. Thanks for the refocus and reminder that we're not alone. I REALLY needed that.

Carol said...

I get so overwhelmed I don't know where to start...then don't start anything. I know I don't have the time to finish any one task, so I don't start. I get behind...and then "behinder and behinder". It's a cycle and probably one Satan gets mixed up in.

FaithGirl said...

Thanks for letting God guide you - and then sharing your insights! I am part of a ministry that is setting up a large conference, and during the night, all the tasks and hurdles kept revolving through my mind. Your blog was an answer to my prayer - for help in doing things "decently and in order," as 1 COR 14:40 says. You gave a plan, and I was just reminded of one more truth from Scripture: "Not by might or power, but by My Spirit" do we have the resources we need (Zech 4:6b). tigemailbox-faith@yahoo.com

Edwina said...

Glynnis,
I am such a list maker! My family sometimes teases me that I need a master list of all the lists I have!

Blessings,
Edwina

Anonymous said...

I'm a first time visitor. I think your blog design is beautiful, but more importantly, so are your encouraging words. Both my children were successfully launched out of college/grad school and into professional careers (and marriage) this year. I have been focusing too much on what I can't do anymore as the mother of grown children, but your devotional has made me see that I have to focus on the things I CAN do this evolving role. I also need to focus on the greater amount of things I can now do for His kingdom. Thank you for your wise words.

texastaximom said...

i love that organization and order was important to our Lord! we use a monthly calendar on the fridge - except we use it for the week - everybody gets their own row for the week - the last row is for the menu. all activities and appointments are listed, and if it is not on the calendar it doesn''t exist. it is a huge stress reliever and everybody knows what's going on. thank you for today's devo - God is always right on time :)

Tasha said...

Glynnis, thank you so much for your wonderful ideas! I am really bad about "overbooking" myself for lack of other words. I know that God does not intend for us to live a stressful life and so many times I do it to myself. I am going to start practicing these steps from now on. Again, thank you so much for being obedient to God! Have a blessed day!
tcantrell@choctawnation.com

Josey Bozzo said...

Glynnis,
Thank you so much for your posts and devotions. They always have this balance of information and practical action to take. This one in particular spoke to me on so many levels. Oh, and I am a stationary junky!!! so LOVE the little clipboard for making lists.
Josey

Anonymous said...

Avoidance is an issue for me. I like how you outlined some very good points to implement. I feel overwhelmed too much of the time. mheard11@frontier.com

Anonymous said...

Glynnis, I love this post! I have a daughter with special needs and a very busy 12 yr old son and it seems like there is always something needing to be done (or that has been forgotten). I love your first point of taking time to do nothing, quiet your spirit with God and think. I like prioritizing the urgents versus importants and making sure that I am not busy doing things that really aren't God's priority at the time. When I bring Him into the picture He almost always simplifies my day, clears my thoughts, and focuses me on His priorities. I hope that for you and all the ladies out there! Blessings, Molly
grahls@sbcglobal.net

Emily B (emleepc@yahoo.com) said...

Thanks for the ideas on how to get my thoughts organized. I'm definitely a list maker, and I feel organized, but sometimes even that gets overwhelming. Your ideas can help me take a fresh look at all that's on my plate.

Kim said...

Thank you so much for your tips. Number one is something I really need to implement. Sitting quietly before the Lord is hard for me but I know how good it is to do

Deanna said...

This was a particularly relevant post for me today. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your solutions, we as women need to share all the little things that keep us on track so we can handel our daily lives, God first I thank you for adding to ask a friend to pray for you, I have done that in the past and I know God answers prayers on his time. Somtime or another God will place a thought of a freind or loved one I need to pray for and they didn't even ask. Our prayers are blessings to others.

Sara Robinson said...

What a timely reminder and source of encouragement you have provided for ms today! Thanks for being transparent and authentic.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. God sent you to me today. I am at the point of exhaustion just like to disciples are. My month has been difficult to say the least (I drove 9 hours to celebrate my parents 50th wedding anniversary, then the next day my father passed away; I went through 2 funerals before we laid him to rest; I got the flu and since I have fibromyalgia I'm just worn out). I was sitting here at work and satan was playing in my weary mind and telling me that so and so wasn't doing her job, etc. I so needed to hear what you were told to write. Thank you.
Deanna - deannatipton@hotmail.com

GrammaGrits said...

Thanks for a thought provoking post. The pause to think is one I need to remember in the new year ahead, as well as the list making (which I love, but sometimes then forget to follow)! Thanks and blessings!
vmcml1@hotmail.com

Carolyn M said...

This so fits my "New Years Resolution", or my "lifes" resolution as I like to refer to it! I have struggled with this all year and then some, and I am so ready to not feel this way on a regular basis. I have gotten a "little" bit better about talking to God about it and letting Him in to help me. That is what I plan on working on in the New Year, more prayer time with my Father and Savior so that He can lead the way for me. He is so much better at that than I am. Thanks for your words, they were just the right reminder! Carolyn M.
nisie@sbcglobal.net

Butterflychicka said...

Hi Glynnis! First time visitor to your blog, but I saw your post over on Pro. 31 this morning so I thought I'd pop over. I wrote the prayer down you gave us in my journal, I loved it so much :) Thanks for the great tips on how to stop worrying!!

Kelly said...

I like everything that has to do with being organized. You'd think organization would help with being overwhelmed. And it does. I just overlook some of those simple things I know when I'm the one involved. I'm a list maker and thank you for bringing this to mind for making hard look simple when overwhelmed. This is only my 2nd time to read your blog and I love it.. Bless You.

Anonymous said...

Loved this post and love how God has been showing me the way this past year and the upcoming one. Satan can be a discourager but when you continue on until you physically can't, you find that there are fewer "needs to be done" things and the rest can wait until you are strengthened and refreshed by His Spirit. I am looking forward to a year of being organized and like an earlier post, I, too, have a new life with no young children or dependents. I am excited to see what is next when He really directs my path! Sara S. sara@southernsafety.com

Grace said...

Glynnis,
Thank you so much for your words of encouragemnt in both the devotion and on your blog.It helped me to focus on the Lord.
My overwhelming circumstance is my daughters funding for college.She has a part-time job but struggles with working and going to school. This also is her first time away from home. Her name is Sarah. Please pray that she will understand what the Lord's will is for this situation.
Thank you for your prayers.
Grace

Sheryl S said...

From God's heart to yours! You have no idea how timely your post was for me. You have provided me a tool to help my daughter. She is 22disabled, and now a single-mother. She chose life for her unborn child. And she is beautiful, as all loving new Grandmas would say. To the point....she was informed this morning that she would not be receiving any extra money for her new baby. Money she was told by others she would get and was depending on for diapers and such. She was barely making it on her monthly amount. Now she is overwhelmed with financial and emotional hardship. But thanks to your post today I can provide her with direction. Both passive and acitve. An opportunity to strengthen her reliance upon the Father. I too organize & arrange my daily life around lists. She has since adopted this process for herself. For years I have prayed for maturity; she's always been about 3 yrs behind her age. But God in His infinite wisdom has accomplished much in the past 6 months during her pregnancy, not only in maturity but more importantly she has renewed her relationship with Jesus Christ. Praise Him! Thank you for your inspiration! God Bless you.

Sheryl S said...

From God's heart to yours! You have no idea how timely your post was for me. You have provided me a tool to help my daughter. She is 22disabled, and now a single-mother. She chose life for her unborn child. And she is beautiful, as all loving new Grandmas would say. To the point....she was informed this morning that she would not be receiving any extra money for her new baby. Money she was told by others she would get and was depending on for diapers and such. She was barely making it on her monthly amount. Now she is overwhelmed with financial and emotional hardship. But thanks to your post today I can provide her with direction. Both passive and acitve. An opportunity to strengthen her reliance upon the Father. I too organize & arrange my daily life around lists. She has since adopted this process for herself. For years I have prayed for maturity; she's always been about 3 yrs behind her age. But God in His infinite wisdom has accomplished much in the past 6 months during her pregnancy, not only in maturity but more importantly she has renewed her relationship with Jesus Christ. Praise Him! Thank you for your inspiration! God Bless you.

Anonymous said...

I am always overwhelmed with many thoughts & I seem 2 never finish all of them. I will take heed 2 ur ideas because I need order in my life DAILY.

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is Jan and I have been taking the last 2 weeks to regroup. It has been great! One thing in my life is I am so overwelmed and todays devotion was a blessing to me. I realise I have been focussing on what I cannot do. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I am new with Proverbs 31 and am loving it.

milissaaustinjenkins said...

Thanks for sharing, for many years I worried and made most decisions based on fear! I have Crohn's disease and being ill and married life overwelmed my entire life. My email is Mdriverswife@aol.com

Milissa Jenkins

Michelle said...

Wow. I think this post was meant just for me. The only thing I do in your five tips is preparing a menu for the week. My husband and I, while doing the grocery list, will decide meals for the next week. However, we don't have certain days we eat those meals. So we run into the evening still not knowing what to eat and it can still be chaotic. I think I am going to incorporate your tips into my life so my life won't be overwhelming.

To me, my life has been overwhelming since I had my second daughter almost three months ago. At the time, after having a job with barely 10 hours a week, my husband found a job with 40 hours but a paycut. The week before Christmas, my husband worked 8 days straight. And this week, he is working 5 days straight. I seem to be putting everything into my days to get things complete so my husband doesn't have to deal with anything. Thus I am getting overwhelmed. It's something hard to get out of.

joannalogan1@juno.com said...

When overwhelming circumstances, responsibilities, and/or emotions begin to take hold, I have learned that the only productive thing I can do is "nothing." Just to sit quietly, clear my mind and my schedule, and listen for the calming,guiding voice of my Father makes a tremendous difference in my responses. When my spirit is calm, I can then effectively plan a strategy to get back on top side!

Andrea said...

Really good word of encouragement today, Glynnis! Thank you!

I really need to focus on doing what I can do, rather than allowing myself to be overwhelmed with the (very real) things I can't do or control. I'm working on try to let my mind be still and hear the leading/Voice of the Lord in circumstances.

Andrea

ahenry048@aol.com

Shelia B. said...

oh i am such a list maker as well. It does help me to write down my 'to dos' and then feel accomplishment when i can mark off items from the list. It can be very stressful at times to know there is so much that needs to be done at home but not being able to do anything about it while I'm at work. My goal the past couple of months has been to write out my chore list so that i won't forget once i get home of things to be done. And i've recently begun the menu planning and it has worked great. one less worry each day.

Yvette said...

Wow...this the second time I've heard about the five
loaves and two fish. Thank you for sharing that on prov
31 site. I think I struggle the most with #5
when I have become overwhelmed!!

Anonymous said...

My husband has been at home with a disability for 10 months, and it is overwhelming for me and our 3 children (13, 11, and 6 years) Thanks you so much for sharing your ideas. I will definitely make some changes using your experience.

Mary K marykrol4@yahoo.com

Janice Duncan-Brown said...

Thank you so much for your practical tips as well as your spiritual thoughts. Life is often overwhelming here in Taiwan and just doing the most important sometimes is the best way to move forward. God bless you this week. Janice DB (Hsinchu, Taiwan)

Jess said...

A timely list for my husband and I as we begin to search for a job, waiting on GOD's direction.
Thank you for your uplifting posts!
A Blessed New Year to you and yours~

Renee Swope said...

Oh friend, you are definitely speaking my language!! I love the way you described the steps to take when we're overwhelmed. These exact things help me but I've never listed them out. And I need an escape plan from the trap of "too much" since my brain tends to shut down and not process logically when I'm on overload. Thank you for your wisdom!!!

Hugs,
Renee

MdmDragonfly said...

Thanks for an awesome devotional and blog post. It's my first time here and I will be subscribing to your blog.
God Bless!
Carrie
mdmdragonfly@gmail.com

MdmDragonfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Such a pretty blog. This is my first time to visit your blog. I put off my quiet time waiting for that perfectly organized moment when nothing will be calling me to come do something. I don't want to be interupted during quiet time so I wait until I won't be. That means quiet time gets missed. Sounds like a good idea but doesn't work. Organization steals my time with the Lord if I stick to that plan

Anonymous said...

Such a pretty blog. This is my first time to visit. I try to wait for that perfectly organized day that allows me to have a quiet time uninterrupted. Noble idea maybe but it just ends up being the thing that keeps me from having quiet times. Organization has its place but it escapes me.
payne36@bellsouth.net

Laurie said...

After an accident that has left me with brain injury, uncontrollable pain. I have lost my job and my ability to do most the normal things in life. It has affected my thinking, my ability to see, read,sing, drive, do crafts and my memory. I am unable to work and have filed for disability but that takes time to go through the process. I am overwhelmed with my limits and missing the ability to do almost every thing. It is hard to focus on the things I can do. Please pray for healing. Thanks laurie.mcnully@gmail.com

Joyful said...

I was too overwhelmed to read this post yesterday when it arrived in my Inbox, so just getting to it now.

I appreciate all your suggestions. I feel right now that there is so much I want to accomplish in the next two days before the year ends...you know, start fresh in 2011...but because of some circumstances, health concerns, worries that are holding me hostage, I have lost the motivation. Needing an injection of energy to attack the things that need to be done. Maybe some "leaded" coffee will work today...I'm ususally a decaf girl.

Thanks for this encouragement.
Blessings and Happy New Year,
Joy

Anonymous said...

When I wander aimlessly about, feeling overwhelmed, I can spiral down a negative path very quickly--exactly what satan would want. I don't want him to have the victory. I want to accomplish all that God would have for my days. I am a list maker. I work best that way, even though I can get overwhelmed at my list! (However, a list organizes me more than several pieces of paper with several things to do, oh my! Can we say a recovering obsessive compulsive personality, praise the Lord for that!!).

Love the ideas for better organizing our minds and life.

Sweet Blessings,
Donna

lilmama said...

I felt like giving up the other day and I went and took a timeout at the gym. Made a whole world of difference in me. My problems were still there but at I was ready to deal with them.