My heart is quaking within me. I have no idea what to write. Overwhelmed and with too few days to accomplish all that is necessary I am merely going task to task, email to email, blog to blog, daily thought to daily thought, meeting to meeting, prayer to prayer…
Now I have all of you overwhelmed as well
What do we do in the face of overwhelm?
Heading off on a plane for Uganda in just over a week, with a myriad of details to take care of, I’ve been implementing three strategies in my own life to deal with overwhelm.
the FIRST is: PRAYER
Taking time each day and throughout the parts of my day, to settle myself in inner quiet before God. To feel the burdens on my heart and mind shift into the Lord’s most capable care, frees me from the inside out.
I begin each day by simply inviting God into my day: “I invite you into my day God” does a world of good. For every day is different kind of day when God is in the mix.
In addition to my own private prayers, I meet with others to pray and I regularly ask for others to pray for me and the things I am about.
For you see I have found, that when I am transparent with what I need prayer for and when I take the risk to put it out there before any number of individuals, things happen. Life begins to shift immediately and often radically.
My need and the spoken expression of such, mixed before community and with the mighty hand of God results in miracles of heart and mind and life every single day.
I guarantee it!
the SECOND thing I practice: GRATITUDE
Not the ‘thank-you God that you give me life, thank-you for my family, thank-you for the food in my fridge…’ kinds of gratitude. Sorry, but these kinds of gratitude, while important, do not ground me into any moment in time.
When I am overwhelmed by days full and gone stretching forward past my line of vision, I need heavy duty gratitude that powerfully brings me right back to this very moment.
“My tea sure tastes good in this New York Starbucks cup that my friend Carol bought for me, and it is such a treat to do some of my work in my housecoat on my couch. Wow, thanks Lord. My kids are still sleeping, the dogs too; I love early mornings. The pillows at my back and the brocade fabric under my feet all give a texture and a massage of sorts to my senses, and I welcome this comfort.”
Bringing myself out of tomorrow and out of next week and out of next month, and even out of the rest of today requires pausing, noticing and remarking, which naturally gives way to thankfulness and gratitude.
Powerful yet simple gratitude is one perfect battalion against overwhelm.
Give it a try for yourself
the THIRD: ACTION
We’ve just got to start doing things. Putting one step in front of another is most difficult when we know that there are five-hundred steps that must happen. But step we must. One step at a time will get us those five-hundred steps down the road.
No steps, no movement, equals more overwhelm.
The thing is, in the midst of Prayer and Gratitude simple promises will seep into our consciousness; perhaps quotes or Bible verses or the encouragements of a friend, the vision of an elder over our life, the affirmations of peers.
We will remember:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
“May your year exceed all others in an ability to recognize God’s presence and love for you and will the ‘spill-over’ heal the nations.” A Friend
Whatever it is that comes to mind, whatever our hearts recall, it is all simply a call for ACTION.
We ask ourselves,
- ‘If this is true then what might the next step be?’
- ‘How might I enter into this promise?’
- ‘In what way might cooperation with these visions come to be?’
And we start putting action to our convictions.
If I know ‘A’, then ‘B’ is my response. If I know ‘B’ then ‘C’ is my response.
Words are powerful.
Action combined with words, unstoppable.
Overwhelm need not have the last say. It is not a player at the table unless we allow it to be there. We have the say, and we say ‘No’ to overwhelm’s voice.
Now certainly, we will feel overwhelmed, don’t get me wrong. I am often overwhelmed every single day and even more so lately!
MAKE NOTE: We simply don’t make decisions or choose our course of action based on overwhelm.
I’m not interested in that kind of life, and I am pretty sure you aren’t either.
Instead of overwhelm we choose Prayer, Gratitude and Action
A powerful mix for powerful living