5 Ways to Move from Overwhelmed to Overjoyed

overwhelmed to overjoyed

Today’s woman wears many hats; we experience this on a daily basis. Whether chauffeuring children to their next activity, bandaging a skinned knee, or washing the last dinner spoon, the responsibilities of wife and mother reflect many shapes.

Maybe you work a job for income, either inside or outside the home. While the work brings additional fulfillment and privileges to your life, it also brings stress.

Perhaps you volunteer in the community, at your church, or for your child’s school. While this is a blessing, it also uses time.

As a woman who, like you, wears many hats, I don’t want to feel overwhelmed. Because when I feel overwhelmed, I act overwhelmed; and honestly, this is not a good thing. (I was hoping you might understand?)

On a daily basis, then, how can we really move from overwhelmed to overjoyed? What decisions can we make that will bring feelings of joy and not feelings of alarm?

Today I wanted to share with you a few ideas I’m using to best focus my emotions. Maybe one of these ideas will stick with you and bridge the gap between feeling bewildered and feeling blessed.

1. Think about the daily schedule in small chunks of time, rather than a whole day’s worth of events.

On particularly busy days in our home, I only look at the schedule for the entire day one time in the morning. For the remainder of the day, I focus on a couple hours, or even an hour, at a time.

2. Dwell on Scripture frequently throughout the day.

Keeping God’s Word on display is so important to me. It’s my reminder to remember the promises of God’s provisions and reflect on His grace, mercy, and love. Continually acknowledging that HE is my strength prevents those threatening feelings of being overwhelmed.

3. Acknowledge the blessings in the midst of burdens.

Everyone has their burdens; but the richer woman is the one who multiplies her thoughts on her blessings. Sometimes I personally feel overwhelmed by my daughter’s special needs. Perhaps someone who is scheduled to help care for her doesn’t show up and this causes a ripple effect on my availability to care for my other children. Or if I begin to think about all the things she is no longer able to do, then fear of the future begins to wreak havoc on my spirit. Instead, I focus on the things she can do and thank the Lord for those abilities.

4. Recognize and enjoy moments of joy and fun.

When a moment of joy arrives, whether it’s a text message from my husband, a card in the mail, or a kiss from my baby girl, recognizing its value can mold my outlook for the next hour.  Savoring the simple things in life certainly brings joy.

5. Pray for a change of spirit when the feelings of being overwhelmed begin to peak.

When my head starts to spin a little and things are moving faster than I can keep up with, then asking the Lord to give me direction makes all the difference.

What have you found to prevent those feelings of being overwhelmed? We’d love to hear from you today!

Rachel at RachelWojo.com

3 Tips For a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

ManagingYourBlessings.com

Many students are returning (or already have returned) to school this month and sometimes in the transition things can become chaotic. I cannot count the times that summer seems to vanish without warning and the next thing I know, it’s time for school again. I know I certainly do not enjoy being stressed out when I can prevent it. In my experience there are three things that help make this back-to-school transition for our family run smoothly year after year.

3 Tips For a Smooth Back-to-School Transition

  1. Lay out clear goals with deadlines throughout the summer. I have found that getting things done a little at a time gives me the freedom to stress less and enjoy summer more. If you are able to get your child’s supply list at the end of the year, then do so. If you are able to schedule doctor and dentist appointments staggered throughout the summer, then do it. When I map out my goals – writing them down – it helps give me a tangible way to see them coming to pass. And this, my friends, gives me great peace.
  2. Make the time to pray over your back-to-school goals. This is an important step. All too often we can find ourselves caught in the “busy” of life managing to get to our appointments and cross off things on our to-do list leaving God out of the equation. I know I’ve been guilty of this very thing. I also know that when I do things in my own strength, I have no peace and tend to be grumpy to those I love the most. Praying over my goals has allowed me to hand over all the stress of day-to-day life back into God’s hands giving me the peace and strength to move on and show my family more grace. It’s a win-win for everyone.
  3. Talk to your children about your expectations for them in making the transition. This always helps our children when they understand what is expected of them. It gives them the opportunity to work through things in their heart and minds giving them time to formulate questions or concerns. Because our family is military, we move often and this can cause a different type of anxiety in each child. We have discovered that when our family is able to communicate both our excitement and concerns for the upcoming school year that we thrive during the transition. This makes for a fun back-to-school season!

When we set clear-cut expectations and transitional goals for our family, praying over them, we find that we have less stress and more fun every summer. It’s important to recognize that our children find comfort in this process as we settle into a new routine every fall. I am thankful for a loving and merciful God that guides us through life giving us the wisdom we need to life a peaceful, Christ-filled life.

Does your family have any routines to cut out the chaos and replace it with God’s peace? If so, I’d love to hear about it!

Carlie @ Managing Your Blessings

3 Reasons You Might Be Too Busy

I hear it over and over and over. I even say it myself:  “We’re just soooo busy!”
I see our busy-ness addressed at church and in books, on blogs and Christian magazines.
I even see it addressed in non-Christian media.

why-so-busy

In fact, I see the problem stated so very often that I forget to think about the cause.

It seems like many times, teachers and pastors are showing us how to treat the symptoms while ignoring the problem

Why is everyone so busy?

Here are a few reasons to think about.

1. Everyone else is busy

We’re keeping up with the Jones’s.  We might purpose to slow down when school starts, but then we talk to our friends and their kids will be in karate, on swim team, taking piano and playing in the band.  Plus they’ll be participating in such-and-such ministry as a family and each spouse will be in the church choir…all of a sudden we wonder what we’ll be doing in those boring afternoons when the kids finish their homework.

2. The culture around us.

We live in a culture of speed.

We don’t want to wait for things.  We’re always moving.  I do work on my laptop while waiting for Facebook to load on my phone.  We want lightening fast internet and answers to text messages within 20 minutes.  If an email isn’t responded to by day’s end we wonder if we’ve done something to offend the other party.

3. We’re running.

Sometimes busy-ness can be an indication that things aren’t right.

  • Are you hurting?  Are there issues under the surface that you just don’t want to think about?
  • In the quiet hours, does your heart ache? Do you feel anger, sadness, or hopeless?
  • Do you avoid thinking about finances, your marriage, or your interactions with one of your children?

We can “try” new things all day long.  We can cut down on the kid’s activities and loosen up our schedule.  We can learn to say “no” to choices we’ve determined aren’t beneficial to our family, and we can even move to the country and start homesteading.

All , or even one, of these decisions could be the right ones to help you and your family slow down, unless the reason for your busy-ness is number three.

Friend, if you are filling your schedule with good things because it’s too hard to look at the painful things, please rethink your decision.

It’s in the quiet moments that God begins healing.

In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength. Isaiah 30:15

Find rest, O my soul, in God alone. Psalm 62:5

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35

This fall as the school year begins for so many and activities pick back up, instead of focusing so much on how busy I am, I will be thinking on why I’m busy.

I’ll be focusing on finding time with God.  I’ll try to carve time in my schedule purposefully – so I can fill it with healing and seeking His voice.  Join me?

There can be so many reasons for our busy-ness.  Can you share any others I didn’t list?

How My Family Discovered Our Core Values

I’m a big believer in living simply. It’s become my life’s work, in fact, encouraging other people to simplify their lives so that they can freely live according to their unique passions and values.

But there’s one problem with living simply: it’s not easy.

See, “simple living” isn’t just a checklist of things to do or not do: drive only one car, live off the grid, grow your own food, toss the TV. Those might be some things you do because of a simpler life, but they don’t define it. No, in my experience, the definition of simple living is, quite simply, this: “Living holistically with your life’s purpose.” That’s it. It’s a simple manifesto that believes that living simply happens when all the parts of your life—your work, where you live, how you spend your free time, how you educate your kids, how you spend your money, what books you read, who you spend time with—are all pointed in the same direction. And that direction is towards your life’s purpose.

So when people ask me where they should start with that behemoth of a goal called “simplifying,” I always, always tell them to start by first finding your family’s life purpose. Once that happens, it’s a million times easier to make those little daily decisions that make up the sum of our life—those things that make up our family’s core values.

The next logical question, then, is, “How do we discover our purpose in life?” That’s quite the question, really. I mean—that is THE question, right?

Since I’m a follower of Christ, I believe the reason I’m here on Earth is to know God and enjoy Him forever, much like the time-tested Westminster Catechism’s classic statement. But what does that look like? There’s not a formula for discovering our purpose—it simply involves prayer, reflection, wisdom, and tapping in to that still, small voice from the Holy Spirit.

A few years ago, I spent a few weeks in serious prayer and exploration, asking God questions and journaling my thoughts. I asked questions like this:

What makes our family unique?
What gets us excited?
What bothers us?
How do we relax and enjoy each other’s company?
What would make us proudest about our legacy to future generations?

And after days upon days in quiet introspection, I scribbled out this purpose statement, showed it to my husband, and we agreed collectively that this was our family’s unique purpose:

As a family, we will…
• Put each other first
• Cultivate deep relationships with one another
• Extend love to those around us
• Live simply
• Be true to who God made us
• Take care of our health
• Be good stewards of creation
• Be lifelong learners

We eventually had this purpose statement printed on canvas, and it has hung in our living room over the years in our many homes—having it front and center helps us remember what we’re about when we’re faced with a decision. Now, we don’t literally refer to our purpose statement every single time we need to make a decision (“What toppings on the pizza tonight, dear?” “I don’t know—let me check our purpose statement”), but it totally helps when we’re torn between something that’s good versus something that’s best.

For example, if we’ve been spending too much time outside the house apart from each other, we might say no to another outing with other people—we need to put each other first and cultivate deep relationships with one another. When we’re tempted to buy something we don’t need only because it’s on sale, we’ll remember that our family is called to live simply. We can live out our daily decisions in peace, because we know they align with our purpose.

These are the things that make up our core values. And our values are the stuff of our daily life, our liturgy.

Creating a purpose statement isn’t a formula, but it’s certainly helpful. It’s helped us narrow down what makes us, us—and it’s helped us live simpler because our daily decisions reflect our core values, our purpose. We sense a deeper tapping in to our Creator and His unique ways for our clan.

Living simpler has become—well, simpler. I’m grateful.

Blessings,

Tsh Oxendreider

Tsh OxenreiderTsh Oxenreider is the founder of TheArtofSimple.net (previously Simple Mom), a popular community blog dedicated to the art and science of simple living. She’s the author of Organized Simplicity and One Bite at a Time, a regular contributor to (in)courage.me, an advocate for Compassion International, and a top-ranked podcaster. A graduate of University of Texas, Tsh currently lives in Bend, Oregon with her family.

For more information visitwww.NotesfromaBlueBike.com.

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