Let me start this post by saying I have so much to be thankful for. As I’m sitting here at my dining room table, laptop in front of me, a cup of hot tea next to me, and I look at this table and cringe with all that’s on top of it. What a way to end the day, huh? I surrender!!
I woke up this morning feeling almost panicked as I thought about all that is on my plate and all that I am responsible for in the next week. Here’s my list…
- Working full time outside our home and pouring love and hope into others’ lives
- Running an at home business
- Staying on top of our family’s schedules
- Keeping a clean and orderly home
- Making sure laundry is caught up and that Zach has his soccer clothes clean
- Making healthy and balanced meals for my family
- Planning and organizing Senior night for soccer next week
- Organizing Day of Caring at the Mission next week
- Making sure schedules are covered
- Returning phone calls and emails
- Volunteering with Bible Study Fellowship
- Focusing on exercising every day and eating healthy
- Speaking at a women’s luncheon next weekend
- Making time to spend with God each morning in His Word
- Feeling constant pain in my shoulder and making time for a doctor appointment
And as I wrote this list, I almost wanted to cry.
Sometimes life get’s overwhelming, doesn’t it?
When I focus on that long list above, I begin to panic. As one who chases after God, I’ve learned that God is not a God of chaos, panic or disorder. He’s a God who’s orderly and in control. Panicked feelings don’t originate from Him. When I place my focus on God, I don’t get overwhelmed. I usually give Him all my cares, and I trust Him to handle them. But I didn’t really do that this morning. I began my day with trying to figure it out on my own. Not good.
My morning routine was mixed up today, so I didn’t get my normal prayer time and my normal time of reading God’s Word. I prayed on my way to work, and that was about it. No wonder I felt overwhelmed, empty and hopeless most of the morning. I took a few moments this afternoon and read today’s devotional, and the first sentence captured my attention, “Living in dependence on Me is the way to enjoy abundant life.” Amen. I wish I would have read that this morning!
God doesn’t want us to do everything.
My post Saturday night was filled with such hope and joy and I really felt God encouraged me to continue making the most of this life that He’s given me. But the thing I need to be reminded of (again) is that making the most of this life doesn’t mean that I have to do everything and be involved in everything. I realized today that again, I’m doing too much. I’m stretching myself too thin. And as Mom used to tell me, “You’re burning the candle at both ends.” Yes, Mom. I was back then, and I still am today. And my body is telling me that too.
I made a visit to my doctor today. (My ribs are completely healed, by the way. I have no pain. Praise God for that!) But as I mentioned in my list above, my shoulder is now painful every time I move it and has been for about three weeks. My doctor determined I have tendonitis in my rotator cuff. Great. I’m so thankful it’s nothing more serious. I’m not to use it for two weeks. What? How can I not use my shoulder muscles–except for the minor exercises she gave me–for two weeks? I’m going to give it a try. Everything I do will be affected. But I want this to get better, and quickly.
Maybe it’s time to surrender.
I felt like waving a white flag this afternoon, and screaming at the top of my lungs, “I SURRENDER!” And I did (without the screaming)… I chose to surrender everything. Surrender my calendar, surrender my finances, surrender my thoughts. You name it. I surrendered it. I’ve done this so many times before, yet it seems I eventually take back what I’ve surrendered! Hello?? I don’t intentionally take things back, but I end up in this same place emotionally, time and time again. God can handle everything better than I can. Why do I think I need to be in control when He’s already in perfect control?
After work today I put everything aside. I met Alissa and we pampered ourselves with pedicures. Oh, how I needed that. I needed time with her. I needed time for me.
And so now, saying all that, I still am thankful. I am well aware that I have friends who are very dear to me who are experiencing more traumatic things than my pathetic list. The things on my overwhelming list aren’t a matter of life or death. It’s time to put things back into perspective.
This space of surrender is the best place to be. No matter what we may be going through. I believe God does His finest work through hearts that are surrendered to Him. I’m waiting in anticipation to see what He’s going to do through mine.
I pray this might encourage you too, in some small way. Thank you once again for allowing me to be real with you, friends! Thanks for journeying with me through life!