By Christy of The Simple Homemaker
It’s fairly safe to assume that if you’re human, you’ve hit a wall at some point (or several points) in your life.
Perhaps you’ve just been handed the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back and can’t do one tiny thing more than you’re already doing. Maybe you’ve just experienced a life change that requires time for adjustment. Possibly, you’re simply tired.
I’ve hit that point a number of times. One of my children was born with a congenital birth defect requiring surgery during the same time period that we lost my father-in-law and a young friend.
After the birth of another child, I was plunged into paralyzing anxiety which still plagues me from time to time.
Most recently, my firstborn was hospitalized for a few weeks and diagnosed with a lifelong auto-immune disease shortly after we learned we were expecting baby number seven. We were sent home with a very ill child in a lot of pain, who had a long, uncertain road ahead of her.
It was, simply put, too much. I know you have your own stories as well.
It isn’t only negative situations that overwhelm.
Image by just4you
Perhaps you’re planning a vacation, preparing for a graduation, expecting a baby, moving, or realizing you have said “yes” a few too many times to a few too many people.
Maybe guests are coming, you have a houseful of little ones still needing mama’s constant help, or you’re struggling to learn a new job or homemaking skills.
I’m sure you’ve been there. Perhaps you’re there right now.
When a season in life is weighing heavy, I have a few thoughts to share which may help.
1. Let go of the unnecessary
If it isn’t crucial to the well-being of your family right now, release it. This might mean some hard choices, such as giving up projects you love (for me, that was sewing), sports, lessons, extra social activities, trips. If it gives you peace, you will be blessing your family. Before we began traveling for a living, we made a 4000-mile road trip every summer to visit family, most of whom can’t visit us. Twice it was more than we could handle on many levels. As difficult as it was to not see family those years, we had to let that go.
Are you too overwhelmed to keep up with cloth diapers? Go disposable for a time…or forever. Is making your own bread too much to handle right now? Find the best store-bought bread your budget can handle and eat that for a while. I build my own curriculum as a homeschooler, but one year life knocked me off my feet. I bought “school in a box” and took the year off. The following year I was back on my homeschooling feet and went my own way again feeling refreshed.
3. Say “no”
It is often difficult to say “no,” and even more difficult to say “no longer” when you are already involved in something. When I had four small children, I was leading a women’s Bible study, a Mom’s Club, and a children’s choir, all an hour from home. I stepped away from one activity at a time, until I was no longer involved in any of them. Did I miss them? Some, but my family loved having more of me, and I enjoyed having an empty calendar and being better able to focus on my family. In short, I was relieved, and my absence gave others the opportunity to step up and serve with their gifts.
4. Take a break
Sometimes you have to completely let go for a time. We travel the country for my husband’s full-time music mission. We recently had a five-day break at home between tours. Because we came home to several minor disasters, school was canceled for the week while we worked to get our circumstances back under control. Similarly, while our family was split between the Ronald McDonald Charity House and the hospital while my eldest was hospitalized last year, school was put on the back burner.
If you let things go for a time and replace the obligation with guilt, you are not improving your situation. Commend yourself for focusing on what is necessary, and forget about the rest.
6. Share the burden and blessing
If you are not training your children to work beside you, you are doing both yourself and them a disservice. So what if the towels aren’t folded the way you want, nothing above four feet is dusted, or the toilet paper roll is put on the wrong way—okay, maybe that last one can’t be overlooked. Learning to serve others and become adept at life skills is vital, and what better place for your children to learn that than at your side, sharing some of your load in the process.
Image from pixabay.com
7. Ask for help
It may just be that God has allowed your situation to give someone else an opportunity to step forward and serve you and Him in the process. Accept help when it is offered. Even better, ask for help. Call your church, call your mom, call your neighbors and say, “Help! Please!” Most people feel blessed to be able to help others.
8. Don’t be a control freak
Whenever I feel like my life is spiraling out of control, I remind myself that I was never in control to begin with. By truly leaning on God and trusting His sovereignty, I can release myself from the worry, anxiety, and guilt that often come with not being able to do it all.
Whether you are feeling overwhelmed by current circumstances that will pass in time, or you are adjusting to a new normal, take steps to lighten your load and find peace, both for your own well-being and for the sake of your family.
How do you deal with the overwhelming seasons in life?
Christy writes about simplifying life at The Simple Homemaker. Once weighed down by unrealistic expectations and life’s overwhelming demands, Christy has learned to throw off the complications of life and find joy in the little things. Christy and her contemporary Christian musician husband, Stephen Bautista, homeschool their 7 children, ages brand new to 15. The family tours the country for the music mission and works together on a home business.
Other posts from Christy: