Overwhelmed?

You will only be overwhelmed if you allow yourself to be overwhelmed.
(major life crises excluded – you’re allowed to be overwhelmed then)

Unfortunately, I allow myself to be overwhelmed way too often.

In the past two months I’ve…

  • hosted and spoke at an FTGI major conference and hosted 2 luncheons
  • spoke at an outreach event
  • attended my husband’s 4 day business conference
  • hosted 2 major parties at my house of over 25 people at each of them
  • had 7 people ( including one very tiny soft, sweet baby girl) stay at my house spanning 30 days straight of in-house company
  • had the flu along with several members of the family
  • had to navigate a very bad reaction while trying to wean off medication
  • attended a baby baptism, a baby shower, a first birthday party and a work dinner with my husband
  • attended a plethora of meetings
  • had a daughter on Spring Break

And these are just the biggies, not to mention… cook, clean (which often are left undone) and maintain some of my work schedule.

Let me be clear, I am not complaining. Most of those things are things I really love to do and would do all over again. Some of them were unplanned or snuck up on me and threw me off my game.  But that is life, right?

I’m sure if you listed out everything you’ve done in the past two months your list would be just as long.

Here are some things I am reminding myself of in order to not allow myself to be overwhelmed.

1) Be sure to create margins in your schedule.

Things pop up that need your attention whether you want to give it or not.  Things pop up that you want to be able to jump in on and enjoy.  If your schedule is too packed ~ the unplanned things in life will send you into a tailspin. Creating what I call “white space” on my calendar also allows time to feed your soul – to do something you love like read a book, paint, write, play. When “white space” is missing from my schedule I get overwhelmed.

2) Realize that you are only one person with the same 24 hours as everyone else.

I wrote another piece about this because it is hard to strike a balance but really – You Can Only Do What You Can Do! Trying to do more than what reasonably fits into your life is going to lead to feeling overwhelmed.

3) Say NO to some really good things in pursuit of sanity. 

This month alone I had to opt out of 2 events I really wanted to go to, a radio interview and an offer to co-host a radio show. I have been known to say, “I want to have and do it all” in a passionate moment but in the real world I have to make some hard choices in order not to set myself up for chaos.

4) Commit my time to God 

He is so much better at knowing exactly where I need to spend my time. Sometimes I get caught up and forget to consult the One who has numbered my days about how I should spend them! I find that if I take just a little time each morning to ask where my focus should be and ask Him to guide my steps life gets a lot smoother. He has designed me to thrive on being busy but He hasn’t designed everyone that way and He doesn’t wanted me overwhelmed or unavailable for the unexpected blessings that come along.

This seems to be a theme for me this year.  I welcome your thoughts and suggestions!!

smile
A little levity! Just smile 😉

 

Ordinary Courage


courage is key

Yesterday in church my pastor read a verse that I’ve probably read a thousand times before. I have read it before without any particular revelation. But this time it really spoke to me.

Acts 4:13 ~ When they saw the COURAGE of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.

This is my year to BE BRAVE and to encourage other to BE BRAVE, so every time I hear the word courage I pay attention. But “courage” was not what jumped out at me the most.  What really captured my heart were the words “unschooled” and “ordinary.”

When I was melting down at the end of last year I spent some time journaling one morning trying to get to the bottom of all of the things that were bothering me. (There were quite a few!)

One of the things I was dealing with was a disconnection between my true authentic self and who I thought I needed to be in order to be worthy of my position as leader of FTGI.

So I made a list.  I listed all the things I thought a leader of a faith-based women’s organization should be and I rated myself.  I quickly realized that I didn’t measure up.

I won’t go into all of the items, but I listed that she (the leader) should have credentials. An education or some kind of schooling that qualified her to teach.  Or maybe a master’s degree in social work, psychology or counseling…something. I went to college for a year and a half and quit.

I listed that she should have unwavering faith. I question and I doubt and I have to pray that God will help me in my unbelief…a lot. More than I think a leader should.

The list went on and although I met some of my made-up requirements overall, I fell short.  As I stared at the list I heard God whisper to me that the list was mine not His.  In fact He doesn’t even have a list.

He called me and that is enough.

He called Peter and John…two ordinary, unschooled men.  He gave them COURAGE and that was enough to become history makers. It was enough for them to change the world and do things that astonished people!!

What has God called you to do that you feel under-qualified for?  Throw your list away, have COURAGE and go change your world!

Good ideas vs. God ideas

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

There have been several times in my life when I have pursued a “good thing” but for one reason or another the plan has fallen apart. This can be bitterly disappointing.

Here’s the thing:

Not every good idea is a God idea.

Oftentimes we are presented with a good thing and we pursue it because, well, it’s a good thing!! But it is important to make sure it is actually God’s plan for us.

As our team planned for this year’s FTGI Awaken conference we were presented with the opportunity to bring in a well-known Christian singer.  It sounded like a good idea.  Actually, is was a great idea.  When the contract fell through we started looking for big name speakers to fill the spot, because that sounded like a good idea. Eventually when all those avenues were cut off we realized that maybe, just maybe God didn’t want us to bring in anybody.

And as Marilyn Monroe once said, “Sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together.”  We didn’t have any big name speakers or well known singers but we had an intimate gathering of beautiful women and girls from across Tampa Bay and beyond, hungry for a touch from God and ready to be set free.

What happened in Clearwater this weekend was so beautiful. Friendships were forged, lives were touched and I was reminded once again that His ways are not our ways but they are always better in the end.

Do you need to let go of some “good thing” in your life.  Rest assured, if that is the case, something better is just around the corner.

Priceless!