for everyone feeling a little too overwhelmed by their schedules

April 6, 2016

One friend right after the other shared their scheduling woes. Ballgames. Practices. Homework. Projects. Field Trips. And, more. Between all of us, our week looked like something you might see in a war zone planning meeting. Trying to map out a strategy of defense seemed next to impossible. Of course, they were sharing them with me at the ballpark. And, of course it was late and Monday.

Please know this. I am not good at looking at the entire week anymore. It overwhelms me.

My motto has slowly become ‘one day at a time.’

I think it might be better if we spent more time planning how we will react to crazy weeks instead of planning our schedules. Maybe, if we spent a little more time focusing on our attitudes and our hearts, we might be better equipped to handle the chaos of the week.

And, again, using the word chaos, I am reminded that when I feel like things are out of control or confusing, that is not from God. All of those feelings come from my decisions to try and do too much AND from the enemy. He is the author of confusion.

So, as we look towards the end of what seems to be a long week, how can we put things in perspective? How can we slowly turn those overwhelming feelings into feelings of peace in a season of busyness? How can we focus our attitudes and time on those things that really need to matter – regardless of our schedules?

Normally, I jump head first and end up frustrating everyone in my family with my ‘mom’s losing it antics’.  I hope by thinking this through and sharing it here I will be able to learn to handle my schedule with more grace and patience.

So here it goes.

Just a few ideas that might just help us all push through those overwhelming weeks.

Take time (I know, in a busy week, how do you find that?) to focus on what really matters.

Maybe we could make a quick list of what is most important to us and put it somewhere so we can easily see it? Our bathroom mirror. The dash of our car (yes, most of us spend lots of time here!). Our desk. Anywhere we can refer to it over and over again. Now, make sure the list includes ONLY those things that are of the utmost importance to you. Not things that will change from week to week with your schedule, but rather those things that are important to your heart and remain the same no matter how crazy life can get. Some I thought of were: Spending time with family, listening more to the ones I love, eating dinner together “X” number of nights a week, reading God’s word together as a family, serving someone else, sharing Jesus with someone, etc. You get the idea…those kinds of things.

Spend time praying about accomplishing the list in spite of the demands of the week.

Ask God to join your journey for the week. To invite Him to be part of each decision and plan. Without doing so, I can see how hard it would be to stay focused on the things that really matter. Unfortunately, flying by the seat of our pants all the time and rolling with the punches each week tends to cause us to lose sight of the most important things. All too often, my plans are dictated by my children and by others. Not because I am intently trying to keep my family focused, but rather, because I am just trying to keep up and be like everyone else. Prayer can definitely help align my actions with my heart’s desires. God has a beautiful way of directing our steps and making a way where there doesn’t seem to be one.

Ask for and focus on peace.

A sweet friend reminded me one summer that she had been praying for peace in her home and mine. Never had I really stopped to pray for God to bring peace to my home. I think the same would apply for our schedules. We can ask for God’s peace to fill our days and for Him to point us to His truths on peace. Sometimes I will just look in the back of my Bible and find verse after verse on peace. Just to read them. And, meditate on them. Over and over again. Peace is only found in God and only can we really find Him when we make time for Him. {Romans 8:5,6, John 14:27}

Say ‘no’ more often and don’t feel guilty about it.

Yes, this one. It can be hard, but I do know that it is a must. Through different times and different seasons of life, we need to know it is OK to say no. And, really, if we always say yes to every thing and every one, are we really honoring God? Don’t we need to say no to the things in the world in order to be able to say yes to Him? Unfortunately our society traps us all too often into believing that everyone else can do all this. That everyone else is successfully juggling every single thing and still able to be all they need to be for everyone in their life. That is just not true. Most of us often feel like somewhere we have dropped the ball. We are not successfully doing anything because we are unsuccessfully trying to do everything. Let’s stop comparing and competing and judging. Instead, could we encourage each other to do what is best in God’s eyes first? Not compared to the masses, but instead compared to the only perfect one to walk this earth. Jesus. He should be our source when it comes time to compare.

So schedules, you can take a long walk off a short pier as far as we are all concerned. Yes, we know there is a time and a place for you, but we plan to keep you in perspective. We plan to review you and prepare for you, but we will not succumb to all the pressure and discontent you can bring into our lives.

The enemy wants us to be so over-booked, over-worked, over-tired and overwhelmed to the point that we have no opportunity to be like Jesus. So, yes, we renounce any plans he has for us. We claim only the plans of Jesus.

We plan to keep our eyes on the Master and Creator of all order and being. The very One who knows exactly what we need and when we need it. We will not take a backseat to purpose, planning and peace in order to fulfill your demands. We will prayerfully consider all the activities and dates you contain in hopes that our hearts and minds will be full of wisdom as we order our days based on God’s great plans. The only plans that are eternal.

So, yes, Lord. All God’s overwhelmed families are shifting our time and our energy to You! The Giver of all time and order and joy in our lives.

We know apart from you we can do nothing, but with you all things are possible. {John 15:5, Matthew 19:26}

And, yes, all God’s tired, over-scheduled people said, “Amen!

 

 

 

 

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