When You Are Just Overwhelmed By Life

I know we’ve all been there at one time or another. And the last thing I want right now is for this to be another cliche’ piece on just stepping back and taking a breath. Or remembering “God’s got this”. 

How do you cope when it feels like everything is caving in on you? When You Are Just Overwhelmed By Life.png

I know this. You know this. So what is there beyond that? Does ignoring the overwhelm make it go away? What is there when life moves at the speed of light and there is no slowing down? What if things are painful inside your family life because there are hurting, broken people involved? People who have carried brokenness with them their entire lives because they didn’t know what to do with it other than stuff it? And then your dog dies. 

This is my reality right now. Maybe you've been there?

How do you cope when it feels like everything is caving in on you? Here are some things I learned over the last few months.

Here are 3 things you should do:

Talk to a Trusted Friend

I can’t stress enough just how helpful and necessary this is. We were made for community. God created us for fellowship and to carry one another's burdens and sometimes that can be as simple as talking those burdens through with a friend. Maybe they can't solve your problems for you, but they can listen and point you in the right direction. They can offer you encouragement and hope for your situation.

I'll be the first to admit, I struggled talking to people about my problems. I didn't want to be a burden on people with my own burdens. But you know what I found? Those closest to me were happy to listen and eager to help. There was not even a hint that I was a burden--but I had to step out and take that risk before I would know.

Talk to God

Don't underestimate the power of spilling your heart to God. It's in these moments when He offers us peace and clarity when all we feel is muddled and lost. I've found the best way for me to get my thoughts out is to journal. There is no right or wrong way to journal. You just need to be able to release to God whatever it is that is weighing you down. If you're not great with physically writing, open up a document on your computer and type it up. 

Write down everything you're feeling with no reservations. No one will see this except you and God (and if you want to delete it or shred it when you're done, that's fine, too!) 

Speak Truth Into Your Situation

Sometimes our circumstances can really feel bleak and leave us deflated. Sometimes we hate ourselves for getting into the mess in the first place or believe that everything that lead us to where we are is completely our fault. Chances are that's not entirely true. 

While we certainly are responsible for our own actions, there are some situations that can just knock us down and it takes us a while to get back on our feet. That doesn't make us failures or losers or less than. 

He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.
— Matthew 5:45

God is not punishing you. God is not angry with you. God does not have it out for you. 

When we find ourselves at the bottom, we can choose to sit there and pout or we can allow God, our trusted friends, and the Truth God speaks to us to help pull us out. We never have to walk these valleys alone. Stay in the Word and learn what He says and believe that over what you tell yourself.

 

Here are 3 things you shouldn't do:

Wallow in Self-Pity

It's not hard to feel sorry for ourselves or our situations...especially when we have a hard time rising above them. Seems any time we make any headway, something else knocks us to the ground. It can get discouraging after a while! It can seem like we are just not meant to get up so we can catch up, let alone get ahead. 

It's so important we distinguish between what the world says about us (based on success, reputation, appearance, etc) and what God says about us. We tend to lean more toward who the world says we are rather than our very Creator. God values us above the world. Who He says we are is all that matters!

Wallowing in self-pity will only add further destruction to your situation. It will only cause you to sink lower and lower into your self and all you think you've failed to accomplish or protect yourself from. There is a danger here of seeing yourself as a victim of your own circumstances...and while that may be true, it's not a place you want to linger for long. 

Solutions cannot be found in this place. 

Blame others

Sometimes it's difficult to take responsibility for our own lives, especially when we've been wronged, hurt, or were dealt "a bad hand" in life. Some circumstances really are out of our control. But we can control how we move forward from there (or whether we do). We cannot blame others for not rising above our circumstances because we all have the opportunity to be more than we are. 

Stay Where You Are

We are more than our circumstances but if we refuse to budge because we continue to drown in our own self-pity, we have no one to blame but ourselves. If you want to change your circumstances, you absolutely cannot stay where you are. If what you are doing isn't working, it's time to change things up and try something new.  But whatever you do, don't stay where you are. Don't remain in a "victim state". Don't complain and not act. Take responsibility for your life and fight for it. 

I know life can knock us down at times. The issues can be sudden and temporary or longstanding and constant. Don't let life control you... take control of your life when circumstances knock you down! Rise above it and come out stronger because of it!

For His Glory,

Christin

A Day in My Life as a Homeschool Mom

Here is just one day in my life as a homeschool mom. I share it not to complain -- but to offer a glimpse of some reality.

A Day in the Life of a Homeschool Mom

I moaned at my husband’s alarm clock going off at 7:30am. I just didn’t want to get up. I told my husband I may as well turn my 5:00am alarm off because I never get up to it anyways.

Oh but how I want to! I dream of waking up before the sun rises, sipping my coffee, reading my Bible, and being fully alert when my children begin to wake up for the day.

But that’s just not reality. Instead, my 18-month old Great Dane finishes the task of making sure I’m awake by making her way to my bedside and licking my face (yes, she’s that tall).

My 4-year old comes in asking me if I can cut his waffles. I smile at him and tell him I’ll be right there, but inside I’m groaning. My feet haven’t even hit the floor yet and the day’s demands have begun. I'm not a good morning person. It's not the kids, it's me. 

I don’t even make it out of my room before I hear crying. My seven year old, Jeremiah, ran his hand into the wall as he tripped going up the stairs. Poor guy! No doubt, he was probably running, as most my kids do when they need to get from point A to point B.

I check it out and make sure he’s OK. The three of us make it down the stairs and we all get through breakfast. Well, I don’t actually eat breakfast that early. I usually wait until 11am to cook up some eggs and toast for myself. But, I tend to play referee where needed and help small children pour juice.

I start the coffee pot and begin putting random items away as I come across them in my path. The routine in the morning is pretty much the same. The children have their morning chores and I continuously prompt them to get them done. I’ve made each child a schedule and put it on their very own clipboard, but still, the prompting is needed. 

I remind myself, this is their training ground. When they grow up and move out, they will learn they will need to be their own boss in order to keep their homes tidy. I also try to remember that I was a child once, too, who didn’t like to remember to do her chores.

So, we work through math, which, with 7 children, takes all morning. We didn’t even finish my eleven year old’s lesson because it was simply too long for one day. So, we will finish it up tomorrow.

So I make a quick lunch of eggs and toast and some of the children go downstairs to play. I start to think ahead to dinner with dread. I’ve never been good at menu making, despite all the wonderful tools available. Tonight two of my girls have dance class and it falls right at dinner time. It’s always difficult to juggle.

It’s not long before a fight breaks out downstairs and I hear yelling, screaming, and crying. I sigh deep. Why can’t my children see the value of their relationship over such trite issues? Oh, right. They’re just children. So, I send the offenders to their beds so they can both calm down and regroup.

For the next hour the children kind of scatter and tend to their own interests. One is drawing with chalk pastels, another writing a book about firefighters, a few playing dolls, one working on a Word Search. Then it’s time for quiet time. One hour for the children to read in their beds and for me to write.

Some days this hour goes smoothly and other days there is more correcting than time that is actually quiet. Today is a mix. This time allows everyone a little space to breathe again, including me.

After we conclude quiet time, everyone wants a snack and then a few children want to pull out the chalk pastels. For the older children, this activity is great! For my four year old, not so much. He makes quite a mess! But, I let him indulge anyways.

I still don’t know what we’re doing about dinner. While the children are engaged again, I sit down and do some VA (virtual assistant) work for a couple clients. Then we prepare to leave for dance. We have to leave by 5pm and won’t return until about 7pm.

As I’m driving home from dance, I’m still mulling over in my head what we’re going to do for dinner. We have some frozen chicken patties and tater tots I can put in the oven. Easy peasy and everyone’s full. Not my typical dinner menu, but it will have to do for tonight. 

The children do their evening chores and routine and are in bed by 8:30pm. Today is one of those rare days I feel like collapsing. Maybe it’s because the two weeks prior of sickness throughout the family finally caught up to me.

I put my husbands dinner in the oven and work on some more VA work. Then we turn on Netflix and complete our night vegging. We actually head to bed early this night; 10:30pm. I drift off wondering if this is the way I want to live the rest of my life. (Yes, I am a thinker).

Do I really want to go through each day with the tunnel vision of merely checking things off my list and schedule? Or having a negative attitude whenever the day gets rough?

How can I truly make the most of this life? How can I be more eternally minded? I admit, my time in the Word has been sorely lacking. Why is it so hard to open it again after it’s been some time? It feels like repelling magnetic fields; a tug between my flesh and my spirit.

...

No two days are exactly alike, but that's what this particular day looked like.