Those are the words I told my dh the other day. He came home, I was sitting in a camp chair on our new patio (new to us, a part of our new home, that we can use now that winter has finally left us). It had been one HECK of a day. He asked how I was (I think he may have been slightly frightened of my answer). Yet I was calm, I told him I was fine, everything was fine - I quit.
He asked what I quit - I said it didn't matter. Either I quit cleaning the house, or doing yardwork, or mothering four small children, or being a pastor's wife, or the director of the children's choir. Yes, of course it was frustration talking. I was overwhelmed.
Yet my husband, what a wonderful man - he knows exactly how to "deal" with me. He calmly reminded me how we *knew* these two weeks were going to be extra hard. How we *knew* we were both overloaded and bound to get overwhelmed. He is right - we had talked about that.
Yet it still crept up on me. Before you knew it, I was overwhelmed. Before you knew it, everywhere I looked, something needed my attention. I was stressed and wasn't quite sure where to turn next.
I remember reading about how a mother would pray to ask God what to do next. That helps - it really does! At the very least, it gets me looking to God for answers. My husband also says to simply do the next thing. Whatever that may be. I'm one of those gals that could just spin my wheels in a cirlce, trying to figure out what to do next, plan how I am going to get it all done, etc. Yet if I just try to do the next thing, before you know it, I actually *have* accomplished something.
Ok, so no, this post holds no magic answers to being overwhelmed. I think I'm terrible at stress management - yet my dh says otherwise (love is blind, eh?). Yet I do believe I'm getting better at it. I do believe I turn to God more often, as well as sooner, than I used to. I also can see my children picking up stress-management (or lack thereof) from me. I can see my daughter Selah (5) getting easily stressed and lashing out. I can see my son Isaac over-reacting to situations - situations that I too might over-react to. *sigh* My wonderful children are such clear mirrors into my life, my strengths as well as my weaknesses.
So since I simply can NOT do it all, I will have to follow my dh's advice and prioritize. Reading my Bible comes first - I've been doing better at this recently. I honestly read the Bible plenty throughout the day - whenever I have to pee. I'm not getting a lot of indepth Bible STUDY done, but I am in the Word, reading, asking God to speak to me through whatever I *do* manage to get through that day.
I need to focus on my husband (I need to do better at trying to lighten *his* load, rather than constantly waiting and expecting him to help lighten mine), and my children. No matter what, they need love, training, education, exercise, and a momma who isn't always ready to fall apart and snap at them. The house will have to be in a state of semi-cleanliness - some days it's great, others it's lacking, so be it. The yard - ugh - the yard will have to wait until my children are teenagers. ugh.
Lastly, I am reevaluating my calendar system. Currently, it is supposed to be a PDA. I think it's just a little too high-tech for me. I'm gonna look for a small-ish size day planner, one that I can have with me at all times. One that's a little more me - with a new purse to go with it.....I'm sure I have some fabric that will work.....a great pattern too.....and yes, I'm sure I'll have time for *that*.....
God bless you my friends ~ I pray your lives are a bit more under control. Please pray with me that even among the stress of everyday life, that I will be able to see the Lord, focus on what He would have me focus on, and love those around me intensely.