Tuesday, January 21, 2014

2 Simple Truths to Remember When We Carry Too Much

Let’s face it. Life has reached an extreme pace – and the more I wait for things to slow down, the faster they seem to spin out of control. I know I’m not alone; perhaps you’re feeling as overwhelmed as I. We have too much to carry. As women, we serve in countless roles, we say yes too freely to those who rely on us, and we often struggle with setting limits or boundaries. Why? Often it’s because we love those we serve: our husbands, our children, our church families, our friends, even our co-workers. Sometimes it’s because we don’t want to disappoint others.  Occasionally it’s because the expectations we place on ourselves are too high.  We believe we can “do everything,” and we’re afraid to fail (that’s called pride, by the way).  There are times when demanding schedules and task lists are self-inflicted because we’ve said “yes” far too frequently. Other times, a perfect storm hits and our life goals – things we’ve dreamed of and prayed for – all reach a fever pitch at once. That’s what’s happening for us.

2014 is going to be an unusually busy hectic year for our family. This is the year that my husband is running for county sheriff and coordinating a time-intensive election campaign.  Our church (where we are members and I am a staff member) is embarking on a building project.  These are both enormous projects that have been covered in prayer for many, many years.  We’re grateful that the wait is nearly over for the HUGE endeavors, but we’ve certainly got our work cut out for us.  I sense that the Lord is moving me toward a new and very deep level of commitment in the ministry I founded in 2011, Strengthened by the Word Ministries.  A second book is burning inside of me, and I feel I’ll soon explode if I don’t release my words.  Much awaits on the quickly approaching horizon.  Why the Lord chose to bring it all together at once… well, that’s a mystery.

On top of what’s coming professionally, there are many things to achieve in my personal life. I have a goal to lose 30+ pounds in 2014 (yes, again…). I have a goal to read 2 books each month for spiritual and professional growth with an occasional book added in for pure, wholesome entertainment. The Holy Spirit is prompting my next large writing project to cover a life practice I do NOT have mastered and must approach as a student first and teacher second. It’s going to take a lot of focus and dedication throughout the next 12 months and beyond.

How will I squeeze personal goals into such an overwhelming season of life? That’s a great question. While I don’t have a firm, definitive answer, I’ll share two verses that the Holy Spirit recently prompted me to memorize:  

1)      Zechariah 4:6b:  “Not by strength or by might, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of Hosts.” 

2)      Luke 16:10a:  “Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, …”

These words from the Lord are like salve to my soul. They remind me that there’s no way I can pull it all off by relying on my own strength. Jesus is the only good that there is in me, and without the power of His Spirit, I cannot accomplish what He has called me to do.  No way, no how. 

A saying I often use is, “My pants are too big.” (Oh, that my literal pants were baggy. That’s not at all what I mean.) The expression shows that the job the Lord requires is too big for me. When I put on the figurative uniform to perform the project He’s directed, the pants are too big to fill in my own strength. To accomplish what He asks, I must rely on His strength every second of every day. If He called me to a task that I could do easily, I’d be tempted to do it in my own power, with my own resources, my own skills, and forget my need for HIM. So as difficult as it is to wear such baggy, figurative pants, I enjoy them because they keep me moving by His Spirit, and not by my own strength or might.

Next, when I focus on doing the little things right, the big things fall into place.  (I’m intentionally listing the following sentences in “declarative” statements. Please know that I don’t always do them perfectly!) For example:  
  •  I protect my quiet time with God and try to keep it free from distractions. When I do so, I am better able to receive His instruction, inspiration, creativity and motivation, and my work projects flow more smoothly.
  •  I spend daily time in prayer. When I am faithful to give the Lord this time, He is faithful to protect my time throughout the day. Often I think “I’m too busy to stop and pray,” but when I obey regardless of how I feel, I am consistently amazed at how much I accomplish throughout the day.
  •  A silly “little” thing I started doing a few weeks ago is hanging all of the clothes in my closet in the same direction. I’m shocked at how much time this saves in the morning by helping me quickly put my hands on the particular blouse or pants I’m looking for. The little details are important.

When I feel overwhelmed, I call truths of these two Bible verses to mind.  I remind myself that I can accomplish nothing worthwhile without His strength.  I focus on doing the little things right knowing that the big things will fall into place when I do. I concentrate on two certainties. Two truths that fix my attention on the bigger picture instead of the overwhelming task list. They help me say with confidence, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” 

Your turn:

How do you cope with feeling overwhelmed?

What are some of the “little things” that you try to do faithfully?

Be strengthened today, by the Word,

Psalm 119:28


  1. Oh how this has helped me today! The little thing I am faithful on each day is to always smile and support everyone I talk to. I maintain edification if it kills me! It's always rewarding. Cathy, I can't wait to read your next book!

    1. So glad you were blessed! Your "little thing" is not little at all and is one magnificent way to share the love of Christ.

      Thank you for commenting - I pray this blog will continue to honor God and bless others.