Today, I was in a legitimate funk. The hub is at work and has been for five consecutive twelve-hour days. While that’s great because it means extra cash, it also means our time together is limited. Like two hours a night limited. We have one car, and I get to be the driver. No life, party of 1…your table is waiting!
Six was being his usual happy self, which means he is talking nonstop. *sigh* He has been overjoyed to be around me for the last few days, which is good. It also meant the last three blog posts I’ve been trying to write, edit and post have been nearly impossible. Just when I think he’s sleep, occupied or uninterested, he demands my time. Of course, my concentration was shot when I would try to continue on with him around.
Even videos on YouTube began to play without my touching them, neighbors drove by booming their radios and every distraction and inconvenience imaginable seemed to materialize.
I wanted to scream!
Instead, I took a hot shower, put on something comfy and picked up this laptop to write. I was going to write a post on how reading the Bible and prayer alone sometimes aren’t enough to calm down interruptions and frustrations. I was interrupted yet again, this time by the Holy Spirit. He said ‘those that wait upon the Lord’. I was really hoping it wasn’t the oft-used scripture Isaiah 40:31, but it was. So I googled to make sure there weren’t any other verses worded quite like this one. I felt impressed to read the chapter aloud, so I did. I always read the entire chapter of any scripture I’m given to make sure I understand context, so reading it was exactly what I needed. While the entire chapter was no less than an on-time word, there was something special about verses 28-29:
28 Have you not known?
Have you not heard?
The everlasting God, the Lord,
The Creator of the ends of the earth,
Neither faints nor is weary.
His understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the weak,
And to those who have no might He increases strength.
Isaiah 40:28-29 (NKJV)
And just like that, the Lord spoke to me in such a way that addressed every single one of the circumstances and weaknesses in my life at that moment. I received ridiculous peace, rest and yes, strength. Sometimes, the irritation we feel is called weariness. We can take a hot shower, put on something comfortable, make ourselves pretty on the outside, take a walk, and even make a list of other things that will provide temporary solace from the real issues of our hearts. Or we can do the one thing that works every single time. Go. To. God. Sometimes, if you’re really not with it, He will come to you, just as He did to me an hour ago.
Turns out, my heart is in need of more work to accommodate the upgrades coming down the pike for our family. Good things don’t equate to problem free or work free. The best goodies are the ones you’ve had to invest in and get your hands dirty. What isn’t good is that we can allow ourselves to focus on the wrong thing, and that good thing becomes a bad one in our minds. Carrying our crosses is hard, but even Jesus was appointed Simon of Cyrene to help with carrying His for part of the way.
What I learned is my issue wasn’t only weariness. It was the source of the weariness – not using the tools I’ve been given to accommodate changes in my life. God always provides a way out of temptation, if we only avail ourselves. I was immediately shown that I have tools to help on days like today. I just need to use them. Avoidance usually prolongs the problem, and in my case, adds pounds to my waistline.
After you’ve received clarity and reassurance from God (after prayer and reading the Word), He may have left you an action list. To bring His direction from conception to action, try a few things to decrease chances of being overwhelmed and increase productivity.
- Write. If your frustration comes from too many things to do and feeling as though you haven’t accomplished anything, write it down. Or even dictate it into your audio app. This doesn’t just apply to working people. This is for stay at home moms and seniors too. If it’s not recorded in some way, it didn’t happen and trying to remember or keep up can become overwhelming. I know many people who love EverNote for this type of thing, but there are other task managers available on your phone. My personal favorite is Google Keep. Even post-it notes will do the job.
- If you have a noisy and busy 5, 10 or 20-year-old child, give them something that will occupy their time and interests. If they are old enough, put them in another room. If they simply must have visual entertainment, give them something educational to stimulate their brains. Yeah, I said it. This is a Christian blog you know, and I don’t allow Six to watch mainstream tv because it’s garbage.
- Put your phone on Do Not Disturb for a few hours a day. You really don’t have to answer every call, text or email.
- Get better at time management and prioritization. Turn off email and social media alerts. Set specific times to check it daily. It took me awhile to adjust to this habit, but it is wonderful to not be tied to my phone or computer. You can also check out a few communication management apps for your phone, tablet or computer here.
- Shut. Your. Door. Go to a room that has a door, shut it and let yourself breathe for five or ten minutes. Seriously. The bathroom usually works best for this. Closets work well too, provided there is ample space or light.
- Sing. Loudly. Turn on your phone, radio or Alexa, crank up Spotify or I-Tunes and sing! It really helps, even if you can’t sing well.
- Dance. You can do this with the kids and in conjunction with singing. Make it a concert with a brush or spoon from the kitchen. Or if you’re at work at a cube (not at a call center), grab a pen and let ‘er rip. Or, you can resort to #5 – Go to the bathroom.
The bottom line is, go to God first, then try the other stuff after. No one in this walk has it all together, and even the holy rollers lose it one Sunday a year. 😉