Overwhelmed

Do you ever feel overwhelmed? People ask me frequently, “how do you do it all?” Or they’ll say, “I have no idea how you do what you do!”

Well, I am human! Shocking I know. But I feel overwhelmed quite frequently. I think I hide it. Probably because my mom hid it and her mom hid it. I don’t really remember my mom ever asking for help, even when she was battling cancer. I remember wanting to comfort her and care for her and it ended up being the other way around!

That strength is something to be admired. But that strength can become a weakness all too quickly.

Five years ago I brought my family to Germany for a month stay. We stayed with my Oma. At the time she was 87. My Opa had already been gone for a number of years and she had been living very independently.

The kids and I had a game we played at each meal time. We called it “Race the Oma!” Our goal was to beat her into the kitchen and do dishes before her. She didn’t know we played this game, but she wouldn’t accept our help if we offered so we decided to take matters into our own hands.

It was a fun game and turned a chore into something enjoyable. We beat her about half the time! For an 87 year old woman she was quick!

At the end of our stay she hugged me and said, “I’m so glad you came. But this was a bit too much for me!”

I have thought a lot about that comment. For five years I’ve thought about it. I think part of it is that she was used to a quiet house and her own routine. But a large part of it being too much for her was the fact that she thought she had to do it all herself. Had she accepted more help and just let us do things for her, she probably wouldn’t have felt so overwhelmed.

And here I am, feeling overwhelmed. Ha! The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, does it?!

I can finally admit in my life that I have a hard time asking for help. I like to be independent. At least I can admit it! Next step, actually ask for help!

As I contemplate this, I wonder, What am I teaching my kids? I already see in a couple of them an unwillingness to ask for help. Just like so many traits, our kids learn them from watching us. Thank the Lord there is grace for this! We can’t possibly stop every bad trait from being passed down. But when we do recognize one, we can work on it and try to do better than we were.

I’ve fallen behind on giving you all the memory verses but I hope you are still working on them! Or picking your own! Here’s last week’s and this week.

“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?
Luke 6:46

The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
Psalm 34:15‭-‬16 ESV

These have made me think a lot about my feeling overwhelmed. All the lists, all the things. But in reality God asks us to be obedient to what He wants us to do. His request is simple, trust Him, use your days to glorify Him, do what He wants. Well, it sounds simple. Harder to actually execute!

Andrew cut while I directed. We’re a pretty good team.

We all have the same amount of hours in each day. I don’t have to feel overwhelmed. I just have to ask Jesus what He wants me to do with my time.

Yesterday we had a couple projects on the list. We only got one done but it was a big one. And, bonus, we got to be outside all day!

We finished pruning the entire fruit orchard! Lots of work! But it looks great. Unfortunately I found my tart cherry tree is dying. I teared up a bit at that. I loved that tree. But it gives me a new experience to try – rooting some cuttings from the tree to grow new cherry trees!

These kiddos are great workers with cheerful hearts. They decided their stick pile was a beaver dam!

We felt really good just doing what the Lord wanted us to. Spend time as a family and work this property he has given us.

Great helper! Apparently we haven’t adjusted our eyes to the sun yet!

I hope if you are feeling overwhelmed, you’ll pause and ask the Lord what He wants you to do with your day and your life. You don’t have to feel lost and jump from thing to thing. Just pause, ask, sit at his feet, find out how He wants you to use your time.