Overwhelmed

How are you doing today? If you're feeling overwhelmed, then this week's series is for you. And even if you're not in that category, I hope it will provide you some food for thought for those times when you do. Most of us at some point in our mothering journey will feel the overwhelming feeling of being out of control or feeling like you are always busy but getting nothing of real significance done. And if you never feel this way, maybe you should be writing this! I'll be the first to say that I am easily overwhelmed, not because I am committed to a lot of things but because I have expectations that are too high. Of course, if I am also overcommitted, that makes things ten times worse! While it is difficult, I can release some of my commitments to alleviate the sense of overwhelm. The harder thing is adjusting my expectations to a healthy and reasonable level. Do you relate? Sometimes I can be my own worst enemy!

Growing up, I was the girl who got straight A's. #1 in my graduating class. Not that I am all that naturally smart. I just knew how to play the system. After being on the top however, it is hard to do anything less. Somehow I feel like I am failing myself or not living up to my fullest potential.

This week, while I was away on my personal retreat, I had some time with God to really take a look at this drivenness to be the best in everything in my life. Now don't get me wrong. I don't think that's bad. I believe in doing the very best I can. However, when that standard becomes my god, something has gone sorely wrong.

For me, high achievements also brought with it praise, which was one of the reasons I kept pushing myself harder and harder. I like the affirmation! Unfortunately, when I am addicted to the praise of people, I need higher and higher doses of it to get the same effect. Like a drug addict, I found myself working myself harder in order to get the response I was looking for.

This was true in several arenas: my home, my homeschooling, my parenting, and my ministry come to mind. Even if I kept my outside commitments to a minimum, I was driving myself to meet my own standards. When I am trying to excel in all these areas all at once, the effect is multiplied tremendously. I can tell when things are getting out of hand because it shows in my responses to the circumstances of my life. I tend to become more easily irritated because I am feeling a stress that comes from trying to be perfect.

I am still in process, learning what it means to live within healthy expectations while still excelling in what I do. Fortunately, God is a patient teacher! I hope that if you're like me, this week's posts will minister to your heart to be all God created you to be while still maintaining your sanity.

Part 1 of Overwhelmed series.