In today’s society it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Women are expected to do it all… with a smile. We have more responsibilities and more things pulling us in different directions than ever! We’re expected to be super mom, super wife, super chef, super maid, super employee (or boss), all while being super sexy… SUPER (insert sarcasm here)! If we’re not careful, it’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of responsibilities and lose our focus. I hope to help you sort through the mess; to keep your wits about you and to keep your focus set even in the most chaotic situations.
First, Prioritize… realistically. Let’s be real — we’re not always going to be able to get everything done that we need or want to all the time. One of my friend’s famous sayings was, “I’ll add it to my list”. It became a joke because she actually did have a real list and it was always around 7-10 pages long because every time she was able to cross something off she’d end up adding 2 more things. Life can feel like that sometimes! So now when something happens in my life that I really don’t want to deal with I just laugh in my head and think, “I’ll add that to my list”. I’ve actually always loved lists but sometimes they can backfire. I’ve always had a daily list, not a 7-10 page list – thank God. But the issue with that, for me, was being so set on getting everything on my agenda done that same day. Life doesn’t always work that way. Things happen and sometimes the stresses we experience are 100% our own fault because of the expectations we place on ourselves. Nobody wrote those lists for me, I wrote them for myself; and I’m the one who put the expectations of completing them by a certain deadline on myself. Make a list and prioritize the things on it so that you can be okay with not being able to finish everything on your list. It’s great to have lists and goals for the day but they’re meant to be an aid not a sentence. They should help you, not steal your joy. You know, I never like to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink but I had to wake up to the reality that I live with one and a half men that like to snack all day and allllll night. I really hate having dishes in the sink but I’d hate even more being crabby about having to do the dishes 3 times in one night. So you know what? Sometimes it’s not worth getting upset over; the dishes will still be there tomorrow (with plenty more to join them I’m sure, LOL). Prioritize your responsibilities so that the things that truly can wait for tomorrow can be pushed off if need be. Do as much as you can with the time that you have but accept what can’t be done. Don’t let it steal your joy. It’s not going to matter in 10 years that the sink was empty when I went to bed every single night! But what does matter is that I enjoyed the night with my boys and wasn’t harping over silly things. This life is but a vapor, don’t waste it being hung up on aimless things. Yes, keep a clean home for your family, but only do what you can do. The rest can wait because what is the point of a clean home if you can’t enjoy it with those you love.
Second, Rely on God. Back when I was in my early 20’s a situation occurred on the first day of my new job. It involved my boss and this situation has changed my life forever. If you haven’t realized already, I have a smidge of a type-A personality (my husband would probably laugh hysterically and say I have a 110% type-A personality. But I’ve really worked on toning it down over the years) so I HATE running late for work and when things aren’t going according to my plan, I REALLY HATE it. So, on the first day at this job I was put in a situation that caused me to run late. Thus I was speeding to work and subsequently got pulled over and was given a ticket — which caused me to be even later. I remember calling my new boss in a panic, like the world was going to end, because not only was I not early but I was going to be late – on my first day!!!! I will never forget her words! She stopped me mid-sentence before I could even explain myself and said (in the sweetest, most calm voice ever), “I’m not worried baby, I’ll see you when you get here.” I think my world stopped turning for a minute. I didn’t know what kind of Kool-Aid she was drinking but I wanted a double dose. As I continued to work closely with her for many more years I came to realize that she was completely unmovable in her peace. No matter what happened in her life she had complete confidence and a rest in knowing that God was going to work everything out for her. She was the first woman that had ever inspired me on such a deep level. There is great power in God’s peace! And that peace only comes from knowing Him and meditating on His word and His promises to you. The Bible says, “The storms of life WILL come” not they might. Christian or not, we will all face struggles but how we react to them is key. Yes, the storms of life will come, but take heart because your lifeguard walks on water and has overcome the world. When you know the Word (or the Bible) you can meditate and declare those promises over your life. And not only will your circumstances change but your peace and your heart will change. It’s a beautiful thing! God didn’t leave us alone in this world. He has equipped us with power and peace to rest in that power. But you have to know it or it won’t do you any good. You need to know who you are in Christ and what the Bible says about you so that when the devil tries to whisper lies in your ear you can stand up and say, “No, devil, you are a liar. You are a defeated foe and you are beneath my feet!” See, that all probably sounds really hokey and nuts if you don’t read the scriptures to know the power behind it. The Bible says the word of God (the Bible) is like a two-edged sword. You’ve seen those “Emergency Numbers” lists but with scriptures for your correlating struggle instead of actual emergency telephone numbers on them.
That’s because we’re supposed to use God’s word in our circumstances. It’s not just a book with old fables in it. It’s called THE LIVING WORD because it comes alive in your heart and your life when you use it! I know this can all sound super spiritual “Meditate on The Word of God” and “Declare His promises over your circumstances”, but what it all really means is you take a scripture and you choose to believe and say what that scripture says over your life above what your circumstances say. When our Pastors’ first born son was only a few months old he became sick. When they took him to the hospital the doctors told them there was nothing they could do and that their baby boy was going to die. They chose to look up God’s word and declared scriptures over him. They said, “No, he will live and not die. He will live to proclaim the works of the Lord.” They chose to believe what God promised them in the Bible over what the doctors were telling them. They kicked family members out of the room that weren’t speaking God’s word over him. Someone said, “Well, you know, God needs another angel.” They said, “No, that is not biblical” and told people to get out if they were not going to line up their words and faith with God’s word. Their son is now in his 30’s with a family of his own and is the Associate Pastor at their church. He made a miraculous and complete recovery with no other related health issues ever again. That is declaring the Word over your circumstances and that is what God can do when you put your faith and trust in Him above all else. These same promises found in the Word are available to anyone who will grab hold of them. They were not super special, in fact, they were not even Pastors at that time. But their hearts were willing to trust what the Bible said rather than what the world said. And it isn’t just life and death situations. God cares about EVERYTHING that concerns you. If it matters to you, it matters to Him. I knew a friend who refused to pray or trust God for simple things. She’d say, “God’s got such bigger fish to fry, He doesn’t care about this. There are people in other countries starving, who am I to be praying about a silly little thing in my life.” Hear this: that is such religious dogma! The Bible says God has numbered the hairs on your head. He cares about you more than you could ever comprehend. But you will only receive from Him what you will allow Him to give you. If you think He is too big to care about your minor situation, then you’ve already discredited Him and tied His hands from working in that area. He wants you to include Him in every detail; He wants that intimacy with you, where you trust and rely on Him in everything. But it’s something you have to choose to open up to Him. God won’t force Himself on you but He is searching to and fro with a desperate heart to be close to those who will open their hearts to Him. But He can only be as close and real in your life as you will allow Him to be. The Bible says draw close to Him and He will draw close to you. So declare these things in your situations and as you feel yourself becoming bogged down with the cares of this life say, “I am more than a conqueror in Christ who strengthens me!”, “My hope is in the LORD and He will renew my strength. I will soar on wings like eagles; I will run and not grow weary, I will walk and not be faint.” “I have the peace that surpasses ALL understanding!” “I am a daughter of the most high!” “I am a royal priesthood!” “I have the mind of Christ!”
Here’s another great list of promises you can declare over yourself: http://www.joycemeyer.org/content/articles/ea/knowing_who_i_am_in_christ/KnowingWhoIAminChrist.pdf
I know I sort of went off on a tangent a little bit there but I’m on to my last point to bring it all together.
Finally, Adjust your tude dude (or dudette, lol). It really is important to have an attitude of gratitude. I was speaking with a woman who was feeling really overwhelmed and felt like she was the only one who did everything for her family. She was going on and on complaining about all that she had to do for her husband and children and as a mom she never had a second to herself (I’m not judging her, I’ve been there myself, we all have those moments). But meanwhile, she was sitting right next to a woman who has struggled with infertility and would die to be up until 10:00 pm packing her kids’ lunches and getting up at 2 am to feed a baby. And I’m sure not sitting far from that woman was someone that was aching to just be married and have a serious relationship. Yes, we have a lot to do and yes it can feel like too much at times. But keep in mind WHY you do all that you do rather than focusing on WHAT you do. Another thing that woman was doing, which I realized that I also did and I had to correct myself, was focusing on everything she “had” to do. I realized after listening to her how much I myself fell into that trap and I had to correct myself. I had to teach myself to redirect the way I speak regarding my family. I don’t HAVE to do anything for them. I get to. God has equipped me to take care of my family. I know this might strike a cord with some ladies but God has equipped me to serve my family with excellence. I know some will struggle with that as I myself did for a long time. But serving your family does not have to take us as women back 50 years and it doesn’t mean we are doormats. Jesus himself came to serve. He washed the feet of His disciples and served them food. Serving can be a beautiful act of love. It took me a while to get to this place but now I enjoy serving my family. It is a joy (most of the time, LOL), not something I HAVE to do. When I realized I don’t have to struggle fighting to try and get all this stuff done for everyone else, that God has equipped me to be a super-mom, super-wife, super-employee it made things so much easier and to do everything with excellence and that He blesses what I put my hand to (when my heart is in the right place). When your focus is in that place, it doesn’t matter what your circumstances are or whether you think your family appreciates what you do or not. My work is unto the Lord, I am ultimately doing what He has called me to do so I will do everything I do with excellence for and with Him. So take a good look at your attitude and your heart and how you talk about your family. See if you might need to make some changes and check yo-self before you wreck yo-self. Also, don’t forget to keep things in perspective. I’m a clean freak and yes it’s annoying when I clean the house and my guys walk in and it’s a mess again in 5 minutes! But I have a house; I have guys to mess it up; I have electricity; and running water to clean it back up easily. And so what if my guys are messy! At least my husband is home making a mess and not out doing things he shouldn’t be. You can focus on your problems all you want and be as miserable as ever OR you can change your perspective and your attitude and get different results. It’s funny, you really do catch more flies with honey so when you change your attitude your family, friends, coworkers will notice and treat you differently as well: you get what you give. If you want a nicer life, give out a nicer attitude!
This article turned out to be a little longer than I intended it to be but I really think there are a lot of great things in here for you to grab a hold of. No matter what you’re going through, you are too blessed to be stressed! Trust and rely on God’s strength because in our weakness He is strong. Rely on Him and His strength and you will run and not be weary, you will be Super You!
Be blessed! With lots of love,