My husband and I went to the store the other day and noticed the aisles of school supplies, lunch boxes and backpacks, and Christmas stuff that is making its way to the various departments. Already? What happened to summer?
August is right around the corner and is typically filled with not only school preparations, but also ministry preparations including registration, lesson planning, recruiting catechists and volunteers, training days, and lots of phone calls.
Take a few moments to reflect on this – oh, so short summer. Have you had some relaxing or even a few lazy days? If you have great! If you haven’t, I highly suggest looking at the calendar of the remaining days and intentionally schedule a few to recharge. You will need them before you can effectively and joyfully minister to those that God is sending your way. If you are reading this and you are the head of the family, do the same. Your family needs you to bring your “A-game” and you can’t do that if you are running on empty!
I propose the following three steps to challenge you to go from frazzled, rushed and overwhelmed to intentional, confident and more peace-filled.
1) FIGURE OUT WHAT IS WASTING YOUR TIME
Most of us feel like we never have enough time. Take a look at what is wasting your time. Is it social media, is it TV, is it too much running around due to lack of planning, or is it too much running around due to over-scheduling? Could it be your mentality that maybe you can get one more thing done, before it’s time to go? This is my culprit most of the time and it’s hard to change but not impossible.
2) GO TO CONFESSION
It’s time. I mean it! Now that you know what is consuming your time and distracting you from what needs to be done, get help with it. Work on it. Work through it. Jesus desires to heal you of your sin and help you put things back in the right order. If it’s been a while, check out this How to Go to Confession Guide courtesy of Busted Halo. Oh and by the way, the devil likes for us to live in the worrisome and overwhelmed mode, because our judgement and conscience becomes dull. Don’t stay in a state of sin. Confession will heal you and give you peace. He will create a clean heart in you so that you may begin again.
3) BEGIN AGAIN & KEEP TRYING
Don’t accept your frantic and overwhelmed state as “normal” or consider yourself “hopeless.” Our God is a God of forgiveness, mercy, love and hope. He never ceases loving us and is ready to help us over and over again. I, personally, am grateful that he gives me a chance to change and get better with each new day. It is so easy to throw in the towel because it can be so hard to get back up. But it is so worth it. A tool that I use is the Examen. It helps me to take inventory at the end of your day and figure out where to make a change for tomorrow. Ultimately providing a road map to a more confident and peaceful life.
This scripture presented itself as part of my prayer time last week and I though it fitting for this post. The psalmist asks God to:
“Create a clean heart in me, O God; renew in me a steadfast spirit.” Psalm 51:12
Take 5 minutes to pray with this song called “Create In Me” by Gia Lucid.
So when I (or you) start to feel overwhelmed, go back to the laughs and joys that you experienced during the summer and ask the Lord to renew your steadfast spirit. He will if you let him.
Father, be with me today to help me to see me as you see me. Send your Holy Spirit upon me to guide me through this day. Help me to rid myself of the things that distract me, worry me and overwhelm me. Give me peace in my struggles and renew in me a steadfast spirit to continue to do my part in building the Kingdom. Amen.