Silence the Overwhelm and Hear God’s Voice

I am so excited today to share with you a guest post from my friend, Pamela Henkelman. So many of us are feeling overwhelmed so I cannot wait for you to hear how to “Silence the Overwhelm and Hear God’s Voice.”

The alarm jars me from a deep sleep.  I groan and roll-over, fully aware of my schedule ahead.  How am I already tired when the day hasn’t started? I reach for my comfy robe, grab a cup of coffee, and head to my spot. You know, the place I meet with Jesus in the morning.  I imagine peace and joy but I’m met with frustration and anger.  I try to quiet my racing thoughts.  “Focus,” I tell myself. “You can deal with it later. It’s time to concentrate on God.” 

Even my quiet time with God feels forced.  Where’s the comfort and connection I crave? I’m feeling empty and spent.  I wonder if God is disappointed in me?

I get the kids up and breakfast ready.  We leave half-eaten bowls of cereal lining the counter.  As I wave them out the door, my mind lands on the challenges my kids, these five cherubs ranging from preschool to high school, are facing these days. How in the world do I have a child in every age range?  We’re dealing with growing pains, emotional distress, friendship trouble, homework stress, and bullies at school. The issues are similar, but our kid’s ages require different approaches when parenting them through these issues.

I gather the abandoned bowls and rinse them off as I go over my to-do list for the day in my head. Each kid has their own schedule to keep and homework to get done. There are the drop-off and pick-up schedules to mind and dinner to make. Should I tackle laundry first or work on my Bible study for discussion tonight? Oh, wait, I have a dance meeting at four! The little girls have dance rehearsal, Keenan has a concert, Moriah is heading to Sam’s house and Caleb will want to go hang out with a friend after school.

I feel the tightness in my neck and notice my shallow breathing.  A wave of low-grade anger simmers below the surface.  I’m not mad at people, I’m just frustrated my schedule is so crazy.  

I’m overwhelmed by the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of those around me. Really, I’d just like to escape. 

Pamela shared that the busy days of kids at home are long gone, but she’ll never forget the feelings of overwhelm she lived with most of the time.

1. Pause:

The first step to stop the overwhelm is to pause and become self-aware.

  • Take a deep breath
  • Where is there tension in your body?
  • What are you feeling?
  • Pay attention to any voice of shame or condemnation because these thoughts fuel the lie,

2. Identify the Lie:

The next step is to ask yourself this question: “What is the lie I’m believing about my current situation?”  The lie will sound like:

  •  Everything depends on me.
  •  It’s too hard.
  • I have to please everyone.
  • There’s too much to do.
  • I’m too busy.

3. Replace the lie with the truth:

Once you recognize the lie, you replace it with truth from God’s Word. 

Here are some truths:

  • I’m responsible for myself.
  • I can do hard things.
  • I only need to please God.
  • I can plan for rest.

4. Pray:

The final step is to pray a prayer of surrender.  You can pray whatever prayer of surrender you’d like, but I found this prayer on John Eldridge’s One Minute Pause App, and it’s helping me immensely.

God, I give you everyone and everything. Amen.

So thankful for Pamela’s guest post today on my blog! She has a free printable to help you when you’re feeling overwhelmed, ”60 Seconds to Freedom From Overwhelm.”  Please click on the link and she will email it to you. I know it will help calm the chaos!

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