Overwhelmed and Exhausted . . .

. . . seems to be the mood for everyone as of recent. I don’t know if it’s the season, the economy or just the phase of life that everyone is in but it seems that people that I have immediate contact with are all feeling it.

I have to admit, I have to fend off the feelings of being overwhelmed and exhausted right now as well. There’s one aspect of being overwhelmed (um . . . pregnancy?) that I’ll cover in another post . . . Outside of that, we’ve had several busy weeks with very very busy weekends and it seems like we don’t have any down time to speak of. Now, most of the things that are occupying our time are things we enjoy, like spending time with friends, or organizing events that we believe in, but still, when you end up running straight through your day, not stopping until your head hits your pillow, it can begin to feel overwhelming. Heck, I’ll say it, I’m overwhelmed. Sometimes, I just don’t want to be the reliable person anymore and I crave to just let the ball drop on something, but most of the time my sense of responsibility kicks in and I do whatever I’ve committed to.

I get overwhelmed when I look at my calendar and see that our weeks and weekends are booked full. I’ve told people several times recently, when they comment on my blog (outside of blogland) about the things that I cook or make and how I find time to do these things, that I don’t feel like I’m me if I don’t get to invest a little time doing these creative endeavors. Really, I don’t have the time to do these things. Believe me, my house is a mess because of it! But sometimes, that’s a worthwhile trade-off (until I look around and realize people are coming over to our house and it’s filthy!).

Thankfully, amidst feeling a little overwhelmed at times, I have a great support system of friends, coworkers and family that are praying for me and encouraging me. I think partially because of this support system, in a time of job instability (for both me and Jason), and many unknowns, I feel strangely calm. I know that these are not things worth stressing out over, that all will work out in the end, and that there are bigger, more exciting things happening in my life that outweigh the negativity of that stress! This is a bit of a new feeling for me because I tend to be quick to stress and worry. Maybe I’m actually taking these verses to heart after years of reciting them over and over in my head. 🙂

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:5-7

“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ . . . your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:25, 26, 31-34

I think there is truth in that saying that where you spend your time and your money is where your heart is. That makes me happy when I look at the things I spend most of my time on. I also believe that we are capable of hitting a wall and becoming ineffective if we don’t take time to rest. And resting doesn’t mean watching TV. I believe that there is wisdom in following Jesus’ actions when he withdrew from the crowds to rest – and we are not God or supermen/women. How much more do we need time to rest?

I always come back to this idea of having a day of rest. In theory it sounds amazing but in practice, I have a hard time saying no to things that I see worth in. We have practiced having days of rest before and it felt like it made such a difference in all areas of my life. I felt much calmer, less likely to panic about little things and just overall more capable of giving myself fully to whatever I was investing in.

Do you guys practice times of rest? What feels most effective to you to restore your spirit and mind?

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12 Comments

  1. Posted February 25, 2009 at 2:31 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I know a few people that leave Sunday as a day of rest, but unfortunately I don’t do that right now. Being so tired all the time and sleeping 9-10 hours a night really takes a lot of time out of my day, so I find that on the weekends I really have to catch up with housework and cutting coupons and whatnot. I try to take a little bit of time out every day to relax, though, and sew a little, or read a book. It really is hard to take time for ourselves, isn’t it? I wish our society wasn’t so focused on being workaholics.

  2. Posted February 25, 2009 at 6:19 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I understand what feeling you are talking about! I feel like we were more overwhelmed before we had kids than we do now. Part of that is when you’re childless, it’s hard to say no… there’s no “excuse”, so to speak.

    Now that we have Eden we had to back out of some church commitments (and we moved, too, so that helped. :)).

    One way that we rest is just being home as a family. Going to the beach in the summer, going for a hike, or just going outside to get some fresh air. Sometimes just being home is all that I need. 🙂

  3. Posted February 25, 2009 at 10:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I am totally struggling with this right now… trying to sort out exactly what resting in the Lord means for me… and how much time to spend w/ him daily. I’m not sure what that looks like, but I’m working on it. I agree, it can’t just be watching TV. I think that has some degree of rest to it (letting your brain just completely tune out of reality), but we have to do more than just that. I always feel more rested in the Spring and Fall than I do in the really hot or really cold days… with the breeze blowing, it’s so much easier to soak it all in, ya know? (Okay, so that just applies to midwesterners really, but that’s the only perspective I have….)

  4. Jake F.
    Posted February 25, 2009 at 10:55 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think I only vaguely remembered you having a blog, and I don’t think I’ve read any of your posts yet, I totally just stumbled on this on facebook. Man I totally know what you mean. I mean, not in the same way of course, but life is crazy for me too with school that needs to be done (11 college credit hours+normal highschool classes=BLEH!) and life and people and responsibilities and the future and plans and music and AHHH! But man, those verses are so great! I forget the verse, but I think it’s in Matthew where Jesus says “Peace I leave you, My peace I give you.” God has created us to be at peace, to be joyful. Sometimes I have to stop and ask myself “if these things, that really are good, are taking away my joy and peace instead of giving it to me, what’s wrong?” I mean, God is our source for those things, so how am I getting that joy from him? And I’ve been struck by that whole idea of the day of rest. I mean, God himself rested on the seventh day!!

    I think for me, because I’m so driven, my problem is that I can always find something to do, and I don’t make myself stop and rest and get some perspective. But I’ve made it an effort to take Saturday totally off and just not do anything. It’s more of a mindset for me, it’s like “ok, it’s Saturday, so I have nothing I need to do.” Of course my family wants me to do things, or things will come up, but I’m not stressed because I’ve worked my schedule around Saturday. And sleeping in is great! Being able to stay in bed and get some much needed sleep and just rest and wake up and pray is therapeutic haha.

    So yeah, there’s my two cents ^_^”

  5. Posted February 26, 2009 at 6:09 pm | Permalink | Reply

    thanks for this post beth. taking time for rest is something justin and struggle with too, even though we do a pretty good job of using our free time to do things we enjoy – be with friends, family, read, sew, etc. but there are times in which we get sidetracked, say yes to things with worth but aren’t really where we feel called to be. taking time to be with only each other simply resting are things we have to keep reminding ourselves to do, it doesn’t come naturally to us.

    i’m thankful that our church values rest for the reasons you’ve mentioned, and that to be effective we need to have times of rest, be able to say no to things outside our calling, and not be anxious with false guilt.

  6. cooperella
    Posted February 26, 2009 at 9:03 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I read this the other day and meant to comment – our conversation at lunch today reminded me to come back to it and leave some thoughts.

    Maybe rest doesn’t have to be a day, or a planned event, or a ritual – it can be something that follows you through the day (a “zen-like” state, perhaps?). Set your shoulders back, sit up straight, feel the top of your head rise to the sky and your feet plant into the ground. Take a few deep breaths and be conscious of every bone & sinew in your body. Feel your heart beat. Feel your baby’s heart beat!

    Taking a moment to pause and be really, truly conscious can change your perception of the world and your place in it. When you’re feeling overwhelmed again, give it a whirl. It may help to take the edge off the overwhelmed feeling, and may help you feel rested throughout the day and not just on the weekend. 🙂

  7. Posted February 27, 2009 at 10:57 am | Permalink | Reply

    wow this post was pretty impacting for me. God has been putting those scriptures on my heart lately. Thank you for writing that. I love you Beth!!!!

  8. sharon
    Posted March 1, 2009 at 4:13 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Do I practice a time of rest? 1.I hate to admit this about myself but I’ll take my chances. I had numerous and awesome job opportunities come my way in 2008 and I turned them all down because I didn’t want to commit to a career and leave my family in the dust or rather try to juggle family and a career. So, I rested the whole year and now am finding it tough to land any job.

    2. My aunt and her 3 year old were visiting for a week. My kids are all teenagers now so I had forgotten how exhausting it is to entertain a very active toddler. Needless to say I had to take time out around 3 or 4pm to “rest” and regain my inner and physical strength. I totally loved resting my mind. Now that she is gone, I truly appreciate down time and don’t desire that kind of business ever again….until that is I am a grandma one day.

  9. Posted December 25, 2009 at 11:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    We really try to use Sunday as a day of rest. We go to church for 3 hours and serve there, but outside of that, it’s family time. We don’t shop, do chores (other than cooking, if you count that a chore), or have parties with friends. We just plan to be at home, spending time together, and resting/relaxing in preparation for the next week. Sometimes it’s hard, considering all that’s on our plates, but we’ve made a commitment to ourselves and God to devote this day to Him by making it a day different from the others. Even the Lord rested on the seventh day…

    • Elizabeth
      Posted December 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm | Permalink | Reply

      We are still struggling with this. Somehow, some part of me thought that having a child would slow things down. It certainly has not. We have decided that Mondays are a night that we spend together. No TV, no friends, no running around, just me and Jason (and Jude, but he’s usually asleep by 7:30pm). And I even make sure that during the day I only go grocery shopping. No friends over, no running around getting things done. I let myself sew and read during Jude’s naps and no housework. It is helping a little to do this!

      • Rebecca K
        Posted December 28, 2009 at 8:45 am | Permalink | Reply

        I believe that once we have children, our lives approach hyperspeed. So much stuff we want to fit in our lives with so little time!
        Between our jobs and Hayley’s school (AP classes never seemed this time-consuming when I was a kid!), we barely have any time or energy anymore. So what we do is spend our evenings before bed playing Wii, card or board games. And on weekends, we will go frisbee golfing or bike riding. Our neighbors probably think we’re recluses, but I really believe that’s important to nurture that family bond. I see a lot of families taking their kids to every activity under the sun, but what I think kids would enjoy most is spending time as a family.

        • Elizabeth
          Posted December 28, 2009 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          I agree – that family bond is so important! I hope that we will continue to make time for it as Jude gets older and begins to have extracurricular activities. I don’t want him to get overwhelmed with stuff, running from place to place but I know that takes conscience effort!

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  1. […] Posted by Elizabeth under Random | Tags: lent, rant, time, TV |   So you may remember my overwhelmed and exhausted post from last week? As an attempt to try and rectify that, we’re going to take a fast from TV […]

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