Lost and drowning.
Lost and drowning in a sea of responsibilities and expectations.
I couldn’t believe that THIS was something I actually wanted! The Christian woman’s dream that she grew up thinking about.
Wife, mother, housekeeper, businesswoman, homeschooler, Sunday School teacher, substitute nursery worker.
All day long I was helping other people. People that I love.
No seriously, people that I really love. Like my husband. My children.
This is what growing up and what I’m supposed to do for the rest of my life? Something is not right. This is not what I signed up for.
Someone! Anyone, please throw me a life-line and get me out of this nightmare.
And it really was a nightmare. Because I had made this built upon expectations of myself that were unrealistic.
I never wanted to have everything perfect. Or so I thought. I’m not a neat freak or OCD about everything…but I listened to the wrong little nagging comments.
The ones that told me, You have to decorate your house like THIS person’s house or the immaculate video I just watched on HGTV. The voices that said dinner has to be served hot and with fancy dishes…every single night. The voices that complained that my clothes weren’t the cutest ones off the rack. The voices that wondered at what kind of parent I was letting my kids watch tv/play on their devices/not take naps…and you fill in the blanks.
The nagging defeating thoughts were endless. I was truly lost in all of this.
I realize now that it wasn’t the 4 small children, three in diapers, working part-time as a Registered Nurse, and taking care of my house and church responsibilities that were the issue…it was me.
I am a giver.
I am a fixer of everyone else’s issues.
I am a pleaser.
Give me your problems, and I can probably have a workable solution for you that will fix almost everything, in under 5 minutes.
But, give me my problems. Give me my exhaustion. Give me the unrealistic and demanding scenarios that I’ve conjured up in my head. Give me….ME. And suddenly, I’ve got nothing.
No answers. No hope. And I feel like I’m drowning in everything.
The lessons I learned through all of this, can be summed up in one word. No.
No, is a very simplistic word. It’s universal in its translation. Doesn’t matter if you’re speaking Chinese, Spanish, Greek, English, or Polish. Say the word “no”, and people understand what you’ve said.
But how can the word “NO” help someone like me?
Say no – to those demanding thoughts. The ones that think that everything has to be at a certain time on a certain day. For example. Say no, to the thought, that just because it is Saturday…that my house has to be deep cleaned.
Because, when I was growing up, that is what my mom did. Every Saturday, we all had to clean the house. But fast forward 15 years to my own home, Saturdays can be one of the few days that my husband is home and we want a relaxing morning. Fun breakfast foods cooked, like Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce, served with a dollop of ice-cream (flavors like the ones here or Vanilla-Chocolate Swirl) of course. Lazy, stay-in-your-pj’s till 11 am kind of mornings. And you know what? That is ok! I can schedule house cleaning for another day. Tuesday morning, when the kids are settled down with their homeschooling, I can step away and get that bathroom deep cleaned.
Learn to say no to EXTRAS. One of the best books I have ever read is Lysa TerKeurst book “The Best Yes”. In the book, she shares that she has lots of people wanting her to do things. Husband, children, friends, co-workers, neighbors etc…but she can’t say yes to everyone. Because if she did, she would not be able to take care of her family in the best way. So make a list of your obligations. All of them!
The list may be long. 30+ things?
Yeah, sound about right.
And then start by color-coding or numbering them. Red for the family. Blue for Work. yellow for the church obligations. Brown for sports. This way you will know exactly what needs to be done on every day. Then when life’s hiccups come (flu season, strep throat, broken down vehicles, dentist appointment etc) you know exactly where you can move things around. Make your Best Yes one that will serve you and your family in the best possible way.
Say No to quitting. Failure is not an option. In those days when you are ready to give up and just walk out on everything. Stop. Remember the why. Life is not about getting dinner fixed on time. Life is not about having the perfect house decorated like Joanna Gaines on HGTV. Nor is it about yelling, arguing, fussing with husband and children.
Life is about Christ.
Make Him look big in your life and the lives of those that you touch.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31
In those moments that you feel like you are lost or wanting to quit. Maybe it’s time to take a step back and rest. Take an easier path. Ask for help. Get a babysitter. Get out of your house and take a walk. Order a pizza for dinner instead of trying to cook.
And when you’re out. This can be a great time to reflect on what God is teaching you right now.
You can do this by listening to some great Christian music. Read your Bible. Find comfort in His words. One of the passages that really pulls at my heart is this.
Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Isn’t that what your heart is crying out for right now?
It’s not the children. It’s not about dinner. It’s not about your home. It’s not about your husband.
It’s the anxiousness that you are feeling right now. The unsettledness in your heart.
It is about Christ drawing Himself to you.
Have you ever stopped to realize that your headaches, your messy home, fussy children who are clingy (or older kids that won’t stop fighting and arguing) are all there to point you to Christ?
What?? Might you be saying? This is a good thing!??!?
What if every situation that seems impossible that you are facing right now is there to get you on your knees, and point you to Christ, and make you finally give up fighting Christ.
What if you simply needed to stop and say, “Ok, Lord. You have my attention. How can I trust you THROUGH this situation?”
Is this a magic bullet or a genie that will magically solve all your problems.
This is a lifeline for you to keep swimming. This is a life preserver that is thrown to you to get you over the crashing waves that are bearing down on you.
This is not the rescue helicopter that gets you out of life difficulties. In life, those don’t happen very often.
But it is encouragement and hope for you to keep going.In those moments you feel like quitting, step back and realize they are they to point you to Christ. Find Him as your help as you go through your struggles! Click To Tweet
So. Right now. If you feel like you are drowning in a sea of responsibilities and expectations. Say no!
Say no to the impossible demands that you are placing on yourself and your family.
Say No to quitting
And say, the best yes, to what is most important to you in your life.
Ask for help!
I tell people, this is what my goal and mission in life are.
That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection….I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:10, 14
As I know Him better, then I can help others.
No, I’m not your rescue helicopter. I cannot save you. I am not your messiah.
But I can throw a lifeline to you. I can encourage you and strengthen you in the fight. I can help you put down those extra burdens that you are carrying, release the pain that is holding you back, and help you to keep going another day.
This is my ministry to women in their marriage, home-life, mothering, and work responsibilities.
If I can be a help to you. If you are still reading this, then it is because something in you is resonating with my words, and you are looking for help and hope. Reach out to me, and let me see if I can help you. Click HERE for easy access
Find rest, encouragement, and strength to keep your head above water today.