Well, here in the south, school is back in session (or very soon about to be for some). For students, teachers, parents, and everyone involved with the whole educational process this is a time of adjustment and gung-ho attitudes. For me, this start to the school year has been a little odd… summer was spent traveling, there weren’t as many school supplies to purchase, and we seemed to step right out of the last school year- into this one. So far, we’ve had a great beginning but for me, it just seems a little off- not bad, just a little moreÂ difficultÂ for me to get my footing. I’m not necessarily busier than I was at the start of the previous school years (perhaps just a bit more), but I think because I’m busier mentally, it seemed to be a little harder for me to think and plan clearly this go around. However, I believe my feet are planted in a good stance now; ready to kick this year in the tuckus… it was slow getting here though.
Over the past couple of weeks, in the midst of school shopping, trying to organize and clean the house after summer vacations, reconfiguring a schedule to now include all the things that will be taking little shifts in my life, I’ve felt a bit… twisted… yeah, twisted is a good word. It’s that feeling you get when you’re not really in a bad or difficult place, just kind of writhing around trying to mentally grasp at the straws you’re holding in order to make sense of everything that needs to be accomplished and planned out in your world. You’ve felt twisted before- right? In this serpentine place, I found myself a bit mentally knotted up in areas. Normally, I would push through this feeling- barreling past whatever things I believed were hindering me, and (stressed or not) see it through until I had everything sorted out and all my little ducklings were in a row. (I love ducks) ðŸ™‚ This time though, I felt God whisper in my ear very early on… “Just take a step back”. Again- for those who know me, this is not my go-to, but I heard it before I started getting overwhelmed and I immediately and willingly obeyed. (This really is rare for me- that’s why I’m able to say this without any pride whatsoever- I’m actually sharing it with a measure of shock in my thoughts.)
At that particular point, the only thing I really heard God say to “take a step back” on was my writing. For a week straight, I didn’t write at all; I notified the other writer that I’m blessed to work alongside on a couple of different sites, and I took a literary breather. In the process, I got all my quackers lined up, the new schedule in place, and the house in “manageable” order. (Yeah, like your house is perfectly clean with littles running around). On top of this though, which is straight-up grace from God, I was blessed with hearing several things very clearly from my Heavenly Father that I had been needing to hear. There are some things that I’ve got up my sleeve for the near future, some prayer requests that I had lifted up, and a few little added eye-openers that God just threw in there, and I believe it was all because I obeyed so quickly… even in a matter as small as this. Again, I’m not saying this in a “look how good I did” kind of way. Rather, I think people- women especially- are really bad about thinking they have to run head-long into every single thing on their plate in order to get everything accomplished in the manner it should be done in. (Oh my goodness I’m so terrible at doing that!) Being overwhelmed is not what God wants us to be, even though we all get that way- fairly often I might add. Being overwhelmed happens when we choose too many things to dish out from the buffet of life and we think we have to eat it all with a smile on our face in order to be good at what we’re doing. Is this always the case? Really? Do we have to have our cake and eat our neighbor’s too?
Here’s my challenge to you: the next time you feel twisted inside, like things just aren’t straightening up the way you know they should, pray and ask if there’s something you need to simply take a break from. All I took was a week and I got things done, on time, and even heard extras from God and got confirmations that I needed in several areas. Not to say this exact thing will happen to you, or will happen every time, but if we know peace is what God tells us to have (and freely offers) then isn’t it worth it to see what will bring you that little bit of needed relief? You don’t get brownie points for being stressed out my friends- no one will clap for you if you go nuts trying to juggle all of those balls you have flying. The things that bring glory to God, peace to your heart, and a surprising example to those around you, are when you choose to take a step back for your own well-being and in obedience to God. Choosing to stop or even wait a bit on something is easier said than done… but how much easier will those things be done if you do?
Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.Â Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful. John 14:27