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Are you feeling today that there is just too much to do?

I remember a time in my life when I felt like I was drowning under the obligations of being a woman, wife, mother, director of women’s ministries, friend, sister, and daughter. There was so much to do to keep up with family relationships, to keep up the house, to keep up with my job, and to keep up in my walk with God. I literally felt I was drowning in obligation, and continually coming up short.

I truly believe today that when we feel like that, we’re taking on more than we were intended to bear. And most likely, more than God wants us to bear.

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3 questionsDo you find it difficult to say “no” when an opportunity comes your way or someone asks you to do something?

Well, you can’t live your dream if you’re continuing to rescue one situation after another. By knowing where your “yes” is, you can more easily say “no” to the things that might actually be distracting you from living the dream God has placed on your heart.

Here are three questions to ask, from When a Woman Discovers Her Dream, that will help you recognize what you’re being called to do, as opposed to something you’re trying to rescue:

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These are hard times. thankful

I’m reminded of it every time I have to put gas in my car, or the grocery bill was more than I expected, or the promised check in the mail didn’t come.

Yet on any given day of the week, I hear of families who are experiencing more difficult times than I am. I still have a roof over my head, a car that runs (actually, our family has three of them!), and I’ve never known the pangs of starvation. In addition, Scripture says I have some spiritual blessings that will blow my mind if I really think about them.

I got to thinking about those “spiritual blessings” today and it changed my perspective on these ‘hard times’ I’m living in:

  1. I have a home. Not only do I have shelter and a place to lay my head at night, but I have an eternal home waiting for me someday. Jesus called it a mansion…apparently a place big enough to blow away any type of dwelling I could afford or acquire here on earth (John 14:20, NKJV).
  2. I have a family. Not only do I have a husband and daughter, and parents and siblings, all of whom are still living, but I have a spiritual family as well. The church (both local and corporate) is made up of believers that, at times, can be closer than family. What a blessing that, even if you don’t feel you have family around, if you are connected with other believers, you have family.
  3. I  have a husband. In a day and age when divorce claims 1 in 2 marriages, and adultery, abandonment and abuse run rampant, I have much to be grateful for that my husband is  still honoring his commitment to be faithful to me in every way. Maybe you are not in a position to say the same. Yet you can. Scripture tells us in Isaiah 54:5: “For your husband is your Maker, the Lord God of hosts.” When you are trusting in His Son, Jesus, for your eternal life, He has committed Himself to never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He husbands you in a way that no earthly man ever more

    While going through my daughter’s backpack when she was in the second grade, I found a paper on which she had written her spelling words for the week. I was pleased to see an “A” for correct spelling and grammar. But as I read her sentences, I realized whom I had become in her eyes:

“Busy – My mom is always so busy. “time_flies_2

“Time” – My mom never has enough time.”

“Speed – My mom does things with such speed.”

“Garden – My mom used to spend time in the garden.”

My heart sank as I realized two things: The first was that, to my seven-year-old daughter, I was her whole world.  Every sentence was about her mom. She observed me, studied me, wanted to be like me. And the second realization was this:  She saw me as a mom who was rushing through life, not as one who took the time to be with her.

I took a good hard look at my life that evening and realized that isn’t who I wanted to more

woman-and-aweDo you ever have one of those moments when a truth  stops you dead in your tracks and makes you think Wow….I didn’t realize what I have!? 

I’m wondering this morning how much I’ve been affected by what Author Byron Forrest Yawn calls “Suburbianity.” In his book by the same title, he says our life in the American suburbs greatly affects how we perceive and relate to the gospel. He says we are so wrapped up in our own story — our own trivial pursuits — that  the real story –what Christ did for us centuries ago “is gagged and bound by our self absorption.”

In a very convicting paragraph, Byron stirred my soul, when he said “We shove our need for personal value down the Bible’s throat. Nearly every passage we touch somehow magically turns to us. This is such a shame. The real story is so amazing.”

I got to thinking of the real story….

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praying otterI’d like to say that every morning at the crack of dawn I am assuming this position (at left) and starting my day in prayer.  Actually, I can still remember days in my early 30s when I eagerly rose from bed at  5:30 a.m., spent some precious time in prayer and Bible study and then showered and got on with an extremely productive day.

All I can say now is Where did those days go?

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I’ve never had more of a potential for stress than this holiday season. Since I put off my November 1st book deadline to focus on some Fall speaking engagements, my back is now up against the wall to complete my next book,  When a Mom Inspires Her Daughter. I’ve been given a deadline extension — Dec. 27 — just two days after Christmas. And I still have a ways to go before the manuscript is complete.

Yet this gives me a great opportunity to practice what I’ve been preaching the past month about having a stress-free holiday season. read more

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