How Limits Are A Blessing

The dishes in the sink were still piled high, the stove needed scrubbing, the bathroom mirror could use some Windex, and I still needed to go grocery shopping. I traipsed around our apartment, grumbling and complaining; getting angry. I was looking forward to my walk to the grocery store to cool off. During my walk I prayed for some calm in my heart, I was frustrated. As I prayed, God's wisdom came and showed me: you're overwhelmed. 

My sense of overwhelm came off as anger and frustration. That clarity helped me to change my plans for the rest of the day, I had to readjust, I was again overwhelming myself with too much to do. I don't know why I always find myself in that place. It could be my upbringing of seeing my mom do so much around the house, or it could be that I'm just distracting myself from work or my time of creativity. But my mother's preference of doing so many things at a time is just her personality, I can't work that way. Distracting myself can only last so long, I get to those things eventually.

My husband has sharpened his keen eye to spot when I'm overwhelmed. He tells me when to slow down, when to take a break, when to cut some things out. Even my therapist has advised me in the past to cut things off my list! I'll continue to pray about this because it is a pattern. Have you experienced this constant self-induced overwhelm? How do you quit from doing that? Please share your wisdom!

I loved this sentiment from poet Jackie Hill Perry: "To be frank, I don’t know if it’s true that you can do anything you put your mind to. We’re limited by time, money, our humanity and even sovereignty. A better way is to believe you can do everything God has graced you to do. That’s more realistic and just as encouraging."

I keep in mind how God has new mercies every morning; how Jesus said worrying can't add a single hour to your day. 

Then there are days where there are actually so many things to do that must be done. Overwhelm or not, these things can't wait. In those days, I remember how God's grace is sufficient. His strength comes when I am weak. I don't feel alone, I know He is with me, I know I can ask for help, I know I can ask for extended deadlines. On those days, I feel prepared to show myself grace. 

There is a set time for each day and the common narrative is: “there aren’t enough hours in the day”, but what if we’re just over-doing things in a day? We push our agendas and push what we feel needs to be done, putting too much on our days, ourselves, on others, when the day has enough mercies for itself. God provides, and He gives the grace, the time, and the provision.

My encouragement today is, take a moment to reflect why you're feeling angry (you could just be overwhelmed and that's something you can work with), remember God's new mercies for each day, don't push your agenda, but see where the day's mercies belong.


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