The Fastest Way Out of Overwhelmed

FastestWayOutofOverwhelmed copy

Some days I just get what my mind dubs “overwhelmed”.  I feel like the waves are coming over me and my head is rarely above water.

The dishes in the sink.

The laundry with clothes we need clean for today’s outing.

The kids running in different directions.

Three voices saying “mom” “mom” “maaaaaaa”.

Do I tell everyone to “STOP!”?  Do I begin barking orders like a drill sergeant?  I only have three kids for crying out loud, is that really too many people to manage?  No… but I don’t want to manage them; I want to grow them.  I want to grow them.  It’s overwhelming.

It’s the consciousness that time is fleeting and there’s no pause button.

But remembering why I feel overwhelmed in the first place is to remember that the things I do are for the ultimate purpose of glorifying God through helping my husband and growing the next generation.

The dishes and laundry and outings and meals are all for the purpose, but they themselves are not the purpose.

You can’t grow up people without clothing, feeding, and sheltering them.  These things must take place, and they just won’t do themselves.  But when all we have to do begins to get heavy, we need to step back and look at it all through eternity-colored glasses, allowing ourselves to be transformed into graceful mamas by the renewing of our minds (and priorities).

Each child is not a member of a group collectively known as “the children”.  Each child is an individual, and she needs individual attention.  He needs to know I didn’t just hear his thoughts but that I was thinking about what he was thinking.  Facing the dishes while listening to a child who is sitting at the table drawing is absolutely time together with her.  But if days go by and this is the only type of communication we have, then everyone begins to feel restless.  She begins to show frustration and say I don’t spend time with her…

This is when I stop and make eye contact.

Hands-down, in my ten years of marriage and five years of being a mother, giving a person my full attention through eye contact while they are speaking has been the “gentle answer that turns away wrath”.  It’s softened the countenance of even the most momentarily-rebellious strong-willed child and drastically changed the course of our day.  It’s shown trust to the skeptic and joy to the downcast.

Eye contact can last 10 seconds or 10 minutes and may need to be reapplied several times per day.  This is a supplement to giving the One who is always speaking into us our full attention.

Remember why we’re here.  Remember what are the means and what is the end.  In all things, embrace grace.  I’m in this right along with you.

Now go find some children’s eyes to smile into.

Sharing with: Time Warp Wife, The Road to 31, Abiding Woman, Growing Home Blog, Raising Homemakers, Raising Arrows, A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, Woman 2 Woman Ministries, Graced Simplicity, Raising Mighty Arrows, Serving Joyfully, The Modest Mom Blog, A Mama’s Story, Far Above Rubies, Teaching What is Good,

9 thoughts on “The Fastest Way Out of Overwhelmed

  1. I love this post! I have 4 little ones and run our home, so I get overwhelmed almost daily. I get so tired of hearing people say, “:don’t worry about the house, dishes…. spend time with the kids.” Yes, that is great, but the house doesn;t get clean by itself and I also do not think its good for the family to live in a mess! I love your idea of balance. Spending time with a child while washing the dishes is spending time, but can not be the only way.
    I also love this: “Each child is not a member of a group collectively known as “the children”. Each child is an individual, and she needs individual attention. I have made an effort to sit down with my kids when they ask. My two year old son will say “I wanna hold you.” when he wants my attention. Even though I have a lot to do, I stop and hold him.
    Great post. Stopping by from T2D Link Up.

    • Thank you so much for stopping by and for sharing kind words! It’s a blessing to be able to encourage each other, especially as wives and mothers 🙂

      Praying you are blessed and finding peace in the whirlwind today!
      ~Melissa

  2. Hi There! Found your post through the Homemaking Link-Up! This is a great post. Thank you for this reminder. I recently started following Hands Free Mama. If you haven’t checked her out yet, you should. I think you would appreciate her. ~Erika from MishMashedMe

    • Hi Erika! I am so glad you stopped by and dropped me a note. Thank you for the encouragement! I will definitely stop in at Hands Free Mama, thanks for sharing!
      Have a blessed day!
      ~Melissa

    • I share the reminders because I needed them first! My own blog helps me to stay accountable as I am reminded every day not to see my children as a “collective” 🙂
      Thanks for encouraging me!
      And thanks for sharing–I am enjoying beginning to look through your blog!

  3. Eye contact is the thing that breaks our focus on what WE’RE trying to do– and lets God step in with a tiny blessing from time to time. How many times have I thought I was being interrupted by a nagging little one when I was really being shown how I was that person’s everything in that moment?

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