Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Finding Joy When You’re Feeling Overwhelmed by Lisa Jordan

The week before Mother’s Day had been one of the busiest weeks I’d experienced this year—increased work obligations, planning a women’s ministry event at my church, helping my husband get ready for a work-related business trip, and editing my current manuscript that’s due at the end of the month. On top of that, I’d hurt my back and spent three days in pain while pushing through to complete my to-do list. 

Lisa Jordan
All of these tasks were good things that needed to be done, but when they fell all in the same week, I felt overwhelmed. I’d gone to bed exhausted, and I hadn’t slept well especially after waking up in the middle of the night when my brain roused with thoughts of everything that needed to be done. Naturally, I grew exhausted, which didn’t help with those overwhelming feelings.  

One morning last week, our alarm had gone off at 6:00 a.m., but I’d had been awake already for a couple of hours. After sending my husband off to work, a heavy sigh escaped as I eyed that day’s to-do list written in my planner. Then God whispered into my heart:

Lead me to the rock that is higher than I...

After settling in my favorite chair with a steaming cup of tea and my dog on my lap, I closed my planner and opened my Bible to Psalm 61. I love the beauty of David’s prayer and the pictures his words paint. As I savored those promises, a peace I hadn’t felt in days flowed through me. I wanted to face my day with joy instead of dread. My to-do list had taken over my life, and I needed to make some changes. Perhaps you’ve experienced a similar situation, so allow me to share tips that helped me:

1. Pray—He hears the cries of your heart and listens to your prayers. Ask God for wisdom and clarity to focus on the priorities for the day.

2. Simplify—Our hearts grow weary when there’s so much to do. To be productive, we need to do less to have more. Sure that sounds like an oxymoron, but a simplified schedule and limited to-do list allows us to give focused attention on our priorities for the day. God promises to be our refuge.

3. Prioritize—look at your calendar and to-do list and break it down into three columns: Need, Want, Wait. Choose the top 3 tasks that need to be completed that day and do them. By crossing those items off your list, you will feel empowered by your productivity. If time allows, look at your want list and choose one task that you can complete in a specified amount of time.

4. Delegate—asking for help permits us to give more focused attention to our priorities. And it offers a blessing to those who say yes to your request. After hurting my back, I asked two friends to help with prep for my women’s ministry event. As we worked and laughed over ridiculous moments, one of my friends mentioned she was so glad I’d called because she’d been looking for something to do that night. She’s been going through a difficult time, and the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday was weighing heavily on her heart. So my request turned out to be a blessing...for both of us.

5. Decline—practice the art of saying no. You may be asked to do or participate in many good things, but you need to keep your focus on your priorities and the calling God has laid on your heart. Protect your calendar from becoming too full by giving it up to God on a daily basis. He will direct you towards those opportunities where to invest your time. Your ‘no’ could the courage someone else needs to say ‘yes’ and rise up to a new calling.

Each of us experience different seasons in our lives. Right now, your primary focus may be parenting your young children, focusing on your crumbling marriage, restoring your health, or perhaps caring for aging parents. Those blessings require a lot of time and attention. Lean on God and allow Him to lead you to the ‘rock that is higher than I’.

About the Author
Heart, home, and faith have always been important to Lisa Jordan, so writing stories with those elements come naturally. Represented by Rachelle Gardner, Lisa is an award-winning author for Love Inspired, writing contemporary Christian romances that promise hope and happily ever after. She is the Operations Manager for My Book Therapy. Happily married to her own real-life hero for almost thirty years, Lisa and her husband have two grown sons. When she isn’t writing, Lisa enjoys family time, kayaking, good books, and playing in her craft room with friends. Visit her at lisajordanbooks.com.

Lakeside Family
Lisa Jordan

Lakeside Family
The one man she never wanted to see again is the only who can save her daughter’s life.

In the space of a minute, Nick Brennan learns he has a nine-year-old daughter— and that she desperately needs his help. All this time, his high school sweetheart, single mother Josie Peretti, thought he knew about their child. And that he just didn’t care. About the ill little girl—or Josie, the woman he’s never forgotten. But Nick made a long-ago promise never to forsake his family the way his father did. A promise he vows to make good on now… if only Josie will bless him with a second chance.