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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Overwhelmed

Monday, November 1, 2010


The feelings came on strong again, heavy on my chest. I looked around my house and I saw all that was undone. The kitchen a mess. The table the same. Remnants of laundry folded in piles on the couch. Nearby three bushels of apples in heaps around the kitchen. Canning equipment and supplies everywhere. My desk buried. Toys and paper airplanes strewn about. The baby still crying.

In a word... overwhelmed.

My heart is laden with guilt. My attitude in desperate need of a re-boot. I am often amazed at how a single failure on my part can rob me of patience, love and grace for everyone else.

Thing were running smoothly, despite the mess which seemed to be taking over. My Beloved was home early and I had jump started the applesauce canning of the day. Now I'd get dinner thrown in the oven so we could eat a nutritious balanced meal (for once) before he had to leave for class.

Then it occurred to me that I hadn't precooked the green beans for the casserole. A seemingly trivial thing, but our time frame and the state of the pan I needed for that task removed all hope from me like a town ravaged by fire.


I'd failed.


And there was nothing I could do to fix it. Suddenly I had no patience for Tornado. His questions. His loud playing, talking, singing. Playing where he shouldn't be. I snapped at him. I felt worse. Things kept getting worse.

Over the next hour my despair seemed to deepen and my patience thinned more and more. I knew my heart was wrong, but how is a mother of three in the middle of several things with time constraints supposed to get away and get right? Instead the mess and noise and list of all left undone crowded in on me. I could feel despondency and anger welling up to take the place of my drowning.

Then my mind drove in fast forward as I began to look around at all I would need to do... should do... before getting to those things I had wanted to tackle tonight. Never ending.


Still, as I looked around I saw only clutter, mess. Hopelessness. Without warning and in the space of very little time, I was back. In the middle of the previous week. A bad place to be. One I'd hoped was gone, a passing phase. But here it was again. Failure. Hopelessness. Depression.

A suppression so strong I could do little more than look around and grow more weary, more hopeless. Overwhelmed. A laundry list of all I wouldn't have time for formed in my head.

But, in fact, reality was much different. The kitchen table was covered because jars of home canned applesauce sat there. Evidence of productivity throughout the week. The kitchen has been worse, much worse. Toys cluttered the house as evidence of the wonderful little lives that left them there.

I was the only one to think I'd failed.

My family ate a meal together. Leftovers, but a meal. Twenty minutes of hard work would have this place looking pretty good. Another thirty would give time for a shower and some freshening up.

This weight forcing me downward, nothing but lies from the evil one. The enemy. Yet I fall for it. It occurs to me that I'm under attack for my recent determination to grow in gratitude. How can I exude gratefulness when my heart is consumed with failure. Hopelessness. Me. Gratitude is, after all, only worship. Pure worship.

Now there I was. Again. Under fresh attack. Pressed onto the couch, chest heavy. Doing nothing to climb out. Another hour gone, wasted.

So thank you God. Thank you for You. Thank you for grace. Thank you for worship. In simply lifting my eyes in worship to you, I am set free. Free from hopelessness. Free from the weight that presses upon me from every counter top. Free from myself. Thank you for this home. For the walls that surround me. For enough clothes to sit in piles. For apples. For applesauce. Thank you for your calling on my life. That you ask me first and foremost to love you. Thank you for loving me first. Thank you again for grace.

Slowly. Slowly I feel strength enough to smile. Then to stand.

A timer set. 20 minutes. Thank you for order. Lines of jars. Room for children to eat breakfast in the morning. Thank you for shelves. Toys away. Thank you for progress. That you see my heart, not my clutter.

Thirty minutes. A shower. A heart full of worship. Gratitude.

holy experience

More, poring from my heart over the last couple weeks...

19. Cuddles with my girl

20. Piles of apples

21. a full refrigerator

22. left-overs for lunch

23. sleeping through the night

24. a servant husband

25. waking to a clean kitchen

26. cuddles with my boy

27. being pleasantly surprised by a new recipe

28. grace from my sweet husband

29. a clingy girl

30. patterns with the kids

31. productive mornings

32. laundry helpers

33. a plan for dinner

34. a husband willing to serve me when it would be easier not to

35. toast for breakfast

36. dishes put away the night before

37. kids who slept longer than expected

38. beautiful leaves

39. a sweet daddy with his boy

40. a surprise lunch out

41. grace in my failures

42. dinner around an outside fire

43. help with the dishes

44. an evening freed up last minute

45. a year worth of applesauce put up

46. a dinner out

47. almost out of apples

48. extra sleep

49. elderberry syrup

50. feeling better

51. family time

52. playing together at the park

53. new friends

54. projects done

55. space reclaimed

56. working with my husband

57. God's protection

58. spotting deer

59. helping friends

What are you thankful for today?

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At November 1, 2010 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Kristin said...

I can really relate to your words. I tend to succumb to feelings of being overwhelmed far too often! And then I get angry and then I feel guilt and it is just a constant cycle. So thankful for grace!

At November 7, 2010 at 7:29 AM , Blogger Holly said...

Wow-I felt like I was reading about me. Thanks for the encouragement! Holly

At November 10, 2010 at 7:20 AM , Blogger BlessedMamaofMany said...

I am thankful for finding your blog today!


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