It had been a rough season for our family. Between aging parents, financial struggles, moving, and setting up a new business, my husband, Roger, and I were burned out, as in, crispy like bacon that had been left in the oven ten minutes too long. But the hits just kept on coming. More stress. More drama. More of everything I didn’t need—or want.
As I became more and more overwhelmed with all that was going on in our life, I kept cutting things out to make room for all the tasks that had to get done. Exercise was the first thing to go, and then cooking at home gave way to living off a variety of fast-food options. Sleep was replaced with copious amounts of caffeine, and eventually, my time with God fell off my to-do list.
I held it together for not weeks, but months. Honestly, I was impressed at how much capacity I had developed to take on so much hard stuff without a breakdown or even tears.
But then, one day, it all came crashing down.
Or at least the carton of eggs did.
I’d decided what we needed that Saturday morning, after a long, tension-filled week, was a batch of pancakes. I gathered all the ingredients only to drop the very last eggs in the house. You know—the ones I needed to make the homemade, add-a-touch-of-vanilla to-die-for pancakes.
And that’s when I lost it. Hard.
I sat on the kitchen floor right next to those useless eggs and cried. And not just a tear, but a wave of messy, dripping, snotty tears that not only frightened my husband but made the dog hide behind the couch, shaking in fear. You know your emotions have gotten the best of you when you realize you’ve scared the dog.
For months, and sometimes years, I had been living in what many people would consider overwhelming circumstances, but all that time I was at peace because I wasn’t handling the circumstances alone. I was relying on God daily. Talking to God daily. In His Word daily.
But when I got to the place of feeling so overwrought that I gave up on not only reading God’s Word, but also actually talking to God on the regular—you know, the source of my strength and stability—I was only able to fake the okay for a while.
It didn’t last for long, the disconnect from God. But my goal is to get to a place that when I am completely overwhelmed, God is my first thought, and not my last. So often in our overwhelm, our brain tells us to run to God, but instead our instincts tell us to catch up on the latest Netflix series and clean out all those snack bags that have just a few chips, crackers, and cookies in them.
If you, too, need help getting off the kitchen floor, it’s time to reach out to God again and ask for help. No fancy prayers. Nothing too spiritual. In fact, my favorite prayer is one word: Help. God will not leave you down on the linoleum. It’s His greatest desire to see you get up once again and lean on Him. You were not meant to stand alone during the hardest times of your life. (Or sit on the floor for very long either…)
The above excerpt is from An Abundant Place, a new devotional by Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory. Are you overcommitted, overstressed, or just plain overwhelmed? These devotions will give you greater peace and perspective, and a plan for managing your busy life. Discover a place of more joy and abundance, one devotion at a time.
Kathi Lipp is the bestselling author of The Husband Project, Clutter Free, and Overwhelmed. She is the host of the Clutter Free Academy podcast. She and her husband, Roger, live in California and are parents of four young adults. Kathi shares her story at retreats, conferences, and women’s events across the United States. Connect with her at www.KathiLipp.com and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AuthorKathiLipp.