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When Life Overwhelms (Inspirational Reads Chapter 1)

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We can all find ourselves in situations when life just overwhelms. Those times when just the very thought of getting up in the morning exhausts us. Sometimes it’s a day or two, sometimes it’s a week or two, and sometimes there can just be seasons in our lives where we are running completely on empty.

There is much more that can be said here, but chances are if you’ve chosen to read about when life overwhelms you’re just feeling, well, overwhelmed. This means that you need some help, you need some answers, you need some guidance.

If you’re along for the book club, you’re in the right place. Keep reading. More details on the book club at the end.

life overwhelms

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So, let’s get to the point. What can we do when life overwhelms?

Define it

Define and identity that you are overwhelmed. Call it for what it is. Identify it, put a label on it, and then be ready to move forward. Defining it for what it is comes first.

Take ownership of it

Regardless of what factor or series of factors has brought you to this place, you are responsible for some parts of them. I know it may not be easy to hear, but there are things that you have, or have not, done that have only exacerbated your feelings of overwhelm. Identify what you’ve been responsible for in creating your exhausted state.

Commit to doing something different right now

Recognizing a problem, naming a  problem, and then taking ownership of the problem come first. But after that, you need to commit to doing something different starting right now. How does that saying go? Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results…or something like that. However, the point has been made that you can either choose to repeat old patterns of behavior and most likely stay on the hamster wheel that you find yourself running on, or you can choose to do something different, which could yield different results.

Focus on you

Just as Lysa points out, so often we can fear letting others down. However, if you are to the point of overwhelm you are not doing yourself or anyone else justice. In all reality, even your best effort probably won’t be of much value to anyone else when you are doing it while completely depleted. If you are running on fumes, the time has come to focus on you.


If you are a Christian as I am, this is the point where you need to pray for wisdom and discernment in how you are to best serve Him and those He places in your life. Moving forward on your own, following what you feel is best if you are a Christian is often how we wind up in trouble. Pray for guidance in what you should and shouldn’t be doing at this point in your life’s journey.


Accept that you are not going to please others all the time. Interestingly, you are not expected to, or at least you shouldn’t be. As we move forward through this book we are going to be learning a lot about this saying no thing, which will disappoint others – and maybe even yourself at times, too (eek!).

Put at least one pocket of calm in each day

I love the pocket of calm. Even as a mom to a bunch of wee ones, you can find a way to carve out just 10 minutes of you time. This is what is called a pocket of calm. Maybe it will be before all the kids get up, maybe it will be after breakfast is done while the kids have a quick video, maybe it will be during nap time. Right now, decide on a 10 minute pocket of calm point in your day.

Put that pocket of calm in writing

It doesn’t matter it it’s written on your mirror in lipstick, written on a sticky note stuck to the kitchen cupboard, or written in the fanciest of planners. The point is to schedule a pocket of calm at a specific time of the day and then write it down!

Choose something that brings peace to your soul

It could be a book, a blog, or even pouring your heart out in a journal. Decide on one thing that brings you a feeling of peace, calm, and serenity, and pursue that thing. This would be a great thing to focus on during your pocket of calm

Find a mirror

Find a mirror? Yes find a mirror. Any ol’ mirror will do. Now, stand in front of your mirror and repeat after me…”I’m doing this because I’m worth it.”  Remember, even Jesus recognized the need to get away by himself to restore peace and calm to His soul. He knew others needed Him, but he recognized the importance of filling his tank when life overwhelms. Follow His lead. I think He was on to something!

inspirational reads

The thoughts shared in this post were inspired by chapter one in The Best Yes. This is a book that were are reading together as a community beginning February 22nd, 2016. We are reading just three chapters a week in this book.

Even if you are not reading along with us this time, you can still pick up your own copy and gain the wisdom you need in making wise decisions in the midst of endless demands.

The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands

Here is a bit more about our book club…

This book club is a way of encouraging others to carve out the time to read at a pace of just three chapters a week because I’ve learned that finding time to read never just happens on its own.

Every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday there will be blog posts here with Monday’s Inspirational Reads somewhere in the title with my reaction to each of the three chapters for the week, and then on Thursday evening at 9 pm EST we will be on Periscope discussing the chapters in an interactive format. You can find everything you need to know about Periscope by reading The Periscope Lowdown.

All you have to do is grab your book above, and you’re good to go! We’d love to have you join it, otherwise, grab your own copy and read any of the posts with Monday’s Inspirational Reads in the title and you can join in on your own time!


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