I had a minor meltdown this weekend -- over a paper towel holder. The paper towel holder in our kitchen broke several months ago, so my husband went out and bought a new one. For some reason, almost every time I tear off a paper towel, the roll falls out of the holder. Usually, I grumble a bit and put the paper towels back in the holder. On Saturday, however, I was trying to clean up the kitchen (which I really didn't want to be doing), went to get a paper towel and the roll fell down. So, I did the logical thing and promptly burst into tears. Now, clearly the issue was not that the paper towels keep falling down (although it is annoying, especially since no one else in my family seems to have the same problem). The issue was that I was tired and overwhelmed. My to-do list for last week and this week is a mile long. I'm in the middle of meeting deadlines for the biggest freelance project I do all year, I'm speaking to two different groups this week, my girls head back to school and activities and I was trying to get everything sorted and tagged for the semi-annual consignment sale I take part in.
To put it simply, I am overextended. I simply don't have enough time and energy to do all of this well, so I'm burning the candle on both ends trying to get it all done. I don't know about you, but when I get overextended, the people that take the brunt end of my tired crabbiness are the people that I love the most -- my husband and kids.
My girls were on spring break last week, and I wasn't a very good mom all week. I really just wanted my girls to entertain themselves so I could get all of my work done. I didn't look for and take advantage of the teachable moments God sent my way. I was way too busy trying to do everything else. So, when my girls got into fights with each other or didn't pick up after themselves, I was more likely to grumble or yell than I was to take a moment to teach. My bad.
Guess what else I wasn't doing last week? Spending daily time with God. I wasn't taking the time to let God fill me up, so I could fill others up with the overflow of His love. I was trying to do it all myself. I was clearly not very successful. Sure I was tired and overburdened, but Jesus was really clear about what we should do with our weariness. Matthew 11:28-29 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
I don't know about you, but I could sure use some of that rest. When we take our cares, worries and weariness to Jesus, He carries the load. When we're doing the things that He wants us to do and not the things that everyone else asks us to do, we carry an easy and light load. It's when we start piling on all those things that seem good but only sap our energy and time that we create a heavy load for ourselves.
- As you memorize this verse this week, take a minute to examine your schedule. Are you weary? Are you and your kids overscheduled? Have you taken on burdens that you were never meant to carry? Turn your schedule and your commitments over to God and ask Him to help you sort out what He wants you to do. Say no to everything else.
- Find time every day this week to let God fill you up, so you can fill up others with His love. Don't be discouraged by your to-do list. When we let God have the hours in our days, He can get us through that mammoth list with grace and love (and no tears over the paper towels).
- If you had a crummy attitude with your family last week, or even yesterday, turn it over to God and ask Him to help you do better today. Don't dwell on what you failed at yesterday. Look at the possibilities found in today.
- Lastly, practice saying "No." Consider every request in the light of if it's something God is asking you to do. If it's not, then say "No."
I'll be working on all of these things this week. I hope you'll join me in getting rid of those burdens and weariness and taking up the light and easy yoke that Jesus offered us.