“When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”
-Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands
It’s Monday, and you are likely looking at your schedule for the week, noting all of your commitments, appointments, all the things you need to do, and all the things that you know you should do. Are you feeling overwhelmed yet? I am.
In a society that condones and rewards overworking and busyness, it’s easy to feel guilty when we say no, or need a break, or just don’t want to do something. Women, especially, struggle with this because we are caretakers, multitaskers, and people-pleasers (in general). Saying no just seems wrong.
But when we take on more than we can handle, and the things that overwhelm our schedules are more urgent than important, we fill our lives with stress and little else. We table our family time, our devotions, our rest, and our physical activity in favor of running errands, sitting in on meetings, and fulfilling others’ unrealistic expectations.
I’m guilty of this. I think we all are. But what matters is, are we willing to change? Are we able to make the choice to disappoint others so that we can de-stress our lives and focus on what really matters?
While I was reading The Best Yes, I told myself that I could do it. I was feeling encouraged and motivated and confident. But putting it into practice is hard! Like writing with my left hand or brushing my teeth in the opposite order, not staying busy felt awkward and counter-intuitive.
But despite the difficulties and failures, it is worth it. Stress and overwhelm steal our peace, our time with God and our family, our strength, and our very personalities. We become robots who are more concerned with performing our tasks than the ache in our hearts and souls.
So, as you look over your responsibilities for the week, see if there are some that you can bow out of. Find some space in your schedule to breathe and just be. And next week, when someone asks you to so something that you really don’t have time for, practice saying no. It might feel like you’re speaking a foreign language, but it’s one that’s worth becoming fluent in.
God bless, and have a happy Monday!
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