With a season of planning, buying, prepping and traveling upon us, some tips for coping with it all.
Posted in , Nov 15, 2017
A few weeks ago, I sat down and thought about all the things I’ve got on my plate from now through February. Book, magazine and blog deadlines. Business obligations. Speaking engagements. Christmas and all it entails with decorating, buying and wrapping gifts, baking, get-togethers and church events. A family trip that will be fun but still requires packing and planning. Then tax time for our businesses. Some remodeling at our house. And the list goes on.
I was overwhelmed that it put a knot the size of Texas in my stomach. It didn’t help matters any that I was just getting over a two-month illness and was tired before I started.
I suspect I’m not the only one feeling this way. So I thought I’d share what God is teaching me during this oh-so-busy time:
1. We need to pray about things before adding them to our schedules. Seriously, folks, there are only so many hours in a day, and we can only do so much. (Yes, I’m reminding myself of that important lesson while I’m typing today.)
2. We must learn to say “No, I’m sorry, but I can’t.” That sounds so simple but it’s really hard to do.
3. We should ask God to be the keeper of our schedules. A good rule of thumb is: Don’t add anything to your calendar until you’ve asked Him about it first.
4. Know that if He has given these opportunities to us, that He will give us the strength to do them. He doesn’t call us without equipping us.
5. Schedules are like eating an elephant. We do it one bite at a time. For me, that sometimes means finding little pockets of times to do tasks that I’ve been dreading—so I can get them off my list. For example, a couple of weeks ago, I did our Christmas cards over the course of a few evenings while watching television with my husband. Now I don’t need to worry about how I’m going to fit those in around all the other gazillion things that need to be done around Christmas. I’ve discovered that being proactive really helps. When I wait until the last minute to do things, that’s when I become really stressed.
6. Instead of looking at our obligations as tasks, what if we looked at them as blessings? That can totally change our attitudes as we work.
In Psalm 142:3, God says, “When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then You knew my path.” Sweet friends, we can count on the fact that the God who knows our paths has everything under control. If He brought us to a task, He will bring us through until everything is completed. Tried and proven!
In 2001, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wasn’t a good candidate for chemo. I took tamoxifen instead and gave my trouble to God—just as Dr. Peale suggested in his book, "Thought Conditioners". Since then I’ve remained cancer free. -Guideposts Magazine reader