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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stressed Out!


By Lisa Karon Richardson

I’ve gotta be honest. I was not in the mood to write about faith. I’m feeling stressed out and tapped out, overwhelmed and under-inspired. I was pretty sure I didn’t have anything to offer to this group of readers that I admire and value so much. I was willing to bet that you all had your acts together a lot better than me. In short, I whined a great deal. Finally, God whacked me upside the head with the reminder that it’s not all about me. Then he graciously led me to some scriptures that refreshed me as I hope they will you.

Psalm 61
Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of thy wings. Selah.

It’s encouraging to know that I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed at times. Even the poet-warrior-king felt that way at times. I love the image of God as a mother hen. I want to be that little chick taking shelter below His wing. The storm may be raging, but I am secure tucked in where I can not just hear, but feel His heartbeat.

Isaiah 40:28-31
Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

I know that in that scripture “wait” means to tarry. I’ve been reminding myself that I want His perfect timing because I know it will be better in the long run. Waiting can be a good thing, even if I long for something now.

I love our language because in English “wait” can also mean to serve. Like a waiter waiting at a restaurant. And I think there’s something to be learned from that interpretation too. If I seek first to serve the Lord, to do what He has called me to do, then He has a vested interest in seeing me succeed. He will help me climb higher and go further.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

If I don’t have it all together, well… maybe that’s just where God wants me. I would rather be aware of my neediness than to think that because I’ve got my life so “under control” that I have no need of a savior.

I desperately need the Lord, but He is more than enough to meet my need.

Anyone else feeling stretched too thin? Can we help you pray for something?

Influenced by books like The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, Lisa Karon Richardson’s early books were heavy on boarding schools and creepy houses. Now that she’s (mostly) all grown-up she still loves a healthy dash of adventure and excitement in any story she creates, even her real-life story. She’s been a missionary to the Seychelles and Gabon and now that she and her husband are back in America, they are tackling a brand new adventure, starting a daughter-work church in a new city. Her first novella, Impressed by Love, part of the Colonial Courtships collection, is coming in May, 2012.

24 comments:

  1. I sometimes wonder what I'm doing WRONG. I feel quite overwhelmed with things I NEED to do. It's made worse right now because - (shh, don't tell) it's very very slow at work. I have to work hard to find things to do and I ran out...last week.

    At home, I have lots of things to do. Rain has brought back weeds and lawn. And there's always housework to do. But my nights have been too full to even touch my WIP. That's SO FRUSTRATING.

    Okay. I feel a bit better just getting that out in the air.

    I don't really know what to give up to make more time to write, so I'm going to focus on praying for wisdom. (and, no I don't watch TV)

    Perhaps I'll try more prayer? Hmmm, what a thought.

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  2. Wow, Lisa. And here I've been shipping one chapter a day of my wip to you for critting. You've been doing such an awesome job I hadn't realized it was adding to an overwhelming situation. :(

    And Deb, why did I think you had time for my story when you don't have for your own? :(

    I guess I have a heap of prayin' to do.

    Thanks for the verses, Lisa. They're so apt for the situation.

    Anita Mae.

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  3. Thank you, Lisa. I love each and everyone of these scriptures. And I certainly need a post like this today. Last night. My shoulders were so tight and hard as rocks. I tend to hold all my stress there, which then leads to headaches as it travels up my neck. I will meditate on these scriptures today.

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  4. I just turned down a job teaching college because every time I worked on the syllabus I felt stressed out, almost to the point of panic. After a lot of prayer, I finally decided I just didn't have peace about teaching the class. I was trying to do what seemed right and practical for my family, but I guess in the end it wasn't God's will for me. Hopefully that assessment is accurate. If not, then I'm just a big, chicken, weenie. Which is possible as well :)

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  5. Deb, your situation s so full of unknowns that it's crazy. It's no wonder you're stressed out. And what a bummer to feel like you're "wasting" valuable time at work. Time that could actually be productive!

    I wish I had the magic answer on how to juggle it all, but I think my post made it obvious that I am far from having the answers!

    Jesus, I pray that you would pour out a blessing of a block of uninterrupted time and heavenly inspiration on Deb. Help her to carve out the time she needs for her writing.

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  6. Anita Mae,

    I'm enjoying critiquing your story so please don't stop sending it and don't feel guilty! The overwhelmed feeling waxes and wanes. Just don't be offended if it takes me a couple days to turn it around ;o)

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  7. Suzie Jo, I'm praying that the Lord tucks you close to His side today and you get a chance to listen to his heartbeat and feel his great love for you. Everything else sort of pales in comparison when we turn our eyes to Jesus.

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  8. Dina, if you didn't have peace about the situation then you were wise to step back, no matter how much "sense" it made to press forward. Praying that the Lord would confirm your step in a very tangible way.

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  9. Hey girls, I think most of you know that my husband and I have been starting a daughter work church. A new family had just started helping us out. Well, last night we got a call they arrived home to find their adult son had died of asphyxiation after taking heroin. They are devastated of course and could sure use a prayer covering right now. If you could lift them up, I would appreciate it.

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  10. Oh, Lisa. Adding my prayers for the new family.

    Adding prayers for the rest of the Inkies and our readers,too. We all have burdens and deadlines and not all of us publicly announce our concerns. We've been raised not to air our dirty laundry outside, and yet it's the only way to reach out for prayer and spiritual support.

    Thank you, Lisa for easing my mind about my story as well as for letting us know what's going on in your life. The Inky loop has been very quiet lately and I keep forgetting that it's not a good thing when you/we are quiet.

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  11. Oh, Lisa, that's is so terrible. I'll be praying for them.

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  12. Oh Lisa, I will be praying for that family. How devastating.

    Thank you for the post. I feel a bit under the weather and overwhelmed myself, and I needed to read this.

    Praying for everybody and the stuff on our plates.

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  13. Lisa, thank you for writing this post and sharing these scriptures and for admitting how overwhelmed and exhausted you are.

    In a freaky kind of way, it's nice knowing I'm not alone in feeling that way.

    Earlier this week I read somethign that said before I commit to something I need to ask not if I could add this thing to my schedule but is it WISE for me to add it to my schedule. Hmm....

    Just yesterday I spoke to hubby about helping a family in need. Wouldn't God want us to do that? Surprisingly, He told us no. We weren't to come to their aid because that doesn't let them have to learn to rely on Him. Weird.

    Sometimes--okay, many times--I just don't understand God.

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  14. Anita, you're so right. We (I) tend to bottle so much up. I so appreciate the safe environment provided by the Inkies where I can share my burdens as well as my joys. Thank you for your prayers for this family.

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  15. Suzie and Susie, thanks for your prayers. Susie, I hope you're feeling better soon. Seems like after vacation I tend to be tireder than when I started out! Even if I am more well rested.

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  16. Gina, I know exactly what you mean about it being weirdly reassuring to know I'm not alone in not having my act together.

    I really want to be more transparent and this is part of that for me. I will announce it to the world. I'm not perfect!!

    I wish I understood God better too. My heart aches with the not understanding sometimes. Like the death I mentioned before. I don't know why God allowed it. I do know that He loved this young man and He loves this family. I guess that's enough.

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  17. Yes, so many of us are overwhelmed. Thanks for posting those wonderful scriptures.

    I'm about to start edits on my WIP and could use some prayer for wisdom in that. :)


    Praying for the family who lost their son. Drugs are a terrible tragedy.

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  18. Thanks, DeAnna. I know your prayers will help to lighten the load they are carrying.

    Father, I pray that you breathe into DeAnna a bit of your creative genius. Help her to perfect the story that you've given her. Prosper the work of her hands and her heart. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

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  19. Thanks for that sweet prayer, Lisa. O:)

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  20. Lisa, prayers for the family that so tragically lost their son.

    Sorry it took so long to get over here today--I was feeling a tad overwhelmed!! I guess I came to the right place. :)

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  21. Anyone else think "overwhelmed" might be catching? Thanks for stopping by when you found a minute, Barb! And thanks for the prayers. I know they are felt.

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  22. Lisa, how terrible for that family. Sometimes, when you know what others are going through, it puts some of the minor things in our lives into perspective.

    I can lift up a praise that God has removed my overwhelmedness (hey, I made a new word!) over Billy's health. He's still not 100% but he's doing so great. Tomorrow, a friend of ours is taking him out driving, and we're hoping he'll be able to get his license by mid-September. College kicks off for him a week from tomorrow, and I feel confident that he'll have the strength to go and enjoy it.

    There are some other things in my life right now that are slightly overwhelming, but they're falling into place. You ladies are all in my prayers!

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  23. Jen, I'm so glad things are starting to feel more manageable. Such a tough time when our children are hurting and we can't really do anything about it.

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