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©2020 Charlsie Etheredge

Overwhelmed


Overwhelmed is the word that has been running through my mind for the past three weeks. In fact, I tried to write about just how overwhelmed I was but couldn’t manage to get anything out other than a laundry list of complaints (laundry, being one of them). The every-day responsibilities of being a wife (read: laundry) and being an adult for that matter, combined with holiday schedules and running a new business is needless to say: overwhelming. I find my brain shutting down entirely, refusing to process anything rather than accomplishing just one task. Next thing you know, I’m two Hallmark movies and a bag of Voodoo chips deep before I’m regretting my entire evening and even more behind than before. This scenario is all to familiar and has been the main event of more of my evenings than I’d like to admit. Yet, with all of these tasks looming over my head, I have simultaneously been surrounded by so much good, so many blessings, and a season of great joy. While I have been overwhelmed by life’s tasks, I have been overwhelmed by His goodness. No wonder this word has been stuck in my mind!


In the midst of the frustration, Brandon and I have been beyond blessed this past month! My makeup business and decision to pursue my dreams became a reality when I found myself booked for a wedding every weekend of October! Every morning, I wake up excited to go to work because I truly love my jobs, not to mention the greatest blessing of all: Brandon will no longer be working nights, meaning that I get to finally enjoy my husband 7 days a week (and stop going to bed alone)! I am overwhelmed by the Lord’s goodness and His answered prayers, and I praise Him for it every day! So, why in a season of such gratefulness am I still filled with frustration, anxiety, and downright disappointment in myself? I was given the answer in a simple and pointed phrase: “You cannot do for God until you have been with God.” What a statement! It almost sounds like something I’ve heard before, making the truth of it even more convicting. This phrase made me realize so suddenly that the reason I am overwhelmed by tasks in a season of joy is because I haven’t slowed down enough to be with the Lord. In this season, it’s incredibly important to not just thank Him for what He’s given me but learn what He wants me to do next.


When starting this blog I set some standards that I have yet and continue to refuse to break. I refuse to write or even begin writing a blog post until I have been in the Lord’s presence through prayer, praise and worship, and reading His word. I have said from day one that these are NOT my words but His, and I plan to continue this trend. However, it is embarrassing if not entirely convicting to tell you that the weeks I have been without a blog post are the weeks I have not spent any time with the Lord. What’s even worse, is that I can look at the two week gaps between my posts and know that I didn’t once pick up my Bible that week because I was “too busy” or “too tired.” (Go ahead, search my Instagram feed. It’s sickening.) And so, in the midst of my tiredness, my list of chores, and my frustration for not producing content, I failed to realize why when the answer loomed on the blank pages before me.


I cannot write blog posts, find the energy to do laundry, or even mentally process all of next year’s goals for my platform (do for God) if I have not taken the time to be with Him. What’s so funny about the Lord and His word is that it seems so contradictory to everything we think we know and have been taught and yet beyond the scope of understanding lies what will truly bring us peace. In this case, when I find myself so busy that it doesn’t make sense to stop what I’m doing to read my Bible and sit with the Lord for 10 minutes, that is in fact the very thing that will give me the strength, energy, and motivation to do even more than I could in an hour without Him! Just today, I not only was more in-tune with Him throughout the day, but I spent a good 5 minutes in prayer without distractions (that’s it- just five minutes), and I’ve already managed to complete two loads of laundry, clean the kitchen, wash my makeup brushes, and write this blog post. How? Because I stopped. I paused. I rested.


But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

As the holiday season has officially begun and “overwhelmed” may creep its way into your vocabulary throughout the next month, I encourage you to take this verse to heart. In the midst of the chaos, slow down, and in the moments of peace, take a deep breath. Spend time, quality time with your heavenly father, even if just for a few moments, because as little time as you think you have, He has a way of creating another hour in the day for you when resting in His word.

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