Do you ever have trouble figuring out how not to overdo? Lisa shares a few of the ways she is learning to avoid becoming overwhelmed.
“For I can testify that they gave as much as they were able and beyond their ability.” (2 Corinthians 8:3)
How many times have you done as much as you were able . . . and then a little more? It seems that this is my existence. I remember last year after I started a new medication my rheumatologist of a few months said, “Feel free to push a little more than usual.” I told my husband, “He obviously doesn’t know me that well yet, because I never stop pushing!”
For me to do as much as I am able– and then beyond my ability– is part of life. But it is not through my own strength. It is only with the Lord’s guidance and setting the right priorities I am learning how not to overdo.
Here are some of the ways I have tried to teach myself how not to overdo:
Ignore routines and systems that other people say are the best way to do things.
I don’t do housework on a daily schedule that most people recommend, and I don’t always read my Bible in the morning. Frankly, when I get out of bed I am still foggy and my body is not working. I can read a scripture or two but to really dig into the Word, I need to wait until I am a bit more awake.
Avoid planning too many priorities per day.
I don’t make doctor appointments earlier than 9 AM (10:20 is perfect if it the doctor’s schedule allows.) If I have any appointment on a given day, that is my energy for the day. I don’t plan something else.
Find the simplest way to do things.
I use my crock pot, I am a fan of adaptive tools to make things easier, I love mason jars for tons of items because not only are they cute, they seal well, but I can still get the jar rings off.
Remember to have fun.
I will watch my favorite TV show, Parenthood, in bed. I will browse a thrift store, or find something I can spray paint. My daily indulgence is reading fiction books.
When I am trying to keep up with all the chaos of life and the schedules of our family, it can be hard to remember my own advice on how not to overdo. Little by little, however, I am saying, “No, I won’t be able to make that” more often; I don’t volunteer for every snack that is needed for a children’s event to prove I am not a lazy mom.
I remember that when I do as much as I am able–that is it! I am done for the day. . . and if anyone needs anything else from me, it will have to be through God’s strength. And frequently He will provide it. When my son needs extra help with homework or my husband has had a rough day and work and need to vent, I pray that God will always fulfill the needs I have to keep pushing in order to be a comfort to those around me.
Prayer: Lord, when I stand before You I hope that You are able to say that I did as much as I was able. And yet, I accomplished the simplest thing You truly desire–a relationship with You and my compassion for others. Teach me how not to overdo, one day at a time. Amen.
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is (once again!) working on her books for moms with chronic illness and making some real progress and learning as she writes how to better serve her family–which means knowing how not to overdo! If you are a mom with a chronic illness, “like” her Facebook Page for Moms with Illness to be a part of contributing with your stories and suggestions.
Do you need to learn how not to overdo? What does overdoing look like for you? Does it tend to occur when you are trying to take care of others?
Do you ever grow tired of just trying to keep up with everything in life? Why do we have so much trouble trying to learn how not to overdo? This is one of my favorite songs from a friend and artist, Gwen Smith, “Restore.” We hope you enjoy! -Lisa