Over the last few weeks (okay, months), I've had this perpetual feeling that I was going under for the third time.  DangerBear's starting a new business has created stress and uncertainty, I'd fallen behind on everything under the sun, and I seemed to be unable to keep a two-story house straightened up.  I was putting off doing the big things that needed to be done (ie getting my life organized!) and I was instead spending my time doing...  nothing.  Not even something fun, like reading, scrapbooking, or even sleeping (or blogging).  In fact, the last few nights have been among the most restless of my life.  It wasn't that I was lying awake worrying; I was just lying awake.  I guess I was trying to escape, but of course, that was impossible!

So what do you do when you're having trouble keeping your head above water?  Here are some things that have been helping me:

  • Make a quick list of the things that are really bothering you.  You know, the ones that are causing that nasty churning feeling in your stomach.  Maybe it's an important task you've been putting off or an issue that's come up.
I'd been putting off homeschool planning and I felt guilty about it.  I was also putting off routine housekeeping tasks and was embarrassed every time DangerBear said he was out of undershirts or pondered aloud whether there were any clean drinking glasses in the universe.

I was also stressed out because we found out one of our credit card numbers had been compromised.  In reality, it wasn't too much of a problem.  The credit card company caught it and gave us a new account number.  It bothered me because I wondered who had stolen our number.  Was it someone we saw around town, who works in one of the shops?  Was it a trusted online business?  We'll probably never know.

  • Take that list and figure out what you can do about the problem.  If it's a complicated or time-consuming task, split it up into bite-size pieces.  I like to write down the estimated time for each piece, and then race myself to see how fast I can get it done.  Just getting started on it will help you feel better.
  • If you truly can't do anything about one of your issues (like my credit card theft), just take your worries to the Lord.  Matthew 6:27 says, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?"  Unless you count the hours you spend lying awake at night instead of peacefully sleeping...
  • Remember your priorities.  I realized I'd been neglecting my Bible reading*, and the only praying I'd been doing was an occasional exasperated, "Oh, Lord!"  When all the details of your life threaten to overwhelm you, remind yourself of what is most important to you.  I am first a child of God, then a wife, then a mother, and then a homemaker.  Everything else is just gravy.  Yesterday, instead of trying to plan my day to the nth degree when I was already overwhelmed, I used my priority planner.  That helped me to get the important things done without worrying about the gravy.  =)
  • Figure out how to claw your way out.  For me, that meant, among other things, setting up a simple home management binder.  Having tasks and calendar items written down all over the place (and often getting lost) was driving me bonkers.  I'm almost done setting up a simple binder and I'm getting all those little post-its and scraps of paper onto a task list.  I'm in the middle of helping DangerBear with a big project for his business, but once that's done (by early next week), I can have fun knocking all those little things off my task list.
"Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own." -Matthew 6:34


*Into Thy Word has some great Bible reading plans, including their Genres reading plan.

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