Friday, July 22, 2011

Easily Overwhelmed

What DOES NOT Belong:
laid back
easy going
go with the flow

I'll give you a hint, it's the one in all uppercase letters. Those are all things that I, or about anyone who knows me, would use to describe me....except the last one. Most people would never know that I am easily overwhelmed....well actually...yes they would, because I don't necessarily mean OVERWHELMED in a negative sense here; although that occurs in my life as well. In this case, EASILY OVERWHELMED, refers to emotion. I find myself in the midst of tears often....sometimes good and sometimes not....but my emotions are easily stirred. Lately I've been easily overwhelmed with many emotions: joy, guilt, love, grief, gratefulness, worry....just to name a few.
At the beach, I found myself completely overwhelmed with love and gratefulness.
Seeing baby Maggie, one year after she joined my dear friends' family, I find myself completely overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness.
Taking a new job, I find myself overwhelmed with guilt and gratefulness.
Sending my oldest to high school, I find myself overwhelmed with worry and gratefulness.
Greeting our new pastor each week, I find myself overwhelmed with grief and gratefulness.
Listening to my pastor, Cindy's sermon on feeding the hungry, I found myself overwhelmed with all of those emotions.
I notice the common emotion here is gratefulness. NPayne always says, "There is always someone who is experiencing something worse than we are! We need to look at what we have to be grateful for."
Many years ago, when my Drew who is now 10, was very little....3 or so...she was getting up every night. Now if you know me, you know that SLEEP is my #1 survival priority. I love and require lots of sleep! ;) Well she was getting up, and she would be crying and upset; and it would take a long time to settle her down and get her back in bed. Honestly I rarely get up if one of our children get up, NPayne almost always does. If he gets up, he settles them in and goes right back to sleep. If I get up, I settle them in (maybe not as friendly as he does), and am awake for hours....maybe even the rest of the night. We are so fortunate that our kids....all 5 of them....have and are good sleepers and easy to put to bed. However there have been moments, when one of them watched something that spooked them; or they had a nightmare, or something of those sorts....and they get up. When Drew was going through this phase, Neil had gotten up a few nights; and then he was just becoming exhausted....because it was not a quick settling in for her. So I started getting up with her. I remember the first few night of being calm and patient and loving, but soon thereafter I started to become impatient and irritated.....which really doesn't help a frightened child in the middle of the night! On about the 4th day, I made a conscious effort....a decision....that I would not become irratated and impatient. I made a decision, that truly changed my life that day, I decided that I would hold that little girl as long as I needed to and cuddle her and love her and appreciate the fact that I had her and be GRATEFUL for her; because some day she won't be getting me up (which is a good thing...honestly I do know that)....but some day she will be a pre-teen, then a teen, then a young adult, then an adult, then gone from my house. I decided that day that I would treasure those quiet moments with one of the most wonderful blessings God had given me, and that's what I did. I held her endlessly and smelled her head and caressed her back and let her little tiny hands caress mine, and I was overwhelmed by love, joy, and gratitude. And honestly when she was finally sleeping through the night again, I was a little sad that we weren't having those the middle of the night....together anymore. Now don't get me wrong, I was so grateful for sleep again; but I really learned how to look at being grateful over being inconvenienced. Since then, I really approach most everything with a grateful spirit. Of course there are times when I get irritated and impatient, but they are usually short lived when I take the time and make the decision to realize all I have to be grateful for. Sometimes I do have to stop and re-evaluate and remind myself.....I am grateful because? It usually doesn't take but a second to see what I have to be grateful for. God is such a loving God....He wants us to be happy....He wants us to have all we need, but He also wants us to appreciate what we be grateful for what we thank Him for what we use what we help others with what we have.... My pastor, Ken, taught me the part about using what we have to help others; and I am so GRATEFUL he did!

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