5 Questions to help you stay afloat: Overwhelmed – Part 3

RiverThey may not be spiritual, but they are essential to helping us stay above water.

When I find myself overwhelmed by my responsibilities, I always have to take a step back and take inventory. I ask myself a series of questions to help me identify the root of the problem. From the answers, I can often navigate my way to shallower waters or even dry land once again. So jot these down and then sit with the Lord to see how they might help you cope:  Read more

Life (and sanity) preservers for the deep end of the pool: Overwhelmed – Part 2

Sky with gullI’m confident they’ve been trained.

Fire alarm batteries know how to strike with the precision of Seal Team 6. Their needy chirp to be replaced always occurs in the dark of the night. When it’s cold. And when my husband is out of town.

When you’re already overwhelmed (and trying to sleep), this is not a welcome noise.

My last post shared an important reminder for coping when we feel we are drowning in life. Today’s suggestion can (and should!) be applied in two ways: with people and with God.  Read more

For when you’re drowning in your life

OceanI couldn’t believe my eyes.

I had cleared just enough off my to-do list for the day and pulled out of my driveway to hit the grocery store.

And then I saw them.

The trucks. The ones with long ladders and a crew of at least two men. Parked in front of not just one, but two, of my neighbor’s homes on the very same afternoon. To install Christmas lights.

I just about came unhinged. Yes, I suppose partly because it’s only early November and I can’t wrap my head around Christmas just yet. But more because this just pushed me over the edge into the dark, scary void. That place where if anyone so much as asks me to tell them whether their head is still attached to their body, I will lack the intellectual faculty to answer them because I’m so overwhelmed.  Read more

Stretch Assignment

ExcellentI knew it would be a big commitment.

As part of leadership development, employees that have been identified as having great potential are given “stretch assignments” that put them in situations that will push the boundaries of their knowledge and skills. These experiences broaden their professional horizons and cultivate new traits, equipping them for the next steps in their career progression. Writing for thirty-one days on the same topic has been a such a stretch assignment for me. (Heck, just writing for 31 days straight was a stretch!) This goal seemed to sit barely on this side of the line between possible and impossible. Yet, here we are, thirty-one days and posts later.  Read more

Oops. I did it again.

LearningAnd I’m not proud of it.

Nor am I proud of quoting a Britney Spears song. But that’s beside the point.

Today in Bible study we looked at Colossians 3:18-4:18. This is one of those passages. One of the submit passages that induce eye-rolling and consternation across female populations. Our discussion time was rich; we grappled with the text and our culture.

And then it was time for me to teach it.

A few minutes into the lecture one of the ladies stood up and walked out.

Just like that. Gone.  Read more

Upside of down

UpsideThink there could be an upside of always seeing the downside?

I’m starting to think there might be.

Over the last several weeks of writing, I’ve noticed how often my expectations were exceeded. Though I went into situations anticipating the worst, very often I was surprised by a much more positive outcome.

  • A difficult conversation with a peer was received with grace and dignity, despite my concern it would elicit defensiveness and anger.
  • Despite being late for a commitment, which I was certain would hinder the progress to be made (due to the meeting’s time constraints), we met and exceeded the expectations of our agenda.  Read more

Admirable /adm(ə)rəb(ə)l/

AdmirableDo the words we speak to others matter?

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. –Philippians 4:8 NIV (emphasis added)

This part of our verse has the widest variance in translation. The NIV (above) renders it “admirable” but reading some of the other translations will add to our understanding:  Read more


QuotesA few quotes on optimism to start your week off right.

Some worth a laugh, others will make you ponder:

The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy.

– DIETRICH BONHOEFFER, Letters and Papers from Prison

Optimism is not only a false but also a pernicious doctrine, for it presents life as a desirable state and man’s happiness as its aim and object. Starting from this, everyone then believes he has the most legitimate claim to happiness and enjoyment. If, as usually happens, these do not fall to his lot, he believes that he suffers an injustice, in fact that he misses the whole point of his existence.

– ARTHUR SCHOPENHAUER, The World As Will and Representation

The optimist proclaims that we live in the best of all possible worlds; and the pessimist fears this is true.

– JAMES BRANCH CABELL, The Silver Stallion

Always borrow money from a pessimist, he doesn’t expect to be paid back.


Which one speaks the most to you?

ThinkThis post is part of a 31 day series entitled “Think on these things: Learning optimism.” For a full catalog of all the posts, visit the first page in the series by clicking here.



Arduous or Awesome?

Vantage PointIt took 2.5 hours in a local department store.

Seriously. 150 minutes of running from one part of the store to another, all in an effort to secure complimentary clothing for our bi-annual family portrait session. In a fairly uncharacteristic move, I’d left this chore to the day before the shoot. Nice. Must have something to do with how much I deplore shopping.

To coordinate clothing for five different bodies and tastes doesn’t seem like it should be that difficult. It’s not like there are 12 of us or anything.  Read more

List Limitations

DefeatI love lists.

Love, love, love them. I do have some digital lists, but many are still the old fashioned paper-and-pen variety. They decorate my kitchen counter and cupboards, my dashboard, and my desk. (Can I call this a decorating scheme?) I’ll buy cute pads of paper and always try to have an array of pens to choose from.

Today I felt defeated as I perused my list. I even wrote a new one to clean it up and make it all pretty-like. (Didn’t help.) It was overwhelming to see how much must be accomplished in the next 48 hours… on a weekend, no less. My reason for writing lists isn’t even all that cheerful: I know I can’t remember what needs doing!  Read more