Moving from an Overloaded Life to Overflowing with Hope

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

 

I wrote an article recently about helping our kids have hope. In the article, I quoted the verse above and talked about modeling a life overflowing with hope for our kids. If you’d like to read more about it, this link will take you there.

What I didn’t realize at the time was that it’s impossible to overflow with hope when your life is overloaded with tasks.

These past few weeks have been hard. Maybe you’re in the middle of a hard place too. We know life is full of struggles, but knowing doesn’t make it any easier when we’re tossing about in the midst of them. So when difficulties arise, are we filled with joy and peace so that we’re ready to walk through it?

 

Not if we’re running on overload.

 

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NLT

In the last two devotions, we learned about David commissioning Solomon to build the temple. We have also seen how that relates to our schedules, and how to keep from living on overload. In the post When Chaos Causes Me to Lose My Focus, I told you about my Saturdays, and how the jobs I put off until the weekend build and build until I feel buried under the weight of my to-do list.

Unfortunately I haven’t done a very good job of managing my overloaded schedule. So when hard stuff hit like a tidal wave, it knocked me off my feet. The result? Confusion. Discouragement. Frustration. I didn’t realize I’d filled my life so full that I hadn’t left room for God to fill me up with what I really needed.

 

When we keep adding and adding to the schedule, overload results.

When we take on more than we can handle, overload results.

When we try to control everything and everyone, overload results.

But when we guard against filling our lives with more tasks to accomplish, our hearts are free to receive God’s joy and peace.

 

Joy and peace - the two things we need most in order to overflow with hope.

 

May I share an honest discovery with you? I’ve been writing about busy schedules and overwhelmed lives for a while, but I didn’t understand how damaging living on overload could be. Until now.

So I’m making a commitment today, and if you’ve been struggling with an overloaded life too, I invite you to join me.

I commit to free myself from a schedule that has me wrapped up so tightly, I’m in danger of suffocating. I am releasing unnecessary tasks to make room for God to fill me with all the joy and peace my heart can hold.

Are you with me? Then this declaration is for us. May we all embrace His gifts of joy and peace today. So whenever the hard stuff happens, we will have everything we need to fight off confusion, discouragement, or frustration. We will have hope that pours out and soothes even the deepest hurts. Renewed hope begins here.

 

Blessings,

Kristine

How to Stop Living on Overload

 

My writing space (aka. office) doubles as a guest bedroom.

Or maybe I should say, our guest bedroom doubles as my office.

So as I sit at my makeshift desk this Saturday morning, enjoying watching the raindrops bounce off piles of leaves in the yard, something out of the corner of my eye begs for my attention.

I’m trying not to look, but I give in to the pressure. It’s the overstocked closet I’ve been meaning to clean out for months.

 

I immediately turn from writing this week’s post and scan my monthly planner. Maybe I can squeeze it in between work and dinner one day this week? Or better yet, let me work on revamping my entire schedule. Something has to give, so I can fit everything in. Planning helps me feel more in control, so if I work on my schedule, surely I’ll feel better, right?

Wrong.

Planning, organizing, analyzing, prioritizing. I’m a planner by nature. I love the idea of becoming more organized, and Lord knows I need help in that area! But even though organizing the schedule can be fun for a detail-oriented girl like me, all that planning doesn’t leave me feeling any more at peace.

 

I know deep down the best thing to do is just clean the closet.

 

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. 1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT

David gave Solomon sound advice in his instruction for building the temple. After encouraging Solomon to be strong and courageous, he added these three words.

 

Do the work.

 

We can learn an important lesson from this simple statement. Sometimes we try to find solutions for our busyness, but it just adds more to the to-do list than what’s already there. When instead, we should stop trying to give our schedule an overhaul and just tackle the tasks - one at a time.

I don’t know about you, but I can make things so complicated. That’s why I love it when God keeps it simple, as He does here in this message. After his instructions, David goes on to share the best news of all. “He (God) will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work...is finished correctly.”

 

When I do my small part, God will make sure the work is finished correctly. (Tweet this.)

Maybe it's the daily tasks of life that are overwhelming you. Or maybe it's bigger. More challenging. And you've been dreading it, or maybe even putting it off because you simply don't know where or how to start. I hear you.

Let's grab hold of God's Word right now. The next time a seemingly overwhelming job taunts you, remember this verse. Let it guide you as you are tempted to distract yourself by rearranging your schedule or creating a new to-do list.

Instead, spend an hour tackling that task. Just doing the work will free us from the craziness that overloads us.

Now if you’ll excuse me for an hour or so, I need to show this closet who's boss.

 

Blessings,

Kristine

Feeling overwhelmed lately by tasks and to-do lists? Need help knowing where to start? My friend Liz at My Messy Desk is hosting a series right now called Master Your Mess & Discover God's Best. Click the title link to check it out!