When You Are Feeling Stretched Thin:: And Your Plate Is Too Full

I’m sitting in bed with my coffee. Boo Boo is  curled up next to me watching something on Netflix. I should be up and at ’em, facing the day, with my to-do list in hand. The truth is; I’m exhausted.

It’s been a long week.

We ended our family vacation in Indiana by 3 out of the 4 of us getting a short but violent stomach bug. We then spent many hours on the plane. I’m neck deep in laundry as I write. My head is stuffed and foggy with a cold. (Ya, flu and cold in the same week. Not cool. ) We are packing for another short trip in a few days.

Someone has to feed the children.

I want to crawl back into bed, wake up, not be sick and have loads of energy.

I think I’m finally listening to something  God has been telling me for awhile. “Jen, slow down.”

Everyone’s Life Has A Season of Busy

Having a terribly busy week, month or season is not unusual. That’s life. Everyone has a season of busy. No matter how hard we try to avoid it, with kids, jobs, friends, and any sort of commitment comes BUSYNESS.

We had a wonderful time on our Indiana/Kentucky vacation. We got to see a lot of family and play with cousins (My kids loved this!). The kids were in our cousin’s beautiful wedding. We laughed and danced and celebrated. We saw such pretty countryside and got to catch up with family we don’t see often.

Trips are work, though. I hate packing and unpacking even more. The adventure we go on inbetween the packing and unpacking are what make it worth it.

I haven’t blogged since April because that’s the first thing to go when homelife gets craaaaazzzyyy.  Summer would seem to mean our family is slowing down. True, several of our school year commitments are done for the year. That doesn’t mean our summer will be slow. In fact, our summer calendar is beginning to fill up.

Instead of that making me excited, it’s making me want to crawl back in bed and pull the covers over my head.

I’m tired of being busy.

The day after our cousin’s gorgeous wedding, Boo Boo came down with the nasty stomach bug. He was the first to succumb. The rest of the family went to our other cousin’s graduation party. Boo and I stayed in the hotel and watched cartoons. After stomach cramps and throwing up, he finally fell asleep. I pulled out my notebook while he slept and began to make a list.

Seeing My Plate Fillers Written Out In A List Gave Me A New Perspective

I love lists. Summer Bucket Lists, House Project Lists, Books I Want To Read Lists, Future Lists I Want To Make Lists (joking!). This list was different, though. This list was titled: Things I Filled My Plate With This Year.  The list was long. Too long.

Now, I don’t want to paint this untrue picture of myself. The list wasn’t epic long. It was long for me. I personally know a few friends who run circles around me in what they accomplish. My list would be child’s play for them.

Except for a couple of big commitments, each of the items on my list were pretty small. All those small things piled on top of each other, though, made for a heavy plate. When I saw them written out, in black and white, it was clear that some things had to go. I had  been feeling stretched thin and now it was obvious why. My plate was too full. I didn’t even have “taking care of my home” and “home schooling” on my list.

Now, to keep things in perspective, some of the items on my plate:

                 *Were for a season. They weren’t long term.

                 *Naturally end at the close of the school year. Our family can choose (in most cases) to resume them in the fall, or not.

                 *Will start again come August/September; but the summer will be a good break.

                 *Just need to be removed from my plate, plain and simple.

                 *Are work and effort; but the reward our family gets from it are worth it.

That unexpected glitch in our family vacation plans, for me, was that quiet time with God I needed for Him to show me some things. I felt change was coming; but I had been too busy to stop and listen.

It took a sick little boy and a hotel room in a little town in Indiana to give me some time to think and reflect and pray.

Don’t get me wrong. We’ve hit the ground running since we’ve been back. I’m still sick and that’s okay. It just means some things on my list won’t get done. I’ll be resting and drinking tea (and doing laundry).

I have a new perspective on my summer, though, and our next school year for that matter. I’d love to share those thoughts with you along the way.

When you are feeling stretch thin and your plate is too full: Stop and Pray.  Ask God for wisdom. Then ask yourself a question: Can I stop any of the things I am doing now?

I firmly believe that when you commit to something, unless you absolutely aren’t able to, you see it through to the end. If it’s something you’ve committed to, ask God to give you the strength to finish the race and finish well.

If it is something you can stop doing, be brave enough to say, “I’m done.” Repeat the above steps (Stop, pray, ask for wisdom.) before you say yes to anything else.

What are your plans this summer? How will you slow life down??


4 thoughts on “When You Are Feeling Stretched Thin:: And Your Plate Is Too Full

  1. D says:

    Thank you for this post. I am faced with some important decisions just now. One of them involves helping a friend and the potential of moving her into my home… I work graveyard and she comes with a daughter…. Was praying but not listening to the wisdom God was sending…. Stop, Pray, Ask for wisdom…. and pause to listen?! 🙂


    • That is a big decision you are faced with. Definitely one to pray about. I love the “pause to listen”. Sometimes, I just want my answers so quickly and we just need to sit and wait on God’s timing. Thanks for that reminder!


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