How to Deal with Overwhelm with All to Do, Developing a Sustainable Lifestyle?
We’ve just returned home after nearly a month of travels – a long time to be away from the homestead. Thankfully our daughter and her family cared for the animals. And thankfully it was about the best time to leave the garden.
But now we’ve returned to LOTS of catchup work!
Both heifers calved during that time, so we now have yummy Jersey/Guernsey milk! It’s been a bit of an ordeal training them, but they’re gradually learning how to fit into their new roles as mamas and milkers. Thankfully their gorgeous nursing calves assist, so that we only have to milk once a day. 🙂
One of the hens is brooding a batch scheduled to hatch this weekend. More chirpy chicks scampering around!
Produce in the garden looks good, which means hearty healthy eating . . . and preserving. But so many weeds! And it’s time to plant fall crops.
And of course, there’s our work of writing books, these blog posts, and maintaining our website. We feel more compelled than ever to get out the message that we sense God putting on our hearts for His people – of why and how to pursue His shalom in our tumultuous times.
Lots of work back on the homestead these days!
It could be really overwhelming if I’d let it! – I’ll get to that in a bit . . .
But why in the world are we working so hard to develop a productive and sustainable homestead?! Great question! Thank you for asking . . . 🙂
- We enjoy the animals and the garden and certainly what they produce.
- And there is something about working in close connection with the land that is incredibly therapeutic and deeply satisfying.
- Most of all, we feel a sense of compelling and urgency to move toward sustainability as producers rather than just consumers in these disturbing times.
You’ve probably noticed that we live in a messed-up world these days! And increasingly signs keep indicating that there may very likely be even more treacherous times ahead. History has shown that it’s the people connected to the land who are most likely to survive such times. I pray that things level out, and if they do, wonderful. In the meantime, we just feel better about living close to God’s good sustaining earth.
I think these are times when God’s people need to live really close to Him and to be sensitive to His guidance for moving forward into the days ahead – the specifics of His leadership will likely be different for everyone, based on how He knows best for them and how He wants to use them. I also think that by God’s grace His people are the ones He wants to work through to preserve decency, truth, and righteousness in society in the midst of the confusion and chaos.
Anxiety and the sense of urgency could become overwhelming – life gets really real sometimes!
So how in the world can we deal with feelings of overwhelm, so that we maintain the sense of shalom instead?
Another great question. 🙂
Through the years God has been trying to teach me (I’m still in the learning process) about the value and importance of pursing His shalom in the midst of all kinds of chaos:
- I believe it is God’s will for us to pursue shalom. (Psalm 34:14; 1 Peter 3:11)
- I believe it’s His good pleasure to give His shalom to His children who are walking in obedience to Him, and who are fully surrendered to His will and ways for their lives. (Matthew 6:33)
- I believe His shalom should be the arbitrator of the soul, so that everything in our lives has to be brought under the rule of His shalom (Colossians 3:15).
- When anxious thoughts or feelings come, we can surrender them up to Him, trusting Him to replace them with His sense of shalom. When I find myself getting up tight, or even grouchy, I ask myself what I need to surrender up to God. What am I not fully trusting God with? I can’t fully surrender things to Him if I’m not fully trusting Him – trusting His faithful love and care, that He has our best interests and his highest glory at heart. (Philippians 4:6-7, 9; Hebrews 11:6)
- When disturbing situations arise, we can lay them out before Him, knowing He is at work in the situation for the good of all concerned. My experience has been that stewing over undesirable and challenging situations is an unprofitable waste of time and emotional energy. (Romans 8:28; 1 Peter 5:7).
- When we’ve done our best but serious needs prevail, we can cry out to our faithful Father who has promised to supply all our needs. (Philippians 4:19)
- When all hell breaks loose, we can implore heaven to break the powers of darkness that would try to block and defeat God’s good purposes for His people as they serve His Kingdom mission in the world around them. (Ephesians 6:12; Colossians 2:15)
I’m assuming that you, dear reader, love God.
That you want to please Him. That you desire a close relationship with Him that will change your life and the lives of those around you. That you want to keep close enough to Him to be able to sense His leadership – not doing your own thing, forging ahead nor lagging behind, but keeping in step with the Spirit (Isaiah 30:21; Psalm 32:8).
Otherwise, all I’m saying will sound like a resounding gong or clanging symbols.
Tough times come to everyone.
I have lived long enough and through incredibly challenging situations, so I have no illusions that life is all an easy cake walk, even with the Lord by our side.
And I’ve lived and worked in situations where things just kept going wrong, as though some sinister power was bent on coming against us. Evil forces don’t like the good that God’s people endeavor to do for the Lord, and they will fight at every point possible.
But God cares for those who put their trust in Him!
I’ve also experienced the faithfulness of God times without number! He’s always been there when I’ve reached the end of myself!
As we surrender fully to Him and trust totally in His loving faithfulness, the richness of His presence and power is always available to those who are His own, to restore a deep sense of indescribable shalom to any and all situations that we find ourselves in.
His mercies are new every morning! Great is His faithfulness! (Lamentations 3:22-23)