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Learning to Love My Overwhelmed Self (A guest post and book giveaway)

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Alex here and I will tell you I’m officially overwhelmed. Yep we still have almost a week of Christmas break left at our house (I mean really nearly 3 weeks of vacation for these kids?!) and I have a book deadline on the 15th. It’s going to be very cold and snowy around here the next couple of days which means, you guessed it, lots of us on top of each other! I’m just not sure I’m going to get it all done, or at least in a way that conveys general kindness. But no fear, there is a new book out for people in my current state. It’s titled Overwhelmed: How to Quiet the Chaos and Restore Your Sanity. Sometimes God answers our prayers with a friend or two who gets it and helps us out of this overwhelmed state. I’m going to let Cheri Gregory take it from here.

 

Mid-October 2016

 

If he’d just tell me to lay down and rest, I would.

 

I’ve been sick for a couple of weeks, now. Body aches. Sore throat. Larangytis.

 

I keep telling everyone, “I’m on the road to recovery!” because there’s so much I need to get done at home and at work. I don’t have time to rest.

 

I expect most people to believe me. But secretly, I want my husband to disagree. To insist that I lay down on the couch and really rest.

 

 

Early November 2016

 

If they’d just tell me to take a day or two off work, I would.

 

I’ve been sick for more than a month, now. A deep cough keeps me awake at night. Last night, I spent the night on the couch so at least Daniel could sleep. At 2:00 AM, I cried from sheer exhaustion.

 

But in the morning, I force myself to get dressed, take an assortment of cold remedies, fill my pockets with cough drops, and head to work.

 

My bosses witness several severe bouts of coughing but say nothing. I am hoping to be sent home, but evidently I don’t sound that bad.

 

 

Early December 2016

 

If someone would just tell me to go see the doctor, I would.

 

I’ve been sick for eight weeks now: my cough is better-ish, my sinuses are killing me. I can’t remember what it’s like to feel good, to think straight, or have energy. But I assure myself that I’m getting better. I have to be.

My husband is on week four of incessant coughing. I take him to Urgent Care where he’s diagnosed with acute pneumonia and acute sinusitis.

 

Standing in line at the pharmacy to fill his prescriptions, I assure myself that I can’t possibly have anything so serious. Surely, someone would have urged me to go see the doctor weeks ago if I was that sick.

 

Five Days Later

 

He’s better before me? This is just so wrong!

 

My irritation over my husband’s rapid recovery is the last straw.

 

I finally drag myself to the doctor, receive my very own diagnosis, and start my own antibiotics.

 

Over the next week, I am reunited with sleep, energy, and a functioning mind.

 

Why We Must Quit Waiting for Someone Else

 

Looking back on my unnecessarily prolonged illness, I see myself waiting for what so many overwhelmed women wait for:

I was waiting for someone else to show me compassion and give me permission.

 

But I forgot a vital truth : Others learn how to treat me, from me.

  • When others don’t see me resting, they learn that I am someone who doesn’t need rest.
  • When others don’t see me taking a day off, they learn that I am someone who won’t take time away from work to recover.
  • When others don’t hear me saying, “I think it’s been long enough. Would you please drive me to the doctor?” they learn that I am someone who refuses to seek medical care for myself.

The compassion and permission we seek?

It starts with us.

 

How to Love Your Overwhelmed Self, Yourself

When someone close has disappointed us, we don’t have text everyone in our contact list, looking for sympathy.

 

We can give ourselves compassion, perhaps by writing our hearts out in our prayer journal.

 

When we’re in the midst of a big project, we don’t have wait for our boss to notice how many hours we’ve been working without a break.

 

We can give ourselves permission to take the break our mind and body need.

 

And if we start to worry that giving ourselves compassion and permission are somehow selfish, we can remember that in Isaiah 31:3, God declares, “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness.”

 

And we can ask, “What would everlasting love and unfailing kindness look like right now?”

 

Only God knows what everlasting love and unfailing kindness, compassion and permission, look like for each of us in each situation.
But I can tell you from experience: waiting 8 weeks before finally going to Urgent Care —or whatever your equivalent may be—doesn’t cut it.

We can love our overwhelmed selves this year.

We can take God at His words: everlasting love and unfailing kindness.
We can become the first to give ourselves the compassion and permission we need.


Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (that will only last for a week), how about creating a Personal manifesto that will carry you through the rest of your life? Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.

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Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the bestselling author of several books, including Clutter Free, The Husband Project, and The Get Yourself Organized Project. She and her husband, Roger, live in California and are the parents of four young adults.

Cheri Gregory spends her weekdays teaching teens and weekends speaking at women’s retreats. She’s been married to her college sweetheart, Daniel, for more than 28 years. The Gregorys and their young adult kids, Annemarie and Jonathon, live in California.


Now for the fun part: A GIVEAWAY!!!

overwhelmed-cover

Kathi and Cheri would like to send a copy of Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity to one of you!

To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT below.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on January 7th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

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