Work deadlines, wash the dishes, exercise daily and eat well, tuck the kids into bed, plan a baby shower, teach a Sunday school, traffic jam when you’re late, call your mom, go to college, purchase a card for the neighbor, start a journal, check social media, baseball try outs for the little ones, read a novel, schedule a dental appointment, plan the summer vacation; these are but a few of the tasks that pull women in 1000 directions daily.
Each one of us has had an experience of feeling overwhelmed by our lives and daily activities. While some tasks are out of our control, others are very much in our control. I have often found that my excitement for projects leads me to over-filling my plate, which leads me to feeling overwhelmed. I want to be great at my job, finish my Doctoral thesis, have a successful partnership with Erin in women’s ministry, write a book, and create a wonderful garden at the “farmette” with chickens and goats. I think about owning a used bookstore or a historic Bed and Breakfast. I want to be a museum curator. I have often dreamt of sharing God with others from a stage. These are my hopes and dreams and when they are taken in totality they simply become overwhelming.
It’s as though I am drowning in chocolate. It’s a gooey delicious mixture of all the things I want to do…all the things I long to accomplish. They are all rich in depth and texture….fulfilling to the core, if accomplished. Yet, taken all together they are overwhelming. Taken all together, I start drowning in the chocolate goodness.
God does not give us talents and strengths to make us overwhelmed. Nor does he give us a “to do” list that detracts from glorifying His kingdom. He wants us to have— and to want—time with Him. He has given each of us individual gifts and talents for a job that He has planned for you. Guess what? Surprise! You might not know His plan yet.
It’s okay to not know the plan. However, we have to know that the gifts and talents we have been given are best used for God’s glory. Erma Bombeck expressed this thought beautifully when she said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me’.”
I love that sentiment. I want to use everything He gives me. The Bible speaks extensively about the gifts we’ve been given. In Romans and 1 Peter we see that God provides all of the gifts to be planted, cultivated, and harvested for His plan.
Romans 12:6-8 (NIV) “In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well.”
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV) “Each of you has received a gift to use to serve others. Be good servants of God’s various gifts of grace.”
I need help remembering that God’s timing with the gifts He has provided is perfect. Both the timing and the gifts are perfect. Surprise. I still don’t know the complete plan He has for me, but I want to be ready to honor Him when the plan unfolds.
Ladies, take a breath and know that God has all of your hopes and dreams in the palm of His hand. The dreams He has for you and your future are greater than any you can imagine. I’ll make a deal with each of you…if you take a breath and let God work in your life, I’ll try to do the same.