Sunday, January 06, 2008

Sunday Afternoon Tea

If you were here with me in person, I'd pour you a cup of my favorite Earl Grey Green and serve some cut up fruit and cheese. I need a break from sweets for a few weeks. :)

Do you ever find yourself completely overwhelmed... as if you have been caught in a fast moving wave just trying to keep your head above water? That's where I am right now! I think it started about the time my computer broke down (which is still in the shop) because it added a complication to my daily routine.

Then came Thanksgiving, Christmas, two birthdays, my sister's visit, my daughter's visit, working a full week of "Buy Back" in November, and now two or three weeks at the bookstore of nine to ten hour days and no weekend breaks. Yikes! If you'll notice, most of those events were enjoyable but everything has added to the challenge of Brenda vs. Time.

Yesterday evening I felt the strain emotionally when my son picked me up from work (he had gone home early) and complained all the way home. First about me being late (we had customers left in the store when we closed), then about there being no food at home, unloading about a situation at work that was unfair, and a few other instances where the world was not going to his liking. I finally had to remind him that life isn't fair and I could do... only what I could do!

I found myself trying to read a bit but the events of the day swirling through my brain, including the realization that I'd forgotten to give a professor a discount so he'll probably have to come back to the store today... sigh. (What can I say, the owner had turned the lights out not realizing I was still at the cash register and one of the managers was holding a flashlight for me so I could see!) I mentally tried to "help" Christopher with his relationship problems, made out a grocery list to pick up today, and wondered if I had put the right load of clothes in the washer to be ready to throw in the dryer this morning.

After saying my most frequent prayer... "HELP!", I felt peace coming over me. God reminded me of each situation and challenge and that none would cause The End of The World As We Know It if they didn't get accomplished. He had already over the years shown me how to live through this kind of situation and that became my new mental list. I thought I'd share it with you today.

First comes advice from Elisabeth Elliot... do the next thing. What must be done immediately... really must be done. For me last night, it was putting one load of laundry in to wash and bring in a few items from the garage (I'm still de-childproofing the house). Then it was the necessity to stop what I was doing and get to bed early.

Second (and I think was also from reading Elisabeth E.)... do only what you can do. I'm the only person in my family who washes clothes. I do that because I do not have the money to replace them and I live with two men who do not think clearly when they get in a hurry! I'm also the only person who can sleep, no one else can stay at home and take an afternoon nap to make ME feel better.

Third... I'm at maintenance level. Only those things which are absolutely necessary are getting done. (The only reason I'm bringing accessories back from the garage right now is to get my home warm and cozy again.)

Fourth... be realistic. I've budgeted one small "eat out" each day, usually my lunch. Yesterday since I had brought a sandwich to have when I took my insulin during my fifteen minute 6:00 break, I used my lunch time to go to Einsteins for a cup of coffee and a cranberry muffin. I read a chapter in Elizabeth George's book on time management and wrote a new "To Do" list for those things that must be accomplished... later.

Last night before going to bed early, I read a chapter from another Elizabeth George book (my favorite... A Woman After God's Heart) and then I was able to drift off to sleep. This season should end within a week or two. Hopefully my computer will be fixed by then, too (the wrong part came in so it is once again delayed... the Holidays didn't help hurry things along).

However, isn't that what life is all about? Challenging days mixed in with the normal day-to-day gotta do's we live through.

I'll return in the middle of the week... God willing and the creek don't rise (and the way it is raining, it may just do that). Realistically, I won't be near a computer until then. :)

15 comments:

Daffodil Hill said...

Elisabeth Elliot has also helped me accept and deal with life's unpleasant realities. My favorite of her books is "Keep a Quiet Heart". The truths she teaches have had a major impact in my life over the last decade which hasn't been an easy one for us. Through this busy time, keep your eyes on Jesus rather than the circumstances. That makes all the difference for me. {{hugs}}

freddie said...

Ciao brenda,
well i bet you have no time to get bored, have you? It's really good you've had the time, almost obliged as you were in the car, to listen to your son!!!

Shall the Lord bless you and grant you with some extra hours per day...

br.freddie

Quinne said...

Hi Brenda :) Thank you for sharing your heart and the wonderful reminders. I am praying with you for this week and the next few, too. Love, Q

Mimi said...

Circumstances are what make us stronger...
you have a wonderful attitude and I commend you for just going with the flow...and letting God take care of what you cannot get to...
I am praying for your peace of mind as you get through these next few weeks of too busy living...
Mimi

LaurieLH said...

On days like the one you describe, I think of Psalm 94:19 which says, "When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Thy consolations, oh Lord, delight my soul!" Praying for continued blessings of peace and rest for you, Laurie

smilnsigh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
KarenHarveyCox said...

I am one of those people who need a bit of alone time in order to regroup. Holidays and the family home makes me yearn to get away by myself for a bit. I was feeling overwhelmed as well, and then I realized I was not giving myself anytime alone with the Lord to just be and listen. Your post is wonderful. Blessings, Karen

Cathy said...

Brenda, I love Elizabeth Elliott. Thank goodness she gave you some good advice. You are doing the best you can. You probably have your family spoiled from being at home taking care of them. :) I pray God will give you peace, strength to endure, and wisdom.

Heather L. said...

Thanks for your Sunday afternoon tea! I hope your week goes well, despite all the work ahead.

Anonymous said...

"Do the next thing" has helped me many times over the past several years. Thanks for the reminder. :)
jo

Haus Frau said...

Some years back, Elisabeth Elliot spoke at our ladies conference. One thing she said stuck with me:

"Suffering is having something you don't want - or wanting something you don't have."

I believe we can all identify with her words at some point in our lives...sometimes many times.

I'm praying for you, that you would continue walking closely with Him and that you would seek out mini-moments to enjoy a cozy place. (( hugs ))

marye said...

Very good. As usual coming here is like plopping down on the couch of a good friend. And I am right where you are..
If I don't take care of me (besides God) who will?

lauraofharvestlane said...

Bless your heart!
What a day for you.
I've prayed for you that God will give you strength, hope and that you will be able to do all of what you need to do, most of what you should do, and some of what you want to do.

I'm new to your blog; but, I plan to come back to visit. Please come and visit me, too, at my blog.

Laura
Happy at Home

meg said...

Oh, yes; this is where I am right now- no time left for me :-( This too will pass (I sincerely hope) but in the meantime, thank you for the reminder.

Rhondi said...

Hi I'll come and have a cup of Earl Grey tea with you and tell you to take a deep breath and try to relax. I love the verse that says "my yoke is easy and my burden is light." You need a little "me "time. It has taken me a long time as a Christian to give myself permission to say "no" and to take time for myself. Oh dear, you don't even know me and I'm giving you advice. My heart just went out to you whanI red your blog and you seem to be so stressed out! I am going to try to remember to pray for you. Rhondi