Have you ever seen one of those guys at a circus that spins plates on a stick? He starts with one and continues to add plates spinning and tries to keep them all going and not let any of them fall to the ground. (If you don’t know what I’m talking about, visit YouTube and look up plate spinning. You’ll find lots of videos to give you an idea.)
Sometimes I feel like a plate spinner. I have so many things that are vying for my attention and I have about enough time and energy to give each of them a spin before another one is about to crash so I have to run off to make sure it doesn’t. And sometimes. Plates crash. They stop spinning and completely fall to the ground and shatter into thousands of pieces.
And what results is me, feeling like a failure.
I just can’t keep it all going. Diet. Exercise. Bills. Cleaning. Work. Parenting. Connecting with my husband. Plans for holidays. Cooking. Devotions. Reading. Knitting. Small Group. Budgeting (work and home). Friendships. Time commitments. Making sure everyone else gets what they need from me and vice versa. Drinking enough water. Laundry. Lists. Prayer. Grocery shopping. Sleep.
There are times when I am really on top of budgeting and bills, but I am eating terribly, sleeping in too late and never exercising. There are times that I am faithful with my Bible reading, but I am not investing enough time in my husband. Three are times that I am really good about connecting with my friends and giving to them, but my kids haven’t had a home-cooked meal in two weeks. And there are times when I am not doing any of it well.
And that’s where I am right now. I feel like plates are crashing around me. I am doing well with some things, but others have fallen or are about to fall. And then I start getting down on myself about it. And then more stuff falls. It becomes a downward spiral.
Until I stop it. Until I ask for help and give God control. Until I choose to pick up some of those plates. Until I give myself grace and ask for grace from others.
The reality is I really can’t do it all on my own. But I think I should be able to and that’s where I get into trouble. That’s when my attitude starts going south. That’s when I start feeling overwhelmed. But when I remember that 1) God is there and is ready to help – I just need to ask and 2) that I live in community and there are people – family, friends, etc. – that are more than willing to step in when they are aware there is a need, that’s when things get better.
If you are feeling this way today, I encourage you today to stop, take a deep breath, and ask for help – from God, from your friends, from your family. And accept their help and their grace. I know I need to.
What do you usually do when you are feeling overwhelmed with life?