Holy in the Daily

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How to deal with overwhelm in under 5 minutes

Last Sunday our pastor, Andy Rock, got my attention by his comment of how much we expect retirement to be a life free of responsibility—just one long vacation—nothing to do but rest and relax.

It’s true, I thought, dreaming of a 365-day cruise free of cleaning, cooking, and bill paying — a life of someone else doing the work of thinking and doing for me.

“But that’s not retirement,” Andy said. “That’s hospice.”

POW! My bubble burst.

Since Tom and I retired and moved out to the country, our life has been full of things tugging at our sleeves, needing to get done.

Responsibility may have changed locations…

…but its to-do list is still active

The other day my sense of overwhelm intensified as I looked over my various projects and concerns.

There were just too many loose ends in my life. I wasn’t sure I could hold all of them together:

  • Being available to help a daughter and granddaughter as they navigate new health issues.
  • A house and property that demands attention.
  • Several volunteer projects that I don’t seem to have time for.
  • Small side jobs that take up more time and energy than I anticipated.
  • Bills and bookkeeping are sitting on my desk, demanding my attention.

As I sat musing with coffee in hand, gazing at the big oak tree outside our living room window, I felt the gentle nudge of the Holy Spirit.

I knew He was going to drop a perspective adjustment into my tired brain.

He began with questions:

Who was before creation?

You were, Jesus. You said so in Colossians 1.

And who holds all things in creation together?

You do, Lord. You’re the unseen force behind gravity, cell development, and everything seen and unseen. (I was expecting a science object lesson at this point.)

Are these people, projects, and responsibilities part of creation?

Yes, I guess they are. (This was no science lesson.)

So why are you trying to hold them all together? That’s My job.


…Christ HOLDS all things together

Even all my loose ends.

Even when those loose ends get all tangled together.


How do you deal with overwhelm in under 5 minutes?

1. Remember: it’s not your job to hold yourself together. That’s the job description of Jesus—and you are NOT Him.

2. Focus on Jesus and see what He is doing with only ONE thing in your tangled-up pile of loose ends.

3. Do that one thing WITH Him.

4. When that ONE THING is done, stop and take a soul break. Because rest is important to God. Resting FORCES you trust Him with all the loose ends.

5. Then do the next thing you see Jesus doing.

6. Rinse and repeat the above 5 steps.

Now, take a deep breath. Repeat after me:

I’m not responsible for having all my ducks in a row, hustling like everything depends on me, being super woman, or having all my loose ends wrapped up nicely in a bow. Jesus is responsible for all of these.

I’m only responsible for doing one thing at a time WITH Him—not doing anything by myself. And I’m definately called to rest, not hustle, in Jesus.

Yep, got it.

He’ll handle the loose ends. I’ll do ONLY what He is doing.

Wow… overwhelm smashed in under 5 minutes.

So tell me, what loose ends is Jesus holding together in your life right now?

Hugs, Susan

Looking for more? Check out Finding Peace When Life Doesn’t Go as Planned.

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Beverly A Lyons

    oooooo…weeeee! That “splash” of cool water in my hot and racing soul brought to reality….He cares for me so much….I CAN LIVE, MOVE AND HAVE MY BEING IN CHRIST JESUS!

    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you for stopping by and sharing a reminder about “liberty” and “rest!”

    1. Susan Gaddis

      Yea, Beverly… happy am I that it ministered to you. 🙂

  2. Diane D. Ulibarri

    Thank you sister….I needed that. love you.

  3. Barbara

    Thanks Susan for sharing the word with us. I really needed that reminder to let go and let God. It is so easy to try and do everything in our strength and I don’t have too. Have a blessed day.

  4. Cheryl

    Good reminder! I can get so frazzled!

    1. Susan Gaddis

      So glad to heart that, Cheryl. Frazzled isn’t our friend. 🙂

  5. Alison

    Aaah! Refreshing! I run ahead of Him sometimes and He patiently waits until I wear myself out and then says, “are you ready to invite Me into this situation?”…..ok Lord, take the wheel in my moms health❤️
    Thanks for the reminder Susan😍

  6. Kathie Mell

    It is finally 2021!
    We are mostly settled in our retirement cottage. Unfortunately Bill isn’t retired yet; he’s still working from home. His office is closer to the living room now & I’m trying to ignore the many calls/Zoom meetings he has. Hmmmm He will retire in a year or so; guess I have some more ” stretching” to do… with my expectations.
    Thanks for so timely reminding me about the loose ends…….and accepting them as a part of being Alive!!!
    I am not ready for Hospice yet, Thanks, Andy!!!
    Much love to you, Susan!!!

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