To the Woman Who Wishes She Could Do & Be More

Sharon JaynesBalanced Living, General Inspiration, Living Fully 134 Comments

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little overwhelmed going into 2017. I just had a new book come out, and I have a looming deadline for a project I haven’t even started yet. So in my overwhelm-ed-ness (yes, that is a new word for today), I have invited my friends Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory to share a post from their new book titled…what else but… Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Calm 

How does she do it all?

 Why can’t I keep up with her?

 What’s wrong with me?

I’d been asking myself these questions for decades, comparing myself unfavorably to other women. But when my friend Kathi Lipp came up with a brilliant analogy that answered my questions, I didn’t like the answer.

Not one little bit.

What Size Plate Do You Have?

Kathi compares each woman’s productivity capacity to the size of a plate. Many women have a dinner plate. Some have a big turkey platter.

And then, there’s those of us who have little demitasse saucers.

It’s taken me years to admit that no matter how hard I try to prove otherwise, I’m not a platter or even dinner plate kinda gal.

I’m a tiny plate girl.

And oh, how I questioned God for giving me an itty-bitty plate when I have turkey platter-sized desires.

Why would You do this to me?

If you had to give me such a teensy-weensy capacity, why couldn’t you at least reduce my longings to match?

Is this some kind of cruel joke?

I felt like a disciple, stuck with five little loaves and two tiny fishes, facing a famished crowd of thousands.

Turkey Platter Dreams

A few weeks ago, I was whining to Kathi, once again, about how unfair it was for God to give me a pathetic demitasse saucer-sized capacity with turkey platter-sized dreams.

Kathi responded, “But I feel like you do have a platter. Truly. I know you don’t, but it sure seems like it to the rest of us.”

Our friend Angela added, “Cheri, you must have the largest saucer ever or maybe you have the cup and the saucer capacity put together.”

Without thinking, I said, “Then God has got to be multiplying things somewhere along the way.”

I paused, as a new thought came to me.

“Maybe this is when he can miraculously transform our little into much: when we accept what we have and quit trying to beg, borrow, and steal plates that aren’t ours.”

Working With God Instead of Against Him

The more I reflect on our conversation, the more I realize Kathi and Angela are right.

I do have a small capacity. I’m a Highly Sensitive Person — I am especially easily overwhelmed.

But in spite of this, the last six months have been enormously productive for me.

I’ve been saying “No” to most things, only saying, “Yes” to what I am clear God has asked me to do.

For the first time in my life, rather than pretending I’m capable of more, more, more, I’ve been surrendering my God-given capacity back to God, trusting Him to do with it what He will.

After so many years of trying to prove God wrong, I’m finally getting out of his way so he can work.

And now I feel like a disciple who’s counting baskets of left-overs after the thousands have had their fill.

Overwhelmed With Gratitude

I now realize that when God passed out plates, He did not forget me.

I no longer ask Why would You do this to me?

I know why He gave me an itty-bitty plate with turkey platter-sized desires.

If God had given me a large enough capacity to match my over-sized dreams, I’d be unbearably proud of my amazing abilities.

Instead, I’m watching in wonder as things happen that I’m keenly aware I’m not doing by myself.

And instead of being overwhelmed by performance panic—How will I ever keep this up?!?—I’m overwhelmed by simple gratitude.

It’s never a mistake when God gives us a tiny saucer with big desires.

It’s always an amazing gift: to be a small part of huge miracles.

And all the credit goes to Him.

To win a free copy of Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Calm,  leave a comment about one thing that overwhelms you. I’ll randomly pick one comment on January 15 and send you a free copy right away! (US & Canadian readers only).

Kathi Lipp (right) 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 (left)  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.


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Comments 134

  1. Loved this Sharon. I am feeling overwhelmed as I get older my arthiritc knee is kicking in. HMM metaphor not intended. I just can’t do things like I could. And I have reactions to perfume and toxins that restrict church attendance as I can’;t go to any where with perfume, or recent painting etc. I tell myself that I should be thank ful for what I have and i DO have a massive blessing in family and husband and good health for most of my 70 +years. But my heart lags behind my head. That is why I love your books so much as they help me to get myself together with God again! Jean from snowy Wales.

    1. I am 64 and feel overwhelmed with retirement. Really!?…YES. what am I supposed to be doing? How do I “make” a new routine? Can I just …relax? What does God have in mind?

      1. Though I am not at retirement age yet, I have known so many people who struggle with feelings of being overwhelmed, anxious or even depressed after retirement. It’s just a suggestion, but maybe you can start small by finding things you can still do that were a part of your former routine (i.e. wake up at the same time every day, perform routine tasks at similar times you did previously). Then, plug other tasks into your schedule that you put off until retirement (deep cleaning the hall closet, getting photo albums down to organize, etc.). And finally, ask God to fill your plate back up with new activities/tasks that He has for this next season of your life.

        Prayers for you during this next season of your life!

    2. I appreciated reading this today. I am a 52, mother/chauffer/life organizer to 7 including 2 dogs and a cat, pastor’s wife, small scale devotional & worship song writer, worship leader, soon-to-be online college student with goal to finish Bachelor’s, part time administrative assistant/organizer/planner for my pastor husband and church, substitute teacher’s aide/bus aide, housecleaner, and anything else that comes along in my day to be “done”…struggling with some physical limitations from overdoing it on a regular basis. Overall, I’m overwhelmed, try to focus first on God by writing my “closet crumbs” daily, and appreciate your “real-ness”. Thanks!

  2. I am 46 years old and a senior in college. I will finally be earning my degree. Talk about being over whelmed. I work FT and school FT and wonder everyday when the alarm goes off at 3:00am ( to study) why and how am I doing this. Your statement about having Turkey platter desires–wow that is me! I would really like to win this book. I’m on a tight budget and extras- like books just a wish right now. Thank you for this message today. God knew I needed it.

    1. That is so awesome that you are finishing college!! Even more so while working full time! I can totally relate to waking up at 3:00 to study! I am 37 years old and just finished grad school for physical therapy. I was the oldest in my class and lived away from my husband while in school but God carried us all the way. He is so faithful!! There were many, many overwhelming times but with God, ALL things are possible and I applaud you for all of your hard work!

    2. These stories are inspiring to me. I am a 37 year old college student as well. I work full time, attend college full time, care for 4 beautiful children and a husband. Most days are stressful. I have dreams of finishing college and purchasing a home. My mom went to heaven last year and I made her a promise that I would finish college. Thank you all for sharing.

    3. Elizabeth, Elisia and Candace, you ladies are such an inspiration! Praying for perseverance to see your commitments through!

  3. You are such a gifted writer. I love the analogies here, and I had to share that with you! You always have the best way of explaining things. Perfect timing for me to read this post. Blessings!

    1. Alicia, hang in there girl! God has big dreams for your life too but may just have a different way of getting there.

    1. I know how overwhelming that can be. Praying for you today for peace in the midst of overwhelming thoughts.

  4. Me! I overwhelm me. I say yes to everything! And all the while, in the back of my mind – I know I should be saying no to alot of it. I’m learning…so far in 2017, I’ve begun to say no and say yes just to the things that I feel God is leading me to. Thank you for the devotional, would love to enjoy the entire book!

  5. Clutter.. When everything is in a disarray and I can’t find what I need/am looking for… My anxiety and overwhelmedness goes through the roof. I have gotten better about letting certain things go, but it is still so hard.
    Thank you for the devotion and chance to win a new book.

    1. Lynda,

      I know how tough it is to find peace in the midst of clutter and disarray. Hang in there! God promises to walk with you through even the messiest of times.

    1. Deb, home duties are tough, especially when you have other things that can take up time. Hang in there! I’ll be praying for you today to find peace in the midst of a busy life.

  6. I am overwhelmed with the need to feel busy. Even in moments of rest I find I’m not doing enough to be tired. Thanks for sharing this post. It is on time for the season I am walking in.

    1. Oh, Barbara. I am so sorry. I struggled when my mother had dementia, so I can’t imagine having 3 family members with Alzheimers. I pray for peace and rest for you today and that God would bring someone to you who can be an encouragement to you.

  7. Caring for my 2 small children while working full time and having my husband gone for his job every other week! Very exhausting and constantly feeling like “I can’t do this!” Overwhelming!

    1. Crystal, taking care of small children is exhausting in and of itself without having a spouse who travels. Those moments of exhaustion will not last forever but are a great reminder to focus on what is right in front of you. I pray for a little extra sleep tonight! 🙂

  8. I get overwhelmed easily. Because I am a wife, Mom (3 daugters, 22,17,10), Gigi (beautiful loving 3 year grand daughter), & finally a nurse. I work 8 hrs a day taking care of cancer patients. And that “nurse” switch is hard to turn off. I tend to try to take care of everyone. Taking on myself to take Mom to doctor on my day off, take husband to doctor on my day off, take daughters to the doctor’s/hospital whenever it’s necessary. My dad died in March 2016. I took care of him for 20 years, the last 14 I was a nurse. He is why I went to nursing school to begin with. Now he’s gone, I think I am overwhelming myself to fill that after hours on call 24/7 “nurse” with my family. Then I still have to clean, cook, do the laundry, etc.

    1. Pamela, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate. You are such a strong and dedicated woman, and it is apparent that you love your family a lot. Don’t forget though that it’s o.k. to give yourself permission to rest, and when you take the time to do so, you are actually allowing yourself to be more effective in the care you offer others…even as a nurse. Hang in there! Rest at His feet today. I’ll be praying for you today.

  9. The biggest thing that overwhelms me the most are “demands”! A lot of the demands are from people but most are the ones that I place on myself to do or be better!

    1. Mary, I completely understand the struggle of living up to our own expectations. I think in some ways, that’s harder than meeting the expectations of others. I would encourage you to pray that God would show you HIS plan for you and what HIS expectations for you are. God never says in scripture that we are to be perfect…in fact, He says that it is because we aren’t perfect that we need Him. He just asks us to strive for excellence in what we do. Hang in there!

  10. Trying to fit in an exercise routine overwhelms me- it’s necessary because I have some health issues but it’s a chore so it’s easier to replace it with things I enjoy.

    1. Sharon, dealing with the effects of drugs and alcohol on family members is a tough battle. I pray that God would give you clarity in your dealings with them and rest for your own mind and soul today.

  11. Life is overwhelming in this season. Many decisions that are to be made not mine to make but will affect me in many ways. Floundering because I feel as if everyone and everything controls my life. My best resort is at the nail scarred feet of Jesus who lays His hand on my head and says,”I am with you always…” I give Him this feeling of dread and anxiety knowing no one but He controls it all. I am quietly blessed by that.

  12. How to pick only one of the things that overwhelms me? That’s very difficult! I lot of things overwhelm me right now. So if I have to choose only one, it would be our schedule. My children have something going on every night of the week and on the weekends. It’s crazy. I get very little time to refuel. It’s so difficult for me to sit down and focus on my bible reading. I have trouble even focusing in prayer. With that said, it’s just a little part of what overwhelms me. I feel I have no control over my life.

    1. Beth, that’s unfortunately a common struggle for many women. Don’t hesitate to reach out to God and ask Him to direct you with your schedule. Sometimes when you lay it all out on the table, God often gives an immense amount of peace in the midst of being overwhelmed. Hang in there!

  13. I am overwhelmed by trying to fill my mom’s shoes to keep our family together. She was such a godly woman and always seemed to know the right thing to say or do. I pray for wisdom to guide these lost souls but just seem to fall so short.

    1. What an amazing heart it seems you have Kathy. Hang in there and remember that God has never asked you to do it all yourself. Lean on Him and find comfort in the mist of the stress. He will give you wisdom when you ask.

  14. Although God has given me many abilities and talents to use for His glory; and I’m a daughter, pastor’s wife, mother, grandmother, I am overwhelmed with the feeling of guilt that whatever I do isn’t enough. I’m just beginning to learn that it’s not about what I do or don’t do, it’s all about Who He is and what He has already done for me!

    1. You are so very right about that. I am also all of those things except the grandmother role and have struggled with that myself. The amazing thing is that God is so much bigger than me and in all those times that I feel completely insufficient, God still loves me and uses me in ways I never knew about. Hang in there and keep holding to the promise that you are a precious and loved child of God, even when you may feel incapable and unworthy.

  15. My family doesn’t get along so when we have a family dinner around any holiday it causes me to become overwhelmed. However recently married and blinding families overwhelms me bc his family, my family and our friends don’t see and agree with our life model of Christ then spouse then children and other things so this causes me to be overwhelmed. Then add work and working with my small group senior high school girls that I feel dificent at but oh how the Lord has worked in this. The Lord continues to show me and teach me I have to remember not to become overwhelmed in life and this book would possible give me tools to getting there – Overwhelmed : Quiet the chaos and restore your calm.
    Hope I am picked for a free copy

    1. Julie, I have had a lot of stress from blending families and friends since I have been married as well. Sometimes, God asks us to live a life that others don’t agree with, and it can make life hard. But hang in there. God is incredibly faithful when we choose to let Him dictate our path, and He will give you the quiet, calm and strength you need to keep going.

  16. It is so easy to be overwhelmed when transporting a hot, full course supper to 7 or 8 men in the harvest field, and especially so when they are working in different fields. And then how to you keep it hot for the last fellows when the food is exposed to the cool Canadian fall weather?

  17. Retirement! Retirement….is overwhelming me…..I know God has given me this time to rest and reflect
    In all he has given me….but….I’m trying too hard to fill my days with activities to show family and friends
    Just how wonderful retirement is……I’m failing…..Prayers, Please…..

    1. Linda, I’m praying for you today. Any kind of change is hard, even if it’s supposed to be the good kind of change. Hang in there. God’s got a plan for this season of your life.

  18. Oh! Overwhelmed is when God allowed me to break my left leg! He took all 8 of my church ministries away and me being the micromanager of my home, could no longer do so. I had to put up with the dust and dirt or clutter that I could not pick up or clean! My Heavenly Father had my attention. Attention sitting. I don’t sit! Now, LOL sitting is all I do. I am so still listening to the Holy Spirit, WoW! Have I heard loud and clear. I am still in my position of a cast, going on 9 weeks, I am so thankful My Heavenly Father choose me to go through this trail, I am able to learn and listen where I would not have if I was my normal busy, busy, busy!

  19. I am overwhelmed with every role I’m supposed to play in life. Wife, mom, employee, involved church member, God’s servant, friend, sister, daughter… and then I’m also supposed to eat right and exercise and keep the house relatively clean and decent food on the table. I don’t see how I’m supposed to do all of these things everyday. And sleep at some point to because apparently that’s important. Anyone else? I begin to feel like I don’t do any of these things very well. I just touch them enough to keep things from boiling over, like an oven with a bunch of cooking pots. EXHAUSTED. All of these things are blessings too, so then I feel guilty for feeling overwhelmed. I am very blessed. And very very tired. Is this just the way life is?

    1. Paige, I have found that there are seasons of life that are certainly busy, but I also believe that God evens them out with seasons of rest. Reach out to God, and ask Him to show you where to find calm from the chaos. Hang in there!

  20. The goal of perfection, the attempt to keep everyone happy overwhelms me daily. I want to be able to Let Go and Let God!!

  21. When I look back on raising my 5 children, I remember being overwhelmed at trying to make it all work on one income and essentially being a single parent since my husband is a truck driver and was gone at that time for 1-3 weeks at a time. But as difficult as those times seemed, I see God in every part of it all. I was healthy and able to be there for everything. He gave me that health–despite some overwhelming trauma in my own childhood which caused me to have panic attacks, which of course, God gave me the knowledge and ability to deal with. Nothing is too hard for God. When there was an illness or accident with one of the children, there was always a way to handle it. We had a roof over our heads and a wonderful Church in which to raise the children. Though that battle seemed impossible, it is so good to look back and just watch the battles being won by God!!

  22. This is just what I needed to hear. I am surrounded by friends with high capacities, strong leadership and administrative abilities that seem to be so very productive. Compared to them, this girl with ADD tendencies and anxieties always seem to fall so short compared to them. I have been praying for peace with myself…to be able to accept myself and focus better and doing better on the things God has given me to do. Ahhg…will I ever get to that place of acceptance and peace?? I am praying and trusting God’s word that says to “ask and keep on asking and you will receive” because our Father in Heaven is good and knows how to give good gifts. This will be a big turning point for me when I get there!

  23. One thing that overwhelms me is having to assume responsibility for SO much as a result of my husband’s MS and deteriorating health…..physical and cognitive health.

    1. Sue, my heart goes out to you. The sacrifice of loving your husband through the rough times of his deteriorating health is one not many people choose to make. This season is probably hard, but God still promises peace and rest. I’m praying for you today.

  24. I am currently overwhelmed after feeling stuck or more like paralyzed during 2016 after graduating with my Masters degree in Occupational Therapy & the passing of my grandmother who raised me. Praise God that I’m able to function now as I still grieve. Slowly but surely I’m trying to regroup to be a better me in 2017 than I was in 2016. I’m studying to take my OT Exam again, help my daughter when my 2 yr old grandson and be a better wife, daughter, mother, sister & friend.

    1. Sonya, hang in there. God promises peace, even when responsibilities overwhelm. And congrats on your degree!

  25. Thank you for sharing and being transparent. I have struggled with the same questions and always feel like I’m not doing enough or that God cheated me from gifts, talents and resources but yet is asking me for SO much. I’m beginning to understand that I’m just a part of the whole and God has equipped me with just the right amount of everything to do my part. He has called me to work with victims and survivors of human sex trafficking and it can get overwhelming but God has been working in me to appreciate small beginnings and small goals and small triumphs. I’m learning to take small bites of the huge cake and enjoy it!!!

    1. Karla, what an amazing calling. I am sure that God can take what you have to offer to those women and multiply it in a way only He can!

  26. I am overwhelmed by my manager each day at work and the duties I have been handed that are supposed to be her responsibility and I don’t know how to stand up to her; I am overwhelmed because I work full-time, attend school online part-time and have a beautiful 18 month daughter and a husband that works just about every Saturday. I am overwhelmed with my family that are living in sin, don’t believe in God or choose not to and with my sister that we are losing to drug addiction. I am overwhelmed by my Mom who plays favoritism to her children and now grandchildren, who doesn’t get along with my husband and is living with another woman who I used to work with. I am overwhelmed with the worry of my Dad’s health. I am overwhelmed, BUT I know God is in control and I put my trust in Him right now and forever.

    1. Jenn, hang in there. I’m sure the grief you feel at times is profound. Lean into God. Even with circumstances that seem like they will never change, God can offer peace and rest. I’m praying for you today.

  27. Oops forgot to name one thing that overwhelms me… A biggie is cleaning out my parents’ home, and these precious people never threw Anything away! Retiring has not helped because other priorities have arisen.
    One day, I suppose….

  28. My Overwhelmed sounds so much like Cheri! Right now my overwhelmed is that I am on medical leave w/o pay due to back issues. We are living on half income. Also the upcoming surgery to fix my knee then back ultimately and all the travel/changes/pain that will accompany! But its not the overwhelmed I would have felt 10 years ago when Jesus got my attention again! I already have financial blessings coming in because we didn’t give in to fear and we kept giving as always. And I’m just now hearing what surgery/recovery will look like so anxiety a little high on that. But I know others have so many more concerns than I that I look for ways to help there. I am blessed! God knew I needed this article and Gwen’s too on this book…. He’s so Good!!! And I already love Kathi and Cheri because of their book The Cure For The Perfect Life! I’m babbling….Lol Blessings Sharon!

  29. My lack of organization in my home, with finances, and seepng into my career, and my desire to serve Him and His children.

  30. I feel overwhelmed daily by the task of taking care of my 30 year old son who suffered a traumatic brain injury 9 years ago, in addition to working full time and being a wife and mother to two other adult sons. Somehow, God has given me the strength and everything else I need to do this for the last 9 years but some days I don’t feel like I can do it another day.

    1. Magda, the care and love you pour into your sons is truly sacrificial. Sometimes, God is waiting just around the corner to give us rest and strength if only we would ask for it. Hang in there. I’m praying for you today.

  31. I feel overwhelmed as a stay at home mom of 3 beautiful kids who are 10, 4 and 2. I’m always cooking, baking, cleaning, etc and have no time for myself. I’m constantly tired and get sick easily because I’m so run down. We can’t afford to put them in daycare or to pay for someone to babysit and we have no family to help us out.

    With that being said, I know that the Lord will Not give me more than I can bear and that this is just a season!

    1. Varsha, being a SAHM is isolating and exhausting. You are right that the Lord will not give you more than you can bear, but He also promised the strength to do your job. Reach out to Him and let him give you rest.

  32. Right now I am overwhelmed with homeschooling my two children who both have Dyslexia and ADHD. This post really resonated with me. I am also a highly sensitive person and can quickly feel overwhelmed. I always feel I am not doing enough and yet frequently have others tell me how much they see me accomplish!? God is so amazing that he is multiplying my feeble efforts! THANK YOU for this realization!!!

  33. Gardening, particularly pruning and fruit trees overwhelm me. Even if I do not win this book, I will be getting it. It struck a spot within me, as if to say “that’s you”!

  34. Other people do struggle like me; feeling you have been cheated out of the abilities others have.
    I would never blame God for my inabilities, I do wonder why He gave me such a love for children
    that I went to college sure teaching young children and all those years in the classroom were such a struggle. All the times I was not a good teacher according to my principals and other observers. I tried so hard. I spent many hours after trying to do it like we were told.But I couldn’t
    I watched the other teachers succeed and go home at 3:00 while I stayed until 7:00. If this wasn’t my calling why would God be such a deep love for my students and such helping them to learn? At the same time I was letting my sons down, because I’d spend so much time at school
    and I would be exhausted every night. I was finally fired. Before that happen, He told me as I walked the neighborhood “your job is in My Hands.” I feel like a FAILURE. BUT I KNOW GOD IS
    GOOD. He brought me through so many situations I never could have faced without Him.

    1. Oh, Pat. My heart hurts for you. I know it sounds like such a cliche but God has truly made you unique and special even when others don’t see it. Sometimes we try so hard to be the square peg that fits into the round hole and we miss the calling that God has for our own lives. Never forget that God didn’t make you with the leftovers that were not used up on everyone else. Ask God to show you the beauty in who He made you to be, and when you do, the place that God created only you to be.

  35. Well to start just turned the big 50 on January 9th… I am a fusty time grandmother to twin boys and the job is a stressor daily. I have been doing the same type of work sincerely I was 18, mortgage underwriting! Need to lose weight and tone up but not really motivated!!! But I have a great husband we will be married 30 yrs in May and still have my mom on this earth!!! Blessed for sure!😊

  36. Thank you! I have been overwhelmed by this sandwich time in my life of helping with a parent and still being a wife and mother. balancing all of that with the other work that God has so blessed me to be a part of. God is good!

  37. I get overwhelmed wanting to do a good job at raising a child (9 year old) who struggles with many issues such as learning and with communication. Am I doing the right things to help him succeed? I don’t know what I am doing. I struggle with trusting God and waiting for him to guide me which leads to feeling of overwhelmed.

    1. Dawn, parenting an easy child is difficult, but when you are the parent of a child who needs a little extra time and help, it can be emotionally exhausting. God has called you to parent your child because YOU are the mother He decided would be the best mother for him. Trust God, even when you feel like you don’t know what you are doing. Remind yourself that God put you in your child’s life because he believes in you, and let Him work out the big picture. Hang in there girl!

  38. I use to think I was a turkey platter girl, but I am content with my little saucer. The last two years haven returned me to my personal relationship with the wonderous God above! Through a difficult time I have seen more miracles and blessings that he has provided!! He has restored my Peace through the storms of life…even as they continue now. I never thought at age 50 I would be raising my grandson, but God had a different plan…what a Blessing are both my grandson and my God! I now trust His plan not only for me but for those I love!!

    Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

  39. What overwhelms me is I am one body pulled and depended on but in the back of my mind I only want to have time to serve God, volunteer, write a children’s book and I wonder when will I get there? thank you for your message today… it was beautiful.

  40. My 4 young children 8 and under overwhelm me. Our house is always in a state of chaos! Trying to embrace it but a struggle! Enjoyed reading this!

  41. Wow. Just what I needed to hear. I am overwhelmed by the lack of purpose I feel in life. I too have big desires yet little capacity to fulfill then when I jump in and fail I get discouraged and depressed. I am trying to find my way in life.

  42. My overwhelming comes from the responsibilities of home, work, church and an elderly Mom. My husband and I are still combining households (too many boxes still to go through), a demanding job, volunteering at church and with our AWANA kids group and taking time to visit with my Mom each week (she is in a nursing home) can pull me in too many directions. Your email was spot on as I too believe I am a petite plate person with a platter size desire to get things done! Thank you for your encouragement and I’m trusting God to guide me in what is important and to be focused on what is needed at this moment. God Bless!

  43. It’s amazing to see how many “sisters” are out there that feel the same way I do. I try to listen to what God wants me to do, but it’s still hard to see it.

  44. Love the Turkey platter I was DX with MS in 2013 and i Was always going and then going some more. It is hard to realize God’s plan is the Best Plan Times I still wish, wait to see the Plan I do know God has a Plan for my life and I thank you for your post and for GFIG

  45. The one thing that overwhelms me is when I have so many projects on my “to-do” list- several of which include some very commendable volunteering commitments- is my work schedule. I have a fairly flexible job and am very grateful for it- but I wish and dream of a time when I can just volunteer my life away- but the reality of my life is that I need to work. That is when God whispers in my ear and reminds me how fortunate I am to have such a flexible and good paying job that actually affords me the opportunity to volunteer as needed and still have the finances to get things- like food and pay our bills on time :))

  46. One thing that is overwhelming me is trying to get back to some type of a “normal” life ( cooking, cleaning, running my home based business, caring for my family) while still being totally exhausted mentally, emotionally, spiritually, and physically from battling cancer for the last year and three quarters.

    1. Diane, what a strong woman you must be after having struggled through and overcome cancer! “Normal” may never be the same for you again, but God’s so amazing at helping us find a new normal that fits the place that we are in. Hang in there.

  47. This really spoke to my heart. I have also found that there are seasons in my life when I can do more. At 64, my current age, I cannot keep going like I did at 24 or even 44. If I do, then I need a longer recovery time..

  48. I find myself wondering: how do these people know me!?! I honestly feel that they have either been beside me or in my house at some point for them to so clearly pinpoint exactly what has been going on in my life. Trying to stop the “balancing” act and devote real time to God through prayer, reading His word, which has all the answers anyway! And focusing on what He wants me to do each day instead of what I want! My Mom had a favorite saying that we needed to get our “want-to” fixed! At the time, I thought it was kind of mean, but I think I am finally beginning to understand what she meant! (Hope I’m the winner of the book!)

  49. I am overwhelmed with thoughts about furthering my career and going back to school or continuing on working in my husband’s clothing business (as I have now for 15 years) when I feel employees are pushing me out the door.

  50. Loved this blog post!!!! Cleaning and Organizing the house always overwhelms me! And trying to plan out our family schedule with all the kids activities can overwhelm me too!! Also going away on vacation or to visit family. Traveling with small kids is definitely overwhelming!!! I just absolutely love Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory!!! Thanks for sharing with us Sharon!!!

  51. I’m overwhelmed by life in general right now. I have four kids (one with special needs), a husband who’s attending college as a full-time student, desires to volunteer at church, desires to fundraise for Caiden’s Hope, and this huge sense of urgency to get everything done for everyone. I feel like I’m lacking as a wife and mother and I take no time to lose weight so I feel miserable about myself as well. I don’t know who I am anymore. I got a calling 5 years ago and I don’t see it coming to pass at all. It was and then everything fell apart when my son was born prematurely. I feel like I have bigger goals than I’m capable of as well. And I feel like others have double the expectations of me than I can handle. And I read your blog about giving it to God but i dont know how anymore. What am I doing wrong that I cannot seem to hand things over and leave them at the alter? I used to blog. I used to grow in faith. Now I’m just drowning

    1. Stephanie, I know exactly how you feel and have walked through those same questions. Sometimes the storms around us are God’s way of encouraging us to seek shelter, and you may find that when you have the courage to stand up and say no to the things that are not as big of priorities right now despite what your dreams for your life are that God uses it to multiply your dreams into something more than you can imagine. Don’t doubt your calling. I’ve had to walk through overcoming those same doubts. But I’ve found that when I let God set the pace for how and when those dreams happen, God fills me with peace. Hang in there!

  52. battling cancer and trying NOT to hear satans voice of defeat as I asked God to help me to be a testimony through this journey is presently overwhelming to me. Everyone around me proclaims I have the “turkey platter buffet:” mentality and cancer seems to not have changed the desire but the physical ability no longer can keep up

    1. Pam, satan is has a loud voice indeed. But keep clinging to God during this time, and you may just find that God shows you how to match your mentality with your physical ability.

  53. I am feeling overwhelmed by wanting to get back my original, good health, after going through treatment for breast cancer and almost dying from a bacterial infection nearly three years ago. I still struggle with lack of energy, I want to do more, but always tire easily. I’d also llke to help my mother-in-law, who herself has health challenges. I do what I can, but it never feels like it’s enough.

    1. Sharon, hang i there. The enemy likes to make us feel insufficient and unworthy. But God can take even the smallest offering and multiply it in ways we could never dream.

  54. I have been overwhelmed with totally changing my perception of who God is and changing my behaviour patterns that were born out of trauma and abuse, and solely relying upon what the Bible has to say, and on top off that being a sole provider and parent for my now 2 teens. God is good tho..celebrating being sober 3 years as of January 12.

  55. Sadness and hurting over passing on to heaven of my loving, caring, and Christ-like hubby, after almost 31 years of marriage.

    1. Anna, I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that God gives your heart peace and comfort today in the midst of your grief.

  56. I have found myself caught in the trap of opportunities lost with regards to family relationships. I am now the matriarch of four generations and the discipleship responsibilities can be overwhelming. Finding the time, strength, and ability. I am definitely learning to trust Father God more than I ever have in my life and to discern the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

  57. I am overwhelmed by just trying to keep my everyday life in perspective & organized. I struggle with keeping family, home, & work happy & lose time for myself to spend with God & me time.

  58. The one thing that overwhelms me right now is dealing with my daughters cancer. She just got diagnosed in November with leukemia. She is only 9 and one of 4 kids. I have had long hospital stays with her and am trying to juggle being a care taker, a mom who can spend time with other kids too, a wife, and just a woman who can enjoy a hot shower at home or a nap. I have also made it a point to have time for God as only He is the one I can lean on right now.

    1. Renee, I am so sorry to hear about your daughter. I can only imagine how difficult it must be to walk through that battle. Keep reminding yourself that while life may be looking different than you ever thought it would, God is with you even if you can only look for Him during that 5 minutes you are i the shower. Hang in there.

  59. it seems everything over the last 2 years has overwhelmed me and it’s so hard to get myself motivated. I don’t feel like I have time to do anything and can’t get started on getting things organized.

  60. I read this intrigued as it represents some of what I’m asking myself these last couple of months. I am a single 61 yr. old woman whose been more (overwhelmed) lately because of debt which has been a burden for years. I work full time but my income is not a great amount and I am not a shopper, but to get by I’ve had to go into credit card debt and vehicle debt. I’m determined that this not continue when I’m 65 though I cannot retire since I have no retirement savings at all.

    I sometimes feel I work for nothing because there is no money to even go to a movie with a girlfriend but my prayer has become Lord make me content with life as it is and not desire more – even a movie night out. When I learn to thank Him for all that He has provided – food, shelter, clothing , job – therewith to be content – He MAY provide for those other desires in a way that will give Him all the glory.

    Thank you for your ongoing encouragemeny. May our God Bless you.


  61. Reading one of your books and decided to google you after the first chapter. So glad I did! I needed to read this post! Life is overwhelming for me right now, but mostly my job and learning how to not get so stressed out about things.

  62. I am overwhelmed right now by my husband’s chronic pain and poor health that consumes our daily lives. I try so hard to encourage him each day. I just continue trusting God and know He remains in control of it all.

  63. I feel overwhelmed by trying to do it all and do it well. I am hard on myself to have a successful career, raise our children, be a loving and supportive wife, take care of myself, volunteer & support others, be involved in our church, and take time to talk to God and have a strong relationship.

  64. Amen, Amen, and Amen and enjoying Pinterest only adds to my frustration. There are so many things I want to experience before I meet Jesus…and I do tend to ask the same question..where does my time AND energy go. At 73 trying harder only leads to more frustration! Maybe after reading your post I should dust off my gratitude jar and begin refilling it with praises..they are all around me..thankfully!!!
    Thank you and keep writing and encouraging! ( This post was written for me. I just sent a note to a friend commenting on my frustration…guess I have to rereply to her!!)

  65. After reading many of the posts sent.. I realize I shouldn’t feel overwhelmed by my simple thing of tackling deep cleaning and down sizing.
    Most of these WOMENS posts have real reasons to feel overwhelmed and need prayer for what their challenges are.
    Sharon thank you for this post, and thanks to Kathi and Cheri for this analogy of how big my plate is.

    Praying for all you ladies who have shared your hearts and hurts.

  66. Feeling overwhelmed by my job (teacher). It sometimes seems that I’m just figuring it out day by day, & I never get ahead.

    1. Linda, first of all, let me just say that teachers are the most wonderful people in my book! You are all a group of such hard-working, dedicated people, and I don’t think I could ever do half of what you do on a daily basis. I’m sure that the work you do can be overwhelming a lot, especially when you are barely keeping up, but just keep hanging on. Ask God what you can let go of and where to concentrate your focus. Even if you can’t say no to everything, I have discovered that when I let Him, God makes a pretty good partner to lean on. Hugs, lady!

    1. Hang in there Suzi. Don’t think you have to do it all. Let yourself slow down to take some time to figure out what it is that God is wanting you to do and don’t feel guilty about letting go of the rest. 🙂

  67. I feel overwhelmed by God’s Grace. So many times I have failed him and he continues to pick me up and dust me off and wraps his arms around me, showing me that this life is not about me, but about The Plan that HE has for me… Use me Lord, even if it is with a tiny tee cup saucer plate because we are here for others…I’ll take the tee cup saucer any day over a platter now, but when I was younger I wanted the plate and the platter several of them… Now, I’ll take the tee cup saucer if it has God’s redeeming love written all over it….

    1. Valerie, What a beautiful heart you have. Thanks for sharing your heart with us! God will use your tiny tee cup saucer plate in amazing ways if you let him.

  68. I have always been the one saying yes to everything because I never want to miss out. Now 50, my husband has helped me to learn the art of saying “no” more than I used to, but I still don’t feel like I’ve found that balance God wants and has for me😐 this devotional blessed me- even if I didn’t read it ti, this morning because of my busy-ness! Lol. Thank you for sharing what God has taught you. I’d love a copy of this book!

    1. I’m so glad you have learned how to say no, even if it wasn’t until you were 50. Now, if I could just learn to do the same thing. 🙂 Glad you were encouraged by the blog post.

  69. Wow! Thank you for sharing the meaningful,post this morning.
    Finances, that’s an area I am overwhelmed, and anxious about most of the time.

    1. Sherri, you and I must be cut from the same cloth! I really struggle with feeling overwhelmed by money regardless of whether I have it or not. I’m glad the post encouraged you.

  70. Just reading some of these responses makes me realize that I’m not alone in feeling overwhelmed. I’m a homeschool mom of a special needs child. Many struggles but I feel blessed to have this ministry. The sample of the book was so encouraging. It was a beautiful reminder that God doesn’t make mistakes.

    1. Rebecca, my heart goes out to you! I have a child with some minor special needs whom I homeschool as well, and it’s tough for sure! I am so very glad God used the book sample and the other ladies’ comments to encourage you.

  71. A friend sent me this info. After we spent 5 hours talking about how overwhelmed we are in our lives. 3 years ago I started going on mission trips to Africa to teach the ladies crochet and knitting skills. I have worked in Uganda, Malawi and South Africa. Everytime I go I see more and more of there needs and I want to help. I also have a family in Texas that needs me because believe me we need someone to come into our home and get us organized. I know God will not give me anything he thinks I cannot handle. I wish sometimes that I could be a Drone and hover over my life, to see where I am needed and where I am wasting my time. Now don’t get me wrong I am not interested in seeing my future believe the present is hectic enough

    1. Karen, you are so right that God never gives us anything more than we can handle, but I know personally that I don’t always know what He is giving me and what I am giving myself. Hang in there!

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