How To Navigate Overwhelming Seasons of Life

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Have you ever buttoned your shirt wrong?

You buttoned all the buttons and it seemed like you did everything you were supposed to do, but then you looked in the mirror and realized you were just one button off?

It’s frustrating isn’t it? All that work with no gain. So much time could have been saved if you’d started with the first button.

Motherhood can feel like that can’t it? Some days, weeks, months you just feel “off.” everything seems harder and no matter what you do, how much you work, you just can’t seem to get it right.

We need to make sure our top button is buttoned.

“Enough with the analogies, Kat! What in the world are you talking about?”

I’m talking about how we need to keep first things first.

If we’re not starting at the top, everything is going to stay off track no matter how hard we try.

On a daily basis, that means starting each morning with our hearts and eyes on God. It doesn’t have to be an hour. It can be 5 minutes. But we need to talk to the coach before we enter the game or we’re liable to run in all the wrong directions.

When we feel overwhelmed, stressed, weary, we only have one thing we need to do. We just need to make sure our top button is buttoned.

So in seasons of craziness, we need to step back and make sure to spend quality time with Jesus; reading, praying, worshipping, listening.

Because if things aren’t right there, they’re not going to be right anywhere.

The rest of my world could fall apart, but if I’m resting in His presence and following His lead, I’m peaceful and confident that the things I’m doing are the things that I’m SUPPOSED to be doing.

What sort of season is your life in right now (busy, calm, hard, good)?

(If you’re participating in the MYM Challenge, Michelle and I are working very hard to get everything in order for all 860+ of you. We’ll send out an email in the next day or so with all the details.)

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28 Comments

  • Avatar Annie says:

    I feel like I’m changing seasons right now. My kids are becoming more self-sufficient, but more apt to make mistakes and need mom more than ever (very reluctantly I might add). My husband is 6 months into self employment and I help from time to time. I’m finding it hard to keep the balance at home with working, keeping the kids and everything square with eating, groceries, garden, clothing, etc. I find myself wanting to do less and less as my plate fills with more and more. I know I’ll get through it with God’s good grace – but sometimes I feel like I’m at the end of a VERY long line waiting have my chat.

  • Avatar Dawn Pfahning says:

    Wow! Was this sent just for me? Just yesterday I was thinking, I had kids on purpose? I was wanting to run away from home. As always, it’s not the BIG things that overwhelm me, but the many, many little things that I let get to me. I am fighting tears and swallowing that lump in my throat right now. Nothing is too big for God. Nothing is too small for God. This season of craziness will soon pass. Thank you for the reminder to “start at the top.”

  • Avatar Beth West says:

    I feel like I was born into a crazy, busy life. Once in a blue moon, I’ll hit a patch of a few days here and there where things seem to flow along sensibly, but they don’t last. Always looking to improve my self-discipline so that our days will finally be calm, productive and pleasant. Kat, I love the idea of making sure your top button is straight before you begin your day.

  • Avatar Twannette says:

    Words cannot express how much your writing has encouraged me. I am in a difficult season right now and your words have been like a balm to my soul. Thank you!

  • As our weather recently turned from rainy and cold to sunny and warm, I have been spending 5-15 minutes outside in the morning. I breathe deep, listen to the birds and thank God for the day. What. A. Difference. Seriously, just those few minutes of starting the morning in peace, taking in nature and the majesty of God. My whole day seems to run smoother! Who knew just a few moments could change the whole course of my day?

  • Avatar StephVG says:

    I started motherhood five months ago with a 2yo girl and 7mo boy, as foster children, after waiting 9 long years for the Lord to grant parenthood. I just celebrated my first Mother’s Day, and was so exhausted and second-guessing and crazy that I pretty much didn’t enjoy it. At the minimum, we have 4 foster appts per week – two are visits with birthmom. There’s a revolving door of people in and out of our home on a regular basis. We barely know our kids, especially our daughter, so we’re not sure what is normal kid behavior with her and what is a result of being “in the system.” Yeah, it’s a season of craziness, definitely. So thank you for this post, and this simple reminder that if I’m not standing on His firm foundation, I’m not standing at all.

  • Avatar Maggie says:

    Busy! Busy! Busy! My husband and I are praying about making a huge life change. It’s hard to continually seek God’s will when His timetable is not mine. Learning about having a lot of patience and trust!

  • Avatar Tiffany Brown says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear this right now. I am telling you this challenge could not be coming at a better time then right now. I NEED to remember what you said “Because if things aren’t right there, they’re not going to be right anywhere” I have that on my desk looking at me right now and I need to remember that. THANK YOU!!!! This season is a busy and hard one but I need to keep my focus on God.

  • Avatar Betty says:

    Had to laugh at your shirt analogy. I have a blouse that I’ve put on inside-out and not realized it until I got to church. This has happened more than twice! I’m in the autumn season of my life — desperately missing the kiddie years, but enjoying my adult children and being with grandkids

  • Avatar Christin says:

    Oh what a timely post. (I’m sure you get that a lot 😉 )

    My season right now is of a teething 8-month old and a strong-willed toddler (added to my other 3 children). It has been challenging in every aspect. Thank you so much for this reminder. 🙂

  • Avatar Courtney says:

    Busy! This time of year is hectic with school ending and roles shifting. I’m trying to savor each moment, but I have to admit that I am looking forward to post-Memorial Day when (I think!) I will be able to take a deep breath. You are so right, though, that keeping my morning routine going is the key to making it through.

  • Avatar Nicole says:

    Def a hard season. I find the times Idon’t purposefully set my heart on Jesus, my world comes collapsing down!

  • Avatar Seraphima says:

    A good season, but hard. This challenge is helping me refine a system already in place in regard to prayer, exercise, and planning. One critical piece that I’ve been totally blowing is the going to bed before midnight part. With five homeschooling kids, evenings after they are in bed are often my best work hours. And I tend to drag them out til my eyes are crossed….

    Thanks for the motivation to keep priorities PRIORITIES!

  • I am in a different season. My nest is in the process of emptying out. I am struggling with where God has me physically and emotionally right now. But regardless, your analogy still fits. Start with the top button. Love it!
    Thanks Kat!
    Bernice

  • Avatar Lara says:

    A couple of weeks ago I wore my shirt inside out the entire day. Inside out. To Panera. Aiming to look somewhat professional. Inside out. I guess you could say mommyhood kills my brain cells. In a good way.

    Love the analogy. All we have is today. That’s it. When life gets overwhelming I try to remember that he has given me enough time to do what HE has planned for my today. (Not necessarily for all the extra things I want to put add to the list…)

    Hugs to you, sweet, inspiring Kat. (860+!!!!! Awesome.)

  • Avatar melanie says:

    We’re in a crazy season right now. The kind I used to judge other people for – wondering if they were drama magnets or somehow bring this on themselves by swerving way outside God’s will. (Forgive me for my judgment and bad theology, Lord.)

    The hubs and I are both feeling released to move back across the country this summer to finally get the kids near family. The fact that we both agree heartily on this felt like just part of the confirmation that it was God’s will.

    But our house has yet to sell. We had our first miscarriage. And after waiting weeks and weeks with very little communication, my husband found out on the same day that he did not get either of the 2 jobs that he would have been perfect for. And no one has communicated with him at all since he applied for this last one 2 weeks ago. The house we were hoping to buy in CA is under contract. And now I’m applying for a full time position and considering switching roles with my husband! (Ever try to right a resume after being out of your professional field for 8 years? So easy…) We’re both actually very excited about this new possibility for a number of reasons, but weary of getting excited about things that may not work out…

    Fortunately we have a lot of prayer support through our community in DC and (on our better days) trust that the Lord is faithful. We will be better for having gone through this, but I didn’t anticipate how hard it was before you find out how it all works out.

    Thanks for the reminder to get back to the basics, Kat. “Seek first the kingdom of God…”

    =), melanie

  • Avatar Sam says:

    Thank you for this reminder. I needed it today.

    We are in a crazy, transitional season as we are waiting on a baby to arrive any day(therefore making me an emotional, mental wreck lately and extremely irritable and uncomfortable). We are also in a hard season with wanting to transition to something new for dh to do but needing the Lord’s lead and guidance on what that will be. It’s definitely been a rough time.

    Thanks again for the reminder to start the day off right.

  • Avatar Renee says:

    I am definitely in that stage right now! I have 4 teenagers and there is no appreciation, only exhaustion. I almost never write because I have no time, but I always read what you send because it always encourages me. So, thanks 

  • Avatar Donnetta says:

    Amen! Thank you for this reminder and great encouragement!

  • Avatar Messy Wife says:

    I was in an overwhelmed stage but it is starting to make a turn because of all the help I am so blessed to have. I still struggle with falling into a routine so that I won’t be overwhelmed again. Thank you very much for the reminder.

  • Avatar Anne says:

    I’ve found that in the truly overwhelming seasons of life it is pretty easy for me to keep first things first. I still think this is ironic, but it’s true all the same. Desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess, and I never drop my quiet time in a desperate time!
    But when things are going great, I tend to get complacent. I am aware of this tendency in myself and know to watch out for it, but I still find it counterintuitive that I stick to my guns more during hard times.

  • Avatar Sarah says:

    For weeks, I’ve felt this. Since discovering a “surprise to me” pregnancy, I’ve been completely overwhelmed, and most days feel like I shouldn’t have left the house. Wondering why it seems so hard for me, when other people have more children and seem to manage quite well. This post sums it up. And I think on some level, I knew that – but reading it here, it just clicked. I got too busy with the everyday things, and left behind the thing that should have been at the top every day. God Bless you, Kat!

  • Avatar Anna says:

    I’m in a difficult season right now. I just lost my Granny in March and I am facing the lost of my Grandmama (the last living grandparent). We lost my Granddaddy 16mths ago. I am 32 and single with no children. Life is moving way too fast and its scary. I have made some poor choices that have left me still living with my parents and deeply in debt. We have moved my Granny’s house. It is much smaller than what we lived in and most of the time I am completely overwhelmed. I know a lot of this is grief, but that doesn’t make it any easier. The only thing that makes it worth it sometimes is knowing that I was able to help take care of Granny in her last years on this side of eternity. I am looking forward to the MYM challenge and hope that I can get into a better routine.

  • Avatar Courtney says:

    Hi Kat, again your words are such an answered prayer. After spending much needed time in prayer this morning, with lots of tears, I feel He is filling up my cup again, which He always does. Motherhood is the hardest job – especially this season in my life. But am I always reminded of its sweetness, too – thankfully. Am thankful for so much this morning, especially you and the time you take to share your thoughts.

    xo
    courtney

  • […]  How to Navigate Overwhelming Seasons of Life {Inspired to Action} Kat never fails to inspire you. Really. This short and sweet post will encourage you to deal with whatever is overwhelming in your life right now in the simplest manner, ever. […]

  • Avatar Cherie says:

    I’m changing seasons, in many different ways: new information revealed from husband; son graduating; turning 50 this summer; exploring a new ministry opportunity… Thought I was in a marathon found out I’m in an ironman triathlon. Peaceful in God, uncomfortable in the midst of change as God works to bring and usher in the changes of the seasons and preparing me for a bigger event.

  • Avatar Haley says:

    It’s so lucky that my husband is not too busy and he can help me when there are something happening in our family.