Laying It Down

Overwhelmed.

Adjusting.

Uncertain.

I think those are the three words that best describe me of late.   It seems that every time I begin to feel settled and find a routine that works, something happens.   So far, all the “somethings” have been great:

  • a new job for Scott and a move back to North Alabama
  • a move from one house to another within a month of moving back to North Alabama
  • school starting for my girl  – middle school, no less

But each of these has brought a necessary reassessing of how and when things happen around our house.  Add to those big things a few smaller changes – the girl’s dance class schedule, writing for the local newspaper, and teaching a ladies Bible study at church – and just the normal crazy world of life in a pastor’s home as we adjust to living in a new community … well, let’s just say the IRL has definitely been overshadowing the URL around here.

Perhaps you’ve noticed … I’m sure you have.  My sporadic posts and lack of focus have not been listed among the “things I’m most proud of” lately.    The last few days I’ve spent some time praying over every part of my life.    I’ve poured out my heart asking for direction and clarity.  And, at this point, these are a few of the things the Lord has reminded me about:

  1. Write less but write better.   I’ll be taking Thursdays off on this site.   It’s the one of the two days of the work week that we have no outside commitments, so I’ll be using that day for most of my major homemaking tasks … grocery lists, menu planning, preparation for the weekend, etc.  It’s also the day my column is due to the newspaper so I’m going to need that extra time to work on it.
  2. Let go of good to live in the best.  I desperately want to write Bible studies that are affordable and accessible for smaller women’s groups and churches.    The “Real Life, Real Truth” series is something God placed in my heart last year and I know He will give me the time and direction for writing them … but not now.  I had two eBooks planned for this fall … neither will be completed.  Instead, I’m focusing on my October series, 31 Days of Joy.  This journey through Philippians will offer a moment of daily encouragement from my favorite of Paul’s epistles and I’ll have an inexpensive companion Bible study that is more in-depth for those who would like to purchase it.
  3. Adding anything affects everything.   And we’ve added a lot!  Freelance writing, speaking opportunities, a larger church to serve, middle school  … and I have a few other choices that I’m praying about as well.   And everything has changed!   We’re working through all the adjustments and realizing that it doesn’t matter how big or small the “anything” you add is … everything really is affected.

I’m working through my priorities for this season of life … setting new goals, more realistic ones.   I would guess I’m not the only one facing this readjustment.  The beginning of a new school year always seems to bring some unanticipated changes.   Maybe you’re adjusting to a new job or a new baby.   Perhaps your health is creating the need for a reevaluation.   Or maybe you just have that sense of being overwhelmed and uncertain.

It’s okay!  Take some time – wherever you can grab it! – and lay it all down before the Lord.   He’s got the answers for all of it.   Rest in this promise:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.”  Matthew 11:28 (NASB)

Will you take your burdens to our Burden-Bearer?  Your questions to the One True Answer?  Your weakness to Strength?  Your weariness to Him who gives perfect rest?

 

20 Replies to “Laying It Down”

  1. I think every woman in ministry and/or in mothering can relate to this post, Teri. Your ability to let go of the good to live in the best is a great model for me. Thanks for the reminder of what’s really important.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Thank you, Susan. I just wish I could learn to prepare for the changes!! Maybe then I wouldn’t end up in such a funk. 🙂

  2. Stef - Educating Layton says: Reply

    love love love – anything you add everything is affected, so true! This week we go to having practically zero evening plans to church softball, soccer, and Awana! Everything in our house is changing to adjust to the new commitments !

    praying for your new path !

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Read your post this morning and recognized myself in your words … You’re such a blessing, my friend.

  3. Oh, such good reminders. Laying it down … daily!

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Julie, you are such an encouragement and inspiration in my life … I am blessed to know you.

  4. We serve an awesome God. Even though you my friend are so many miles away we are going through similar changes in our lives. With the birth of Keller, my first grand, my life has changed in so many ways. I’m learning to be obedient and lay things down in my life as well. Thanks for your friendship and sharing your heart.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Yes, Cyndie, so many changes! Good to hear your voice today … I miss you.

  5. Well, hmmm…ironic that I should read this at this moment. I just finished dropping everyone off at school and work. I walked in the house, plopped down on the couch and just sat here with my body feeling like it’s still moving. The house is silent and, frankly, I need it that way for at least a few more minutes. No tv, no music, no web-inars, no…nothing.

    Because I’m feeling exactly as you described….overwhelmed. I was just at my blog, wishing it was more brilliant and that I had tons of cool-looking ebooks to offer people. But no, it’s just lil’ ol’ me…doing my part. And apparently, that’s enough for right now. Thanks for your post…
    Susan Hill recently posted…Autism: laughing gas, imprints, and dance clinicsMy Profile

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Thank you … your words in this little space have blessed me this morning. And lil’ ol’ you is enough … we are never called to do more than our own part.

  6. “It’s okay! Take some time – wherever you can grab it! – and lay it all down before the Lord. ”

    This, yes this. When will I ever learn.

    Thanks for linking up my friend. I’m such a fan.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      I think we have what is termed “A Mutual Admiration Society” … Stacey, you challenge me and bring such amazing wisdom into my life. I am thankful for you.

  7. It is such a hard balance to have the “right” amount of things going on. I think you and i are alike, in that we are jugglrs, and we function better when we have much going on. Yet, it does seem that, all of a sudden, there is a moment comes where it all becomes too much.

    {Lord, give us discernment and grace to balance all you’ve called us to!}

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Yes, I need several things at once … but I’m learning that the actual number of “several” has been decreasing as I get older. 🙂

  8. I love the three things you mentioned. I would love to write every day, but like you, I have chosen to write less, but write better. At least I try. 🙂 And I so agree with your #3. Adding anything does affect everything! We live in such a frenetic-paced world. I am constantly pushing against the flow of go, go, go! Oh, how I want to be still and know that He is God.

    I’m linking up from Write it, Girl. I love your blog. It’s nice to “meet” you.

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Denise, nice to “meet” you too … I love that Stacey & Katie have created this space for us to encourage one another as writers.

      And that struggle to “be still and know” … I know it well.

  9. Re-evaluating . . . constantly!

    It seems all over Christoblogdom (I just made that up) there is a whole lot of turning away from self and toward the Almighty…

    I am definitely a part of that movement!
    Thank you for your honesty, and showing how God is working in you!
    Meredith recently posted…What Authentic Looks LikeMy Profile

    1. Teri Lynne Underwood says: Reply

      Christoblogdom … I love it!!

      And yes, what a powerful movement … from me to God. Always the right, best, perfect choice.

  10. Do you know that it’s high time to receive the loan, which will make you dreams real.

  11. {Weekend Challenge} Learn! says: Reply

    […] written a lot lately about being overwhelmed, unfocused, and uncertain.   Last night as I was packing, I was reminded of something:   The […]

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