Overwhelming Thoughts

God's instruction.
Things around the house.
Issues at work.
Church, brothers-in-Christ and sisters-in-Christ.
The world situation.
Evil in the world.
Today's to-do list.
What day today is.
(It is Thursday, right?)
The weather, the heat and the drought.
Running a home business.
Finding time to eat, sleep and maybe relax a little.

So ... what are you thinking about at this moment? Is your brain cluttered with a bazillion different things? Does it feel like something important might be oozing out your ears?

The female mind is an interesting place to be. We're not only multi-tasking physically, we're trying to multi-task mentally as well. And for most of us, that just doesn't work.

I often feel like my brain is on overload - overwhelmed with everything that I'm supposed to take care of, remember, think about and deal with. That burden gets heavier with every conversation, phone call, hour that passes and issue that comes up.

There are two strategies that I use when these overwhelming times wash over me. Instead of crawling back into bed and praying it all goes away, I use one of them and God gets me through.

1. Write. It. Down.
I have forgotten more than I've ever known, I'm sure. My short-term memory is horrid, which gets me into serious trouble and a good amount of anxiety. With a tendency toward depression and panic, this is not a good thing.

Instead, I write it down. Everything. The little stuff. The big stuff. The important stuff. The stuff I'd like to remember more than five minutes from now.

So it's a good thing that I love lists. I've got notebooks and journals and pads of paper everywhere just so I'll get things out of my mind and onto paper. Then I'm not rehearsing it and letting swirl unendingly through my brain in an attempt to memorize it.

Having it out and on paper means I'll quit worrying about forgetting and have a record of all those necessary things. Then I can move on with the day a little lighter because those thoughts aren't weighing me down.

2. The chalkboard.
After I've done a brain dump and gotten everything written down, I can turn my mind into a chalkboard. All those swirling thoughts become notes on the chalkboard. I close my eyes and picture myself writing them all down - sometimes all lined up in order, sometimes just as jumbled and incomplete as the thoughts themselves.

And then comes the best part. I can now take the eraser and clean the chalkboard. Watch as each word, each doodle, each heavy issue in my brain gets wiped away. I start in the top corner and methodically work my way down, the white scribbles becoming a clean, pure black surface.

Then I take that piece of chalk again and write eight simple words that will replace all of the writing and worrying of the day.

Be still, and know that I am God.

There's no physical chalkboard - I can't reach out and touch it. But it's just as real a picture in mind as if it were hanging here in front of me. The hurriedness and busyness of life is what led me to the overwhelming thoughts to begin with. If I followed these words, which come straight from the Lord Himself, I wouldn't have to keep repeating these two exercising over and over again.

But sometimes I have to. Life happens, I'm human and my minds gets filled with stuff. The combination of writing everything down and wiping clean the chalkboard of my mind has a powerful effect on my personal well-being. Replacing all of that junk with the Word of God makes all the difference in my mind, my heart and my soul.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Be still.
I am.
Now what are you thinking about?


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