Overwhelmed

are you feeling overwhelmed

Hello. I’m overwhelmed.

To-do lists.

Deadlines. Decisions. Schedules. Kids. Clutter. Information. More information. Multi-tasking. Notifications.

Noise.

Yes, NO! Well…yes. Ugh. Why did I say that? AGAIN?

I’m feeling swallowed up, like Jonah in the belly of that fish. It’s dark, dank and lonely in here as I drift deep into the overwhelming sea!  Feeling overwhelmed can be…well, rather overwhelming! How do we get ourselves into this oppressive place where we feel like we’re dying?

DYING TO LIVE

I think sometimes we get overwhelmed because we are too busy doing what’s in front of us.  We drift from what makes us feel alive. I read a quote recently…

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs, ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who are alive.” –Howard Thurman

Have you noticed what makes you come alive actually requires you to die? When I am overwhelmed, it’s a struggle with death. My flesh is screaming for its own way.

When I’m overwhelmed, it’s not pretty. “You were dead because of your sins and because your sinful nature was not yet cut away. Then God made you alive with Christ, for he forgave all our sins.” (Colossians 3: 13 NLT) What a relief! It’s good to remember, I am alive through Christ in the midst of my moment. My sinful nature, cut away. To grab hold of life in the moment, I must die. Seems like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? Dying to come alive?

How am I revived when I feel overwhelmed?

Here are a few of my techniques:

1. REMEMBER TO BREATHE

Have you ever heard of “Smell the Soup, Cool the Soup?” I hadn’t either. But it works. Let’s try it right now.

Let’s breathe in through our nostrils, our lips pursed. This is smelling the soup! Feel how calming this is? It gets even better. Now blow, shaping your lips like the North Wind. That is cooling the soup! Smell and cool the soup four more times. Remembering to breathe brings life to a dying, overwhelming moment. “The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life.” (Job 33: 4 NIV)

2. EMBRACE THE PRESENT

Offering the moment a hug, in the midst over feeling overwhelmed, isn’t easy. But it’s necessary. When I’m overwhelmed, I’m either looking back or forward into the future. Embracing the present centers me in the midst of the storm. I have to let go of where I wanted to go, and be O.K. with where I am. I’m not stuck. I’m just detoured. There is no scarcity of time. God’s time is abundant. I’ll get back to where I was going. God’s Holy Spirit, my heavenly GPS, is still directing me.

Accepting a new season is as important as embracing the present. I’m not where I was in the old season. I’m in a new place. Shifting into a new season requires dying to the old one. “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.” (Philippians 1: 21 NIV)

3. FIND A WINDOW

I gravitate to windows when I am overwhelmed. I must see out and look up! “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalm 19: 1 NIV) Looking up to the sky helps me get God’s perspective. What is He doing in this moment? “I lift up my eye to the mountains — where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 121: 1-2 NIV)

4. DO WHAT’S NEXT

Feeling overwhelmed doesn’t define my day. I heard a successful, female tycoon say when she gets overwhelmed, she does what’s next. First of all, it was shocking to hear she gets overwhelmed! Never feeling overwhelmed is a myth. The only way to complete a to-do list is to create a shorter one! Focus on what’s important. What would God have me do next? And, as I do what’s next, I put my confidence in Him, that He will rescue me.

“We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God [emphasis added], who raises the dead. And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. (2 Corinthians 1: 8b-10a NLT)

PRAYER:

Father, when I feel overwhelmed beyond my ability to endure, I ask You to help me remember to breathe.  Help me embrace the present.  Help me see from Your perspective.  Help me do what’s next.  I relinquish control, and rely only on You. My confidence is in You to rescue me again and again. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
by Cynthia Nurss – October 7, 2015

No Wimpy Waiting

When I wait

“I am confident of this:  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.  Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27: 13-14 NIV

Waiting on the Lord is wonderful.  Well, it WAS confident and it WAS wonderful.  Full of God’s Spirit and fire, Jesus in me mowed the enemy with powerful prayers.  When I spoke His Word, mountains moved.

In the twinkling of an eye, everything changed.

My confidence in the Lord shriveled.  I could no longer see His goodness, and I slipped into a place called “the land of the numb.”  This is the place where hopelessness creeps up and whispers, “Nothing will ever change.”  This is the place where the silence is deafening because it seems God is not there.  This is the place where though you feel numb, you “wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord.”

Waiting feels like wimping out.

Like, “Oh, snap! Can we just get on with it?”

No. Not yet.

Wait.

Waiting is an inconsolable place.  It’s the place where God’s Spirit takes you through the motions.  It’s the place where God’s Spirit keeps you steady and unwavering.  While you wait, the pages of your Bible can feel void, but you keep reading it because you are waiting!  You are being strong, and taking heart in Him.

Lord, I am waiting!  While I wait, breathe on my fainting heart to be strong.  I am confident of this: I will wait on You for as long as it takes to see again Your goodness in the land of the living!   I am not wimping out. I am taking heart, and waiting on You!  Amen.

By Cynthia Nurss – September 23, 2015

Attitude Prayer

Just inspired to infect you this morning…..and for spiritual exercise, I chose to write and pray a prayer re: our last lifegroup lesson on ATTITUDE with Pastor Tom Lane from the series, I Changed My Mind @ http://www.gatewaypeople.com.

Attitudes are more important than facts.  (George MacDonald)

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Dear Father in Heaven,

I am choosing a good attitude today.  I declare I am transformed by the renewing of my mind.  Romans 12: 2 promises that then I will be able to test and approve your good, pleasing and perfect will for my life.  Thank You, Father, for Your promises!

Purify my heart today.  As water reflects a face, so my heart reflects through me.  (Proverbs 27: 19)

Uh-hem.  My emotions run wild sometimes.  Forgive me.  You promise to take the upright into Your confidence, your secret counsel.  (Proverbs 3: 32)  I long to walk in Your secret counsel.  As I wash myself daily with Your Word, heal my heart, refresh me.  I speak to the storms in my heart with Your words, “Peace, be still.”  “Be still and know that I am God.”  (Mark 4: 39; Psalm 46: 10)

Sigh.  I know I fail daily.  I huff and snort and roll my eyes.  Well, maybe not outwardly—but, in or out, that’s attitude.  Jesus, thank You, that your love is unconditional.  Nothing, not even my emotions or bad attitude, can separate me from Your love.  (Romans 8: 38-39)  Every time I fail, I run to You!  Because if I don’t deal with it as an attitude, I will deal with it later as an action that wounds those around me, too.  (Pastor Tom Lane)

Taunts like “if only you knew my circumstances” are not from You.  I refuse to chatter and grumble about what’s going on here!  I choose to be content in my circumstances.  I will extol You at all times; Your praise will always be on my lips!  My soul boasts in You; yet I am afflicted, I rejoice!   As  I look to You, my face is radiant and never covered with shame.  (I love Your Psalm #34.)  Though things may go wrong, I will rejoice in You, and be joyful in God my Saviour!  (Habakkuk 3: 17-19)

My attitude is my choice.

My attitude has consequences.

My attitude has influence.

I’m infecting everyone I meet today with Your amazing love!  I’m like a humming bird looking for sweet souls today!  Send me to people who need Your Holy Affection (Infection)!

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Amen.

inspiring a legacy

Cirrus_clouds2Ever wonder what people are saying and thinking about you?  I received a touching private message on Facebook today.  Someone I loved and adored recently changed addresses (went to heaven), and I was reaching out to her husband, just checking on our dear brother in the Lord.

Of course, I meant to offer comfort to him.  Such a divine exchange happens when we connect with one another!  The sow and reap principle at work!  Here is what he told me, and what she penned about me after our last meeting a year ago last spring….

“I was going through some of Rita’s paper work and notes and found an entry about you. She said how wonderful it was to speak to Cynthia Nurss today. She is a real girl with nothing hidden. She called you “wide open, a person with no guile in her mouth”. She told me how excited she was to visit with you. She was always smiling when she got to spend time with you. You inspired her and ministered to her.”

Lately, I’ve been in such a quandary about my life direction.  You know, it doesn’t really matter what you lay your hand to in this life.  What matters is breathing life and encouragement into each other.  THAT is my purpose.

What legacy will you be leaving behind?  What will people say, what are they saying, about you?  We get to choose, and the sky’s the limit!

Habitation CRYING OUT

Let us experience more of Your Presence, Lord.

Isaiah 6: 1-10 In a vision, I saw the Lord sitting upon the throne, high and lifted up, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple.

God is looking for a people, and a place….here I am, Lord, send me!

I cry Holy Are You!

Let my love be like a fire

My life like a flame

Let my passion bring you fame

Fill me with your desires

FROM SONG: Burning Ones

We are your burning ones
We are consumed by You
We set our lives apart
We are consumed by You

So let this love be like a fire
let our lives be like a flame
Feel us souls with Your desire
Let our passion bring You fame

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Last month: Shouting

Crying out is lifting our voice to God and seeking Him regarding a need, like a child cries out to their father and mother. Psalm 142. Raise your voice to God.

200+ times the Bible talks about crying out.

Prayer – 74x (God talks about crying out in the Bible alot.)

Exodus 2: 23 The Israelites cried out….

1 Chron 5: 19-20 They made war with the Hagrites,…and they were helped against them…for they cried out to God in the battle….for they put their trust in Him.

Lam 2: 19 Pour out your heart like water.

Psalm 55 17 PRAY AND CRY OUT and He shall hear my voice.

Mark 15: 34 Jesus cried out with a loud voice….

CRYING OUT IS BASED ON FAITH AND HOPE that God will come through in our situation.

Joel 1: 14 Consecrate a fast….and cry out to the Lord.

Jonah 2: 2 I cried out to the Lord because of my affliction and He answered me.

CRYING OUT IS ENERGETIC, full of energy. Under pressure, like travailing, giving birth.

GOD ANSWERS when we cry out. He honors faith and obedience to cry out.

Ps 18: 6 He heard my voice….and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.

MAYBE WE ARE IN A SITUATION where we have no faith. Cry out for Faith! Mark 9: 23 IF You can do anything….Father with mute son, demon-possessed. Mark 9: 23 If you can believe, all things are possible…..Lord, I believe! Lord, help my unbelief!

Psalm 30: 2 I cried out and You healed me.

We don’t just cry out to God, we cry out FOR God.

Ps 84: 2 My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God!

Luke 18 Story of widow with unjust judge, asking for justice, but because she keeps coming….and shall God not avenge….when he really finds faith on the earth?

God responds to our cries because He is for us, He loves us.

Ps 56: 9 My enemies will turn back because God is for me, 100%!

Ps 50: 15 Call upon Me in the day of trouble – GOD GETS THE GLORY (another aspect of crying out). He solves our problems and He gets the glory!