About the Author

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, heart-encourager, and grace-needer. She's the best-selling author of "A Confident Heart" and her new book, "A Confident Mom" is releasing Fall 2021. Renee is also the familiar voice of a friend to women around the world as former Proverbs 31 Ministries' radio co-host and executive...

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  1. “I feel completely numb,” she said. “I don’t want to be a mom or a wife anymore. I could walk out on my family today and not feel anything…but it would devastate them. And I can’t do that because I care about them. I just don’t have anything left in me to give or feel. And I don’t know what to do…”

    Yes.

    I had started doing and serving more and more – while seeking God less and less.

    Been there, done that.

    Thank you for this.

    • Yes. Me too. Again and again. Oh how we as women love to give and yet we were also created to receive. We want to serve but our souls were need to also seek {Him}. I love having a safe (in)Him place to talk about the tension, the ebb and flow of our beautiful messy busy lives, encouraging and praying for one another. Thank you for pulling up seat and sitting here with us for a little while this morning, Jen.

      • After four years of over-committing myself to a personal relationship, I finally stepped away from it last week. I am exhausted, yet relieved. Sad, yet hopeful. This relationship pulled me away from God, the Church, my family, and myself.

        I feel denied, discounted, and demeaned by someone who just didn’t want to commit to me. Tired of being criticized about how I park my car, how I drive, and how I don’t show total support for his job when, for 8 months, he was gone and I kept the home fires burning while holding down a full time job myself…

        Ladies, I am heartbroken. I need assurance that this pain will go away and that I can somehow find my way back to God as the true love of my life…

        • Stacie, I’ve been sitting here at my laptop for 15 minutes caring deeply and praying about your broken heart and at the same time, hesitating to respond. A friend once said to me, “Men have an inordinate need to be right. Women have an inordinate need to be loved.” It’s a generalization, so there are individual exceptions for sure, but I think she was on the right track. If both people in a relationship don’t have God as their individual highest priority, then I think a man can easily assume the position of God in the relationship(without even realizing what he is doing) and a woman can (without even realizing it) yield to this demand because of wanting love.
          At one point, I desperately wanted to “find my way back to God”. When I stopped trying so hard and simply sat down, God found me.
          Sending love to you, dear one.

        • Stacie, over time your pain can heal. Jesus wants to be your comfort and strength. Your brokenness placed in His hands and bathed with healing balm of His promise and love through journaling, prayer, reading scriptures, surrounding yourself with others who will pray and love you through this, and reading a book that speaks to what you’re going through… all these thing can help your broken heart to be made whole again.

          I shared the story of my broken heart and broken engagement here and am praying that I can pull up a chair beside you and love on you through it: http://proverbs31.org/devotions/devo/when-we-belong-to-jesus/

        • Stacie,

          Prayers for healing. May God give you a heart change and shower you with His love and grace that you so desperately crave now.

          Prayers that you can find the “spiritual whitespace” you need to come back to God and rest in Him and His promises.

    • I posted to my page in March 2014:

      I was walking with the Lord today and we were discussing the twinge of guilt that I might get every so often over the things I could be “getting done” during that time. He quietly said “Don’t ever feel guilty about spending time with Me. There’s nothing more important for you to be doing”. So we finished our walk and I dressed to run errands. While I was out I stopped at a local drug store that has a small gift shop and picked up a devotional called “Jesus Calling” and turned to that day to read “Trust Me enough to spend ample time with Me, pushing back the demands of the day. Refuse to feel guilty about something so pleasing to Me, the King of the Universe”. I thanked God for speaking so clearly to me as I walked and again when I picked up this book.

  2. Not a wife, not a mum, not even over scheduled, but numb, so numb it sometimes doesn’t even bother me.
    xx

    • Yes Ruth. Life can numb the heart right out of us. Praying this hope and life-giving truth for you this morning: I pray the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you, Ruth, may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us {you and me} who believe. Eph 3:18-19.

  3. I am a stay at home wife and a mom of two preschoolers. I have been to that point of numbness a few times actually, not necessarily to the point of wants to throw in he towel but almost! Everytime I get to that point, I have to sit back and evaluate my life and my priorities. Most of the times, I realized that I had somehow moved “time with Jesus” to the second or third slot of my priorities list. When I neglect my relationship with God, I find that I am irritable, selfish,ungrateful, and just down right negative… I guess all of the fruits of the wrong spirit. But when I press back into Him, He gives me the strength to bear His fruit: love,patience,joy,faithfulness,goodness,gentleness,kindness,peace,and self control.
    Thank you for sharing Renee!

    • Me too. You named it: “Everytime I get to that point, I have to sit back and evaluate my life and my priorities. Most of the times, I realized that I had somehow moved “time with Jesus” to the second or third slot of my priorities list. When I neglect my relationship with God, I find that I am irritable, selfish,ungrateful, and just down right negative…”

      Time with Jesus. Listening. Resting. Receiving. Replenishing. Oh.how.we.need.HIM.

      I love your insights about the fruit. All those fruits of the spirit wither and get a little rotten without the nourishment of the Vine, huh?

  4. Renee,
    I love how you describe a spiritually abundant life that ebbs and flows. Yes, the enemy kept me in the perpetual “flow” mode almost to the point of burnout. It is such a lie – but one we easily buy into because it is the world’s view, not God’s. If Jesus needed to retreat from the crowds to pray and spend time with His Father, how much more so do I need to do the same thing. The word “No” became a friend of mine when asked to do more and more things. When we do it all, we are often robbing someone else of their opportunity to serve. I realized that I needed to take a giant step back. God also gives us seasons in life that ebb and flow. Being a mom with young children was definitely a “flow” season in life…but all the more reason to take time away to be re-energized by God. Now, an empty-nester, it is more of an “ebb” season in life. Every season, however, comes with its challenges so time away to spend at the feet of our Lord is always needed. Thanks for a very real reminder!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • Yes and amen. Every season ebbs and flows. And how the world pulls us away from the truth our souls need. Im going to ask Jesus to help me become really good friends with the word “no” – that is a hard one. What a wise choice you made. 🙂

  5. I think sometimes our own undoing is thinking we can do it all…until we can’t… and the full plate needs to be prioritized and some things have to go so we can do the remaining ones with intention and balance. But all of that will more easily come into place if we are building that intimate relationship with the Lord that will bring us more joy and satisfaction than anything else on our plate.

    And yes, we have an enemy that will do anything/everything to sabotage what we need most, more of Jesus!

    Your words are so freeing today pointing us in the right direction and reminding us how important these matters are!

    • Thank you for pulling up a chair and sharing some good girlfriend encouragement, Kathy I love your perspective here:

      “I think sometimes our own undoing is thinking we can do it all…until we can’t…and the full plate needs to be prioritized and some things have to go so we can do the remaining ones with intention and balance.” Such good words.

  6. My heart nods in agreement on this one. Currently I have had to say “no” to many things in order to guard time to fill myself up with God’s Truth. It isn’t easy. Some of the things I’ve had to say “no” to are exercise and time with friends. At the same time, I know it’s only temporary and I keep hearing the importance of guarding my time with God at all costs. It is good to rest. It is good.

    • Gosh me too, Tristi. I love what you shared. It’s so hard to say no to good things, especially things like time with friends and exercise.

      Im trying to find ways to creatively double up my resting with Jesus and a friend too {sometimes}. Praying together and just sitting in a beautiful place reading our Bibles. Getting exercise by going for a walk with Him so I get both, because I need both. Such an ebb and flow….

  7. I lay in bed last night, rigid on the mattress, body exhausted, head swirling with lists and logistics, unable to fall asleep, overwhelmed and close to tears. Your post greeted me this morning; needless to say, the floodgates opened as God whispered to my heart through your words.

    11 years ago, I chose to give up my career to stay home and raise my children full-time. Since then, I”ve pursued busy-ness as a means of giving my life “purpose” – feeling as though being a full-time parent doesn’t count in the eyes of society. I’m only valuable if I’m volunteering, or leading, or contributing to outside things.

    It’s exactly that endless list of “busy things” that daily keeps me from answering God’s call on my life. I seek Him, I hear Him, but I always have just.one.more.thing to do before I can get to that. And the just.one.more.things never seem to end. They’re lined up, knocking at the door. As soon as I clear up one, there’s three more waiting.

    The “someday I’ll have time for what God really wants me to do” is nowhere to be seen – relegated to the back of the line, with the urgent and immediate constantly at the front. I am overwhelmed with it all.

    Thank you for taking the time to share this story. Reminding me that God wants more for me than this busy life. That none of it means anything unless it is for His glory.

    • Janine, I love how you described the line that form with things waiting for us:
      And the just.one.more.things never seem to end. They’re lined up, knocking at the door. As soon as I clear up one, there’s three more waiting. The “someday I’ll have time for what God really wants me to do” is nowhere to be seen – relegated to the back of the line, with the urgent and immediate constantly at the front.

      Im asking Jesus to help me form another line so all those other things can go stand and wait for someone else, or at least wait each day until we’ve had time to spend time with HIm.

  8. Oh, yes. Definitely have had this problem, and the result was devastating to my family life, and my emotional life. The recovery took YEARS (and it took me years before that to even recognize that it was a problem) and involved intense guidance from a friend. One of the first things she taught me was that just because you can do something, doesn’t mean you should. A man with The Navigators said, “Increase your focus; slow your pace,” and I’ve had to return to that exhortation over and over.

    The problem is mostly over, but I still have to be on guard not to let myself slip back into that old pattern.

    • I’ve got the same pattern Monica. Praying for both of us, for all of us, to be wise and on our guard to protect our hearts. Thank you so much for sharing. Im tucking this wisdom in my pocket today: “Increase your focus; slow your pace.”

  9. I was there last year at this time. I teach in a smallish Christian school. I had a rough school year ending on what seemed at the time as a sour note. With four kids, a house to try and clean, 75 of other peoples highschool aged kids to take care of, church busyness, and mounds of papers to grade, I was wiped. I was ready to quit everything. God has something more though. He allowed a shift in my husbands job which gave him more income. This allowed a shift in my job. I was able to cut back from full to part time. It was an exciting time because there was no longer so !much stress. I gave up a lot to ficus on serving Food first at home and then at church and then at school!

    Sometimes, when we reach the end of our rope, God moves! Other times, we reach the end and God let’s us hang and swing building our spiritual muscles so we can hold on just a little longer. Take heart in your circumstance, Jesus has overcome the world!!!

  10. This post is God’s perfect timing for me, Renee, as I struggle to find soul rest in my life. I love the idea of the rhythm of grace: be filled to pour out. I want to DO out of my overflow, not DO from my scarcity, and it comes first from being filled with God. I’m processing this idea of resting with God further in Bonnie Gray’s new book Finding Spiritual Whitespace.

    • God’s timing is so good. I needed this one this week as well. I love how {HE} knows!! And I am just about to start reading Bonnie’s new book, “Finding Spiritual Whitespace” too – and I can’t wait!!

      Have a beautiful, rest-full weekend with Jesus!

  11. Years ago when my children were little, I was nearly at that place that you are talking about. While folding laundry late one night in front of the television I heard the words “While I was out saving the world I lost my daughter.” It was through a made for tv movie that God spoke to me. Our priority must be our God, our spouse, our children and extended family. The “good life” follows. Know that you can’t have it all at one time and for everything there is a season. Be selective and with God’s approval He will help you discern how to prioritize your time and activities. God bless all the Moms!! Best “job” and definitely life’s greatest privilege!!

    • Amen. That is the most important thing to me as mom and wife who is also in ministry. It’s a hard balance but you are so right, we only get once chance and it’s my most important assignment and trust.

  12. Hi. Thank you for writing down this truth. God will release the emancipated souls captured in the concentration camp of the lies did you know the emancipation proclamation was written years before the first slave breathed his first breath of freedom? When we say, lord you must become and I must become less” then the prison doors are open wide. I found this truth as an army officer, mother of two children, husband of an army officer and a leader in the church. He led me to the secret place, closed the door, kissed my troubled brow and released me from “self.” I now write from that place in Whispered Words captured from a yielded heart.

    • Love what you shared Chris!! Thank you so much for pulling up a chair this morning. I love reading about the timing of the emancipation proclamation. Praying for prison doors to open. For chains of busyness to be broken. For hearts to be set free! 🙂

  13. Thank you. Needed this badly today. Praying I really get this and live in it and to really understand what God has been trying to tell me about this very thing. You are a blessing, Renee.

    • Praying for you too, Kae. In fact, when I read my post today, it felt like God held it up in front my face and said: “See this sweetheart? Read it. And then come look at your schedule with me. We’ve got some cutting and trimming to do.” We are worth the work it’s going to take to take care of ourselves. praying we both get it. 🙂

  14. “My heart was checking out and it scared me.”
    Oh the words that resonate in my head. The failed attempts to “fix me” so that I will be “well enough” to receive Him. Pouring myself into tasks and others, emptied of worth and energy; full of failure and guilt

    There is such a huge difference between emptied of life and abandoned to receive life.

    Day by day, step by step, praying the Holy Spirit will move me beyond repair and into the depths of His arms and loving hands. He before me and behind me, I just need to stop long enough to allowing Him in.

    I need to read “A Confident Heart” AGAIN. Oh to spend a day with you, dear Renee. Such an inspiration, humble spirit and Godly woman. Thank you.

    • {{this}}–> “There is such a huge difference between emptied of life and abandoned to receive life. Day by day, step by step, praying the Holy Spirit will move me beyond repair and into the depths of His arms and loving hands. He before me and behind me, I just need to stop long enough to allowing Him in.”

      Praying this for you Liz, and for me, and for each of us. (in)Him!!

  15. Hi Renee,
    I used to be involved in church, running groups, caring for people, visiting etc We were out every night and loved it! My life changed – I moved countries and am not involved in church at all anymore. I now sit with guilt because I am not involved – I feel a failure, as if I have nothing to offer God. Why do we feel our value is measured by our productivity?
    Satan uses every situation in our lives to steal from us.
    Thank you for this today. I needed to be reminded that its about being with Jesus, not doing more for Him.

    • Thank you for sharing and asking a good question: why do we feel our value is measured by our productivity? I think it’s because every message we hear on tv, social media, in magazines, and more – they all tells us the same lie.

      But I’ve found that until I find my fullness in Him, and let His opinion of me be my “enough” – my stamp of approval – then nothing else will ever do. Only He satisfies.

  16. I call out to God I can not do this anymore God, I am worn out, all give out, stressed out, empty Lord I can not do this anymore. Walking in recovery has been tremendously hard. I have had to walk out of being codependent as my husband struggles to walk out of being sexually addicted. It has been a long hard difficult 4 years going on 5. I begin to see a little glimpse of progress in my self then I am shattered all over again as my husband stumbles, falls, rebells, with truth. The hardest part of this walk is not to give up. It is hard to watch my husband let pride cloud his eyes to truth. Its difficult not to jump in and try to recue him. My husband runs from Gods correction, rejects my words of encouragement, words of warning, etc. My husband rejects me as a wife and isolates more into his self. As God reveals this truth my husband slowly starts to see the truth. He is so overwhelmed at his selfishness, rebellion, pride and arrogance. The hard part on me is not to recuse him to let him walk through the truth, the pain, the correction. Its hard because I have to suffer the consequences with him. So I grow tired and want to quit, give up. Then I remember in a brief moment that God is with me, He is right besides me to lift me up. I count it a joy to be set free from the need to surround myself in busyness to mask the pain of rejection. I have learned not to over serve others before learning to love myself enough to rest and bask in God healing love. I am still learning its ok to say no to others demands that I do love them but not more than I love myself. I am learning to love myself and to love others as I love myself. Yes there are many days I am numb, give out and ready to quit through this difficult time. Being married we suffer as our spouse suffers so it is extremely hard not to try to fix him so my pain of suffering will stop. Thank you for sharing your book this gives me encouragement to keep going, to let God take the lead, to lead God carry this burden to let the Holy spirit guide me.

    • Sweet Debra. You are an amazing woman. God’s wisdom and strength is evident in you, in your words and humility. Your grace and forgiveness towards your husband takes courage and emptying out that Jesus might pour in. It’s clear you wants to live the Gospel in your marriage, loving sacrificially yet setting healthy, holy boundaries. Im praying tonight for you and your husband. For healing and hope in your marriage and in your lives.

  17. Whoa! THIS sure hit home……..thank you for being open and truthful in your writing. I had been feeling numb for quite some time now, not really understanding it. Bible studies, volunteering, etc. Your article made me stop dead in my busy tracks! Of COURSE, this is what has been happening, I had been confusing a full schedule to serve Jesus with a schedule too busy to even listen to him. Now I ask myself where do I start the change? I start where I can! Small changes add up to the big changes. i didn’t get this way overnight. God is patient, and will reconcile our lives if we give him the quiet time to do his work within us. Thank you again, sweet sister.

    • yes. let’s start small. Our small yes to time with Him each day will add up in huge ways. Small changes, and stick-to-it changes are how our lives will be changed over time! We’re in this together and I need it as much as anyone 🙂

  18. Oh, Renee! I have been there so many times, especially while I was raising my kids. Now they are in their 20’s and I still have days like this due to work, health issues, financial struggles, etc. Life goes on like this. BUT, after starting the OBS last July with “What Happens When Women Say Yes to God” followed by your “A Confident Heart” study, I go back to my prayer bucket that I made during your study (all those “courage” verses!) and hold on to those promises. For the first time (in my late 50s!), I am finally grasping what God has been trying to tell me for so many years — to be with Him, let Him dwell in me, THEN go out and do what HE is showing me to do. Just like Lysa TerKuerst’s sign “do less. be more.”, I am just now getting on track with what He really wants to do in my life. Thank God that He can use us in any stage of our life.

    • I loved the prayer/promise bucket idea from OBS but never got around to it. Maybe I need to make one of those this summer. I love how God’s working in your life and how you’re surrendering to Him – being more than doing. Praying for you this afternoon Pamela.

  19. I am in that numb place right now. And mine doesn’t come from an overflowing schedule. I do work full time and we have the kids involved in Activities but not a lot. I feel like I am just emotionally burnt out and I don’t want to feel anymore because it costs so much. There is much emotional pain that I have to deal with yet I feel too emotionally spent to go there. When I have stopped and turned to God, I have felt unanswered. Then I feel even more despair bc I’ve come to believe that God has abandoned me. If that is the case where can I go for peace and hope?

  20. I’m a 31 yr old single mother of 3 precious girls. I’m currently pregnant and I’ve never been married. I gave my life to Christ 3 yrs ago and began serving and filling my life up with so many things. There were really spirit filled moments but I struggled with my identity in Christ. Being overwhelmed with my life as a mom, work, and ministry consumed me and took the place of Jesus. Eventually I did burn out and gave into my lustful desires. Being lonely and empty gave the enemy a complete advantage. He knew my weakness and everything I learned under God’s counsel went out the door. But now as a woman who had to learn that my sin lead me to consequences and what it means to fear the Lord; I can bodly say that I am walking in my RESTORATION. I’ve had to step down from ministry and realize that my focus needs to be on Jesus and Him alone so that I can get through this. My choices have not been the best but Jesus has always been faithful to me and I am holding on to those promises. It sometimes feels like it’s still too much but I’m learning how to balance. I know when this baby comes it will seem almost impossible but my hope is in Jesus. Please keep me and my family in prayer. It’s just me, my girls, the 4th addition arrives in Dec, and my Heavenly Father. Thank you for this post! My life in full is on its way!

    • Dear Shamina,
      Congratulations on carrying this new child! What a wonderful blessing from God, and I know he or she will be a beautiful addition to your family! I pray that God will help give you and your family the strength to manage everything well and that God will continue to draw you closer to Himself. You are right–Jesus is always faithful to us, no matter what, and we can always trust Him with everything! He will never let you down or let go of you! Lord, please wrap Your arms around Shamina and enable her to experience Your infinite love for her and provision for her! Congratulations again–what an exciting time, and your new child will have a wonderful family with you and your other children!

  21. Loved this post Renee!

    I’ve personally struggled with this in my life as well.

    Over the years I’ve found that if I don’t stand up for my time with he LORD, I’m the one that loses out… Literally! I find that when we share time before anything has a chance to “rob” us of it, my “to do” list will be done… Somehow, it all comes together… I don’t know if it’s because HE gives me peace over the things that really don’t need to be on the list to begin with or through our time together HE prioritized it all in a way that if anything isn’t done it wasn’t urgent or really doesn’t need to be done by me in particular. There is just a peace that is all going to be okay… I just love my JESUS!

    I have a dear friend and we’ve talked about this several times over the years. She has a great saying that when she makes time at the beginning of her day, GOD gives her “pockets” of time… Meaning because she has dedicated herself to that time with JESUS that HE makes sure that no matter what the clock may say, HE’S worked out the time issue to get whatever needs to be done done! I love that… GOD can multiply our time or help us to be more efficient so we may not need as much time to get things done… “Mat 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

    Thank you for your posts Renee!

    Blessings over you and your family ~

    T

    • Thank {{YOU}} Tracy, you are so right!! I love what you shared. Jesus, help us remember this. Help us stand guard over our time with You. Give us a longing for more of you, and more time with You, give us a “want” for you that exceeds anything else we desire tenfold!!

  22. Seriously, I cannot emphasize how much reading this reassures me. Granted, I wish I would’ve read this kind of post a couple of years ago, when my “melt-down” began to peak. I began to wonder about myself (I’m a bad mom, wife, Christian, or just losing my mind). My husband & 3 sons were the ones to comfort me that I needed to be okay with not being able to “be” everything & “do” everything. Ladies, we are TOO BUSY, and our culture has convinced us this is the only way to prove you are worthy (especially, if you’re a stay-at-home/homeschool mom, like me. Then you’ve *really* got to pick up the slack since you’re not on the payroll). Sadly, I’ve had to travel the roads of motherhood/womanhood/wifehood many, many times over the years alone (without other ladies to encourage or mentor me) because everyone is too busy. This is not God’s will for our lives–to be so overwhelmed we cannot minister to each other effectively, nor (like me for many years) to be isolated & face the perils alone. <3

  23. Thank you for sharing your heart, the raw openness of where we all fall short as women and mother’s. More. More. More. Always adding to our schedule instead of adding more TIME w/The Lord and then allowing HIM to direct our schedule. Time with Jesus is what always fills the emptiness. More time daily with my Savior has taught me to “be still and know that He is God.” Thank you for the reminder.

    • Thank {you} Lisa, for taking time to encourage and share. Lets look for ways this week to make our more.more.more become MORE of HIm, Him, Him. 🙂

  24. I too have wanted to check out of all family and that included my pets. Went to support groups and counselors. This all started during a illness in May of 2011. I went into depression so bad I was seeing myself being killed. We started to go to a new church. My world has changed. I was baptised again and going on my first mission trip. Having the right accountability partners and friends support you and speak truth into your life and changing my thoughts of inadequince has changed my life. I’m not free of all my fears but I’m still working on it.m yanks for sharing this to know that others are in the same places and that God did not do this to us. Is beautiful. He’s there waiting to speak truth into your lives. We have to sit quietly and listen for his voice.

    • Oh Marcella, Im so grateful to hear your story. To hear how the Body of Christ has been what God intended – a healing, encouraging community for you!! Praying for each day to be one more step toward freedom from fear for you, and beautiful hope and meaning in your life but especially in your relationship with Jesus!

    • Dear Sara,
      I don’t know what you’re going through, but I hope that you can experience God’s presence with you during this challenging time. There are so many difficult moments in life, but God always carries us through all of them, and we can trust Him with anything. Lord, I pray that You will enable Sara to feel Your nearness to her during this time and that You will free her of any feelings of defeat and help empower her and give her the strength she needs. Wrap Your arms around her and enable her to feel Your infinite love for her and Your nearness to her. Provide her with everything that she needs always. Amen.

  25. So what happens if you feel like you have already lost one kid? We are at a crossroads, and the hold seems tenuous at the moment. I feel like such a failure as a parent, and yet part of what is eating me is how some folks are just waiting for something to go wrong and become public
    So tired of worrying about it. Prayer feels empty and I struggle with trying to “set an example” or get my children to “spend time in the word” when it doesn’t look like anything is getting better. In fact, every single time I have made the effort to get involved in a bible study, things get WORSE, not better. Not handling this well at all. Your post is timely because I am sure that God is speaking to me about what needs to change, but I just am not sure what or how.

  26. Oh how this post of yours rang all my bells. I have walked with the Lord for 36 years with incredible blessings of faith, grace and mercy. I haven’t had it easy all of those years, a difficult marriage that ended in a divorce and having to raise 4 children on my own while working full time was a challenge. Through all the tough years, I always turned to Jesus and and his presence was real and comforting and challenging.

    Then 4 years ago I made a commitment of faith and professed to live a life even closer to the Lord in simplicity, peace and the joy of the gospel message. I was asked to do a job for my community that involved teaching and leading others in the same way I had been led. I was frightened at first and then became excited as we grew in number and more lives were being touched. Somewhere along the path I was walking I lost myself just as you spoke about.

    In the beginning I could call myself back and find refreshment but over last 2 years, the death of my father who lived with my husband and I. The care of a brother who needed a hand up and came and lived with us as well, working full time while serving in my position I found it harder and harder to find that peace and joy in my walk.

    I was considering another 3 year commitment to finish the work I had started when the Lord spoke to me and told me that He was loosing me. I immediately knew it was His voice and I had to obey and the decision was made and peace filled my heart.

    I wish i could say that I felt renewed but still the numbness and the feeling that I don’t even know myself any more still persists. I will be off all summer and i know there is much work to do and I have promised that it will be a time of healing that I will not make any commitments except to my time with the Lord.

    Thank you for your post. It was a confirmation that I am on the right path.

  27. The word “numb” jumped off the screen. That’s me. I’m in much prayer over this because it’s scary to feel that way. I’ve been married a long time to someone who is emotionally distant and I feel nothing I do is ever good enough. I’m lonelier married than I ever was single. My “busyness” comes from trying to fill that void. I fill my time to escape. I’m trying to change that and fill that emptiness with Jesus.

    I’m trying to surrender it all to God, to keep seeking Him. The waiting is just so hard. I’m really tired. But I know He’s faithful.

    Thank you for this post, Renee. Thanks for your transparency.

  28. Sometimes I wonder “Is this as good as it gets?” I know life is meant to be more than what I’m living. I go back and forth with good days and bad. I am holding on to hope. Hope for a better today,better tomorrow and a better future. I need to believe God is in complete control and anything is possible.

  29. Renee, I love this post. I love this reminder
    “Seeking. And then serving.
    Receiving. And then giving.
    Resting. And then doing.”
    Beautiful!

    • Thanks Renee!! Great name by the way :). I just loved when God whispered those three statements to me as I was writing. I was just typing and He described the ebb and flow in my heart, and it landed in this post. He’s so creative and wise.

  30. Yes, these fruits definetly need the nourishment from the vine to prevent them from withering away. This morning, I was in physical and mental pain feeling totally beat down by life. I went on a run with my soul sista ( my best friend) and found some great healing through sharing my life struggles and calling out Gods word as the enemy tried to defeat me. It is amazing how Gods word can bring about great healing and comfort when we speak it out loud!

    • Oh yes. It is amazing what God’s word can do!! God’s word is our GodSword to fight and win this battle with the enemy! I love how running with your BFF was where you stomped on the devil and conquered his lies today!

  31. A friend shared this post with me today and I know full well it’s because she identifies with the “fried” woman in the dialogue. And me. And an overwhelming majority of Christians! I had my own crisis of faith a few years ago. John 10:10 seemed like a very sick joke at the time. I wrestled with this verse for years. I had resorted to medicating all of the manifestations that were the result of an unwell soul. And I felt so much guilt and shame for how I felt, that I’d resorted to such extremes and worried about how my unresolved issues were trickling down to my young children–and all the while it would appear from the exterior, that my life was just fine. Desperate for answers, I eventually engaged in a relationship with a discipleship counselor. I’ve described that experience as having “had a stroke, and learning to walk again.” Everything I thought I knew about the Christian life was stripped down and my soul was laid bare. With the guidance of a spiritual mentor, I went back to the foundation and began sorting out where I had gone so seriously wrong in my faith. (envision a very “BIG” backhoe!) I can’t communicate in a few sentences all that happened in those few years as I submitted myself to that process of healing, but standing on the other side of it I’m astounded at the work God has done! And my heart aches for others needing to find the “other side” of their crisis. It has impacted me (and my husband) so much, that we’re currently engaged in another “crisis” of sorts…contemplating abandoning a career, life as we’ve known it and the “American Dream”, to dedicate ourselves to ministry, caring for and helping others be better keepers of their souls.

    • Well, I can’t think of anything better for the Body of Christ than a ministry to help others be better keepers of their souls. Praying for wisdom in what that looks like, your roles and careers. Having come for the other side yourself, Im sure you have a ;powerful testimony and wisdom to share. Praying with you for God to keep speaking this desperately needed truth and perspective into the lives of Christians (women esp) around the world!!

  32. Thank you, Renee, for starting the conversation on this very heart rendering topic and reality for most women who seek to live Godly lives. I had hoped to find someone herein who is the primary caregiver for an aging parent. Twenty years ago, while I was living at home having just finished graduate school, my father was killed at his job site and my precious mama stayed together and I became a real “team” to try and walk through this world without my daddy. Now, in my early 50s, single, never married, and a broken engagement (3 yrs ago) from a man who I now realize was not my soul mate along with health issues, financial struggles, betrayals and 4 older siblings who checked out on us years ago—I am beyond burnout and am close to checking out yet not wanting to checkout and have finally begun to send out SOS signals to my doctor and one other person who I trust. Truly, I seek God’s presence first every day and the precious Holy Spirit has carried me through more than I can explain herein. I have come to a place where I know it is God alone who knows the depths of my fatigue and loneliness on this journey… And its not the caring for my mama that is the issue but outside forces aka Satan that constantly seeks to take me out whenever possible. I know that I am more than a conquerer but I am in need of a spiritual break from the arrows. I am trying to not be weary in well doing but I am at a point where I need balance and peace in my life and happiness….if that is possible in this life and these times. I pray for each person here today who faces their own daily struggles and desiring to seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto us. Please pray for me and my mom, too. God bless…Cynthia

    • Cynthia I am praying for you right now. I have to head out the door for a date with my niece but I wanted you to know your note was read and prayed for, and Im going to keep praying. I would love to send you something to encourage you. If you see this reply, please copy and paste both of our notes and email them to me with your mailing address at: aconfidentheart@gmail.com

  33. I feel this way right now. And can do nothing much about it. I work a mid shift in a deli that has too few people working right now and will more than likely get worse. Because of health care they will be cutting back our hours here in the next few weeks and people will end up quitting. I have a marriage that is falling apart because of not having any time alone with my husband…and we have a 24 year old son who lives with us because he won’t find a job plus I have to take an hr. or 2 out to help my 82 year old father with his checkbook and I never know exactly when he is coming to my house. My job has interrupted helping in the nursery at our church. I am ready to just move away by myself…My husband blames me for all of our problems.

    • Im praying for you right now Patti. That is a lot to work through but there is hope. God can do more than you imagine as you lean on Him and set healthy boundaries. Im praying for your job hours to balance out and for you to find creative ways to connect with and pursue your husband and build back that oh-so-important relationship. Our men need us more than we know. They want to know that we want to be with them as much as we want to be with others – even our jobs. I know it’s not simple and I don’t know all the details but I sense that is what God wants me to pray for you right now, so I am sweet friend. I am.

    • Thank you brave friend. I’ve prayed for you and admired the courageous decisions you’ve made this past year. You inspire me!!

  34. Hi 🙂 THANK YOU ALL for chatting to me when I woke up this morning 🙂 I know you all are asleep. I’ve been reading this Caring and Sharing page for a while now BUT…it had taken this MESSAGE for me to respond. Perhaps God’s Perfect Timing 🙂 I live in Australia Queensland Outback in a small town of 130 people. My hubby of 5 years and I have lived here for 14 months now. WE LOVE IT. There’s NO church 🙁 and we are yet to find Christians 🙁 so that means to make sure we are ABIDING IN CHRIST and CHRIST IN US 😀 Ladies…BUT…HOW I MISS THIS CHATTING WITH GOD-SEEKING BELIEVERS. WHEN…I was 57 years old… I did GAVE UP and LET GO of a 30 year marriage BUT…NOT MY FATHER GOD. 35 years walking WITH Him 🙂 YES… I did ALL of the ABOVE *DO…DO and DO* I was a DOER over and beyound 🙂 and I love it UNTIL my body gave up on me. I DIDN’T LISTEN TO MY BODY 🙁 and I got very sick. 2003-2009 I felt a burden on my Adult family and God. I ended up IN bed and IN a wheel chair AFTER years of Autoimmune illnesses :'( I STOPPED dreaming because I couldn’t Live my life. I tried to *GO HOME* :'( but…my Lord said “NO, NOT YET’. Aug 2009 I got up out of my bed, grabbed my wheelchair and few cloths and phoned a taxi. YES, I RAN AWAY. HOW? I don’t know. A inner strength rosed up IN me and I just DID IT. I went to live in a over 50’s Village. So alone, so lost, so ashamed, so helpless, so hopeless, so full of guilt 🙂 BUT…I COULDN’T GO BACK. Unbeknown to me…My God Was With Me 🙂 After a while in my wheelchair I met this amazing man who encouraged me IN God, IN myself and IN others. 1 year later I was OUT of that wheelchair YESSS 😀 and began my New Life 🙂 NOT my old life…THROUGH ALL of my inner-outer suffering… I FOUND WHO I WAS MEANT 2 B IN God and God IN me 🙂 I stopped DOING to PLEASE. I have MS BUT…MS doesn’t have me lol 🙂 F.R.O.G. Fully Relying On God… & not on me. ***TAKE THAT MY ENERMY…WHAT WAS MEANT 2 B… for BAD my Father God HAS turned to GOOD*** How? Why? I BELIEVE IN GOD…BUT…KNOW…I BELIEVE GOD <3 and His Promises are for me… Thank you, my sisters for listening. It's Sunday here 9.30am and I just had Church with you ALL O:) WOW… God is Awesome. God KNOWS exactly WHAT I NEED and WHO I NEED, and WHEN I NEED IT. Praise God 😀 Pro 3 *Do not lean on my own understanding…. Bless you ALL <3 Gail xxxx

  35. I think many women come to the end of ‘their rope’, because we are the doers in the family, taking care of everyone else, and we forget to take of ourselves. We need to ‘feed our soul’ with His Word, His promises, His encouragement. I have found it’s the intimacy with God that gives me real ‘life’. Listening to Him, listening to His Holy Spirit and being obedient keeps me on the right ‘path’, His path. I had to get past the knowing who God is, to knowing God. He wants us to know Him, He wants us to know what His Word says, and He wants us to know the plan He has for our life.
    I’ve read Renee’s book (A Confident Heart) and used it in our women’s small group. I refer back to it time and time again. It’s a book for every woman!
    Praying for you Gail there in Queensland Outback, that God will send you a Christian friend!

    • Hi Susan, Thank You my sister 🙂 for you comment it brought a smile to my face, a good smile IN my heart 🙂 The book you mention “A CONFIDENT HEART” BY RENEE! Is the lady Renee Swape from INCOURAGE? I would love to Kindle that book. I hope you get this message. F.R.O.G. O:)

  36. Thank you for the encouragement today, Renee. Similar to so many women, the word “numb” really jumped out. I’ve been numbing for the past one year due to a broken heart and am still hurting 🙁 Thank you for this board. Just reading that other ladies feel numb and not where to go makes me feel less alone. I’ve been reading God’s Words, but nothing was happening so I started doing what you said, just doing in the hopes that will please God and I will finally hear, see, and sense God. But still nothing. So, it’s time to get back to spending time in God’s Words. Hopefully and prayfully, God will finally let me know His love and goodness in my heart and not only my head. Thanks for the reminder of spending time with our Lord and Savior, Renee.

  37. I have felt that way before, but right now I am dealing with my husband wanting to check out on me, our children, and 20 years of life together. It has been a week since he told me. He left the house for one night and we saw a counselor who encouraged him to stay home with us. He doesn’t want to talk to anyone and he is very distant when he is around me. I found his wedding ring on his keychain tonight, while we were at the urgent care for an abcess that he has on his chin. All he would say is that he took it off a couple days ago and that he had kept it with him. I am struggling. I love him so much but I don’t know how much more I can handle. I think he is going through midlife crisis. I don’t know how to help him. I am sorry for writin this here. I am struggling.

  38. Thank you. I can’t even tell you how much I needed this tonight. My husband and I are in the process of adopting two children, one of whom has attachment disorders. We have four children in total, and I stay home with all of them. There are times in the last year, that the whole fostering/adoption/various issues have just been so much to handle, but add into that the weekly church expectations and everything else – life just feels impossible and it’s hard to get anyone to actually try to understand. But Jesus. So, thank you.

  39. Ladies,
    It’s scary just how many of your stories,experiences and situations can be echoed from my lips tonight.
    I realize reading each post simply reassures me that I am not alone in my struggles as a woman, in my motherly duties, as a single parent / new emptinester. These last 4 years for me have been trial after trial – I mourn the absence of the last of my 4 adult children leaving home to permanently live 3000 miles away with his estranged father. I received a job lay off (4 months ago)…my nineteen year old- single mom daughter is pregnant again, and was just diagnosed with cervical cancer/ I’m tired of crying, tired of the feeling of extreme loneliness, I miss raising my family and the busyness which you speak of, it all is so overwhelming. I attempted to write every thing down to share the weight, however there is such a sense of failure. The sad part is, I continue to smile and stay isolated away from other women. The ones still married with kids at home, the ones who are happily enjoying their families, And me, well I’m the token single – divorcee parent, who struggles every single day to hold on for just one more day. And trust me, there have been days when I don’t want to hold on any longer. Mother’s Day came and went and I never heard those words of ” Happy Mother’s Day” from either of my 4 adult kids. I must be some terrible mom for that to happen, wouldn’t you think? I do.
    I am tired of complaining. I am tired of this stress, is this what being a Child of God is all about? Because, I do not feel the victory in Jesus, no matter how much I love Him. Life’s circumstances are smothering my hope, I’m so tired.

    • Dear Debra Jean,
      It’s so sad to hear about everything that you’re going through right now–what an exceptionally challenging time! And you’re so right, it’s so sad that your kids didn’t at least call to wish you Happy Mother’s Day–although I’m sure it’s not because you’re a bad mom at all! It’s obvious how much you love your children since it’s so painful for you to not be with them. And I am so sorry to hear about your daughter’s cervical cancer–what an awful thing! But at the same time, how wonderful that God has blessed her with another child–and perhaps with the birth of her child, she might draw closer to you and ultimately bring the family closer together! Lord, please wrap Your arms around Debra Jean and enable her to feel Your infinite love for her and Your presence with her–help her to know that You are always with her and that You see how much she loves her children and longs for their company. Please open all her kids’ hearts to spend more time with her, and please give her daughter a healthy and safe pregnancy and delivery. Be with Debra Jean and with her whole family and draw them all closer together. Give Debra Jean all the hope and strength she needs. Amen.

  40. Tamela,
    I know exactly how you are feeling. I had been in that same situation with my husband recently. All I can say is run to Jesus. Emerce yourself in His presence daily. Pray, surrender and lay your husband and your marriage at Christ’s feet. It was only when I did this that I truly felt loved and at peace even with all the tension and chaos around me. God is the only one who can bring healing and restoration to your marriage. It’s only when we stop trying to bring healing and restoration ourselves and we allow God to work, that true restoration happens. I know it’s hard and it’s painful and lonely going through this in your marriage but God is faithful and He will get you through. He brought you and your husband together and He has not given up on your marriage and He will continue to do the work He started until completion. Hang in there, holding tight to Jesus and know you are not alone. I will be praying for you.

  41. Debra Jean,

    I can’t even imagine what you are going through. But please know that we are truly loved and worthy of being loved. You are not a terrible mom. We are all just doing the best we can and non of us are perfect. Your children and their father have made choices but their choices are not a reflection of who you are. You are a child of God created in His image and He has great plans for you. I know He has a plan and purpose for your life, to use you in mighty ways even in the midst of your trials and struggles. I know you probably feel alone but you are not alone even though Satan wants you to believe that you are. Dear sister don’t give up, run to Jesus. He upholds you in His mighty hands. I encourage you to surround yourself with other women and allow yourself to open up to them. Lately, I’ve found that God has used women I just met at a retreat to encourage me and speak true to me. I’ll be praying for you.

  42. This is beautiful encouragement. I’ve felt numb for a long time, although I hide myself in ministry. And that’s easy to do when you work full time serving your pastor at church and are expected to be “on” at every moment. Don’t get me wrong, I love serving God’s people, but 18 years in children’s ministry has taken it’s toll and I am slowly pulling away. I’ve hit a wall and have lost feeling and interest in so many things. Three years ago I walked with my husband through three years of unemployment. It devastated us as we lost our home and so many thing. But we survived, although it changed us. I began blogging at that time and believe I was hiding behind words, behind building community a platform. Now I feel as if I am being stripped of everything I once loved to do. Your words ministry to me deeply.

  43. I had my share till one Sunday afternoon, the house was empty I kneel down to pray when I hear is tender voice in my heart, “the poor you will always have.” I understood that what I was doing didn’t matter.He wanted me to be more with Him than only doing.

  44. Good morning first of all id like to thank you Renee you amaze me inspire me you encourage me I wish I could pull a chair next to you every morning you are a wise honest sincere woman 🙂 I have read this post three times and it has caught my attention for 2 reasons yesterday morning listening to Derwin grey I heard the word spiritual narcissism I not have grasped that definition yet but I think that’s where I sit all the me’s do do more more I think I have let the enemy taunt for me the last 7 months as I try to grow from wavering self confidence to a confident heart and now going through the limitless life study to remove the label as a failure not good enough as a mom wife and friend I have been looking reading praying cramming anything and everything I can get my hands on encouraging others and I’ve forgotten to apply grace to my own life receive first then give and it has left me exhausted a headache for weeks seperating myself from kids spiritual frustration (this is not from God) this is all unintentional of course but I believe in all honesty through these last 7 months all God has wanted was my heart all of it surrender! His will His ways always not what I want. This read and other thins is truely humbling God doesn’t not want us to do do he wants us to enjoy this life we are given w him first then my children and others my yoke is easy and my burden is light come to me all you who are weary and ill give you rest has been on my mind for months this is not supposed to be exhausting tiring but light easy I think we as woman wearing so many hats as a mom get so caught up in the busyness of trying to be a wonderful mom wife and friend and doing we forget to receive reciebve grace. we lack encouragers in our life to breath truth in us and I forget to be still and know God is in control not me!!! I enjoy someone said focus more not on me but Jesus do less theres nothing we can do or not do that would make Him love us any less I pray I understand how deep how wide how long our Fathers love for me truely is and to just walk in obedience holding his hand not trying to be 50 steps ahead of His timing. Thank you again and you all have a fabolous Sunday 🙂

  45. Oh Renee, I am finally on the other side of this with Gods power! I still have daily struggles with sweeping out old mindsets and asking Jesus to fill the holes, but my life is so much better. I love it. I had gotten to the numb place a couple years ago. My heart was checked out. I felt like a zombie. My calendar was full but everywhere I was felt like the wrong place. I would pull up to my house and just sit in the car and cry knowing I had dinner bath and bedtime ahead and no strength or desire to go in. I wanted to just drive away. But God. Through discussions with my husband and lots of soul searching, I quit a high stress high paying job and took a receptionist position at a drs office. No one understood this move. We lost friends because we lost the ability to keep up with them financially. But slowly, as we simplified life and allowed God to lead the calendar we have found depth to our family relationships, joy with our kids and an amazing marriage with plenty room to grow stronger. I quit a lot of church commitments cold turkey which was tough for this people pleaser. But now I serve out of passion and joy with the few things I do. Not out of obligation. I can do anything, but not everything. It is extremely important for our calendar to have white space. We monitor it often. And we have never once gone without things we need since slashing my salary in half. God has provided a much more simple life that suits us. I have watched my husband become to true leader in our home and really go get it at work since I put my hands up and fell to my knees. We have watched our oldest ask Jesus into his heart and have invited Jesus to do life daily in our home. Life is abundant. Yet we still know we aren’t truly home yet. Jesus thank you for my life.

  46. This situation isn’t me, but cannot let it become me.
    I am a mom of a special needs child. I am married, but have no support from my spouse or local family (out of state family will jump in if we move). I have less than 1% of consistent support from local friends. Life is hard, but I have to do it! God gave me my son, because he knew that no one else could mother him the way I could.

    Looking at our schedule of appts, therapies, education, extra curricular, play dates, keeping house, errands…need I say more. I began SEEKING God more. I had too. I began to serve him more, like I did before children. God told me to stop serving others, and start SERVING my family. I did this, and I felt good! My child knows Christ now, really well (he has become the neighborhood evangelist). My husband has started going to church again, after not going but twice in a four year time frame.

    I looked at how things were changing and started RECEIVING so much more wisdom through Christ’s own words. My prayer time became more of a one on one conversation with Christ. Some prayers are being answered, and others we are still working on. Sobbing and praying in such desperate frustration one day, I prayed for someone that I could talk to. God said, “Talk to me.” I replied, “I need someone that will respond and give me an answer. I need someone that will speak back to me.” God said, “I will talk to you.” I said, “I need someone to hold onto me.” God said, “I will.” What a wake up call! I have known this my whole life. Now it’s different. God is GIVING me answers and more wisdom. He is helping me grow, and giving me strength. It is taking a long time, but I know He is holding on to me. I know he is holding on to my family.

    RESTING…I am not doing this. I get very little time to read God’s word. I know what I am reading is working, but end up falling asleep in his word at night or in the morning. I wake between 5 am and 6am. I go to bed between 1 am and 3 am. I know that I have to start getting more rest, or I am not going to be able to keep DOING. I am trying. There always seems like there is a huge project, that I must complete, and never seem to because of how tired I am. I feel that if I don’t make a dent, I never will. These projects are significant to our family situation. I don’t know how to complete them. I don’t know how to get rest.

    Renee, I am reading the Confident Heart. Not daily, but when I can. Thank you for sharing your story, and teaching scripture. It is helping me SERVE better.

  47. This scripture verse is so special to me. In the Fall, I had some
    health concerns. I was being a worry wart. One night I woke up in the middle of the night worried & started praying scripture. This verse
    suddenly came in my head, ” I came that you might have life to the full, the enemy comes to steal and destroy.” This made a big impact
    on me because I really felt like God was telling me that I was letting
    worry win and he had better plans for me to serve for His glory.
    I don’t know if anyone will read this but God cares for you and whatever you are going through. He wants you to have an abundant life in Him! Love, Susan

  48. It was about two weeks ago, when I had what I call a ‘ be still and know that I am Lord’ encounter.. for about an hour and a half. Complete stillness and quiet, yet at the same time aware within me scriptures rising, songs of praise and love swelling.. I did not want this experience to end.. it made me feel so rested and assured. I will not easily forget that time and it is shaping how I spend time with our Lord and Saviour Jesus.
    When I read your words about the Good life, your description of a spiritually abundant life that ebbs and flows in rhythms of grace reminded me of the ‘be still and know that I am Lord’ encounter I had experienced.
    This has all been in direct contrast to the place of over-doing everything. Deep in my heart I yearned to simplify things and cut back on over committments… especially in church life and volunteering. Tired, irritable and stressed but trying to hide these feelings from everyone I was involved with. All good things, on the surface ,but not everything was good for me.
    So, after much prayer and seeking the way forward, I began to unravel where I had got to. First I went to talk openly and honestly with a volunteer colleague ( feeling vulnerable and open to rejection).. but to my suprise she thanked me for being a great support over the past year and said she would release me to do what I do best ,in the counselling sector of the work. Relief and utmost thankfulness flooded me. I was free from what had become a huge burden and still enjoy the friendship of the colleague.
    Since then I have also had courage to decline other ‘good’ areas of service. In the church I attend, where doing is seen as evidence of committment and it is so easy to overdo things.
    I am learning more now in how to ‘be still’, so that I have the right motives to help ,and your words;
    Seeking.. and then serving
    Receiving.. and then giving
    Resting.. and then doing..
    go straight to my heart, helping me to do things the right way round, in tune with ‘ the rhythms of grace’..
    My prayer is that others will experience ‘ be still and know that I am Lord’ moments in their busy lives and know the joy of resting in God. The safest most wonderful place to be, so we can regroup and face life again with fresh courage.

    • Praying for lots and lots of “BE STILL AND KNOW MOMENTS” this week in each of our lives – imagine thousands and thousands of women around the world spending time with Jesus more than they have in a long time.I want to be one of them. 🙂

  49. Yes, I’ve been there. With two little ones at home I often have days that feel this way. Thank you, thank you for letting me know that I’m not the only one, and that the only true answer is to draw closer to Jesus. Rest, stop being so busy, and focus on Him.

  50. I am amazed at this story! I was just talking to a friend today about how everything i crazy, and I get so tired of hearing people talking about how busy they are, or how fast everything is. My husband and I have been discussing it too. I just don’t think God is happy with the “have to do,” culture we are in. I remember the porch swings, when I was growing up. And the laughter around tables at dinner time. I know we can change things, even if it’s a little at a time. Thank you again.

    • Im with you Cindy!! I don’t think it’s what God wants either. My heart longs for the days of porch swings and family and neighbors stopping by for lemonade without and invitation. You’re right, we can change things. I say we go first!

  51. What an impact your story has had on me. I cannot share my story here because I want all the women who have commented here to live with the understanding that Jesus is their answer. When I lived through “my story” I did not know Him. I do now. ” Psa 37:25 I have been young but I am older now ; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken.” There is hope in Jesus Christ. Let Him have control over your life. I made many unwise decisions over my years but I am in a good place now. He is ever merciful.

  52. This year, especially, I have felt like “quitting” it all–giving up on a “good” job and just staying home. What I finally realized is that I desperately needed spiritual whitespace to reconnect with God.

    It’s about trying to deal with an aging parent and doing job that I don’t particularly enjoy anymore. It’s about getting early morning phone calls, lack of sleep, running on empty. I finally crashed yesterday. Got an early phone call and felt overwhelmed, tired and out of sorts. Hubby and I stayed home from church and rested. I spent much needed time listening to Praise and worship music and took a little nap. It was the “remedy” that I needed.

    We need to stop believing that we have to “do it all” , take a few steps back and rest in His presence. If Jesus needed to rest then how much more us women in this busy hustle bustle world!

  53. I cannot thank you enough – this came when I truly needed to hear it. I feel as if I have been slowly dying from a broken heart and not wanted to admit it to anyone. I have “woken up” to severe obesity, lousy health, a horribly messy home . . . and I feel so hopeless, helpless and alone. I made this happen, I allowed everything to slip and get sloppy, all the while appearing to the outside world as a whole person, not letting on that I simply cannot handle it any longer. Your words have reached inside of me, soothed me and kicked me at the same time. I now have renewed strength in Him to work at things a bit differently now. Thank you, from the bottom of my broken heart, thank you.

  54. Thank you. I am getting ready for my youngest daughter’s wedding in 19 days, taking care of my Mom and keeping two houses. Church and two bible studies. I don’t know how to say no.

  55. Thank you for this post. Isn’t it so easy to get off track with the “good” stuff of the Christian life? As a younger mom, I struggled with this. Now, as an older mom…I guess I have the benefit of hindsight. I can see those things that might lead me away from God’s plan for my life, and I try to avoid them. I think it’s a struggle for everyone and we all need those reminders to check ourselves, to make sure we are where we should be…and doing what God has called us to do. Thank you for the honest way you shared your heart in this post.

  56. Thank you for this post. I am going to be still, and quiet and listen to God. I am going to do a lot more of them three things you list. I am going to start applying them in my life more. I loved every one of the reading people wrote. They were an inspiration for me.

  57. I never thought in a million years this would be me! But here I am! I have been a mother for 23 years now and still have at least another 13 to go before the last kid is grown. I find myself so very tired every day! At least 3-87 times a week I find myself thinking “I CANNOT DO THIS ANOTHER MINUTE!” But then His amazing Grace swoops in and gets me through.
    It is hard to imagine now, all those years I was not able to have any more children after the birth of our oldest. Then soon after adopting twins from Ukraine we were of the blue blessed with a daughter and then another son. As we slowly recovered from growing into a family of 7 in 5 short years, we began to realize just how badly our twins were disabled. As the oldest became a teenager and the twins began various therapies and the babies became toddlers, life went from busy to just plain crazy.
    I share all this to say that I have been to the breaking point too many times to count and yet have never broken. God’s great grace IS sufficient but it does NOT come in bulk size. We only get enough for each moment. We have to keep going back to Him for more of the grace we need for every day. He is jealous for our affection and wants to keep us coming back.
    We also have to remember that ours is a full time job, not a part time one or a fun little hobby. We are helping our Lord sculpt souls and that is tedious work. I, myself, forget that regularly as I watch so many others around me seem to accomplish so much more than I in the kingdom. But then the Lord gently reminds me to not concern myself with what He is doing in others. What He has asked me to do is just as important to Him and THAT is ALL that matters in the long run anyway!

  58. I needed to read this today- a few days late. 🙂 I just told my husband I’m having trouble pressing in and seeking God in the midst of my pregnancy, new home construction, moving preparations and staying home with my son.

    I need to be filled up by Him FIRST. This is a great reminder.

    Thank you.

  59. I am feeling this right now. Tired of doing it all. I tell everyone that I am a married, single woman. Most days, I feel like this. This Christmas I would be married 20 years and still am feeling as if my husband do not know who I am really. He doesn’t know what flowers I like, what color is my favorite. I understand that these are petty things and I do know I have it better than most. Why then is my heart so unhappy? Why do I feel so overwhelmed with the daily task of working fulltime, fulltime mom, fulltime student, fulltime wife and so forth….
    My husband I know loves me very much and if he could, he would give me the world. Then why I am always upset at him and at the same time full of guilt when I have to ask for his help.

    Tough being a woman…. I don’t want to no more. Ready to come home Lord.