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live the Power of One

Overwhelmed? Write It Down & Choose Gratitude


In nice words, November kind of stunk. I was sick for most of it, and still am as I’m writing this. Other stuff happened, ending  with spending Thanksgiving in the hospital with Dr. J.


Yesterday I was feeling overwhelmed. When you have a month like that, you just get behind in pretty much everything. So, after crying, eating chocolate, and taking a shower, I came up with a plan.

1. Write It Down

Shelley Molitor is a family manager coach, and she’s just plain awesome. One of the best things she taught me is this: when you’re overwhelmed, sit down and write down EVERYTHING you feel you HAVE TO DO. It’s even better if you can categorize them; for example, family, personal, house, finances, etc.

So, yesterday I sat down and I wrote a list. I included eating meals and making the bed and things I’d already done so I could cross them off. (Isn’t that some sort of psychological influence there?) I remembered Elisabeth Elliot’s recommendation to “do the next thing”*, and set to work. One. At. A. Time. That’s all we can really do, anyway, isn’t it?

2. Choose Gratitude

Yup, it’s true. It was a yucky month. Yup, it’s true. I’m really behind. But you know what? My son got to leave the hospital. Sure, it will possibly take two months for him to recover completely, and it can come back. But for now he’s improving each day. I’m sick, but I can still function and you probably wouldn’t know I’m sick just to look at me. I have a warm home when many have a blanket and a box. My husband has a job. We have food, clothes, transportation, and more than we truly need.

Over the years I have found that choosing to focus on being thankful for even the tiniest things helps me get in a better frame of mind. It helps me see God’s care for me and my family. It helps me see all that I have, all that’s really important.

So, while I’m busy focusing on gratitude and catching up via my lists, some friends of mine have offered to write guest posts so I can focus on other things. Thank you in advance to all of them, and thank you, dear readers, for sticking with us!


*I heard Mrs. Elliot in person. This is what she chose to do when she had a two year old daughter, she was in a remote part of Africa, and her husband had just been murdered. If she can do it, so can I!

Author: Jenny Herman

Jenny Herman is not anyone special or a hero. She's just a working special needs homeschool mom who uses the Power of One to "just keep swimming". Visit her blog to learn more.

7 thoughts on “Overwhelmed? Write It Down & Choose Gratitude

  1. :ole today’s post. I was feeling weepy because of my life and all I can’t do because of what I don’t have; a friend called me to tell me her Mom is now totally blind. Was pretty much before, but now totally. Also her pain ls so bad when an episode happens, she can’t even touch her head. While I can relate to that, at least I am not that way today. How many times do I have to learn this lesson?Thank YOU Jesus for ALL in my life and that you mercies are new every morning. Yes, some days, wks, and longer periods are overwhelming. I will remember the list Idea.

  2. Have you read my post today? This week has been overwhelming here too! I wish I lived closer so we could cry over chocolate and wine together! 🙂

  3. Heard of 1000 Gifts by Ann Voskamp? There’s a website, too, along with her regular blog A Holy Experience. Might want to check it out – it’s been a real life-changer for me in terms of gratitude and joy.

  4. Pingback: The Power of One Minute « Many Hats Mommy

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