Published on May 16th, 2014 | by Becky Castle Miller


(Blog) The Wisdom That Saved My Emotional Health

I wedged myself between the wall and the bassinet so I could keep reading on my phone while it recharged.

That’s how much I enjoyed Something Other Than God, a new memoir by Jennifer Fulwiler, one of my favorite bloggers.

Yet even with loving it that much, what I loved more was how she wrote it: with a busy husband, serious health problems, and six little kids. I don’t have her health challenges, I only have four kids, and I still don’t know how I would write a book right now.

She wrote a post recently that relieved a weight of stress off of me.

I melted down from overwhelm a couple months ago, and since then I’ve been pruning my life to focus on essentials. I had a hard time cutting anything because it all seemed important, but it was truly impossible to get it all done. Then I read her time / energy management insight:

If you don’t have at least a few blocks of time per week that are both predictable and uninterrupted, where you can prayerfully get your priorities in order, you are in survival mode.


Now that I understand the secret to not being overwhelmed, I know what the goal is:

I need to tackle everything in front of me and not waste energy stressing about being temporarily overcommitted. Then, as soon as I can, I need to dig my way out of this deluge of commitments and get back to a routine where I have regular space to decompress and ask God what I’m supposed to be doing right now.

That’s just a glimpse at the advice. Read her whole post: The Secret to Not Being Overwhelmed.

I’ve thought about this over and over and have tried to put it into practice. I remind myself that I trust God can and will guide me when I ask for wisdom, and I believe I will have the energy and the time to do the things God is asking me to do. My Mastermind Group helped me boil that thought down into an intention that I can repeat to myself when I’m struggling: “I easily align my time and energy with my priorities.”

I am grateful for Jennifer’s blog, Conversion Diary. I’ve been following it for a long time—seven years, I think—so reading the full version of her atheist-to-Catholic story in her book felt like finally sitting down with an acquaintance and going deeper. I read  Something Other Than God in two days (and gave up precious sleep to do that).

If you enjoy reading spiritual memoirs, I recommend Something Other Than God (that’s an affiliate link). Even if you have to read it in an awkward position so your e-reader can charge. If you’re stressed and overwhelmed, I recommend Jennifer’s blog to help you find clarity in overwhelming circumstances.

Are you in survival mode? How are you coping?

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About the Author

Becky Castle Miller

is the Managing Editor of Wyn Magazine. She is an American expat in the Netherlands, a writer/reader/editor focused on helping women make better lives.

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