Sometimes I expect too much.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29

We’re heading to FL this evening for the RENEW women’s conference in Milton, FL where I’ll be speaking Friday night and Saturday morning. My family is going with me and we’re staying to visit with my brothers, their families and my dad. I am praying our time together will be good. My dad isn’t doing well mentally and he’s unpredictable; always has been and it’s gotten worse lately. I want to look forward to seeing him but I’m not there yet. And that makes me sad.

One thing I am learning this week is to trust my Father in Heaven with the messy things of earth.

It’s been a challenging week. Lots of logistics to coordinate for our trip. New radio shows due Monday, radio recording Wednesday, unpacking from the mountains and packing for FL was somewhere in between. I got caught up in preparing for my event this weekend and some coming up next months and completely forgot about a radio interview I had. So embarrassing!

After being gone last week to the mountains with my fam, I felt pressed to get some solid writing done for my book. After two days of working from 12pm-11pm, and two nights of stress-induced, very interrupted sleep, followed by two days with a twitch in my eye that wouldn’t go away God showed me something…

Sometimes, I expect too much… of myself.

Why do we expect ourselves to sometimes be super-human? Why do we focus on what we didn’t get done instead of all that we did do? I know you know what I mean. It’s hard when a deadlines and life are pressing in. Even when we try to take things off our plates, life piles on another helping of somethin’.

Today, I wonder if you need to hear a friend say, “Girl, you are expecting too much of yourself!”

I hope you’ll give yourself grace. I pray you’ll re-focus on what you have done, not what you still need to do. I want you to give yourself an atta girl and be proud of your accomplishments. No matter how big or small they are. You did them and they wouldn’t have gotten done if you hadn’t shown up and been faithful!

And then leave room for things like reading a novel before bed, watching the Olympics and enjoying the final 24 of American Idol. I made myself do those things mid-week and walked away from unfinished business. I decided to lay down my manuscript and say, “Too much is going on this week but next week there will be room to write.”

I asked for grace from others by sharing with my radio producers during recording yesterday that I needed us not to push for perfection as hard as we usually do. Recording went well. I slept great last night and that little eye-twitch is gone today.

But I this idea of grace is not my own. It doesn’t come easy to me. To find grace, I had to come to HIM….

In the morning, throughout each waking hour of my days I have cried out to God in my distress. And HE has shown me what needed to change – me and my expectations.

Little by little, I have made small decisions of grace and He has made big changes in my heart. And then like a love note in my lunchbox, He sent me this encouragement through Twitter.

Give God your waking thoughts. Before you face the day, face the Father. Before you step out of bed, step into His presence.~ Max Lucado
In His presence we find grace and mercy in our time of need. In His presence we find a yoke that is so much easier than our own. Is there some “coming to Him” you need to do? Is there some grace from yourself and others you need to ask for today?
About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Good message. I know we can sometimes expect ourselves to be kind of "superhuman." Funny, God doesn't think that of us!

    I also had a hard week. My son is driving across the country to see if he wants to live there. EEK! He has never lived away from home before.

    I run a home based business and haven't gotten much done this week. But I think that's understandable. My thoughts are with him and that doesn't make for a clear mind to get much else done.

  2. Oh…I have so had the eye twitch before!!!! 🙂
    Thanks for this sweet reminder! I am guilty of trying to be superwoman! Just ask my eye!;)

    Love you and praying for you this weekend!
    K

  3. Your post reminds me of Psalm 143:10-11 🙂

    I already said a prayer that you would have peace this weekend 😉

    Blessings to you,
    Kate 🙂

  4. I soooo needed to hear this today! Thank you! I had delusions of writing 5,000 words, attending a homeschool function, cleaning my house, and hosting a bunch of 12-year-old girls for my daughter's birthday tomorrow. I think the writing needs to be put on hold. Sigh.

  5. GRACE. Hard to extend, and harder to accept. My family and I have been living for two years with my husbands' cantakerous, negative, 87 yr old grandmother, who is also in very poor health. She is under the care of hospice now, getting further into dementia, and requires more and more grace FROM me each day. The more grace she requires, the less I seem to give myself. This weekend I lost it. Complete breakdown– to the point that my hubby helped me pack up my two pre-schoolers to send to my parents and he sent me AWAY for a few days to go and re-discover GRACE– how to give it, and how to recieve it. Today was my first day back in this HARD place, and I am SO grateful for and AWARE of my NEED for grace. And how recieving it for myself is the most pro-active thing I can do to extend my capacity to give grace. This post was just what I needed today. Thanks Renee, for being real. 🙂

  6. been quoting that "grace and mercy in time of need" verse all day today.

    One thing I am learning this week is to trust my Father in Heaven with the messy things of earth.
    may that be true of me, sister, may it be true.

    love you xoxo

  7. This night this blog has brought such comfort to my heart. Im a mother of 2, a wife, work a full time job, currently in school full time and committed to my ministry and there are days that I want to scream. I was sitting here feeling so overwhelmed with life and it's responsibilities and I came accross this blog. It has been a breath of fresh air at the close of this day. Thank you for shaing the things that you do, I love comming here and reading your blogs. It is like having a place to run and find encouragement. There is such a realness about you and all of the other ladies that draws my heart in. I feel stronger after reading your blog. I pray that God really blesses you on tomorrow and those who sit under your voice. Thank you again.

  8. Hi Renee, first time commenting on your blog. One of my favorite sayings is "I have so much to do today, I'm going to have to pray half the day just to get it all done." 🙂

    Have a great visit with your family in Florida. I pray your dad is in good spirits while you are there with him.

    Lysa (Ledbetter) Sands

  9. Thank you for sharing your wonderfully inspired insights with us, Renee. I have forwarded them on to my mother and 20-year-old son (just turned 20 today!).

    Tina

  10. this is a timely post for me i just told off my best friend cuase i feel i've gave and gave and the one time i need her for me all she could say is i can't belive you talked to me like that see before i asked her a question i reminded her of all the times i was there for her. she didn't like that. so maybe it's ok that i take a step back and do for me it hurts so much cause i usually don't do this. but if someone can't see how stressed and hurt you are guess they aren't a real friend anyway. what do you think? do i say i'm sorry and make all about her???

  11. Oh YES, sister, this is pretty much where I live the majority of the time. Thanks for sharing your wisdom and insights that branched from a place of vulnerability. His strength truly is made perfect in weakness.

  12. I understand exactly what you mean…My husband and I have learned through studying Gods Word…Saturday we NEED to rest in HIM!!! Exodus 20:9~11 "Six days shalt thou labor,and do all thy work:But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God:in it thou shalt not do any work,thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter,thy manservant,nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle,nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth,the sea,and all that in them is,and rested the seventh day:
    wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day,and hallowed it."
    I must share this song with you Please click to listen…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xk2a6lSO-7g
    God Bless you in His perfect Peace

  13. When you spoke on this passage last year at sHe Speaks, I knew God was also speaking directly to me.

    A couple months before the conference, I had made a gift for my roommate. I'd never met her, but I felt God leading me to make her this gift. The picture in the frame was one I had taken a few years before, and it just represents peace and, comfort and a longing to sit in that spot with Jesus's arms around you. The scripture I used was Matt 11:28.

    When you stood up that morning and began with that scripture, and then when I received that card from the cross that morning, God whispered to my heart that it was something that I needed to learn and apply.

    And you know, I needed that reminder right now.

    Thank you!

  14. boy did I need to read this today. Thank you for sharing.

    love you.

  15. Needed to hear that! Thanks for sharing your heart.

  16. Hey Renee! I just LOVE seeing the pics of your Aster and her sweet, adoring brothers. We went to Ethiopia this summer in June to get Lola Joy. She came home to U.S.A. on
    4th of July. WOW! She will be ONE on Sunday, Feb. 28! When I saw that you, too had adopted a daughter from ET, I looked back to when you went to get your sweet baby. I saw a picture that took my breath away because I think we were there…The Hilton. Is that where you stayed? I saw a pic of you and the background looked like the Hilton and I told my hubby to look and we were stunned. I said, wE WERE THERE!! WE LIVE IN KENTUCKY. Look so forward to revisisting regularly on your beautiful family!:)

  17. Dear Renee,

    Thank you for your honesty and willingness to share. Last week was definitely a hard week but God loves us so much and is always faithful to reach out and let us know that He sees us.

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