Monday, June 11, 2007

Zone Out, Freak Out or Cry Out

Recognize this scene?

Multiple people needing you all at the same time. Most, if not all of them are not asking but demanding your attention, lacking gratitude for your service and thinking they are entitled to all you have to offer them because they are, after all, the center of the world. Of course, I'm being a bit dramatic here for effect, but you get the picture.

Maybe you're a teacher to 2nd graders or better yet, pre-schoolers! Maybe you work under multiple bosses (like my husband) who don't always communicate with each other the entirety of their expectations of you. Maybe, like me, you're a mom of several children who daily require much attention and energy.

Whatever your position, I think most people at some point in their lives find themselves in this type of stressful situation. I found myself there tonight (and really, almost any night at our house these days). All three children managing to need me at the same time while my husband is fixing to go do some work out in the back yard. I looked at my husband and actually said, "If I don't zone out right now, I'm going to freak out." Now there's a godly response for you! :)

My gracious and oh so patient husband quickly ushered 2 of our 3 children to the van for an after dinner drive to leave me to some peace (and probably hoping I'd get it together for once!).
This may sound strange to some of you, but to be left to a quiet house where I can clean without interruptions brings me peace. Should it? Who knows. But, it does. However, this time, the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, "Washing your dishes right now might bring you peace in the moment but it is not going to help you when those boys walk through the door in about a half hour. You need ME."

So, I put down my sponge and went to read my Bible. It dawned on me that when I said, "If I don't zone out right now, I'm going to freak out," I was convinced those were the only two options for me in that moment. I had forgotten a third option and really, the only option if I am seeking to glorify God in the midst of tempation. That was to cry out to God. I went searching God's Word for promises made to those who cry out to God and here's what I found.

Psalm 34:17
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

I thought of the many troubles I have found myself in over the years: some big troubles, some not so big troubles. But for every one, the Lord has heard and delivered me when I've called out to Him for help. It has not always been easy. In fact, I find I often have to apply much effort to take my thoughts captive to believe the truth and to act upon God's truth, and then my emotions eventually change even if the circumstance doesn't. Sometimes, however, God has delivered me from the very thing that is troubling me and in some way or another provides very tangible relief.

So, I went back to my dishes asking God for help. Not long after, the boys all walked back thru the front door, and I was tested again. My hubby asked me to do bedtime with the boys, which at our house can be like herding cattle into the barn at night, a very slow and laborious process. I took a deep breath (sad, isn't it that this opportunity to love on two little boys presents temptation for me), asked God for help and got the boys ready for bed.

Tonight, even as I post this I have another opportunity to cry out to God as I hear both my boys screaming from their bedroom. They need me AGAIN! My husband's needs me to take care of it so that he can attend to other things. I will cry out to God for help to serve all my men; He will hear me and once again deliver me from all my "troubles".


jessi said...

I totally identify as I at this very moment am stalling here in the blogosphere, procrastinating putting my own small army to bed...

Good reminder to go to the source, not just look for a quick fix. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I so completely felt this way yesterday for my party as we had wiped off the wet tables, put tablecloths on them, watched the rain come down harder, remove the cloths, bring tables inside. I was so whacked from nerves tna hormone med they put me on. I had to find an out of the way spot (or so I thought) to cry. I could only think, "it's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to." But God says, "Whose party?" I told Stpehen it wasn't supposed to rain and he wisely, gently said, "Yes, it was." I was relying on the circumstances to make it a good party. Foolish! I think it was actually more intimate inside when people had to crowd together. Everyone was wanting something--where are the forks? more ice; a new mustard, a bandaid, the door held open, the dog brought back. But after tears in the set-up, I was so happy to see Trip and Andrea -- and realized Whose party it is-- all was fine. Zone out, Freak out, cry out. It's always a choice, huh? Great perspective, as always, Bri.


Anonymous said...

Wow, that's just what I needed to hear. While my circumstances are obviously different, I still needed the reminder that I need to cry out once again. Thank you so much!

Beth Young said...


This is really good!!!! I often find myself in this same state, Zone out, freak out or cry out. I need to cry out lots more, freak out lots less and zone out maybe a little more :-)

Audrey said...


Thank you once again for your openess in sharing what is going on in your heart. I have been feeling the pull and stretch in every which direction as well lately and cannot be reminded too often of how I need to go to the only one who can sustain me and help me in my weakness. Thank you Bri for your encouragement and reminder.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the prayers. Always welcomed, always needed, always appreciated.

Looking forward to the trip. I'm sure I'll have experiences that stories couldn't possibly tell and have the same effect, but I'll be sure to share them anyway.

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