The other night I was fixing dinner in my normal state of chaos – sink full of dishes, plugged in the vegetable steamer, turned on the water pot that was plugged in, 3 burners on the stove going with pots, oven on with roast in it… and then I went to plug in the deep fryer (the one appliance almost used everyday for Samuel’s French Fries – the one small appliance I have driven to the store the day my last one broke to replace – please note that I don’t want any sermons about feeding our son French fries everyday and how I should convince him to eat them bake, and if you feel another option is available, what time would you like for me to bring him to your house to try “your plan”. Sorry, I digress…) Anyway, the French fryer started but then shut off. I couldn’t figure what was going on. I didn’t feel like going to town for a new one. So, I thought maybe it was the outlet because the steamer worked and the water pot worked. When I went to move around the appliances, it dawned on me, the breaker had tripped. So, I went to the breaker panel and sure enough, one lonely breaker was tripped from the kitchen. All the other appliances had done their job so after I switched back on the breaker and returned to the kitchen, the deep fryer worked!!!
But that seems like to be a more frequent occurrence in my daily life – I juggle multiple jobs outside the home while the kids are in school or in the evening, in addition to being a mom, homework, meals to make, lunches to pack, a wife, etc… It just takes one more thing being plugged into my life that trips my breaker. Sometimes it is something BIG, but most often it is the little things. Running late in the morning – breaker trips… people complaining – breaker trips… disrespectful words – breaker trips…. being ignored or dismissed – breaker trips…. Unfortunately, I feel like the breaker is tripped more often in life – part is probably age, tiredness, hormones, etc… but part of it is because I plug into much into my life. Thinking back on the evening of the breaker being tripped, did I really think that one person could handle all those things at one time without something happening? By the way, besides the breaker tripping – Samuel had decided to poke a few of my rolls that were rising and Jim had the epiphany as they went in the oven that we should go vote then – so the rolls were also a big failure (thank goodness I usually have some Pillsbury Biscuits in the fridge).
But I really should prepare for to prevent the breaker from being tripped.
- If I am feeling overwhelmed, I need to unplug a few things and take less on. I need to keep what is important for the family to thrive and function, but eliminate what I can.
- If all the things need to be plugged in maybe I need to space them out and not have them all plugged in at the same time – plan a little wiser.
- If they can’t be spaced out, include delegation into the picture and let another friend or family member pick up a task or two (i.e let Jim help with homework or Mary read Sam his library books, etc…)
- If I can feel off balance – warn those that I love that one more thing will “be the death of me”. Most things can wait until I can catch my balance.
When all else feels and the breaker trips (as it always does), I have to check the breaker panel and see
- Where it tripped – that night it was the kitchen – but in life did the breaker trip in my family life, my work life, my social life, my spiritual life, etc… Sometimes it is not as obvious as the one flipped switch. Just like the kitchen, it wasn’t just one appliance that did it, but the accumulative effect of all of them at once.
- Then I have to decide if I want to even reset the breaker – maybe I need it shut off for awhile. Maybe I just need a break from that area. Maybe I need to re-charge me before I turn it back on. I need to evaluate what it was from and how to prevent it.
- And definitely, I need evaluate my spiritual life as I find when I take my eyes off THE ONE who can/will carry my burdens all the breakers get tripped.
Matthew 11:28-30 The Message (MSG) 28-30“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”