• Erin E. McEndree

To be overwhelmed is to have to many things to deal with all at the same time. Women are said to be good at multitasking, but honestly it makes our brain and body tired. Our brains are like a network of wires all connected to one another and they all affect each other. We can simultaneously think about what to wear, tomorrows dinner, clothes to put in the dryer (OH! just a moment. I’ll be right back.), our kids lunch, the volleyball game, our husband’s clothes at the cleaners and 5 other things.

Here are some strategies to help you cope with Overwhelm… only if you apply them and intentionally put them in your schedule.

1. Live in the moment. Turn your brain off! Focus on just the task you are doing. Take your brain out of overdrive and intentionally live in the slow lane. You can only drive in one lane at a time. I’ve been in taxi caps in New York. When they wanted to get in the other lane, they would just drive in both so no one would swerve around them and cut them off. AND, they got honked at all the time. Driving in two lanes makes people upset around you and takes more energy than if you just stay focused in one. Don’t let your mind run away from you. Take every thought captive, 2 Corinthians 10:5. Live in the moment, not in the moment that will happen in 30 minutes or two hours from the moment. Doesn’t everyone deserve your undivided attention?

Take every thought captive. 2 Corinthians 10:5

2. Look back. Looking forward, as stated in #1, causes an almost panic attack thinking about all the things you have to get done in the next few minutes, hours or days. Right now, I have to get clothes to cleaners, pay bills, buy stamps to mail bills (yes, I still use snail mail), grade homework for my Life Coach students, make an appointment for my daughter, send back my diamond anniversary band because it broke after six days, go to grocery store, make a list for grocery store………WAIT! I’m panicked now! I’m doing the exact opposite of my own advice. Let me try again. Yesterday, I gave two presentations to the high school about the local benevolence center where I work. I finished the end of the month report. I put gas in my jeep. I picked up my son from school on time. I made dinner. I located all the bills and put them on the table. I got an excellent latte after my speeches made with pecan roasted coffee beans. I made cinnamon scones because they were on a Hallmark movie I finally finished. See, this list is making me feel accomplished already. Looking back helps me say, “I can get so many things done! I did it yesterday and I can do it today!” When I look back at my accomplishments instead of panicking about all the things I have to do, I calm my mind and my body follows.

3. Walk in slow motion. Load the dish washer in slow motion. Talk to your kids in slow motion (they will love that). Have you ever tried this? It’s hard, but so soothing. It resets your body rhythm like downshifting a standard. Focus on your soul’s health and slow down or burnout is sure to follow. Seriously try this and please let me know how it makes you feel.

I really can’t fix how many responsibilities I have. I mean, I can’t not fix dinner or not put gas in the car or not do laundry. But, if I focus on my tasks in a different way, I can acquire some coping skills that put a smile on my face and some peace into my life.

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  • Erin E. McEndree

What is your speciality? Are you great at numbers? Are you a master crafter? Are you a talented singer or a love to paint? Is your passion homeschooling? Have you dealt with a divorce? Is your child estranged from the family? Have you lost a child or lost all your possessions in a fire?

What is your speciality that sets you apart? Do you know others who share in your circumstance or talent? Mine is being adopted. I have found several key elements in my upbringing that my parents instilled in me that helped me be secure, confident and realize I was exactly where I was supposed to be in history and time (Acts 17:26) to help lead others to the Lord.

Have you ever noticed that people who have not experienced the same circumstances you have, try as they might, they just can’t understand? I’m not saying people don’t try to listen and encourage. I’ve had many sweet ladies listen to my story, pray for me and encourage me. However, there is aways something missing. There is a deficit in their eyes that only knowledge with no personal experience of the circumstance cannot fill. Women who share my experience, even if the details are some different, have a deeper understanding and better feedback.

Who better to encourage those going through a divorce than someone on the other side of the divorce. They can pull you through. Who better to support those who have lost a child than someone who has lost a child. They can bolster your grief. Who better to help those struggling with all the negative emotions of adoption than someone who has been there and lives on the positive side of adoption. This is my God-anointed story He intends me to use to help others with similar experiences. I am looking for my kindred tribe. Who is yours?

I have been led to help adoptees overcome feelings of rejection and abandonment. I have a deep desire to tell adoptive parents what my parents did to help me feel secure, loved, wanted and accepted. I have been drawn to birthmothers to help them relinquish shame and guilt.

My aim is to help adoptees, adoptive parents and birth mothers focus on the blessings right in front of them and identify with what they are grateful for in spite of difficult circumstances.

So whether you flunked out of college and are now a successful business owner or a master chef or delicately merging two families gracefully, whatever your story, use it to help others along their life’s journey.

I have been tasked by God to write a book about my adoption experiences, but I truly believe it will help anyone who believes they are adopted by God through his Son and co-heirs with Christ. I’ve learned many adoption stories are heart breaking. Many do not turn out well for a slew of reasons. But I also know, if you look farther back than biology, let’s say over 2000 years, you can be confidence you are loved beyond measure, secure in your existence, hopeful in your future and created for a purpose.

Find and embrace your story and help others along the way. Volunteer to be a tutor. Help at a benevolence center. Pray with someone who has lost a parent like you. Find what connects you to others and reach out. Make your tribe bigger. Use your life to encourage others. Don’t waste your hardships allowing them to overtake you and keep you stuck. Overcome their negative control and use them for good. You are an overcomer! What is your story to share?

  • Erin E. McEndree

I was dressed and ready to go when I found out the Hike For Life event was canceled because of some heavy rain all night. This is the oldest pro life event that raises money for local crisis pregnancy centers and gives awareness to the dignity of life... my life. I was one choice away from not being here. Check out Hike For Life Texas for more information.

I am thankful to my birth mother, Jeanette, who gave me life. I am thankful for my parents who chose to adopt. I am thankful for all the women who choose life when it was hard and who will stand up for a beating heart... specifically mine. I am most thankful to God who put me exactly where He wanted me to be.

I heard this quote, “If life stops when the heart ceases to beat, isn’t it only logical that life starts when the heart begins to beat?”

As Mother’s Day approaches, be thankful for the moms that gave you life and the moms that raised you and the moms of your friends who kept you in line at times. Be thankful for your spouse’s mom and your mom friends who keep you sane. Be thankful for the women who kept the heart beating even though they did not choose to keep it.... me.

And, if you are a woman who didn’t choose life, you are still welcome here. Forgiveness is a beautiful gift that I can give. I know some of you and you are always welcome at my table and in my heart. Some of you are fierce pro-life supporters because of your experience. Your ashes have turned to beauty and I applaud you for that.

For those of you who have a rough adoption story because of less than appropriate parenting, find purpose in your experience. Allow it to make you stronger, not destroy you. You have the ability to choose a happy life just like your birth mother chose life for you. Keep choosing what she chose for you and wanted... your beating heart to live and thrive.

Deuteronomy 30:19-20, "This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life,..."

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