Search This Blog

Friday, February 20, 2015

Overwhelmed - My Word of the Year

Last week, I turned into the driveway and parked the car.  In the back seat, Eden unbuckled her self from her booster seat and I jumped out to open her door.  Not sure how it happened, but her booster scooted too close to the door and when that door opened, her booster seat tilted and shot Eden out onto the cement driveway. 

I screamed. 

I froze.

I watched my daughter fall head first out of my large and tall SUV and land like a rag doll on the cement.

Nearly 7 months pregnant, I bent down and scooped her four year-old body into my arms.  My boys ran to our aid.  Chandler took her out of my arms and we rushed her inside.  She was crying.  I was crying.  We took her straight to my room.  Laying her down on my bed, I started the inspection that all mothers do when their child is injured.  Scanning for blood, bruises, scratches, looking into her eyes, asking her questions.
“I’m alright, Mommy,” she said, just wanting to be held again. 
Five minutes later, she stopped crying and wanted to go play.
I, on the other hand, cried for over an hour.  Full on panic attack, uncontrollable crying, terrified, overwhelmed and it was Eden, along with my boys, who comforted me.

I don’t know how she wasn’t seriously injured.  I think an angel must have caught her.  When we talk about it now, she says “Mommy, you cried more than me.!” 

Yeah, I’m not proud of that.

So, I have realized my ability to handle stressful situations right now is a bit off kilter.  When I’m pregnant I’m very aware of my mortality and the mortality of my children.  The vulnerability of the entire experience, hoping and praying everything goes well, yet there is very little I have control over is well . . . vulnerable.  Pregnancy requires being submissive, giving into God’s will, feeling the tug-of-war from one life experience to the next. 

Several of my friends, including my sister have chosen a word of the year.  I’ve thought and thought about a word that could inspire me, keep me on track and define me.

There’s a word that keeps coming to me.  So far, it hasn’t been positive.  The word is overwhelmed.  When close friends ask how I’m feeling, I sigh somewhat defeated and say “Overwhelmed.”

Well, while reading my scriptures I read the following verse:

“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them” (Ether 12:27).

My heart was touched and all of a sudden my perspective changed.  I was overwhelmed by all the blessings in my life.  This feeling of being overwhelmed, all along I felt it was a weakness, but I know God.  I’ve seen him turn my weaknesses into strengths before. 

As a young girl and teenager, I had a lisp that prevented me from articulating the letter S.  I couldn’t say words like “thought” or “think” without them sounding like “sought” or “sink.”  At the age of 22, I was called as a missionary for the Mormon Church to serve on Temple Square as a public speaker and tour guide.  This volunteer opportunity would for 18 months.  I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  Especially under stressful situations, my lisp became more pronounced.  However, I memorized all 11 scripts (some 10 pages or more) and prayed the Lord would help me.  Slowly, I learned to articulate and pronounce words much clearer than I would have otherwise.  Sure, I still had set backs but making the mistake allowed me to practice with more focus and effort.  I felt guided by the Spirit, even healed.  Near the end of my mission, I loved when I had groups of 50 or 60 people on my tours.  I was called to direct/instruct the huge tour buses that brought hundreds and thousands of people who came to hear the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  No longer did I have to focus to say words properly as my new speech patterns had turned into habits.  Later, my degree at ASU required advanced public speaking classes.  The blessing of my mission helped me gain confidence in my abilities to public speak and I never had a problem with my lisp.  Many times I’ve been on the news and had to public speak in stressful situations, all the while feeling secure in my ability to speak without a lisp.  The counselor teases me because when I’m excited, my lisp still comes out.  So, when I'm really happy, especially sharing something wonderful that has happened to me or a dream/goal I hope to accomplish, I find myself reverting to that young girl with a lisp.  I'm not sure why, but my hubby loves it (which I think is ironic!)

Over and over again, the Lord has turned my weaknesses into strengths.  Could He take this feeling of being overwhelmed and do the same thing?  Overwhelmed at the love and joy, the happiness and health and with this feeling came the desire to pick my word of the year:


Overwhelmed by Him.
(artist Akiane Kramarik  - link found here)

Overwhelmed at all God has done for me.

Overwhelmed God knows me better than I know myself.

Overwhelmed I have such a beautiful family.

Overwhelmed I live in a neighborhood, town, and a country where so much goodness abounds.

Overwhelmed I had a kind and loving husband who is just as committed to this family as I am.

 Overwhelmed the Lord trusts me to be the mother of another one of His beautiful children.

I realize now the reason I was so upset when Eden fell out of the car is because I have such an overwhelming love for her.  It was painful watching her fall, but would I give up the love to not feel the pain when she hurts?  This type of love resonates with all my children.  That's why I hurt when they struggle and fall, but that's why I feel elated when they strive and accomplish.  Yes, I feel overwhelmed and with God’s influence I choose to focus on my blessings, for truly there is such abundance how can I not help but feel overwhelmed.

Linking up to:
Jenny Matlock


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, I've been blessed today too. I love when God takes my head in his hands and turns my direction around. I really needed this.

    2. Thank you, I've been blessed today too. I love when God takes my head in his hands and turns my direction around. I really needed this.

  2. "...but would I give up the love to not feel the pain " The answer to this makes it all worthwhile.

    Thank you for the lovely post.

  3. Beautiful post, Laura. I really resonated with everything you said here.

    Congrats on the baby and your wonderful family! God makes everything possible.

    Take care. Hope to see you around thrifting!

  4. Glad all is well...wish there was such a state as underwhelmed♪

  5. A beautifully written post and grateful your little girl was unscathed except for the tears. Thank you for sharing your lovely phamily here.