Today’s post is a guest post by my friend, Kathi Lipp. Coathored with Cheri Gregory, Kathi’s new book, Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos and Restore the Sanity, is a breath of fresh air for those of us who get overwhelmed with all that life requires of us!

I loved their book so much I asked if they’d share some wisdom from it and allow me to give away a copy. They said YES!

When she sent me this guest post, I was so excited that it was about the concept of capacity. Mark and I wrote about how capacity differences affect our marriage in No More Perfect Marriages and my daughter Anne and I wrote about how capacity difference affect friendships in Better Together! If you want to find out your capacity, you can hop over and take our Better Together quiz for some insight into how God has made you!

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January is a great time to ask yourself this question: “What size is my plate?”

Here’s what I mean.

Trying to live out all the roles we have can be overwhelming, especially when each of us has a different pre-set capacity.

I was speaking for a women’s group when one woman asked me, “I get so jealous because my friends are always able to accomplish so much more than I am. What do I do about that?”

My answer: Understand your God-given capacity—the size of your plate.

 

What is Your Plate Size?

We talk about having “too much on our plate.”

But it’s more than that: I think we over-estimate the size of our plate.

I would say that I have a dinner plate—a pretty big dinner plate. I can get a lot done in a day. But I don’t have little kids at home. And since I run my own business, I have a lot of flexibility.

Most of us probably have a dinner plate capacity.

Some of you have just a huge capacity—a turkey platter. Like the PTA mom who can do everything and still have energy left over.

Some of you have more of a demitasse saucer capacity. And, my precious friends, I do not want you to feel bad. I believe this is how God has designed you, and it was not a mistake. Maybe you’re like my friend Cheri, who is a Highly Sensitive Person and gets extra easily overwhelmed.

We each need to recognize our capacity.

Because we have to fit everything we value on the plate we have.

Once you’ve added all the vital aspects of your life to your plate—God, marriage, kids, family, friends, church, work etc.—how much white space do you have left?  Hopefully some, but I’m betting not a ton.

Here’s the thing: You still have to do things, like go to the grocery store. You still want to read the occasional book.
So you have to be very careful about what you put on your plate. We don’t get to pile our plates high. We have to manage the space we actually have.

Here are some questions I want you to ask yourself today:

  1. What size plate do I have? (Get really visual. Maybe even make a drawing of it.)
  1. Is there space on my plate?
  1. Do I need to take a few things off my plate? If so, what?
  1. Do I have room for anything new, or do I need to wait for something to fall off my plate?

 

God is Not Limited by Our Limitations

Cheri and Kathi

And here’s a little bonus for those of you who feel your plate is too small:

I was having a great conversation with Cheri; we were talking about the size of her plate. Cheri was whining (she agrees it was whining), “My poor little saucer! I want a cafeteria tray sized capacity!”

I told her, “Cheri, I feel like that’s what you have. You get so much done!” Our friend Angela told her, “Cheri, you must have the largest saucer in the world!”

Cheri said, “Then God has got to be multiplying things along the way. Maybe that’s when he can multiply things: when we accept what we have and quit begging, borrowing, and stealing what isn’t ours.”

So friend, if you have an underwhelming sized plate—if your capacity seems small—I need you to know God is not surprised by your capacity or limited by it.

He’s not saying, “You have to do more to please me.”

He’s saying, “Put the right things on the plate, and I can multiply it. Give me your best, and I can do the rest.”

Do not feel gypped if you have a small plate. Put on it only what God has asked you to, and leave the rest up to him.

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Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (that will only last for a week), how about creating a Personal manifesto that will carry you through the rest of your life?  Sign up for great ideas and resources about how to get out from Overwhelmed and you will receive “How to Write Your Personal Manifesto” as our gift to you. Get off the overwhelming cycle of making and breaking resolutions and create a gentle plan for lasting life change.

 

Kathi and Cheri would like to send a copy of Overwhelmed: Quiet the Chaos & Restore Your Sanity to one of my readers!

To qualify for the drawing, you just need to do TWO things:

#1. LEAVE A COMMENT below about either what overwhelms you most OR what you do to restore the sanity in your life.

#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place this Saturday, January 14 and the winner will be notified by email! {Contest is limited to US & Canadian readers only.}

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