Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Feeling overwhelmed...

This summer, there has been a lot going on in my life. Particularly at work. We have less staff and more work to go around. For the first time since I became a librarian, I'm starting to feel a bit stressed and overwhelmed. It seems like each day I'm just putting out fires, rather than getting to larger projects. Wait, something is coming back to me...did I blog about this in the recent past? This whine is sounding familiar. I swear it, I'm losing it.

Anyway, this morning I had a sudden wave of crankiness due to overwhelment. Is that even a word? If not, I've just coined it. I have an entire article to write that I haven't touched since late May, and a book chapter to complete (that makes it sound like I've started it and just need to finish - HA!) by November, and I'm beginning to feel panicky.

So, instead of actually doing some of this work this morning, I felt frozen with anxiety. Real productive, I know. So, I pulled out my little daily devotional.

When I was visiting my sister in North Carolina last month, I perused the reading shelf at her parish. Reading shelves are truly a treat for librarians and otherwise nerdy bookworms. I noticed that they had a slew of this little periodical called Living Faith. Naturally, I had to examine it. It's a daily devotional that comes in 3 month installments. For each day, it provides a theme, a Bible verse, and a reflection. What caught my interest is that the reflections have a "real world" feel to them. I know that I already mentioned that despite my overt religiosity, I simply cannot control the ants in my pants if I pick up something to read that is anything resembling a deep, theological treatise. Most daily devotionals are too deep and abstract to keep my interest. I'll read them dutifully for about 3 days, and then set them lovingly on my book shelf, never to be touched again...

So this little guy really captured my attention. A quick browsing of the reflection revealed topics about the contributors' kids, poor driving attitudes, and supper frustrations. Some of the entries were more serious, but overall there was a more casual feel to the endeavor. Now this is a devotional I can get behind. I quickly snatched a copy and left a donation. I've been using it, and have been thrilled with it. This morning, in my crankiness, I opened it up, hoping for a spirit lift. For Tuesday August 4th, I find the theme to be "Turning It Over to God":

"Have mercy on me, O God, in your goodness; in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense." Psalm 51:3.

The reflection centered around a guy waiting in line for confession and thinking about how nervous he was, dwelling on repentance and God's forgiveness. I dug it. I paged through to the back, and found that an annual subscription is a mere $10. I think I'm going to go for it.

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