Grace for the Overwhelmed


This word. I know it well.

Staring at the blank canvas of a computer screen, day after day. No words.

Dust bunnies dance under tables and in corners—taunting me.

Relationships I’m failing to invest in the way I should.

Wanting to do so much for others and doing nothing instead.

Insignificance trying to root into my soul.

A new school in August requiring work all summer to prepare.

Wondering if I’m enough for my children. Ever. I know the answer, yet I keep asking.

Feeling I’m never the wife my husband needs. He wouldn’t agree. But still…

And while this glimpse into my struggles is nothing compared to trials faced by other dear friends, I still feel overwhelmed.


I’ve also been overwhelmed by grace. Not because life has been easy in these last months. No. But because life has been hard. Because life has overwhelmed.

And yet? Grace and blessings have been uncovered in unexpected places. Gifts given in poignant moments. Positions offered just as insignificance surfaces. My sweet, too-big baby boy falling asleep in my arms.

We only witness God’s grace when we thank, when we stop to breathe in the swirling and fragrant goodness of our days. There is always good—somewhere. We may have to scratch and dig and claw to find the beauty hidden deep, but it’s there.

Even if the only good is the good that comes from being in the hands of God. Tucked into His wide-enough grasp with His fingers touching our hurting places.

His grace is sufficient.

I know this is true. And I find this truth in the hands of the Potter.

I used to teach pottery wheel classes—connecting deep to the ideas of the molding and shaping of earth, mixed with water, mixed with stretching and pulling, mixed with the fire hardening. Ultimately creating art.

A dear friend reminded me today of the most important step in pottery. This friend who has known more pain than I dare to imagine. This friend who understands grace. This friend who reminded me of the kneading.DSC_0244DSC_0267DSC_0264DSC_1342DSC_1323DSC_1321

Before a lump of clay can be thrown on the potter’s wheel, the clay must be kneaded. The kneading requires strength and determination to work it again and again, pressing, pushing, forcing every little pocket of air out.

All other steps in pottery are useless if the kneading isn’t done with the proper care because when the vessel is put through the heat of the kiln, air pockets left will expand and destroy the piece—useless shards worth nothing.

I am grateful for the grace of kneading. While kneading, the lump of clay never leaves the potter’s hands. Ever.

In the kneading of my life, in the times I’m overwhelmed, in the struggles, I’m safe in the Potter’s hands. Drinking in the grace and knowledge that the destructive air pockets don’t stand a chance.

I never leave His hands. Ever. And that is enough. Enough to bring rest, to bring peace and comfort. Because knowing I am tucked securely into the strong hands of God leaves me needing nothing else.

In His hands I breathe.

God’s goodnesses and His graces are everywhere. In the small grateful moments of tenderness or in the deep kneading. In all the places we are overwhelmed.

I’m overwhelmed by grace because I’m overwhelmed.

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8 Responses to Grace for the Overwhelmed

  1. Absolutely beautiful and comforting! Refreshing reminder to a weary, overwhelmed soul!

  2. Chanda says:

    Love the picture of the hands of God…for the overwhelmed, this is what we need…

  3. Zelma Dodd says:

    What a wonderful thought – Overwhelmed by His grace. I will “feed” on this throughout the day.

  4. Peggy Dale says:

    Thanks so much for this reminder. Tonight was rough for we were warned my grandmother of 88 years is hitting the very tail end of her life. Thank you for reminding me how much she loved life, her family and how very BLESSED I am to have had her in my life! Love your soul & spirit for the Lord.

    • Oh, Peggy…I’m so sorry you will be facing loss. It’s painful and hurts, no matter how much we love Jesus. We have hope, but grief is there too. Yet joy does come. I will be praying for you, sweet friend…

      • Peggy dale says:

        Thanks so much! She loved and served the Lord her entire life, so I know she will be running the streets of Gold and I will get to see her again soon!