Today I am excited to welcome Kristin Fungston who joins us for some encouragement. Kristin is a Marriage and Family Coordinator and a leader in the women’s ministry. Her first book is launching this week and I’m giving away a copy over on Facebook so be sure to check that out. Kristin encourages women to stop believing the lie that more is needed from them and start living with the truth that more is available for them. She sets forth the beginning steps for moms to reset their spiritual and emotional health, habits and relationship with God. Take a deep breath and enjoy these words of wisdom from her:
Have you heard of this “mental load” phenomena storming the mommy blog world?
It’s the idea that mothers carry the extra burden of not just physically handling the tangible duties of the household, work, and parenting, but also all of the invisible duties. The things we think about all day long: the mental checklists, the appointments we know are on our calendar, the recipes and grocery lists not written down yet, the gift-buying to be done, the time each kid needs to be picked up and dropped off at practice.
It’s the caring and knowing about everything.
To be completely transparent, I don’t have a ton of heavy physical tasks on my daily or weekly list that suck my time and energy. I don’t work in a setting where I perform manual labor often. I’m also blessed in that my husband is the one who handles most of the yard work, empties the dishwasher, and helps puts away the laundered clothes, among other things around the house. I’m a pretty lucky gal
However, the invisible parts of my job are extremely draining, often leaving me bone tired at the end of each day. I may not be building things by hand or walking miles from patient to patient through hospital hallways, but I have what feels like everything else weighing me down mentally. And this is not just from my paying job.
At home, I’m the one who knows what time practices start and end, which food items in the pantry are running low, and when it’s best to leave the house in order not to hit traffic. I’m also the one who makes plans I won’t be a part of, who prepacks lunches while considering not only my own daughters’ needs but also the list of items containing allergens that could affect their classmates.
I have a terrible memory and am very easily distracted. I believe part of this is because of the physiological changes that child rearing caused in my body and mind, but I also know it’s because there are roughly twelve bazillion things running through my mind at any given time.
Maybe this is you too. Or you’re the one who is on her feet all day working. Or maybe you’re both.
Whether it’s racing and distracted minds or aching muscles and sleepy eyes, all of these loads wear us down. Leaving less energy — and therefore time—for the One who can re-energize us.
Friend, can I remind you of something Jesus said?
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-20)
When we come to Jesus, tired and burdened, we bring all of that weight with us. He can take it.
And this isn’t just fluffy, feel-good stuff. He really can.
And I take my mental load to him through what’s called the Brain Dump.
So we’re going to dump on Jesus, right now and together as a practice round. Then later, you can know how to executing a Brain Dump to mentally create room for Jesus when you need it most.
Grab a sheet of paper. You can use your notes app on your phone as you read this, the napkin sitting next to you at the table, or whatever you have handy.
Now, write down everything you’re thinking about today as bullet points. Use only a few words for each, just enough to jog your memory. The list can be as short or as long as needed. But don’t push it—only write down things as they jump into your mind.
For example, here is my brain dump right now:
- Meda’s birthday party / gift?
- Podcast recording Thursday
- Staff meeting & outing next week
- Cycling wives dinner is Friday
- Kindergarten registration / shot records
- Blog post due
- McKenna’s diagraPaint colors for bedroom
- Bryant’s race in Nashville
- Wendy’s wedding—gift?
- Doctor appointment—Wednesday
These are the things currently taking up time and space in my mind, even as I type this article. So take a minute to quickly write down everything that crosses your mind.
Once you have that written down, we’re now going to dump this list over to Jesus.
Read this prayer prompt and then go through each line of your brain dump.
Jesus, you have asked me to come to You with what labors and burdens me, and when I do that, You have promised rest. Your yoke is easy and Your burden light, so right now I lift up to You the following that is loading my brain down:
[insert your concerns here]
Take over these things I’m thinking of, Jesus, and make them Your burden. Give my racing mind rest and space for You to come in and fill me up. I’m ready and willing for more of You. In Jesus’s Name, Amen
Congrats! You’ve written down and prayed over your brain dump list. Now it’s gone.
Seem too easy?
Maybe it is.
Sure, you can think about these things when they come up, but they’re not mulling over and over in your brain, and you’ve brought Jesus into it, as well. If they start to mentally race again, rewrite your list and pray it again . . . and again and again as needed.
He’ll be faithful to ease the load. You’ve given Him the opportunity to jump into another portion of your day, given Him the time and space allowed into your mental load.
When it comes to your written list, free to cross things off as they pass or are taken care of.
However, remember this is not a to-do list but a place where we tangibly take what’s stealing space in our minds and offer it to Jesus.
You can cross something off and thank Jesus for taking care of or getting you through it. My friend Amy writes down her brain dump at the start of every morning on a pretty sheet of paper. I’m the one who jots it down on the back of a receipt in my car while at a stoplight.
This idea of brain dumping over to Jesus doesn’t have to be structured, but it does need to be done.
Do it however works best … or do what merely works. Jesus will work out the rest.
He can and will ease your mental load if you bring it to Him.
With a passion for writing, Kristin Funston encourages women in a way that is relatable and
practical, with a healthy dose of humor. In addition to be a writer, Funston is a member and
employee of Hope Presbyterian Church and works as the Marriage and Family Coordinator and a
leader in the women’s ministry.
Convinced “balance” is a myth, Funston is also passionate about helping and encouraging women to embrace their current season and experience God in the everyday. She shares her humor and writing on motherhood on her blog and has been featured on multiple other blogs including The BetterMom, City Moms Blog, TODAY Parenting, and Scary Mommy. Funston has a master’s degree in Communication Studies from New Mexico State University. Amom to three girls and not-so-domestic wife to an entrepreneurial athlete, Funston and her family live outside of Memphis, TN.
Kristin’s first book, More for Mom is available for preorder now and launches April 2, 2019. It includes the beginning steps for moms to walk in wholeness and holiness by asking God for
more. Funston will help women:
• Recognize what it looks like in the daily grind to be whole and holy.
• Strategize and execute a game plan in the mental games women play.
• Understand the secret truth behind working mom relationships and living up to expectations.
• Come alive by taking the steps to make their dreams reality.
• Learn why and how to execute spiritual disciplines such as fasting, prayer, and prioritizing time for God.
• Start living their already whole & holy life in Christ.
Kristin is part of the upcoming Generational Grace Tour. Learn more here.
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She also sends out an occasional prayer letter including her latest information on faith, parenting and mental health as well as speaking engagement locations and topics. Please subscribe here for that information
Great blog post
Michelle Nietert says
Thanks so much! I’m glad it was helpful for you.