When adding matter to a compost pile, it is best to break larger chunks into manageable pieces for processing. This enables decomposition to take place more effectively. It might look like crushing eggshells rather than leaving them halved or shredding paper rather than crumpling it into the compost bin.
In a similar way, when life feels really big and overwhelming inside, it helps to grab on to a piece of the bigness and break it down. Look at the overall picture and condense it to smaller stories. Choose a story and use it to find your feelings. Use your feelings to locate a theme. Use the theme to help understand what might be going on in your heart.
Just like big life tasks, big heart tasks are best handled when broken down and taken in manageable steps. Remember to give yourself plenty of grace and space to breathe and to weep, aerating and moistening the compost of your heart.
It is a process, which is why the work you are doing is called processing.
Go ahead and try it! (This is an example of what it could look like.)
- What feels really big right now? (parenting)
- Where are other times when you have felt this way? (when pregnant with 5th child, when working full time, when trying to keep everyone together and happy)
- Choose a story to write about. (When I was pregnant with my 5th child, life felt overwhelming. My oldest was 10, and there was so much I knew I was responsible for in making sure my kids turned out ok. I felt insecure about whether I was parenting them right. Everywhere I turned there was an opinion or feedback about what I should be doing if I were a good mom and all of the ways things could go wrong…)
- What feelings are evoked within your story? (overwhelmed, fearful, insecure, etc….)
- What is a common theme among these feelings? (I am responsible for making sure that my kids turn out ok based on my parenting…)
- What is going on in your heart here? (I am taking on too much responsibility for my kids’ choices. I am putting all of the outcome on myself. I am not trusting that God will complete His work in my kids, etc…)