A Woman Overwhelmed

GIVEAWAY: A Woman Overwhelmed

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways 95 Comments


I’m super excited because it’s GIVEAWAY DAY! Today I’m honored to introduce you to Hayley DiMarco.


A Woman Overwhelmed

Getting engaged later in life is like going for a walk in quick drying cement; the farther along you go, the more you realize you are set—set in your ways, set in your comfort, set. And when your fiancé gingerly takes your hand and asks you to talk about the passages on love and mutual submission in marriage in your pre-marital counseling book (Ephesians 5:21-33), you feel like he’s asking you to cut your feet off at the ankles so you can make more forward progress when all you want to do is dig your feet in and stay put.

At the ripe old age of thirty-seven, I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with submission, mutual or otherwise; I wanted total independence, even if I did have a husband who would love me the way Christ loves the church (v. 25). So, as he read the words, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord” (v. 22 NIV), I cringed and searched for a better translation. I knew there must be one that said, “The husband should give his wife everything she wants, and likewise the wife should let him. For the wife knows what she needs and how to get it better than anyone else. Likewise the wife need not be subject to the husband in any way; she is as free as she was when she was unwed.” That’s what I wanted, but knowing that I would have to do the hard work of understanding the verses referring to “one another” in Scripture, I stuck out my lower lip, which began to tremble, and I literally cried as I said, “No, there is no way; that cannot be right. It’s not happening!”

If I hadn’t been before, at that point I became completely overwhelmed with the idea of marrying a man. Don’t get me wrong; I desperately wanted to marry him. I loved the idea of waking up to his beautiful face every day, but the stuff that would have to come along with that made me doubt my ability to say, “I do”—because I didn’t. This crazy idea of submitting to another was a battlefront I was willing to die on before I’d let him take me.

When you determine to do something as impossible as surrendering your dreams to your Savior, life can be overwhelming. So I can only imagine how overwhelming life would be for a young Hebrew girl who surrendered her plans of marrying the carpenter next door and living a quiet Galilean life!

Mary, the mother of Jesus, wouldn’t have planned to walk the road she would walk; she couldn’t have even conceived of it. But as the angel Gabriel laid out her future, she didn’t complain about her new to-do list or freak out about her previously laid plans.

Basically, she was the exact opposite of me.

In fact, I’d venture to guess that not many of us modern women are like Mary. We are more advanced in our planning, more educated in the art of control, more consumed with our own hopes and dreams. We don’t have the luxury to just give it all up in one moment and to change course without so much as a say in the situation.

But, imagine for a moment, what if we did?

What if we looked at every interruption, every moment or person that we couldn’t control, as an invitation from God to let Him be God and to let us just be in His hands? In a way, Mary’s experience isn’t so different from our own; we all have the opportunity every day to hear from God about His plans for our lives. The trouble is that sometimes we are just too set on getting through our own to-do lists to get to His, and that’s why we are overwhelmed. But when we lay our to-do lists at the foot of the cross and ask Him daily, “What is your will for me today? What is your to-do-through-me list?”—then we prepare our hearts to be overwhelmed not with this world but with the Creator, who has plans to prosper us and not to harm us, to give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). I’ve done this before and I’ve seen God’s to-do-through-me-list; and you know what it is? It’s short, that’s what it is. His list has only one thing on it. He wants us to love. That’s it. To love. Anything that we can’t do in love can be taken off our list. And then the most overwhelming thing in our lives becomes the presence of God’s overwhelming love for us that powers our love for this present and hectic world.

Adapted from A Woman Overwhelmed: A Bible Study on the Life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, by Hayley DiMarco (© Abingdon Press, May 2017). Used by permission.

The companion trade book, A Woman Overwhelmed: Finding God in the Messes of Life, will be available August 2017.



As women, we often are overwhelmed by the demands and circumstances of life, resulting in stress, fear, worry, impatience, fatigue, frustration, and even depression. The truth is that we were created to be overwhelmed—not by life but by God! When we learn to be overwhelmed by God, the fruit in our lives goes from rotten to fragrant—filling our days with peace, hope, love, and joy.

In the six-week Bible study, Hayley walks us through the story of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who knew what it was like to be overwhelmed. As we explore Mary’s life—from the news that she would give birth to God’s Son to the day she witnessed his tragic death on the cross—we find ourselves on a journey from overwhelming joy to overwhelming sorrow and back again, learning how to “treasure in our hearts” what we know about God so that we can hold onto faith even when it seems that all is lost. In the book, Hayley infuses biblical insights with personal stories to offer a glimpse at the comedy of an overwhelmed life while encouraging us to discover the depths and heights of God’s love and power.

Here is a free download of the first video session and the first week’s video: 




Hurray! Hurray! It’s a Giveaway!

Congratulations to our winners! Sonya Sumner and Jennifer Schmidt

Hayley is giving away TWO copies of A Woman Overwhelmed: A Bible Study on the Life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus!

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


#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 on Monday, June 19th, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US and Canada readers only.}


Hayley DiMarco, author of the A Woman Overwhelmed Bible study and trade book, is the best-selling author of more than forty books, including multiple books in the God Girl line, The Fruitful Wife, Obsessed, Die Young, and Own It. As the founder of Hungry Planet, a company intensely focused on feeding the world’s appetite for truth, Hayley speaks regularly for women’s groups and events, including groups such as Women of Faith, dotMOM, Precept National Women’s Convention, and MOPS International. She and her pastor husband, Michael, live outside Nashville with their daughter and four dogs.

Visit her online at HayleyDiMarco.com or http://www.abingdonwomen.com/authors/hayley-dimarco

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments 95

  1. Well.. Its been awhile that I have soo wanted a Bible with a large print as I find the small print in my Bible not too comfortable to read.. So due to this I have to admit I have read my Bible less and reading it on my mobile app..so also not enjoying it much! I truly wud love to do a study on life of Mary and get back into Gods word!

  2. What if we looked at every interruption, every moment or person that we couldn’t control, as an invitation from God to let Him be God and to let us just be in His hands? WOW….powerful words…just what I needed for today.

  3. As a wife of a Police Officer and Marine with two small boys, I struggle EVERYDAY with being overwhelmed and making time for God. I see his mission and purpose in me, but exhaustion takes over and the devil pushes me further into busy land… Sounds like a book I could use : )

  4. love love this study so could use this book
    I’m a stay at home mom of 6 kids &I have RA & 4 of my 6 kiddos have medical & special nesds i deal with being overwhelmed daily God is good & is my strength daily!! I do what i can to find books & scriptures to live a life for him inspite of my struggles!! thank God for women of God who are blessed to reach out with books & studies like this!!!!

  5. My husband and I have been going through something terribly difficult for the last 2+ yrs., for awhile it seemed that our marriage would quite possibly not survive. We’re doing a bit better these last couple of weeks. I’ve been counseling w/ a wonderful godly woman at our church, and it’s helping, it’s holding me accountable and the Biblical truths she speaks aren’t so easy to live out, but they’re right and true. Thank You God for sisterhood! On top of the present struggles, my husbands 92 yr. old mother is now living w/ us since falling and breaking her hip 2 days before Christmas. She’s not a soft n’ sweet kind of a person, so it another added challenge to cope with and manage, on top of our already stressed and to a serious degree damaged life. Needless to say, I am a woman overwhelmed! …Romans 8:28. Sure will be glad to be on the other side of all of this! And yes, like the other ladies that have commented, I need this, we need this. Thank you Gwen and Hayley. I’ve been counseling w/ a wonderful woman at our church, and it’s helping, it’s holding me accountable and the truths she speaks aren’t always so easy, but they are right and true. Thank You God for sisterhood! Proverbs 3:5-6.

  6. I read through several of the comments, I personally would love to read this book because no matter what age we can be overwhelmed by something, God IS in control and our walk is daily, hourly and he provides what we need when we need it. So instead of saying yes!! let me “win” this book I pray that the right person would receive this book and be blessed beyond and that Hayley would be blessed for being obedient. Thank you for loving us so much to share. God Bless you! Kathryn

  7. I have been really overwhelmed lately. I have a torn rotator cuff and need surgery immediately. I went in to schedule my surgery and get my pre-op done and find out my health insurance was cancelled by my employer. Because I am a Teacher Assistant my insurance cancelled the last day of school, when I was told it was effective until the end of the month. I was in tears and had a anxiety attack as I was leaving my Dr office. I need a miracle from God and I believe He will make provision. I would really benefit from this book/study to help me during this time. Thank you, God Bless ❤

    1. I have never won anything in my life, but, this book sound inspirational and educational! Please pick me!!!

  8. This message went to my junk file, that I rarely look at and only to delete all.
    I am really looking forward to this study that the Lord brought to me today.

  9. I am a Jesus loving woman! He first loved me, sort and bought with His precious sacrifice on the cross of Calvary! Coming from a Hindu background, I get so overwhelmed in a nice way 🙂 to know how much I am loved and condemned by Jesus. Indeed, His plans for us are of good, and not of evil, plans to give us a hope and a future. I love Him so……

  10. This book sounds awesome! As a new mom and somewhat new wife, my life has changed so much & this book would be such a good read for where I am in life.

  11. I am a doer! And so that makes me overwhelmed. I am learning to rest in God and lay down my dreams in exchange for what He has for me and it is a struggle! I would love this book.

  12. Hi I would love for a free book and yes I will be looking for future words from this book even if I am not picked for the free one. Thank you for the invite. Audrey Hartsell

  13. Because of things I am going through right, now this sounds like a perfect book for me. I am frustrated and yet trying so hard to cling to God’s Word and trust in Him. I am having a hard time and I think this study would help me. Thanks for sharing this. God is indeed good and He sends things along that we need, just when we need them.

  14. Sounds like a book I, and many of the other women I know and love, need to read this book and reminders stored in side of it.

  15. This would be an amazing study for not only myself but one of my family members in particular who is learning to be a single working mother and going through some very hard times. I would love to share this with her.

  16. The story of Mary has always been a passion of mine. This sounds like an amazing topic. Will have to look into getting it for our Women’s Ministry program. Thanks.

  17. I was lead here but not sure if it’s for the giveaway or not but the book sure seems to be telling my name . Looking forward to being blessed by reading it.

  18. Wow, to say each day here I am Lord, your will be done and be totally submitted to God. I long for that, what peace of mind we would have. Thank you for the chance to win.

  19. OH MY someone who recognizes US women!!! as controlling, or trying to be in charge of everything and totally overwhelmed and not wanting to admit it…I have thought about Mary and how submissive she was…sweet Mary….with my husband being laid off yet again and this time at 61 I am fighting the initial response of now I am in charge again….praying God will let me be quiet so I can hear what HE wants me to do and what my husband is to do…thanks for the reminder!!! God is good

  20. The excerpt made me laugh, I would love the opportunity to see what else Haley has in store in the rest of the book!

  21. Wow!! This is such a great post! We as women, are so easily overwhelmed by life and all of its demands, but I love the way she reminds us that we should truly be overwhelmed by ONE thing.. ONE person. He is all we really need for complete fulfillment! Dear Lord, help me lay aside all the sin (even good things) that entangle me, so my sights are fixed on YOU above anyone/anything else!!

  22. It is a relief to know I’m not alone in being overwhelmed at times. God is good to put the right people in my path.

  23. This can be used in all aspects of our walk. In the world we live in, being overwhelmed can be a daily thing. The author brings us back being overwhelmed for Jesus. And that is the only way we can have peace, and walk in LOVE which is being obedient. And in that we will prosper. Great job!!

  24. Wow awesome topic. I also like the way the author Ted the message in with Mary.The book sounds awesome. I think lots of people including myself will benefit from this book.

  25. I would love to get this book and share it with my Daughter-in-law . She has just excepted the lord just starting her journey and this would be awsome bible study for her.

  26. As my husband left for work this morning, he told me he was leaving. He feels he is unloved and unappreciated. I tried to convince him that wasn’t the case and I loved him very much. His place was here with our family. I have spent every minute until now praying for insight from God and direction out of this mess. I just don’t understand what happened. I am so overwhelmed. I have been working to grow closer to God and grow in my faith but I feel the closer my faith grows the more conflict in my marriage. I don’t believe God would want this for my family. I don’t know what to do.

  27. I so need this book! My husband and i are moving north in the Fall, from Florida to Minnesota. There is so much preparation to do for this move and at times I get so overwhelmed.

  28. Mercy! This overwhelmed thing – sadly, it seems as though many of us feel this way. What’s up with that? Sounds like the book is what we need! Thanks for the giveaway!

  29. Overwhelmed is where I’ve been for several months…leaving a job for medical reasons….experiencing major surgery to repair my back…do I return though I still have issues or retire or try disability because my back is still not right? What does God want me to do? I’m having trouble hearing God’s voice over the worlds..the world says work till you drop….what does God want of me? I want to hear God’s voice in this. Please help me pray for answers and not take it in my own hands.

  30. I am impressed not only with the content of this study, but also with the format. Unpacking the scripture line by line and studying the unfamiliar phrases and words, digging deeper into the context of the verses and thought provoking questions to make each one personally applicable to every day life really drives home the message. This makes the study versatile enough to be appreciated by folks from every level of maturity in their walk with Jesus. It is a study I would like to share with our women’s bible study at church to encourage the attendees to focus not on what overwhelms them and causes them stress, but to be overwhelmed by the awesomeness of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit that dwells within each believer who desires to live their life to the fullest as Jesus has provided for us by His sacrifice on the cross. And to use the life of Mary, a woman just like them, as the vehicle to take their eyes off of the natural and redirect them to the spiritual is a perfect way to do this! Hayley is onto something wonderful and inspiring here!

  31. It is hard for me to surrender control, but I am constantly praying for God to loosen the grip I have on the steering wheel and take over.

  32. I think everyone is feeling overwhelmed these days. We need to stop and smell the roses. We need to enjoy the time, people, and things on this earth while we have time. Life is short and it can change in a heart beat. I know from experience. My life has forever changed. You don’t know what you have until you loose it. Change your life so it’s not overwhelming. This book is going to be fabulous and great timing!

  33. Affirmation of exactly what happens to me as I submit myself to my husband! Just yesterday I had a plan for the evening but his enthusiasm wasn’t registering. He suggested another option which I was willing to accept but it wasn’t my first choice. Not sure of which activity we would do, or whether we would do one at all, I prepared dinner internally grumbling and mumbling about how I am frequently re-routed. He walks in and asks if we have time to go? Not knowing yet where we were going I hurried to get us out the door in time for either. I humbly asked in the car, by the way where are we going? My dear husband replied, to the swim meet, isn’t that where you want to go? This is simple but even in the biggest differences​ when I plead to God to help sort it out, He faithfully does, everytime! I just need to be still and wait upon the Lord.

  34. I took care of my mother for over 10 years, the last two or three were most difficult as she became increasingly confused and unable to do things for herself. There were days when the only thing that got me through them was “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” and ” My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” The very day that we realized we had come to the end of our ability to keep her at home, Jesus quietly took her Home. Even now, 2 years later, I am so very amazed at how He orchestrated it all.
    My husband kept telling me that I was overwhelmed………..I tried hard not to even say that or think it because I knew that was what Satan wanted, for me to feel that God was not on the job. Step by step daily with Jesus is the way I get through life and when I feel it starting to be more than I can handle, I know the best way to deal with it is to spend MORE time with Him……….

  35. Could really use this. Thanks for this free giveaway opportunity but mainly for your love for God that you are able to reach so many women with!

  36. What an awesome subject to study? God used her in a mighty way. Back then it wasn’t easy to be with child and not married. I went through an unwed pregnancy in my life and it wasn’t easy but it was no way as difficult as her’s was. All the things she had to watched her child go through and only ponder them in her heart. To know that out of all the women in the world God chose her to carry His child. Right now my family is going through a trial. My husband has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. The thought of what he’s going through scares me but I know God is in charge and will handle it the way He know best.

  37. Thank you for this devotion and for the book. Using overwhelmed feelings is one of the most used by the enemy in my life.

  38. Good day
    I would love to be one of the winners as , I believe this will assist me on my journey understanding my purpose that GOD has for me 🙂

  39. Most days I find myself overwhelmed. Some days in good ways and some days in ways that I would rather not experience. As hard as I try, I don’t always fall into the arms of my Lord when I’m overwhelmed but that’s my goal because that is where I will find perfect peace.

  40. Thank you for sharing. Days upon days I feel overwelmed. I need to learn to lay my ” to do list” at Jesus’ feet and go on with my day.

  41. Looking forward to doing this bible study if I win! Plus you have an amazing name, and it’s spelled correctly? My daughter’s name is Hayley❤️ Blessings

  42. Imperfect human made perfectly in His image. Easy to say hard to accept. Yet Mary did. She accepted every part of it, trusting she was enough to carry, give birth to and raise the Son of Almighty God. I have often been at once awed at her genuine trust ” Be it done to me according to Thy Word,” and then realize as the song ” Mary did you know?” (my favorite all year long) says (that she was so Blessed for her trust that) she saw the face of God–my sweet Jesus. What an incredibly powerful emotion as a mom it is to understand in the humanity of Mary she was a teenager given by God everything she needed to bear and raise His only Son. There is so much to learn from the young girl Mary who loved her Lord well. Thank you for the opportunity to possibly win this book by Hayley. I was forced to take care of myself from age 9 and when I unexpectedly met and married my husband at 23 I can relate to Hayley so well. If God had not given me the heart to accept His grace upon grace willingly I would have never learned to love truly and that is the blessing of God alone. My identity is in Him so whatever I do as a wife I know reflects on Him amd should reflect Him! To practice His love in marriage is not easy for this resilient,strong minder person but it is His way. God bless!

  43. Overwhelmed, that’s what I am now. Facing some hard times in my life right, my husband lost his job he had for 20 years and I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s over the past year. Trying to trust God through it all but at times I fail and worry.

  44. Overwhelmed?? What’s that said sarcastically of course. I do believe that the word if God is true but not He must see something I don’t…it says he will not give us more than we can handle without making a way of escape. Instant loss of my husband…no will…two houses to deal with…open permit…excessively heavy tools to deal with (He was a carpenter too)..tons of decisions delayed because of others… blended family with different motivations to mother . All in less than 2 months ago and the list continues..
    But God….

    1. I know in my life God gives us not what we can handle but what He can handle through us. Walking on the water in the storms of life deepens my faith. I know this He will walk in all of it with you. He will share your yoke if you let Him. I truly will say this is His way in my life. The life I live is His from my birth on He has been there…I know the storms never drowned me because He lives. I know myself and I know I am never capable but He is always able! PTL! Jesus hold May close and may she accept Your guidance in these trials and rise above the tides giving grace to others, allowing only You to judge hearts, change them if needed so in the end Your will will be done! I thank you for being faithful Jesus. I ask in Your Name Amen

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *