In its most tangible form it might be a book that goes everywhere with you in your purse or briefcase. It could be hanging on the wall in the laundry room. Or maybe it’s in the kitchen, stuck to the refrigerator courtesy of industrial strength magnets super-glued to the back (like mine). Or perhaps it’s the app on your computer or smart phone that never gets a rest.
It is one of the worldly idols we worship. It rules our lives with an iron fist. It defines who we are. And we’re OK with that. Or so it seems.
Being the Type A, slightly obsessive-compulsive personality that I am, I used to beam with pride when visitors in my home would pause at my refrigerator to “admire” my neat and orderly, oversized, overfilled white board stamped with a perpetual monthly calendar whose daily squares were color coded according to the categories of birthday, anniversary and church/personal/work activity. (Did I say “slightly” OCD? Oops, I meant to say “extremely”!) Actual white space on my dry-erase board was minimal; some days held so many activities that it was difficult to read them due to the near microscopic lettering. But there it was, on display for all to see:
- my Badge of Busyness
- my Certificate of Chaos
- my Trophy of Too Little Time
Irrefutable evidence that I had lost control of my life. A calendar so full that I needed to schedule sleep. An agenda so packed that exhaustion was normal. A life so booked that one little delay, one slight change of plans, one cancellation sent everything into a tailspin. No time for an unplanned interruption. No room for friends to drop by just to chat. No hour/minute/second available to stop and smell the roses. Undeniable proof that I had lost my mind.
Believing the Lie
I dare say that many of you reading this are thinking, “How does she know about my life?” You live in bondage to a schedule that has you gulping coffee by the pot-full every morning in order to wake up and come alive, and collapsing every night into a bed that hasn’t been made in months because there’s no time, and even if time were not a factor you simply don’t have the energy. (You can’t remember the last time you washed the sheets, but as soon as you get around to that you’ll pull the comforter up and try to find the throw pillows that are buried beneath the piles of winter clothes on the floor, that may or – ahem! – may not make it into storage before cold weather comes around again!)
I know about your life, because I have lived your life. I bought into the busyness lie. You know, the one that induces guilt if your kids aren’t involved in an extracurricular activity every night of the week. The one that whispers something must be wrong with you if you can’t juggle it all, because so-and-so does it effortlessly. The one that compels you to say “yes” to everything, for fear of missing out on anything. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened,
and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you
and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.
For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
If you are overwhelmed by busyness, you’re not alone. I was. Until I moved to Peru and had to adapt to the much slower-paced, more relaxed Latino way of life. Through afternoon siestas and evenings spent with neighbors in our rocking chairs on the sidewalk, God melted away the anxieties of my North American warp-speed life, until I began to understand what it meant to truly rest, to take stock of my existence, and to begin to live purposefully and intentionally.
Without consciously realizing it, I took the Lord’s hand and let Him lead me through a process of examining my life and shattering the shackles of busyness that had prevented me from living fully in His will. My journey from being enslaved to my schedule to not only being in control again, but also taking responsibility for the discontent that was a direct result of my choices (or lack thereof), involved asking myself some hard questions and looked something like this:
- What does busy look like?
- Examining my calendar: must do vs. want to do
- Determining when my answer should be “Yes” and when I should say “No”
- How can I begin to organize, minimize and simplify?
- Submitting it all to God for His approval
Overwhelmed Women’s Conference
Want a chance to further explore breaking free from the chaos of your calendar? I will be doing just that in a breakout session titled “Overwhelmed with Busyness” at Ask God Today Ministries’ inaugural Women’s Conference on June 24-25, 2016. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to gather with some amazing women and hear how they have moved from being “Overwhelmed with Life to Overwhelmed with Christ.” Visit www.askgodtoday.com to check out the details and purchase tickets.
- Is your life too busy?
- Have you lost control of your calendar?
- What are some steps you can take to slow down and make room for rest and relationships?
We would love to hear your comments.
We would love to have you attend our first annual Women’s Conference on June 24-25, 2016 with special recording artist Mike Weaver from Big Daddy Weave.
- Why Do I Really Need Freedom? - July 5, 2017
- Do You Know Who Was the Greatest Father of All? - June 9, 2017
- To the Mom Who is Afraid of Not Being Enough… - May 30, 2017
- Do Moms Deserve Our Honor, Respect, and Love? - May 8, 2017
- What Kind of Godly Mom Are You? - May 3, 2017
- I was Finally Forced to Carry the Cross Too - April 14, 2017
- What Do We Do with Jesus? - April 13, 2017
- How to be Godly Parents When we are Busy Raising the Kiddos - March 8, 2017
- Keep Your Heart Happy. 5 Timely Tips to Prevent A Heart Attack. - February 6, 2017
- David’s Secret Life - January 31, 2017