The Badge of Busy
It's been months since my last post...I've been busy. Does that ever happen to you? Your best intentions are your last priorities? The top of the to-do list gets kicked to the end and stays there taken over by the items from which you see faster fruits? I do, too. Unfortunately when that happens, it feels like I'm pulling away from God, and hugging myself a bit too tightly.
May is a harried time at our house. The end of the year is literally a whirlwind of field trips, projects, finals, field day, parties, and stress. Part of it is my job. I teach, and May marks the end of another year punctuated with activity. My three girls have their own needs during this time (high school needs, middle school needs, & elementary needs). The cherry on top- my sweet husband is a school teacher, too. Hear me? We collapse on June 1, and reintroduce ourselves at the breakfast table! Here's the thing; we ALL have this same pace. Insert your job, your children, your spouse, and all your family's needs and it's the same. I get it.
But what comes of it? Up until May (literally), I spent mornings with Jesus. I would dig into the word to pull out the wisdom I needed to find some rest in my days. I'd pray in silence, write in my prayer journal, center my mind and right my spirit before the day even started rolling. I would get the kids up and make their lunches (don't roll your eyes, I already told you I do this), then get myself out the door. It was pretty much the same everyday... until May! I think it was Jen Hatmaker that said, "May is the Trojan Horse of stress." NO TRUER WORDS.
There's a little bit of May in every month, though. We are all aware of our busyness. Many of us, myself included, wear our busy schedules like a badge of honor. The more we achieve, the more we feel like we have a place. Many achievers gain something from getting things done, checked off, completed, and have no issue letting others know all that has been acomplished. That is ego-centered, not who I want to be, but who I often allow to call the shots. We are not scouts, ladies. There's no badge earned for the busiest of us, just a heap of stress and a dash of regret. God doesn't intend for us to crowd out rest with busy. His plans for us are greater, which means better than we could hope for. And the best part, He laid them out for us long ago. No, His intent is not to burden us with hectic schedules of seemingly important things that puff us up and pat our egos on the back. Unless He is getting the glory, we are going about it from the wrong side.
In 1 John 2:17-19, we are told, "Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity." (MSG) This includes pleasing others. There are some of you that say "YES" to things you shouldn't in an attempt to please others and keep peace, but you're upending your own peace.
Lysa TerKeurst is one of my favorite authors and speakers. She wrote a book on this very topic called, The Best Yes. No, I have yet to read it in its entirety because I've been busy. :) However, I have read a few chapters and I plan to make time to finish it this summer. One quote from her book says, "I know I'm caught in the rip current of people pleasing when I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no" Ladies, there comes a time when you must step back from your situation and look for God's face in it. If He's not there, why move any closer?
Take a minute and read Matthew 6: 25-34 (click the verse, it's linked). Read it a couple times through. What if that were to become our posture, busy friends? What if we allowed the worries of tomorrow to stay there, and we TRUST God with our day? I'm challenging you (and myself) to try it. Get your journals out. Head the next blank page with today's date. Write out the verses in Matthew 6:25-34, and pray over them as you do. Don't be intimidated- prayer is your time with our Lord. Just talk to Him, He will listen. Then ask Him to guide your steps today. Ask Him to open your heart to hear and see His promptings. Keep that journal close. Write out what happens. God is so very good. That badge of busy, it's not for us. We were made for more!