“How are you doing?” a friend would ask.
“Busy” was my go to response and then there was a pause, waiting for sympathy, empathy, accolades or maybe even a gold medal.
During the season shortly after we got married and settled into our home we got pregnant with baby #2 (a.k.a. baby hulk) and things were moving right along. A few years later 2 kids became 3 and we were in full blown BUSY.
As a single mom I had spent years desperately yearning for this season and I was determined to do it awesomely!
As “the perfect mom/wife” I was doing it ALL.
I was involved in the PTA,
worked in the classroom 3 hours a week,
volunteered for basically anything with a committe…
look team, marriage retreat, MOPS steering team, etc.
My husband and I were facilitating Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University one night a week,
I worked at the church as the nursery coordinator,
I was running a successful Etsy shop,
my kids were involved in gymnastics, AWANA, teeball and hockey.
To top it all off…
We lived in a small town, so it was an hour drive to Kaiser, Costco, and Target… basically if you wanted anything beyond Kmart… it was going to take you an hour to get there.
Oh! and I forgot to mention that sweet third baby had horrible acid reflux and therefore made laundry another full time (not-so volunteer position) and I just accepted the fact that I would also smell like rotten milk.
(Nothing says humble servant like wearing your very own breastmilk in vomit form.)
From the outside I looked like a rockstar.
I looked like I was pulling it all off.
People were always saying things like…
“I don’t know how you do it all.”
“You are amazing.”
“You are so talented.”
I even had one lady tell me she thought I was truly living out the Proverbs 31 women.
Man, did I have them all fooled?
It is as though our human nature says, “Look at me! Look what I did. I am valuable, worthwhile, and lovable” and our culture reinforces these thoughts/feelings by givinv value and worth to busyness.
God quickly showed me that while I was pleasing the world and putting my best fake face forward, I was dying inside.
I was too tired to get up early and read my bible.
I was too tired to love my people the way He wanted me to.
I was too tired to even lift my eyes toward on Him.
I was keeping busy and doing it all in my own strength.
And one day I had had enough.
I couldn’t do it anymore.
I was done faking.
Done looking like I had it all together just to bask in the praise of my peers…
I felt like I was liking trying to tread water while holding my babies and keep all those other responsibilities bouncing in the air like beach balls.
(How is it possible that in a culture with machines and technology to do so much for us we still seem to be spinning our wheels faster than ever before?)
I thought I was serving and mom-ing and wife-ing like a good Christian gal should, but in the meantime I lost touch with my Jesus and I was drowning in the name of busyness.
So I quit my life.
Seriously I quit everything.
People thought I was losing it, going rogue.
(Does anyone remember this? Can you vouch for me?)
I had to readjust my perspective.
I had to peel off some of those layers of false perfection.
Admit that being busy does not mean you are important and the results of our activities do not determine our worth.
So I went to every committee leader, every boss and with tear filled eyes and shaking hands…
I also took down all social media and went completely off the radar.
I spent this time getting really real with my Jesus.
I got my priorities back in order and I told the devil to take his busy and shove it.
Psalm 39:6 sends a little chill down my spine when I contemplate my busyness. “We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing” (Psalm 39:6 NLT)
If we are nothing more than moving shadows… all that rushing, stressing, to-doing… holds little to no eternal value.
And if it’s eternal value you think you are spending all your time on (much like I did), ponder for a moment the fact that Jesus was knowingly only here for a finite amount of time, only had a ministry for a few years, and yet there is no record of Him running frazzled from one place to another trying to scratch things off his to do list. Instead he made time for people, conversations and shared meals.
I am certainly not the first person to discuss nor to have a reoccurring struggle with the issue of busyness. Most of us are aware of the problem and have taken our time management into consideration at some point. For me, this is something I still have to be very intentional about.
I love the quote by Søren Kierkegaard, “Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.”
So my questions for you are…
Why do we struggle with busyness all the time?
What are we spending our time on and is it worth it?
Do you try to find your value in your busy schedule and juggling act?
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