Do you ever ask yourself, “Why am I not getting more done when I feel so busy?” I find myself pondering this question in many aspects of life: in parenting, in friendships, in marriage, in my home, or wherever I am.
The world runs on the highest level of “busy.” It’s a place of running instead of walking. Why do we always feel like we need to add more? Why do we keep trying to please others, add activities, and squeeze in one more thing? Because it’s what we do. Busy makes us feel good.
If someone asks how I am, I can respond, “I’m busy, but good,” and it satisfies me, making me feel like an accomplished woman! Recently, I’ve been thinking through what drives that answer for me. Do I want people to think I’m important? Do I want them to know I have a lot of responsibilities? Finding my peace in being busy makes no sense, but I do it anyway. God is patiently showing me that I don’t need to worry about how I come across to others or comfort myself with a false sense of busyness; I just need to worry about pleasing him. So what can I do with this realization?
First, I pray about finding ways to slow down, to rest, and to control my “busy” everything. When I consider adding something, I ask God for wisdom as to how that will fit and whether I’m squeezing my schedule too tightly. The things I do are all good things, but how much should I really do in one day? I need to take my schedule to the Lord.
Second, I find guidance by focusing on Scripture where I’m reminded that God has called me to specific things each day. Psalm 119:105 says: “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” The Word of God guides us and lights our paths, helping us to know what steps to take and how to take them–today, tomorrow, and each day of our lives.
Third, I examine my calendar, asking myself if I need to do all that is currently written in it. On Sunday afternoons, I look over my weekly schedule, adjusting as needed. I also run plans by my husband, as he can tend to see things in a different way, and that is super helpful. If I’m not careful, I overestimate what I can do and end up not being home enough throughout the week, but I’m slowly growing in this.
Here are a few questions I ask myself as I evaluate my calendar: Did I Ieave time to care for my family and accomplish household tasks? Did I carve out time for fellowship with other ladies? Am I leaving enough time to make dinner and help members of my family where needed, or are my evenings just catching up from what I didn’t get done that day?
These practices have helped me to turn away from the idol of busyness and use well the time I’ve been given. If you ask me how I’m doing now, I may just answer “Good!” and leave the “busy” out of it!