Alli Worthington has written a book called Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace and Purpose in a World of Crazy, this topic of busy is one that I keep circling back around too. All to often I find myself caught up in this concept of if I am not “busy” than something is wrong. There was a time when that was not what the “norm” was rather it was a sign of something “wrong.” I live in an area that is fairly fast pace, though it seems slow in comparison to the big city of Seattle or Tacoma; but it seems very busy in comparison to the town I spent my high school years over in Easter Washington. I know that culture has something to do with how fast life goes. But the biggest cause of busy, drum roll please, is ME! Yep, ME! I easily sabotage my efforts in this whole don’t be “to busy” scenario.
For a long time I kept myself “busy” to avoid the quiet, to not have to stop and be still. Something happens when we slow down. We can enjoy life more but we also have time to reflect and really take a hard look at all that our life has been, currently is, and may become. In the past year and a few months, God has had me on a journey of slowing down; reclaiming my time, my schedule, and in the process lowering my stress level.
Alli makes a great point when she says “Our capacity depends on our personality, our experiences, and our seasons in life. People and events are constantly draining us, and we must recharge and off-load our excess or risk shutting down altogether.” P21 Choosing to take a hard look at my capacity has been hard for me, because the healthy answer to that question was significantly different than what I had over a year ago; and today when I add to much in of varying natures, I begin to experience the signs of being overloaded.
As I have processed all I read in Alli’s book, the term self-care really stood out to me. Couple that with the definition of self-control I heard at church a few weeks ago and I have two areas that I need to work on. For a long time, I hear anything with “self” and think – bad. Yet these two words are opposite of me central. They are how I can make my life more about others, and do so in a very healthy way. At the end of 2014, I read another book, The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner, that challenged me to take back those extra minutes I have in my day for me, and the difference I have seen in my life as I have reclaimed and brought balance back has been night and day. Now its time to look at breaking the overall mold of my schedule, and this thought process of “busy” and replace it with Jesus’ schedule.
Self-care is an area that I have to work on, and yet its often the thing that moves to the back burner. I can not live out what God has for me if I have not taken care of the ‘me’ He has blessed me with. Its an area in 2016 that God and I are working on for sure!
Alli addressed so many things that I know but don’t want to look at and confront; one of those is what she calls editing and this quote on page 91 really hits home with me, it says “Sometimes our calling requires us to pass up lots of great opportunities because, no matter how great it is, if it’s not what we are supposed to be doing, it won’t produce fruit.” It encourages me, that what I have been sensing God tell me, which is there are a lot of great options before me, but He is not telling me to do them all. I know what He is asking of me, I just need to be willing to listen, obey, trust and follow Him.
Alli’s book was a fantastic read, stepped on my toes in a great way and I find myself mindful of the truths she brings to light. I don’t like to let people down, which makes a no a hard thing to say. Yet the more I learn to run my questions by Jesus first, when I say no its really saying Yes to what God has for me, and that will ALWAYS be better for me. I have to slow down my life, my schedule, my thoughts, my commitments so that I can do what God has called me to. It is scary to slow down; but yet the more I do it, the more I see the fruit in my life. It is worth it.
As I close with today’s review, I hope you will consider adding Breaking Busy to your reading list or perhaps even to your bible study list. Its a great book, thought provoking and fun.
Ps…..its been a pleasure to be a part of the launch team and thank you to Alli, her publisher, and her team in simply receiving a copy of the book to read and share my thoughts with you, my readers and friends……