Nov 29, 2016

The B word....

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LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. Psalm 16:5

There is a dirty little word that I have tried so very hard to take out of my vocabulary. It used to live in my mouth and be repeated at least a few times a day.

The word starts with a B.

Okay, I won't say it, but I will write it...

Busy.

Eek. It's even ugly on a computer screen.

This word makes me cringe because it makes me think of a total lack of peace. A familiar place I used to live.

I once heard a saying that resonated within my heart...

"If the devil can't make you bad, he will make you busy."

Gulp.

When we are busy, we cease being able to stop and notice the present circumstance we are in .

When we are busy, we are short with people. All people. The ones under our roof, and the ones out in the world just aching for a little word of encouragement.

Busyness fills our minds and leaves no room for God to implant ideas, thoughts, gestures, and words to reach out to someone in an unplanned way.

We used to talk to people, not text.

We used to hang out with people at our kitchen tables, not group face time them or message them via google chat.

We used to have a handful of people that we did life with, now we do life with the whole entire world on the internet.

All of these things make for very busy, very scattered, very spread super thin lives.

Busyness is nothing new. Remember the story of Mary and Martha?

Martha was in the kitchen busily preparing, planning, and freaking out a bit about all that had to be done.

Mary, her sister, sat at the feet of Jesus. Mary knew the importance of being present. She knew that it was okay to be still and sit with the people around her.

Mary understood the importance of the opportunity to be with Jesus. She soaked Him up, she hung on every word...she wasn't about to miss a moment with Him.

We have the same opportunity every single moment of our lives. We can be with Jesus and sit at His feet at any time. Yet, we somehow have too much going on. Life beckons, and we must answer.

Or, do we?

I heard a well-known preacher say recently that people ask him constantly how he has so much peace and lack of urgency in his life, despite the many demands laid upon him daily. He replied, "you are just as busy as me. I just to say no a lot more often."

This preacher knows how to prioritize and escape a busy, yet fruitless life. He sits at the feet of Jesus, and takes his orders from Him. He listens to the voice of God over the voice of the world.

God has a portion for us. A specific assignment each and every day.

We can choose to accept this portion, or we can make our own schedule.

I want to be on God's schedule, not my own. Don't you?

There will always be "something" for us to volunteer for. Something for us to "do". A party for us to attend.

Can I tell you something that has helped me tremendously over the past few years?

I ask myself these questions before adding something else to my plate:

How will this affect my husband, his needs, and his schedule?

How will this affect my children, their needs, and their schedule?

What other assignment that the Lord has given me at this time will I have to sacrifice in order to add this to my plate?

Does this align with what God has called me to do in this season of my life?

Am I going to say yes because I want to please people and not let them down?

Do I want to do this because it is self-promoting?

Am I saying yes because my pride will not let me say no?

This has definitely helped me to pause and think hard about the decision that I need to make. It allows me time to pray and to talk with my husband before jumping in head first...like I have done so many times before.

Listen, I understand that some things are not that big of a deal and that you may not have to ask yourself these questions every single time...

But, I have learned that these little decisions add up and cause a lot of stressors in my day if I am not careful. They may not seem like a big deal, but at the end of the day they can wear a girl down!

We must be cautious with over-commitment. Or as some call it, FOMO. Fear-of-missing-out.

Did you just raise your hand? Been there, friend.

I can guarantee you that it is not the end of the world if we have to miss a function. People will not talk about you {well, your real friends won't}, and life will go on.

There will always be another party. There will always be another opportunity to volunteer. There will always be another women's retreat. You can count on that.

It does not make us cool to be busy. It just makes us tired. And worn out. And unable to function well with our people.

Take a deep breath.

Blow it out slow.

One more time.

Now, go to the Lord and talk to Him about your schedule. Ask Him to lead you today. Ask Him to help you focus on people and not a to-do list.

Simple prayers from scripture you can pray are:

 My times are in Your hands- Psalm 31:15

Teach me to number my days, that I may gain a heart of wisdom-Psalm 90:12

Teach me your way, oh Lord; lead me on a straight path- Psalm 27:11

When we spend more time with Jesus, we actually are able to function better. We exude more peace and are able to refresh others so much more.

The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed. Proverbs 11:25

The world will pull at you and scream at you to jump in because you are missing out.

Turn your face to the opposite side and see Jesus peacefully desiring a moment with you.

He gives peace. The world brings chaos.

Fill up with His peace, and go spread it over the chaos.

Shine your light and let others know it's okay to give up busy. They just may need an example lived out in front of them. Let that be you.

Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2


out with the b,

jill