Recently, I feel like I’m learning all over again how to dwell in God’s presence in the middle of busyness. As good as we can be at simplifying our lives, sometimes there are seasons that are just dang busy and full.
When life is busy and full, I can have the tendency to spiral myself into a state of overwhelm and drain, so I have to keep myself in check. I find myself stressed out and strung out like a cat on catnip! When I reflect back on moments that were crazy busy, there are great times but there are underlays of regret that make me a bit sad because I found I was so busy doing and not enjoying the moment or the people I was with. It’s easy to get set on tasks and fixing things, instead of enjoying the people right in front of you.
Everything in this world screams, “you can have it all and do it all!” You can work hard and play hard, with laundry folded and family dinner sizzling on the table by the end of the day. Of course, you can stay fit, be an amazing communicator that everyone loves, make it to your kid’s school play, and bake cookies for the neighbors that just moved in next-door. Of course, all while being a hot wife, unclogging that bathroom sink, getting eight hours of sleep, and having a fresh face at the break of day. I mean is this real life?! NO! Haha. Yes, you are talented. You are gifted and you can do multiple things at once. I believe you can do more than you may think you can right now, but you can’t do it all.
When we feel overwhelmed in a season of busyness, consider it a red flag to stop and take a moment to introspect.
There are many culprits that quench the joy out of our lives. What keeps us snippy, tired, and passionless? It can be that we’re not connected to our source and spending genuine time with Jesus. Maybe we have lost our focus? Or we’ve allowed other people to determine our schedules, which leaves us feeling out of control? Or maybe it’s just the world’s pressure that makes us feel like we need to be superhuman and make it to everything and be everything.
When you feel like busyness is creeping in to throw you off your game and keep you from what really matters…
This is your “stop, drop and roll” moment! Give yourself time to stop and take a moment to assess the situation. “But I don’t have time to pause.” Yes, you do. It’s better for you to take that moment, that hour, or that day to give yourself some clarity and peace of mind so you can succeed in your moments, hours, and days to come. Find the source of your frustration.
When Jesus said, “come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest,” He actually meant it. Scripture continues to say, “let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
Which leads us here. Pause and learn. Scripture says, let me teach you. God is not a teacher ready to slap your fingers because you got yourself into the mess that you got yourself into. He’s not ticked off that you overbooked your life. He is humble and gentle at heart. So take him at his word and let him reveal to you the root of your troubles and stress. Where can you learn? By opening up the best source you have, God’s word. The answers are in there, we just need to look. If you find yourself struggling, that’s ok! Dig deeper! Google scriptures, listen to a sermon online, press play on a podcast, or ask a friend. Get around God and get around people who are going to not just point you in the right direction, but walk with you in the right direction.
SAVE IT FOR LATER.
Give yourself permission to leave things undone. This is HARD for me. I never like to leave things undone and, when I start something, I want to finish it that day! I mean, you’re talking to the person who would withhold herself from going to the bathroom in 5th grade because I wanted to accomplish all my homework first. Paaaleassseeee… take a bathroom break, girl! I’m happy to say, I now have elevated in life and give myself bathroom breaks, but my inner drive is still the same and, sometimes, it gets me in trouble. In other words, depleted. Give yourself permission to leave things undone. So what if you didn’t get to empty out the dishwasher tonight? So what if you’re filling out that birthday card and wrapping that present in the back seat of your car (around the block from the party you are going to)? So what if dinner comes out of a microwave instead of being cooked from scratch? SO WHAT?! Stop pressuring yourself with the things that, in the end, don’t matter, and focus on what does. Accept that you have limitations and that it’s not a downfall, but a beautiful thing.
This probably deserves its own blog post. In crazy seasons, it’s easy to let your mind run rapid. “What if I don’t do this? What happens if I don’t get this done? What will he think? What will she think?” If you don’t capture your thoughts, they can do more damage than good. How many of you like to be in control? I’m probably speaking to all ya’ll who need to drive the car wherever you go. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, take your thoughts captive. My translation, “I have control over my thoughts.” What a relief! You don’t have to be controlled by your thoughts. You can take them captive. Pair that with this scripture- “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6). Before you rabbit trail just like Alice in Wonderland, capture your thoughts and worries and turn them into prayers. It doesn’t have to be drawn out. It can be simple. It can be one sentence. “Lord, help me read through what this person is saying.” “I feel overwhelmed. Give me strength.” “I’m about to snap at my kids right now. God, give me patience.” You’ll find the more you do this, the more you’ll feel peace. Whatever the outcome, you’ll feel security beyond understanding.
In the end, what really matters? It’s loving Jesus and people with an open heart. It’s fulfilling your calling. It’s being faithful to those who have earned that position in your life. It’s being “good friend”, “husband”, “wife”, “mom” or “dad”.
For me, I think of my husband. One day, I’ll think of my kids. I think of my family, and my church family. Where am I going to invest the best of me, and what else can I let go? Let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no” be “no”.
When I come to the end of my life. I don’t want people to say, “wow, Gina sure checked everything off her to-do list.” Or “she was always doing, doing, that she was never present.” I want to impact my inner circle and know that I gave my all. I want to be so present that everyone I come into contact with feels God’s love and feels their value. When people speak to me, I want them to know I’m listening.
Your life is like a camera. It has the ability to capture everything. Refocus so you can capture the right memories, so you can dwell on God in the middle of craziness, and so you can see what and who really matters.