March and April were busy months. They were filled with many wonderful things like work, trips, and visitors coming to stay. During those months I was working to reorient what I did in my free time. I began challenging myself to be healthier, read more devotionals, and read books. Recently I read Present Over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Living by Shauna Niequist. In the book, she talks about her journey from burnout, busyness, and disconnection to a life of grace, meaning, and connection.
That’s what I’ve sought out for the year of 2017. Last year was a much more challenging year full of transition. I was working to find purpose in my many jobs. I found I wasn’t growing my friendships that were around me. I was left feeling lost and wondering when things were going to change. Slowly things did begin to change, but I found that I went from transition to needing to grow in the areas that I hadn’t been focusing on. This year I made the decision to focus on growing my faith, friendships, and work in ministry. It all began with one simple word, no.
Niequist encourages her readers to say no to things that aren’t life giving and to say yes to the things that matter. That’s easier said than done, but it truly makes a difference when put into practice. I have learned that just because there’s a good opportunity doesn’t mean it’s right for me. I need to say yes to the things that are going to grow me and will allow me to focus on my faith, friendships, and work in ministry. If the opportunity doesn’t support those things then I need to be okay with turning it down. Life is not meant for me to take on every single thing that comes my way. That was how life grew into an unrecognizable mess that took over completely, but how did it get to that point?
I’ve heard the quote, “If the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.” I wouldn’t say that I blame the devil for my choices in choosing to have a busy life. Much like how Eve blamed him for tricking her in the garden, it’s easy for me to just blame outside circumstances instead of owning up to my decisions. My faith wasn’t weak because the devil attacked it, it was weak because I did not work to strengthen it. My relationships were not weak because the devil caused a disconnection between me and the people around me, they were weak because I chose not to prioritize. Sometimes it’s easy to give the devil much more credit than he deserves. My relationships and growth are impacted by my decisions. I am responsible for cultivating and being a good steward of what God has blessed me with. I need to own up to it rather than blaming others/the enemy/busyness for where I end up in life.
I am my own worst enemy and I need to work on that. I am capable of living a life with more focus and purpose. It’s not going to come together over night. It’s a daily surrender to seek out God’s will and take a breath before I jump into my day. Life is good. God is good and because of Him, I am able to find peace amongst the craziness of life.
What about you? Do you find that life’s busyness has caused you to be disconnected? What are you doing to improve?