Well friends and followers, I’m back! I apologize about the recent hiatus from posting. These past few weeks have been crazy busy, and unfortunately posting on my blog was put on the chopping block in order to keep my head above water. But I’m back(!!!) and will be able to find regularly scheduled time to post again. I’m especially glad too because I have found myself missing writing more and more lately. I find writing therapeutic to help me process through so many things.
One of those things that I have been processing and mulling over for months now is the topic of busyness, of which I am the queen. I like to jam-pack my schedule full of activities so not a moment is spared in my day. I have made this a habit for years — truly ever since I can remember, I have been saying yes to things left and right. Eventually I hit some sort of breaking point, where I think I will not keep doing this, but somehow I continue to do it again and again. This time around though, I had had enough with my overbooked schedule. I was at an unhealthy stress level, and I wanted to get to root behind why it is that I do this to myself. Why do I say YES to everything?
As y’all know, I love to read (and even reading has had to take a second fiddle recently — ugh!). It just so happens that one of the books I read recently really convicted my heart about this issue of busyness. In Tim Keller’s book, The Freedom of Self-Forgetfulness, he comments on 1 Corinthians 3:21-4:7 and how not to be a self-loving or self-hating person, but a self-forgetful one instead. There were so many convicting passages in this book that gave me insight into why I pride myself on busyness. Here are a few:
“In his book Sickness Unto Death, Søren Kierkegaard says, it is the normal state of the human heart to try to build its identity around something besides God. Spiritual pride is the illusion that we are competent to run our own lives, achieve our own sense of self-worth and find a purpose big enough to give us meaning in life without God…[The normal human ego] searches for something that will give it a sense of worth, a sense of specialness and a sense of purpose and build itself on that.” (14-15)
“Doing all kinds of things, not for the pleasure of doing them, but because we are trying to put together an impressive curriculum vitae. By comparing ourselves to other people and trying to make ourselves look better than others, we are boasting. Trying to recommend ourselves, trying to create a self-esteem résumé because we are desperate to fill our sense of inadequacy and emptiness.” (20)
By filling my life with activities and “things,” I am trying to find my self-worth in life other than God. I am trying to find it in my job, in my volunteer work, in how many Bible studies I can do and the knowledge I am gaining by doing them, in being a good friend and girlfriend. I am trying to find my identity in basically everything other than God. And I’m boasting in all my activities, in how much I can do, to fill this sense of inadequacy and emptiness I feel by finding my identity outside of God.
But let’s face it, I fail every day at being the best worker, the best girlfriend, the best friend, the best blogger. I fail at giving my Bible study homework 100% of my attention, having the cleanest house, having a fun-filled life. By trying to do it all, I am failing to do give my full attention to anything and not trusting God to fulfill my sense of self-worth.
So I’ve gleaned a couple takeaways from this:
First and most important, I am nothing apart from Christ. No activity, role, responsibility is going to give me worth apart from God alone.
I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)
But, “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 10:17)
He alone is my portion and my cup (Psalm 16:5). He gives my life meaning. I don’t need activities to fulfill me or give me a sense of purpose or meaning. My life has meaning and worth because God sacrificed his Son on the cross for my life. There is no other meaning, no other purpose I need outside of that amazing truth!
Once I am able to remind myself that God alone is my justifier, I need to evaluate what it is that I am filling my time with — what activities are most important? And not only most important, what activities/roles do I feel like the Lord is calling me to?
I read another book recently called The Best Yes. In that book, the author encourages you to find the thing, the passion, you feel the Lord is calling you to and really commit to it 100%. She encourages and challenges you to say no to other “good things” in order to give your BEST yes to what the Lord is calling you to.
This was particularly convicting to me as I have a tendency to fill my life with “good yes’s,” while sacrificing my best yes because I have too many other seemingly good things happening. I need to narrow my focus to having a few things I can give my best to and be obedient to what God is calling me to do.
This season has had a lot of teaching moments, but my schedule and busyness has definitely been the biggest one. Having a new(ish) role in my life (being a good girlfriend) has come with a lot of challenges because my focus and priorities have had to change from when I was single. It has taken a lot of trial and error (mostly error it seems) and patience from P (thank you, P!!), but I think I’m finally figuring out how to have a more manageable schedule and give my best effort to each commitment. There are going to be some “no’s” coming up to some great things, but I know that the sacrifice is going to be worth it so my “yes’s” are going to the most important things, one of those being my blog.
All that to say, friends, I’m back. This blog means so much to me as I hope it does to you. I pray that the Lord would continue to use it to speak truth into my own heart and yours. He is refining me one day at a time, and I’m so thankful he is.