1Kings 19: 11-12 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
Sometimes life gets so busy you look up and realize it’s been almost a year. I haven’t been on here, I haven’t blogged, I haven’t had time, and sometimes you are grateful. This year I haven’t been busy being busy. Instead I have been busy being intentional.
Busyness comes in two forms:
1. The stuff you gotta do
2. The stuff you think you gotta do
I know that for a long time I was too tired. I worked all week. My house did not look like Martha Stewart lived in it and in fact most often was messy. I cooked wonderful meals, but then I would exhaustedly fall on the couch. My energy level was gone. Weekends which should have been restful were filled with sports events for my kids. Sundays which are the Lord’s day, a day of rest, meant spending all morning at church, grabbing a quick late lunch, and some days if we were lucky a nap before heading back to evening services.
My body, my mind, and my soul had had enough. I think we have all been there. In fact I think in America this is where many of us spend our lives. In a constant state of rushing. We race through life missing all the little things. For me the little things are 4 wonderful children who will grow up way too fast, my amazing husband who takes such good care of us, and our friends who envelope us in their love. There just wasn’t enough time for us. Family game night was at a soccer field, date night was the rare occasion our bible study couldn’t meet, and having friends over for dinner you can forget it. Honestly what I wanted was a nap.
As I was praying and reflecting on stuff I felt I had to do and stuff I really had to do it hit me; I have one purpose.
It is really simple we are created to Love our God with all our heart and mind and soul. We are not created to be busy. We are not created to be consumed by selfishness, stuff, and most of all the emptiness of being busy. Busyness is a plague that will infect your life from the outside in. It starts out with all the activities you never did as a child and don’t want your kids to miss out on. Then you add in all the time volunteering because you are that parent who gives their time. Of course you have to volunteer at church, and maybe lead a bible study or be a mentor. We all have to eat so you need a job, and pretty soon it hits you like a ton of bricks. You are busy.
Here are some fun facts for you:
1. Your kids won’t miss the activities you didn’t do as a kid. Also if you weren’t an athlete don’t expect them to be. It breaks my heart when I watch parents berate their child over a sport the kid doesn’t want to play. When they say I don’t like it let them stop.
2. A well-balanced child is a great thing, but sleep and free play are necessary for kids. Video games and screen time need to be monitored. I know it’s easy to use the telly as a babysitter and sometimes that’s even okay, but honestly 3-5 hours a day is not. I have a challenge for you. For one week monitor yourself and your kids on screen time. How many hours did you watch? How many hours did they watch/play? I bet you will be mortified. We watch about 7-10 hours a week, we don’t have any video games, and we really would prefer to do less than that.
3. Your child will probably play their last official sports game at age 18. Most kids won’t be college or even professional athletes. Hollywood and Nashville are brutal and very few make it. Along the way though it can be very easy to destroy the character of a child. You see every child wants their parents to be happy. If they believe that what makes you love them is their ability to play, dance, sing, act, or compete when they can’t it will crush them.
So when you sit and reflect you realize that busy lives are not good for anyone. I get a lot of flack but we won’t play summer sports. Instead we go to the pool, go on family vacations, and spend time together. What’s more I realized we were doing too much. We sat down and prayed and God led us to a new church. A church that was not 30 minutes from our house. Then 3 weeks in the pastor preached about seasons of rest and it resonated in my soul. Instead of jumping in and starting to serve we decided to take a season. Amazingly I found time for my bible, for prayer, memorization, and growing closer to God. My house got cleaner, and we said no to lots of activities and events that would have made us busy. I stopped blogging and spent days without turning on my computer. We went to the zoo, museum, and pool. We had lots of play dates and something else happened. Our friends took notice of the change in our lives.
I know we have a lot of busy coming up with school starting this fall. My kids are headed back to their fall sports, and that’s okay with us. We love our kids and we will support them in this, and our children chose to play not the other way around. Someday they might choose not to play, and even though they are talented athletes my husband and I will support them in that too. The pressure to do it all takes away from the one who gives us all. God speaks in a still quiet voice and when we are busy we often don’t stop and listen.
I would encourage you to stop everyday and listen. To put up your computer, phone, day planner, and sit for 15 minutes with his word. I turn on my music and praise him. I write in my prayer journal, and honestly some days I wile away an hour with God. Time well spent. It refreshes my soul and fills my heart with joy.