If you know me, you are probably chuckling to yourself ( or laughing out loud uncontrollably) that I am writing this blog.. about this subject.
My name is Nicole Miller. I have a little problem. Some days I’m a little busy. Well, to be honest.. Most days I’m a little busy. It’s a common problem. I’m a working mother of three busy children. I’m also a “yes” person. Which means, I have a hard time saying no when people ask me to do things. If there is anyway possible for me to do something for someone, I’ll probably try. I work, I volunteer, I feel called to devote time to pinterest & facebook in my efforts to be a “super mom” & “super wife” & “super employee” & “super friend” & etc. etc. My three kids are involved in extra curricular activities.. and well, you know, I am like they typical American family nowadays.. I am BUSY!!
I know I am not the only one. Most women I know just learn how to juggle. Things seem to be working out fine. People look at your family and wonder how you do it all. It’s so smooth and balanced.. but only on the surface.
Ok, you are probably thinking. Yes, I’m a little busy too. But don’t you have to be in this culture? How do I know if I’m too busy?? I thought it would be fun to make a little quiz. I’ve always loved those quizzes you find in magazines. You know, the quizzes you took to tell you “if he really likes you” or “what kind of friend you really are” etc. So, here it goes. Give yourself 1 point for each yes answer.
1. You find yourself always looking for something you’ve misplaced.
2. You often get inappropriately frustrated at small things that snag your day. (You don’t have TIME for that!)
3. You often worry about your schedule or wished you had more time.
4. People have to schedule with you weeks in advance to spend time with you. You have no time for spontaneity!
5. You eat meals in non-optimal settings, such as standing, in a car, while folding laundry, on the phone etc.
6. You dread when the doorbell or the phone rings because you feel you do not have time to visit.
7. You pray for cancellations.
8. Everyone tells you you’re too busy.
9. You suffer from headaches.
10. Whenever you do have a minute to relax, you think about how much you have to do.
11. You wake up not excited for the day because you have so much to do.
12. You haven’t had time in your day to spend with your Lord.
Yikes!! If you answered yes to 6 or more, you are probably too busy! Is that the life God wants for you? When we are too busy, our health, finances, and relationships suffer. It doesn’t matter how talented we are, how able or strong. We will NEVER be able to meet every need around us or accomplish all that we think needs to be done. So, how do we SIMPLIFY our lives?? How do we get off the Merry-go-round?? How do we just focus on what is REALLY important?
It starts with a decision. I will be LESS busy. I don’t want to live like this anymore.
Then, we need to evaluate our lives.
Write down your schedule… everything you do. There are some things on there that only you can do. God has called only me to be Nicole Miller. Only I can be a wife to my husband. Only I can mother my children. God has called me to a unique place in my life and has given me things that only I can do. Pray and ask God what it is that He has called only you to do. Those things need to have priority. Now, start eliminating things that are not essential. Others might be disappointed, but that’s ok. It is easy to fill our schedules up with “good things” because we want to please and help people, and then not have time for the “best things” that God has called us to do. Be sure there are spaces around things, so you are not rushed! Leave big blocks of time open, so you can do something that makes you happy, maybe exercising, spending time with family, doing a hobby, or just relaxing. If you struggle with being distracted, schedule a block of time for email and social networking so you do not find yourself being interrupted or pulled to the computer all day.
About 2 years ago I was finding myself overstressed & over busy. I sought Godly counsel, read the bible, prayed, and asked myself some hard questions. I wrote down my schedule, eliminated things, and practiced saying no. I was able to simplify my life! I thought I was cured! Imagine my surprise when a few months ago I started having all the symptoms of a hectic life again!?! If you, like me, struggle with busyness, this will not be a one time deal. I now set my phone alarm to remind me twice a year to reevaluate my life. Am I starting to get too busy again? Is there anything in my schedule that is taking up my time that is not the “best thing” God has for me?
I love the quote from author and professor Dr. Dallas Willard. “God will, generally speaking, not compete for our attention. If we will not withdraw from things that obsess and exhaust us into solitude and silence, He will usually leave us to our own devices,"
Prayer: Lord, show me how to restructure my priorities so that they will be in line with your will. Please don’t let me live a life of busyness that damages my health, my peace, and my relationships. Help me to know what it is that you have given me that only I can do. Help me to simplify my schedule and focus on what really matters.