This was a hard one. I've been sitting on my thoughts of this book for months. It took a while to get through. It's stuck with me. Confirmed some things I've been hearing God say. Guided me as I followed through on some decisions in my life.
I picked up a copy of Breaking Busy by Alli Worthington from BookLook Bloggers a while back. It was a book I'd wanted to read and was sure would be a good one to share on the blog. I started reading it, but I had to slow down. I need to pay careful attention as I read. I couldn't breeze through it and give a simple review. God was speaking to me through this book.
Quotes from Breaking Busy
First, here are a few quotes from Breaking Busy. (I read the ebook version which makes it difficult to give you accurate page numbers. Sorry!)
- “Wouldn't life be so much easier if we each had a readout that told us, “This is your remaining capacity. Your energy reserves are low. Please stop and recharge”?”
- “… we each have a unique capacity level.”
- “Crazy busy is a life without peace. It's marked by decisions made for the approval of the world, not the approval of God.”
- “When we operate under the belief that we can do it all, we're forgetting how God wants us to rely on him.”
- “God sometimes calls us to quit things that are good in exchange for his plans that are greater.”
- “Living life by the tyranny of the urgent is often just a case of jumbled priorities.”
- “Choose discomfort over resentment.”
- “Keeping us busy trying to prove our worth is the easiest way to keep us from the life God created us to live because it makes us think that our worth is based on what we do, instead of who God is.”
Reflections from Breaking Busy
Here are some key takeaways for me:
- We have the wrong idea that Christians should never say no. This isn't right and it isn't healthy.
- Too much noise keeps me from hearing God's voice and following my calling.
- Over time, our passions don't usually change much, but the way we express those or the way God is calling us to use them might change.
A few years ago, I had a regular weekly series on the blog here at The Pelsers called Kids in the Word. That led me to writing an ebook, which led me to launching a separate site and taking Kids in the Word to it's own home outside of The Pelsers.
Kids in the Word was an ambitious endeavor. A fairly unique niche in the blogging world. But, I couldn't keep it up on my own. Over time, I added some contributing writers and assistants to keep it alive. I had to financially subsidize it's expenses using income from my tech work. I was willing to make a financial investment in the kingdom to reach families. But there came a point where I dreaded continuing to financially support it, I couldn't write because I was always managing people to keep the site running, and I'd lost my love for it. I drug my feet for far longer than I'd like to admit on obeying God. He was calling me to make a change, but I didn't want to lose everything that had been put into it. Kids in the Word couldn't continue to live and operate as it's own site.
God has a greater plan for me. He doesn't want me running from emergency to emergency. Life isn't all about what's urgent. It should be about what's important. I need to redefine urgent in my life. I need to redefine what important is. I don't have to meet an endless barrage of expectations and requests of my time. I don't have to say “yes” to everything. Dare I say, God expects me to not say yes to everything. This is what distracts me from my calling. I have to choose between what Alli calls “should” do's and the “meant” to do's.
Keeping us wrapped up in the “shoulds” is Satan's way to keep me distracted. He doesn't want me to get to the things I'm “meant” to do. That would mean I'm walking in my calling and he'd never want to see that happen.
So, Kids in the Word has come home in part due to the confirmation and encouragement I read through Breaking Busy. Kids in the Word content and resources are now living at The Pelsers. I'll continue to write about faith and family discipleship related topics. I have more time and freedom to write my heart here at The Pelsers and that includes helping families learn how to be the primary source of discipleship in their kids' lives.
If you're feeling overwhelmed and you don't know how to tame the busy, you should take a look at this book. Alli gives some great advice for studying the Bible, bringing order to your life, and making tough decisions. She gives a framework to consider when editing things out of your life or considering new things to take on.
In the comments, share with me what your busy is and what you're doing to break it!
Here are a few other books and resources to consider as a follow up to Breaking Busy: