Breaking up with Busyness

Breaking up with busyness

September is National Self-Care month. Self-care is not about massages and manicures but about doing the things that help you operate at your best self. For me, that means breaking up with busyness. For the last several months, I have been busy with no results. The things that I invest time in has not brought fulfillment. The things that my busyness is taking away from is falling by the wayside. This month I decided to self-care I need to stop being busy and do the things that are going to bring fulfillment.

Psalm 62:1 (NIV) Truly, my soul finds rest in God; my salvation comes from him.

What I knew

I was taught, “idle hands are the devils’ playground.” It has stuck with me throughout my life. Still busying myself with a task, some meaningful and some meaningless.  Then, I became a mother and applied that to my children. Signing them up for classes, keeping their weekly calendar full with outings, play dates and activities.  Teaching them that they should always have something to do and not allowing them to have the time of rest or leisure. After rereading the story of Mary and Martha I came to an epiphanie- “I need to break up with busyness.”

Luke 10:41-42 (NIV) “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” 

For the first time in my adult life, I wanted to be a “Mary.” Previously, I took pride in the fact that I was an exceptional multitasker and exemplary at time management.  I realized slowing down and taking time to “be still” was an admirable trait.

Why is Busyness Applauded?

Many people are always on the go until they reach exhaustion.  Busyness is considered tremendous, and stillness is deemed to be lazy.  When we are still, we can hear God, be closer to Him, and use His guidance.

Mark 6:31-32 (NIV)
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.

Are we valuing our relationships?

Being busy also keeps us from having meaningful relationships with others.  We are so wrapped up in the go-go; we aren’t fostering our communities and fellowship, which is very important.

Hebrews 10:24–25

And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and ball the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Are we meaningful and present in our significant relationships, like our spouse or children? Are we filling our time and presence with stuff and activities? Is it worth the stress and isolation to be task-oriented?

Three Ways I plan to break up with Busyness

  1. Say “No” more. I often say, “yes” before even thinking of how it will add or take away value from my life.  I plan on saying, “Not Yet” and “No” more and see if the situation or task will take away from my life.
  2. Get over FOMO. I often say, “Yes” because I don’t want to miss out on anything. I have always been like that but I am starting to realize that I don’t have to be part of everything and that is okay. Age brings you the wisdom I guess.
  3. Knowing my Why.  If I stayed focused on the “why” I am doing something than “what” I am doing will either have more or less meaning. Being rooted in my “why” will help me discern of the things that are meant for me.

My “Aha” Moment

The story of Mary and Martha was an epiphany for me. I discovered I wanted to fellowship, devote more time to God and my family and friends.  Have a more meaningful and present relationship with the people in my life.  It gave me permission that I needed to slow down and reduce so that I could be more like Mary. When I am planning for my children now, it’s memorable experiences versus expertise in activities. I spend quality time in the Word, with my husband daily, my family, my dog and my stress level are low.  I am living the “Mary” lifestyle and enjoying the moments instead of calculating my time. So, the last part of the year I am going to be doing less and enjoying more. This life was not meant to cram as much as we can into every hour but to enjoy every hour that we have. That’s the plan let’s see if I stick with it.

Does busy equal important? Which would you prefer the “Mary” or “Martha” lifestyle?

12 Comments on “Breaking up with Busyness”

  1. This is great! I’m a consultant and in the consultant world I’m considered lazy because I take my time on people and don’t just keep it buisiness. But I find it important to have an easy going schedule and to slow down.

  2. This is really good insight, when we are with people, working on our relationships, that needs our attention. Idle hands is not the same as idle minds, we can engage our minds full while not doing something with our hands.

  3. No, busyness doesn’t equal importance! I’ve been thinking about this topic actually alot recently! It’s funny I should come across your blog post! Love your points here!

  4. In today’s society (even in Christian circles) busy definitely equals important. I’ve always tried to stay away from busy but it’s so hard when you’re a mom…but I think it’s your perspective about the busy that is most important.

  5. These are great thoughts! I feel like the Lord often brings me to this story, and I learn something new from it each time. As women, there’s something about it that clicks almost instantly. I believe knowing Jesus and being still is what is most valued, but we also can’t be still all day. Essentially, being busy is a good thing. Both have a time and a place. It’s just that being busy with the wrong things – things that the Lord hasn’t called us to, or “worried about many things,” as Jesus describes is where confusion and us feeling overwhelmed sets in. For example, Mary was “busy” spending time with Jesus, just like Martha was “busy” preparing the home. I hope that makes sense, and I don’t really even know how to conclude this haha!! But just something I feel like the Lord is currently teaching me right now – as “busyness” is something tossed around so frequently nowadays. Thanks for sharing!! Really loved this post!! -xx Anna

  6. Amen! Thank you for the reminder that it is perfectly OK to slow down. This is something I need to work on too!

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