There are times in our lives that it seems that we are running a 20K marathon with no end of a rest stop. The days are so full and the nights even more so. We didn’t think that we could ever be busier and yet more is being put on our plates. Early morning and late nights become the norm.
Busy seasons happen. I think of tax season. It is a time that no matter what best made plans are made by the accountant, it is the busiest season. There is no escaping it. Play off seasons for sports are the same. Report Card time for teachers is another dreaded busy season. Wedding season although beautiful, can be overwhelmingly busy for anyone in that industry. What we need to remember when we enter seasons that seem to sap us of our energy and we feel we are worn thin, is that they do not last. They go through a cycle. Seasons change. At least they are supposed to. We need to also ask ourselves if this is a season God has led us to or allowed, or is it a season where we are suffering the consequences of our own bad choices. Life does get busy but if it stays busy or we are missing what God is doing, it is too busy!
Grow in strategies to conquer the negative effects of being too busy. Grow in knowing your limits. Grow in Him.
I am in one of those seasons right now. Confession. I am so tired. I feel very drained. I can barely catch my breath. I knew I was entering it. I thought I was prepared. Yet I feel that I have bitten off more than I can chew. Confession and praise. I am thankful that in the midst of it, I see God at work and I am experiencing His blessing. What keeps me going is that I know there is an end date! This too shall pass. So how am I going to make it to my end date with strength? His strength?
There are some things I continue to remind myself and that I do.
1. Keep your eye on the prize. I am in this season because it is a means to an end. God is moving me to something new or forward in a different direction, however I have to take care of loose ends and finish well. I know that there is a purpose in what is happening in my life.
2. Remember to stay connected to the source of strength. I am too busy not to pray! I cannot do what I am doing without God. I must continue to pray and when I think I don’t have time to pray, I stop and force myself to have time with God in that moment. It may be shorter than I would like but I go for quality not quantity. I also keep praying asking God if I should continue doing what I am doing? I look and listen for the clues. How is God speaking? How is this confirmed? How is God providing?
3. I ask myself what is urgent and what is important. I make lists and remind myself of what is priority. Sometimes we try to do too much and hold on to more than we should be carrying. In every season, there is a “new normal” there are things that should be reduced or dropped because something else has taken up space. This is o.k. We weren’t meant to do everything all the time.
4. Be intentional about rest and boundaries. No apologies or explanation needed! For example, instead of social media surfing or texting or checking messages put the phone away and take a twenty- minute nap. All those things will still be there when you wake up. At my lunch break at work, I am eating lunch some days by myself and then putting my phone away and resting my head on a desk and literally closing my eyes. I am not planning social events or extra -curricular like I used to either, but instead, me time is booked. I am usually a very social person however in this busy season the introvert in me is playing a dominant role.
Busy can still bear fruit. We can truly experience the truth that God’s grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect for us in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9) We can do nothing without Him. Our connection to Him is the key to bearing fruit. (John 15:5) Do not “grow” weary, the harvest is coming. (Galatians 6:9) Take your tiredness to Jesus and let His joy be your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Grow in strategies to conquer the negative effects of being too busy. Grow in knowing your limits. Grow in Him.
Remember that for everything there is a season and a time for every matter under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3) There is beauty in each changing season. Be sure to receive it. Be sure to let the seasons change as they should and as God wants them to. That is not just my advice but my plan.