I have to do. Do this. Do that. Do something here, something there. Something, anything, everything.
I thought that it was a good idea to have a full time job, host a bible study, attend a bible study, workout every day, start practicing yoga, run a side business, and attempt to read three books at one time…HA HA.
It soon became exhausting, unrewarding, draining, and counterproductive.
Sure, I am happy when I’m gathered with girls reading the Word or seeing serious progress in my extremely inflexible hamstrings. But am I joyful? Am I full of life and love and pouring it back out?
No. I am running on E and puttering into the gas station, desperate for rest and to be refueled.
What better place to get fuel than in prayer and the Word. Lately I’ve been doing serious prayer over what God wants me to be doing, where, how, how often, etc.
Slowly but surely I’m getting answers: “Cut this.” “This should be done here, not here.” “Gather with these people.” “Stop, slow down, be patient.” Not always easy answers, but answers nonetheless.
Aside from doing some serious cutting back and reprioritizing, I have realized and I’m trying to internalize a few major points:
- We were not created to do it all, I was not created to do it all. Not at work, at church, or at home.
- Stop comparing yourself. I am not my friend Allison, who works at a daycare and is great with kids (bless her soul), nor am I Morgan, who is a grad-school bound, fashionista. I am Ashlyn, not so great with kids and definitely not a fashionista, but I am an organizational queen who loves to host events and give gifts. We each have our own unique gifts to be used to serve the Lord and others, and that is okay.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
- Down time is not do-time. Down time is down time. DOWN. Sit, relax, rest, and stay there. And heck, have breakfast for dinner while you’re at it! So many evenings I’ve said, “I’m going to take the evening and relax,” and before long I’m cleaning my room, reorganizing my closet, making tomorrow’s to-do list, really anything other than relaxing.
- Seek guidance. Pray. Ask God where you should be, what you should be doing, and what you should let go of. Pray:
Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long. Psalms 25:4-5
- Cast ALL your cares on Him. Even when you are doing what God wants and where He wants, some of us are still going to try to do it all. That’s human nature for you. But please, in those times don’t keep doing until you’ve reached empty. Instead,
Cast your cares on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7
He cares that you are running ragged trying to do it all. He cares that your to-do list is long and time is short.
More importantly, he cares about your heart.
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. Proverbs 4:23
Without a joyful heart, you will not have a joyful life. It will be evident that you are burnt out, wore out, and empty. So fill up! Fill up on God’s Word and promises:
You were not designed to do it all. He will carry your burdens. He will guide you. He cares.