The Busy Life

I have to admit I live a busy life. Anyone who knows me can attest to that. I love having variety in my life and always having something to do. I enjoy jumping from one thing to the next. It is a constant struggle for me to rest and be still and be ok with not always having something to do.

We live in a busy, fast pace culture. We are constantly making plans and “to do” lists. I have many “to do” lists myself and I am always planning my next adventure. Which isn’t a bad thing, but I need to check where my priority lies.

We put too much confidence in our flesh to hold ourselves together. We put so much on ourselves and tell ourselves we are ok, put on a face, but on the inside we are falling a part. We try to cram in as much as we can because that is the culture we live in. Running from one party to the next, to soccer games, school events, you name it! Where do we fit in time with Jesus?

We run ourselves into the ground and don’t put our energy into things that really matter. When was the last time you asked Jesus what he wants you to do with your day? What would happen if you turned your “to do” list upside down? What if instead of rushing into the store, you stopped to talk to the person standing outside asking for a donation. I went to a store and ran in to grab one thing. When I came out I was stopped by someone asking me if I wanted to “save the ocean”. I was slightly annoyed because I wanted this to be a quick stop, but God put my heart in check and instead of rushing past them I decided to stop and talk with them. Knowing that I would not partake in what they were advertising, I engaged in conversation and they told me all about the program. In the end I told them I loved seeing the passion they have for this particular program and to not lose that passion. They were taken back by my encouragement to them because they don’t get that response, and even though I didn’t sign up to join them, they were happy I took the time to talk to them.

You never know the impact you can have on someone’s life when you simply give some of your time. Forget about the “to do” list and the ticking clock and look at the people in front of you who need love.

Think of your initial feeling you had when you met Jesus. The passion, joy, excitement, and wonder. There is a song by Bethel called “Wonder” and a line in the song is “May we never lose our wonder. Wide eyed and mystified may we be just like a child staring at the beauty of our king.”

This is how we need to live our lives day to day. We need to live in the wonder and awe of Jesus. Live in the passion of knowing Jesus! We don’t have to have it all together. We don’t have to put on a face and carry everything. He wants to take everything from us. All Jesus wants us to do is fix our eyes on him and seek his face and he will do the rest. Find time to rest, to be still, to get away from the busyness and be with Jesus. He will get it all done for us. He needs to be our top priority and everything else will fall into place. I have seen this happen in my own life, so why is it still a struggle to trust him everyday? I have to remind myself everyday to give my day to Jesus and see where he leads me. When I do give Jesus my day, everything works out and I have a better day than I could have imagined.

 

Don’t be so busy that you miss the opportunity to be a part of God’s work on earth. Great things happen when we allow God to use us. We are his vessels to bring heaven to earth. Don’t miss your opportunity to change the world!

 

“I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ. And be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ- the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead… But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 3:8-11, 13-14

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This is my friend Erica sitting with two Monks in Laos. She was showing them the love of Jesus by meeting them where they were, giving her time, and listening to them.

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Present over Perfect

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Christmas is less than a week away. Are you ready?

I hear this almost daily. And the truth is, I’m not ready. Gifts are not all purchased, cards are not addressed, and cookies are not baked.

And I’m okay with that.

It’s been coming on for a while, I suppose. At Thanksgiving, I amazed myself by using disposable plates so we would have more family time instead of doing dishes. Nikki had just returned the night before from 11 months of ministry on The World Race & I didn’t want to miss a minute with her. The difference did not go unnoticed. We ALL were relaxed and enjoying each other’s company. I chose to be present with the family over having a perfect table. Present over perfect.

As the days fly by, choose to be present over perfect this holiday season. For some of us, that is extra difficult. We want to appear perfect at this festive time – the perfectly trimmed tree, beautiful greeting cards and lovely decorations…. when in reality, that often just produces days filled with empty busy-ness and neglected families.

We are so caught up in the appearance of a happy holiday, we forget what it means to be present.

We believe the lies that

1) EVERYTHING is important. (Truth: You get to dictate what’s important.)

2) My possessions are adding value. (Truth: most likely, your possessions weigh you down.)

3) If I’m busy, I’m important. (Truth: If you’re busy, you’re making yourself unavailable.)

4) Achievements will bring me fulfillment. (Truth: God has already spoken fulfillment over you.)

5) I don’t have a choice. (Truth: It’s OK to say NO.)

6) I am needed. (Truth: The situation will be just fine without you.)

7) Quietness is laziness. (Truth: Quietness is necessary.)

Yes, Christmas is 4 days away. And I’m not ready.

As I write this, I’m sitting with a loved one in the hospital. Present over perfect.

My Christmas cards will most likely be mailed on December 26th (or later), because I want to enjoy my family to the fullest. Present over perfect.

Not a single gift is wrapped and under the tree. This will surely be a gift card year. Present over perfect.

Let go of your need to be perfect & see how it frees you. You may cringe a little (I know I have), but you will not regret being Present over appearing Perfect.

And it will be okay.

(7 lies introduced by Joshua Becker of the Becoming Minimalist blog, as told to me by an attendee of Storyline Conference 2014 Chicago)

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