How to Stop Living on Overload

 

My writing space (aka. office) doubles as a guest bedroom.

Or maybe I should say, our guest bedroom doubles as my office.

So as I sit at my makeshift desk this Saturday morning, enjoying watching the raindrops bounce off piles of leaves in the yard, something out of the corner of my eye begs for my attention.

I’m trying not to look, but I give in to the pressure. It’s the overstocked closet I’ve been meaning to clean out for months.

 

I immediately turn from writing this week’s post and scan my monthly planner. Maybe I can squeeze it in between work and dinner one day this week? Or better yet, let me work on revamping my entire schedule. Something has to give, so I can fit everything in. Planning helps me feel more in control, so if I work on my schedule, surely I’ll feel better, right?

Wrong.

Planning, organizing, analyzing, prioritizing. I’m a planner by nature. I love the idea of becoming more organized, and Lord knows I need help in that area! But even though organizing the schedule can be fun for a detail-oriented girl like me, all that planning doesn’t leave me feeling any more at peace.

 

I know deep down the best thing to do is just clean the closet.

 

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly. 1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT

David gave Solomon sound advice in his instruction for building the temple. After encouraging Solomon to be strong and courageous, he added these three words.

 

Do the work.

 

We can learn an important lesson from this simple statement. Sometimes we try to find solutions for our busyness, but it just adds more to the to-do list than what’s already there. When instead, we should stop trying to give our schedule an overhaul and just tackle the tasks - one at a time.

I don’t know about you, but I can make things so complicated. That’s why I love it when God keeps it simple, as He does here in this message. After his instructions, David goes on to share the best news of all. “He (God) will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work...is finished correctly.”

 

When I do my small part, God will make sure the work is finished correctly. (Tweet this.)

Maybe it's the daily tasks of life that are overwhelming you. Or maybe it's bigger. More challenging. And you've been dreading it, or maybe even putting it off because you simply don't know where or how to start. I hear you.

Let's grab hold of God's Word right now. The next time a seemingly overwhelming job taunts you, remember this verse. Let it guide you as you are tempted to distract yourself by rearranging your schedule or creating a new to-do list.

Instead, spend an hour tackling that task. Just doing the work will free us from the craziness that overloads us.

Now if you’ll excuse me for an hour or so, I need to show this closet who's boss.

 

Blessings,

Kristine

Feeling overwhelmed lately by tasks and to-do lists? Need help knowing where to start? My friend Liz at My Messy Desk is hosting a series right now called Master Your Mess & Discover God's Best. Click the title link to check it out!

What the Bible Says About Being Too Busy

“It’ll be faster if I just do it myself.”

“I don’t want to bother anyone, so I’ll squeeze it into my schedule.”

“I don’t mind helping out.”

“I like being busy.”

Do any of these phrases sound familiar? I’ve caught several of the words above escaping my mouth lately. And with those words come the accompanying justification in my mind that says:

Productivity is a good thing. After all, “…every good tree bears good fruit.”

I want to be a good tree. I want to bear good fruit. So how do I know when being productive turns into being too busy?

I always thought Martha was misunderstood. Jesus gently pointed out that Mary had chosen the right way. Mary resolved to spend time worshipping her Lord, but my practical nature can’t help but wonder. If Martha hadn’t been in the kitchen, what would everyone have eaten? Would it display Christ-like character to let your guests go hungry?

I can’t imagine inviting guests into my home and not having anything prepared for them to eat or drink. That’s the defining trait of the do-er. But sometimes, all that doing leaves little time for the most important thing.

Martha and I aren’t the only ones who needed this lesson.

“There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.’” Matthew 17:2-4 NIV

Peter was a do-er too. He didn’t like to sit around and wait for things to happen. As a result, he sometimes missed the moments of peace God desired to give.

I can identify with Peter’s actions in the passage above. I know I would’ve done the same thing. With the sinless Son of God standing before me, shining like the sun, I can see myself frantically scurrying about. Do you guys need anything? Here, let me make you a place to sit.

Lord, help me.

Thankfully, from God’s divine words that followed, we learn a valuable lesson for those times when we let ourselves get too busy. Let’s see how God responded to Peter’s gesture.

“While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!’” Matthew 17:5

God knew Peter’s heart, and He knew why Peter responded to this life-changing moment with an act of busyness disguised as an act of service.

Because do-ers like to feel needed, accepted, valued.

So God got Peter’s attention. He interrupted Peter while he spoke and commanded him to listen.

From Peter’s experience that day, we can glean a simple yet important truth.

Being busy can get in the way of hearing God speak. (Tweet this.)

Does God need to interrupt me and tell me to listen? Or will I be ready when the moment arrives?

Being busy is not always a bad thing, and yes, being fruitful is good. But it is possible to get too busy and miss the peace God has given us.

God already values us more than anything. We don’t need to earn it. So as we go about following schedules today, let’s listen for God’s voice. May His words speak volumes to our longing hearts.

Kristine