Each of us has the time to do the whole will of God for our lives. J. Oswald Sanders.
I cannot stop thinking about this quote since I first read it in Breaking Busy, the new release by Alli Worthington.
I often look at what God has called me to, all that He’s put on my plate, and feel overwhelmed. There have been many mornings in the last few years especially, where I’ve woken up from a delicious sleep only to be confronted with the stark realization of all that looms on my plate.
Sometimes, it fuels me to get up and going for a full day. But other times, it almost paralyzes me because the list is formidably long and some of the tasks are way outside my comfort zone.
After Dan died, I suddenly became the sole taxi driver, house manager, decision-maker, child nurturer, errand runner, paperwork completer. How could I meet the needs of all seven of my kids AND get to all the house stuff AND take care of the insurance and doctor appointments and cars and … well, the list was just way longer than I could possibly handle.
Not only that, but there were things that needed tending and decisions that needed making that had been part of Dan’s domain and felt so foreign to me.
“Order my steps, Lord” became my daily prayer. I needed God to help me sift through it all, not so that I could accomplish everything on the list, but so that I could do the things He intended to be done. I needed God to help me prioritize need and make peace with what was left undone.
Sometimes it feels like my schedule is keeping me from the will of God. But knowing that God provides both the skill and the time to carry out His will helps me to exhale.
It helps me in 4 ways to find peace in full days:
1) Time for God-ordained interruptions. You know the kind. The knock on the front door or the phone call that comes just as you’re in the thick of a task. Maybe it’s your husband that needs help with something that wasn’t on your list or a child who needs you to stop the math lesson or the dinner prep and give extra attention. These interruptions aren’t distractions from the real work; they ARE the real work.
2) Time for prayer and Bible study. How often on a super busy day have I just skipped right over time in the Word? I’ll get to it after I finish this one thing, I think. Before I know it, the day’s gone and I never get to my prayer or Bible study. Knowing that God will bless the time I spend in Bible study and prayer by supernaturally providing the time to get done what He intends done, helps me carve that time out rather than bee-line for my to-do list.
3) Time for fullness, not frenzy. God-ordered days might be full but they shouldn’t be frazzled. That’s a sign that my priorities are disordered or that I haven’t protected my time well. I love how Alli Worthington distinguishes between a fullness and busyness in Breaking Busy:
I want to make sure we never confuse a busy life with a full life. To me, a busy life is frazzled, harried, lived at a pace I’m not meant to live, doing things I’m not meant to do. A busy life is a life the Enemy has created in order to keep me from God’s purpose. A full life, on the other hand is a life lived in step with what God has called me to do. I like how Jesus said it in John 10:10: The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
4) Peace over what gets done and what doesn’t. This is the best part. There will be things that don’t get done and times I say no. If I’ve asked God to order my steps, and I’ve worked diligently at what God has put before me, then I can make peace with those things that don’t get done.
Breaking Busy is a #1 new Christian release by Alli Worthington, executive director of Propel Women. I was given a review copy of the book as part of the book launch and am pleased to share some of the best that I gleaned. This is a two-thumbs up book if you want to see how God prompted Alli to let go of the good so she could embrace the great.
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Wow! What great thoughts/reminders! Thank you!<3
Lisa Appelo says
Kristi Woods says
At just the right time, this review comes swooping in. Mmmm-mmmm, God is good. I’ll have to pick up a copy of this one, that’s certain. It’s sounds like a keeper and life-changer.
Guess what, Lisa? We’re neighbors today at #raralinkup. 😉
Lisa Appelo says
Yes, highly recommend this book. I suspect it’s going to make the bestseller list.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Lisa, first of all, I’m sorry you lost your husband. I can’t imagine a more devastating loss.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful lessons in how to find peace in full days.
Since having children, I’ve had to learn not to add things to my plate. I love your analogy of your plate and God filling it. When I add to what He’s given me, I’m going to end up a stressed-out mess. And my kids will pay the price for that.
I LOVED your #3. That spoke to my heart. If I’m frazzled, my priorities are out of whack. what a great measuring stick.
Such a great post.
Lisa Appelo says
You are a wise, wise woman not to add to what God’s given you. And that’s it, really. Not to add to what God gives us. Thank you, Jeanne.
Oooh, I wrote down the title/author; this sounds like one I need to put on my next book order. Thanks for sharing, I hadn’t yet heard of this release. Love the distinction between the busy life and the full life. I’m the same as you, I ask the Lord to order my day every morning. There just really isn’t time to do it all, is there? I need Him to decide what stays and what goes. Thanks for sharing, Lisa. ((Hug))
Lisa Appelo says
Yes, exactly. There’s a lot of takeaway and practical helps in Alli’s book.
Awesome reminders. Thank you! I’ve heard of this book before and it sounds like a must-read. Thanks for sharing and blessings in your peaceful busy!!
Loved the insight given to determine the difference between busy and full. Great examples that are practical. Thanks Lisa!
Great post! Very timely message for me. I hope you can stop by: