When Busy is a Good Thing, by Steph Beth Nickel
I am super pumped. No, I don’t think it’s because of the iced coffee I had this evening—though that could be part of it.
Ever since I came home from this year’s Write Canada conference, it’s been “full steam ahead.” These nine-and-a-half weeks before I head to Scotland for my son’s wedding are going to be jam-packed. And you know something? I love it!
What am I reading?
Most of the time, I thrive on having several projects on the go at once. This can be evidenced by the hours I spent reading today—from six different books: Desperate Measures by Sandra Orchard, My Life A.S. Is by Benjamin Collier, Once Upon a Sandbox by Carolyn Wilker, Starla by Dorene Meyer, The Convict’s Thumbprint by Beverley Boissery, and The Life Ready Woman by Shaunti Feldhahn and Robert Lewis.
I’m going to have lots of material for the book reviews I write for HopeStreamRadio. (Mind you, I’ve already reviewed a couple of these books. I had read enough to know I wanted to keep on reading and could recommend them to listeners.) The Book Butterfly, indeed. I love to flit from book to book.
A To Do List on Steroids
This week’s To Do list has 40 separate items, some of which I intend to do at least five times. Insane? Crazy? Dreamer? I may very well not get all 40 things done, but that’s okay. I am learning to prioritize and attack things systematically.
And the new opportunities that have come—and are coming—my way . . . one actually brought tears to my eyes and others have made me bounce up and down. And again, no, it wasn’t on account of my caffeine intake. It is actually rare for me to drink anything caffeinated. Trust me; no one wants to see me hyped up on caffeine and sugar.
I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I am learning to pace myself. Every now and then I actually say no to something. Really . . . I do.
Barbara Sher wrote a book titled Refuse to Choose. That phrase has sort of become my life motto. That said, when I took one of those silly Facebook “tests” to see what career I should pursue and it came up as interior designer, I decided not to head off in that direction. (grin)
For me, busy means I get down to work and don’t keep putting things off—except, of course, decluttering my house, but that’s a topic for another day, year, decade.
What about you?
Do you have to finish one book before beginning the next one? Is your To Do list brief and to the point? Are you focussed on the task at hand and only the task at hand? When is busy good for you and when does it stress you out?
It all depends on your personality type and so many other factors. What stage of life are you in? How much discretionary time do you actually have? How many people and projects do you have to consider before saying yes to one more thing?
But most importantly . . .
What is God calling you to do?
As Christians, we must dig into His Word and devote time to prayer. We must fellowship with other believers and when needed, seek godly counsel.
We must ask ourselves, “Why am I considering doing such and so? Is it really an opportunity God has brought my way or do I just not want to say no?”
Personally, I have to be careful not to take on one more thing simply because I don’t want to let anyone down. (I’m a nurturer, a fixer—and sometimes overstep my God-given role.)
I also have to be careful that I’m not simply saying yes because I don’t want to miss anything God has for me. After all, there are plenty of scripture passages that instruct us not to worry and to seek wisdom.
In the English Standard Version, James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.”
And Philippians 4:4-7 says, “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (ESV).
Let’s make seeking Him our #1 priority. If we’re too busy to do that, then we know we’re just plain too busy.
[Leave your thoughts below!]
Stephanie (Steph Beth) Nickel is an award-winning co-author, a freelance editor and writer, a labour doula, and a former personal trainer. She also loves to speak, teach, and take slice-of-life photos. She would love to connect with you on Facebook or Twitter, on her website or blog.
Thanks for reminding us how to keep our busyness in balance — and that we’re all different in what that will look like. Enjoy the wedding, and your time in Scotland!