I admit that I love being busy, and I’m good at it!
I am now in a season that has forced me to slow down, which I’m not so good at.
I am on maternity leave.
My days are spent caring for my daughter and cultivating a safe and nourishing home for my family.
Of course I enjoy my daughter and the privilege of long walks in the park with her, but lingering below the surface is a battle. My mind whispers that my life counts for a little bit less now I’m not busy.
It begs the question, why do I feel the tug of discontentment when my life is not filled with meetings, emails and appointments? Why does having an empty few days in my calendar make me feel less important?
I think we have been sold a lie – me included. We believe that being busy validates us and confirms the significance of our place in the world.
I’m not saying that being busy is bad in and of itself. Of course not! Being productive and getting my hands dirty is great. I’m merely contemplating whether being busy can become an addiction?
From busyness to rest
It appears to me that intentional rest as part of our lifestyle is a worthy pursuit. Full disclosure, I find rest hard.
Finding contentment in being still, being alone, and being relaxed in one’s own thoughts isn’t mastered overnight by any means. It is a life journey.
When I was a single woman in my thirties, most of my friends were married and having babies. To offset this change in my friendship dynamics, I intentionally made myself busy.
This was a wonderful season in many ways. Dates, brunches, shows, study, work and lots of travel. I was the queen of ‘smashed avo’ consumption!
Being busy was helpful. It filled the void where loneliness could have easily sat had I not lived this way.
Fast forward five years, and I’m in the middle of a very different season.
It’s a time in my life where I have many hours in the day alone. Simple tasks like washing dishes or singing nursery rhymes to my daughter filled these hours.
To embrace the rest and peace that comes with this special season wasn’t an easy transition. Busyness was a part of my former lifestyle and I missed it.
And it was here I realized I needed to be busy!
In being honest with myself and God, it was true that I felt my life counted for a little bit less now my diary was empty.
With plenty of time to myself, I was confronted with being ‘okay’ in myself and with my own thoughts. It was uncomfortable until God reminded me of Psalm 46:10, ‘Be still, and know that I am God’.
Yet again, He had the answer. ‘Be still and spend time with me,’ God whispered. It is in this place that I found absolute security in who I am and in who God says I am.
And yet again, His ways work better than mine! I found that being still in my thoughts before God (even while doing daily tasks) gave me as sense of peace, security and well-being like I’ve never had before.
The pull towards busyness started to fade…
Breaking the addiction of busyness
With the help of the Holy Spirit, I am learning how to stay in this place of ‘rest’ and not claw my way back into the busyness of old.
Let me ask you – is busyness something that you need to help you feel worthwhile and significant in this world?
Allow me to remind us both – we are worthwhile and significant in God’s eyes, whether busy, still or somewhere in between.
And to those who have grappled with this, to those who have found they contribute to the world from a place of peace and rest – please share your insights and wins, as we all need encouragement.
Bless you x