Busyness Does Not Equal Success

I chose to take the week before Easter off and then this week I have been knocked down by a killer sinus infection and bronchitis.  So my week has taken a little detour, but I’m not off track!

TRUTH.  It is amazing when you decide to select a word, pray for God to show you an area to make improvements, how the selection of the word begins to weave a pattern in your life.  The message begins to come at you from all directions and because of your intentionality and awareness you begin to see it bearing fruit in your life.  You begin to realize your own strengths in an area.  The word TRUTH is proving to be just that for me and I am excited to be on this journey, to have an opportunity to share with you what I am learning, coming to accept and finding challenging.  And the truth is, I’m not sure this is going to be a word just for a year.  Each day, each interaction thrusts me into the reality that TRUTH is missing.  There are far too few willing to be truly brave, and speak the TRUTH.  There are too many failing to act in TRUTH despite the words they spray across social media or over microphones.  TRUTH is indeed the core- not just of who we are, but the core strengthening and binding our communities.

The third lie I have wrestled with as a leader is this:  Busyness equals success and if we simply stay busy enough, we can have it all.  Life is fast paced and we expect immediate responses, service, answers, provision.  Tools surround us enabling us to multi-task, work remotely, work around the clock and be in more than one place at a time.  But in all the busyness we have lost site of the TRUTH.

The TRUTH is we can have it all, just not all at once.    God Himself set the example for us throughout scripture-beginning with creation.  God set the world in order over the course of 7 days.  In His infinite power He could have simple spoken it all into existence in one nano second.  But. He. Did. Not.  With focus and purpose He spoke the parts of the Universe into existence one day at a time.  He rested after each, reflecting on what He had just called forth into being.  He savored it, quietly taking it in and proclaiming “it is good.”  The process was as important to Him as the outcome.  And in the end, it was all created, built to sustain and provide for His masterpiece-you and I.  The work, the creation, was all so He could have relationship with us, and us with Him.

So why do we strive so hard?  Why do we attempt to master time management for the sake of efficiency instead of effectiveness?  Why do stay on the treadmill, competing to see who can leave the office latest, whose in-box is the fullest, whose calendar is illegible?   Why?  Because we have lost sight of the TRUTH.  We were not made for accomplishments.  Work was the result of the fall of man-the rift in the relationship with the one true God.  We were made for relationship- with Him and with one another.  We were made to complement one another, no one being greater than or lesser than another.  We were made for the rhythms of creation.  We are meant to rise, to work, to rest, to reflect and to voice our gratitude.  We are meant to walk in daily obedience, letting the worries of tomorrow go and trusting today’s manna to be sufficient.  We are meant to care for and ensure our relationships in all of our roles come first.

I released the busyness lie about 8 years ago.  It was liberating.  How did I do it?  It wasn’t easy.  I grabbed for the old habits often.  But this TRUTH, this next line is what helped me the most.  I am not defined by my accomplishments, my roles or my job.  I am defined by who I am.  And as I have said before, who I am does not change depending on my role.  I am defined by my relationship with my God and judged based upon how I then relate to those placed in my path.  I have learned that I must practice His presence.  God will not shout over the noise and clutter.  His voice is the still small whisper.  He won’t compete for my attention or time.  He won’t fight me for accolades or recognition.  He simply wants time with me to answer my questions, to give me my marching orders.  For every yes, every new task or activity, there must be a no, no longer or a wait.  The decisions aren’t easy, but I can choose what is best over what is good.

When we focus on what is TRUTH, when we quit striving, the daily objectives become clear.  And one day added to another, step by step, the goals get met, the work gets completed.  We get to cherish the process and build relationships.  We eventually get to have it all, just not all at once.

I challenge you to keep a time log over the next three weeks.  (I saw you cringe)  I promise you’ll be glad you did.  Few of us work as many hours as we think we do.  Few of us are as busy as we think we are.  Keep your time log and then begin to time block, giving yourself specific blocks of time to focus on the most important tasks for the day.  For more tips go to my previous post:  https://wordpress.com/post/simplifiedorganizedstyled.com/1837

 

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TRUTH – Centering, Strengthening

It has been a long while.  I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to keep the blog.  The end of 2018 and beginning of 2019 have been a season of taking stock, trying to align my activities with my purpose, my roles.  The blog had a big “?” by it.  Honestly, all social media has had a big “?” by it.  Facebook has been kicked to the curb, but the blog shall remain.  I miss writing.  I miss the experience of contemplating, assessing what I am learning in order to share, or to simply think out loud.

My word this year is TRUTH.  I had come to realize that much of the anxiety I have struggled with the past few years was a result of believing the lies, letting my mind run wild before stopping to assess the truth.  I realized I was blaming myself for relationships that weren’t healing, when the truth is I can’t change others.  I found that much of my being guarded, holding back was believing keeping the peace and caring for others mattered more than taking care of me, being honest about my feelings.

Just as I struggled with my own truth, it is evident the world around us is void of truth.  We don’t know what to believe.  The news, which used pride itself on factual presentation of events, has become editorial.  Social media, especially Facebook, has become a platform for showing only our best life, creating a facade.  Even the church is plagued.  Prosperity and blessing are preached.  Performance is emphasized over character, knowing God.  We want to allow everyone to create their own truth.

Here is what I am finding just three months in.  TRUTH is powerful.  TRUTH is freeing.  TRUTH requires bravery.

Truth is not relative.  Truth is truth.  It is fact.  It is actuality.  Priscilla Shirer says it best, “Truth is who God is and what He says it is.”  My desire to focus on truth, to step back, breathe and find the truth has simplified my decision making, has begun to free me from an identity tied up in what others think of me.  It is not an excuse to be dismissive, or arrogant.  It is not about being right.  It is the freedom to pause in the moment and to look for what is factual, what is actual.  It is the peace that comes with asking what God says, who He says I am, the other person is.  TRUTH leads to GRACE,  because in that moment of TRUTH I remember who I am, whose I am, what matters most, and I can speak, act, decide with GRACE.  I am centered.  I am anchored, no longer tossed about, but held firmly in the TRUTH.

The world needs a little more truth.  I’d love for you to join me in the pursuit of truth.  I’d love for you to visit again as I share throughout this year the truths I am learning, embracing.