Taking a break.

Confession:  For awhile now I've been dreading the return of school this fall.

Looking back, last (school) year was a difficult year.  I allowed myself to get way too busy, and much of the time I felt like I was spread too thin.

I said yes to too many things.

But all those things were good things, so...what gives?

Well, it turns out that even if all the things that you're saying yes to are good, you can still get overtired.  And overwhelmed.  And resentful.  And then you're just going through the motions, trying to complete all the tasks and check all the boxes and be everything that you promised everybody you'd be.

And it's too much.

I shared some of this struggle with a friend of mine, and she challenged me to back way off for a year.  To stop saying yes for awhile.  To only commit to a very minimal amount of things.  To see what happened.

And I LOVED that idea.

But I had a difficult time giving myself the permission.

So much of the time we go running around and talking with friends and complaining about busy-ness and how quickly time passes....and I HATE that.  But how do we combat it?

How do we slow down?

I loved my friend's suggestion of backing way off, but could I actually give myself permission to do so?  I mean...there are all these jobs in the church, and if I don't do several of them, how can I consciously say that I'm really serving God?  If I don't sign up to help with every single thing at my kids' school, won't I appear to the other moms that I'm not involved- that I don't care as much as they do?

And that's where I sat for a long time.

Until I came across the first part of Romans 12:9.  "Love must be sincere."  I've read this verse approximately a thousand times, but I never really paid attention to the love and the sincere

The author of my current devotional book explained that the Greek word used for love in this verse is agape.  The very same word that is used for love in John 3:16 ("...for God so loved the world...") to tell us that he loved us so much that he gave his son.

And later I came across 1 John 3:18.  "Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue, but with actions and in truth."


Yup.  That same agape word for love.  And here it tells me that I should show this wholehearted love of God with my actions.  By serving.

Friends, it finally clicked.

If I'm going to serve God, and serve God well, I need to be serving with a wholehearted love.

And like Romans 12:9 says, it needs to be sincere.

And there's my permission to take my friend's suggestion to back way off.  If I'm filling my calendar with way too many things to do in the name of serving others, but I'm not being sincere and I'm not serving with a wholehearted God-type of love...then that's not really any good either.

So...what's next?

I'm going to take a step back, and I'm going to ask myself some questions.

  • Are the ways that I'm currently "signed up" to serve in line with my gifts and my passions?  
  • Are they few enough that I can serve wholeheartedly?  
  • Are they few enough that I can carve out sufficient time to spend in the Word and continue to grow myself?  
  • Are they few enough that I can fully and wholeheartedly take care of/serve my family first?

Friends, I don't want to run into you in the store and ramble about how crazy life has become.  I want to feel peaceful enough to ask you how you are doing and how I can help you.

If you're feeling the same, it's my prayer that this post will encourage you as well.

Peace.

Comments

lundsteinheuer said…
Great post. I find this very challenging but being permitted to do so will really help. Thank you for sharing. It was indeed very encouraging
Anne said…
Thank you! I'm glad that it was an encouragement!

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