“Well, hello! I’m so happy to see you, it’s been months! How are you?”
“Oh, we are fine. We’re so busy!”
You’ve heard it. I imagine you’ve responded with those words yourself. I know I have. I wonder if saying you are busy is just an easy response when you don’t have time to give details. But I also wonder if homeschool moms, including myself in years past, unconsciously get their sense of value from how busy they are. Do we subconsciously think that somehow busyness indicates a higher level of educational expertise?
Have you ever inwardly winced as a mom rattles off a long list of wonderful activities her kids are involved in? Did you start the self-condemning line of thinking that goes, “Wow! How do they do it all? I’m just not doing enough for my kids. I wonder how we can squeeze in the time to (fill in the blank).”
In all likelihood, you and your children don’t need another activity or even another cause to consume your time and effort.
But as that mom rehearses her list of accomplishments and activities, you experience uncertainty and maybe confusion. You might be asking yourself, “Did I plan well for the co-curricular and extra-curricular activities we could handle this year? I’ll never be as organized as she is. Her kids must be brilliant and highly motivated.”
You can combat these confusing and condemning thought patterns with the following truth.
“Busy” as a synonym for “active” is healthy. We were created to be active. And in our culture, we will be busy. But “busy,” meaning “rushing around in a constant hurry,” is damaging. Evaluate your busyness. Is it healthy activity or stressful rushing and hurry? To enjoy clarity of thought and peace of mind, you must “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.”1
How to recognize hurry
To determine if you are hurried, review your reactions to your everyday schedule. Do you:
- Wake up dreading all you have to accomplish in the day?
- Push your children to “get it done,” whether it’s their breakfast, chores, or lessons?
- Rush from one subject to the next so you can finish school to be able to ?
- Become slightly, or not so slightly, irritable when a child misbehaves or the toddler won’t leave an older sibling alone to do his lessons?
- Believe that you cannot handle much more of this pressure?
- Battle with feelings of insufficiency and inadequacy?
These characteristics define a hurried life. But hurry is more than the rushed consequences of an overloaded calendar: hurry is a state of mind. Do any of these words describe you?
- preoccupied (due to mental pressure to accomplish our to-do lists)
- disengaged (unable to be fully present)
- frustrated (a default pattern when plans are spoiled)
- impatient (to keep everyone on task and on time)
- overwhelmed (which leads to self-pity and more preoccupation)
- spiritually dry (spiritual practices of grace become burdens of something more to do)
- unavailable to others (failure to observe their needs and unawareness of their pain)
- neglectful of God (too busy to include Him in your everyday)
How to eliminate hurry
Hurry is a state of the soul. Hurry fatigues the soul. In Parts 2 and 3 of this series, I encouraged you to establish basic routines and evaluate your schedule. Equipped with those tools, your road to clarity and peace is paved as you eliminate hurry in your life and provide rest for your soul.
Jesus offered the remedy for the fatigued soul.
“Come to Me all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My load is light.”
Scripture shows us how Jesus rested His soul. Let’s learn from Him.
- He prayed.
- He had a circle of close friends—the twelve who went through life with Him. He shared everything with them; people underestimate the role of friendship in Jesus’ life.
- He engaged in regular corporate worship at synagogue.
- He fed His mind with Scripture.
- He enjoyed God’s creation—mountain, garden, and lake.
- He took long walks.
- He welcomed little children and hugged them and blessed them.2
Jesus’ ministry was full and demanding, but He understood the importance of refusing to hurry and resting His soul. These activities were not obligations or duties: they were a means of grace for Him. And if for Him, so much more so for us. What can you do that connects you to God’s grace, filling you with grace and rest for your life? Some additional ways my soul is restored and I connect to God’s grace are
- listening to beautiful music,
- stopping to gaze on the beauty of creation,
- enjoying a meal with my husband, Jerry,
- appreciating a work of art,
- praying with a friend,
- reading to my grandchildren, and
- swimming laps.
It’s becoming a motto for me: “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” How about you?
1 Quotation by Dallas Willard
2 John Ortberg, Soul Keeping: Caring for The Most Important Part of You, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014), 129.
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