BUSY

I don't know what it is about the word "busy," but it has such a negative connotation to me. When someone calls me busy, it runs through my veins like nails on a chalkboard. I am married with three kids, work full time outside the home, like to cook and bake for fun, have a passion for strong friendships, and have recently started building our new home. I admit there is a lot going on in my life, but when someone says that they didn't want to bother me because they know I am so busy... oh man, don't get me started. My sister in law mentioned it over a text the other day, and (my poor sister didn't know what she was walking into...) I gave her an ear full. It hurts my heart and deflates my soul to be defined as busy

When I hear the word busy, it stirs up images of a strung out, burnt out, worn out, tired all the time, running ragged, packed schedule, face in the iPhone, no time for anyone kind of life. Busy days usually end when I lay my head on the pillow and find that I have been running nonstop, but still got nothing done.  

I have decided I prefer the word full. It feels much more intentional, like I packed the luggage so it is stuffed with all the things I chose. And even when it's full, there is always room for one more item that is valuable to me on the journey. I want to be someone who has a full life -- full of laughter and joy, family and friendships, working and playing, good food and great conversations, learning and growing. I love when I lay my head on the pillow and reflect that my day has been non-stop, but with all the things that God has called me to/placed in my path/laid on my heart. Because I want to make the most of the days that the Lord has given me, at first glance it may look busy, but I promise my life is really just full. There is always room for more ; ) 

Your Turn: When you reflect on your days, have they been busy or full?

Overwhelmed and Under Qualified

I'm having one of those days today. I wonder if I am the only one that ever has them, but in case there's anybody out there like me, I thought I would just expose the honest feeling.

It's been an insecure day when I look around at the far more qualified people who can do my job, probably have a better attitude some days, and are way less dramatic than me.

I say all that to say this: Even on our most insecure days, on the days that are lonely, or when we feel overwhelmed and under qualified, we need to realize that God has chosen and called us for this position alongside these people for this season. There's a purpose, not just for what we are doing, but for who we are becoming while doing it. I have so much to learn, so instead of feeling intimidated by others, I choose to use this opportunity to grow both in skill and in character. I don't need to be somebody else. Instead, I will strive to be the best version of me that I can be.

It's on the lonely and insecure days that we look up and say Thank You, that God chose us. He sees right where we are, loves us for who we are, and uses these moments to draw us toward Him. 

Accolades

Maybe I am the perfect storm of ESFJ, words of affirmation, and I am a self inflicting martyr to my husband and three kids (they never MAKE me NOT eat breakfast... I just find myself choosing to sacrifice it to get another thing done). Or maybe I should just call it like it is and proclaim my sinfulness and pride from the rooftops. Either way, I have a hunger for accolades.

I crave hearing my kids tell me how much they enjoyed the dinner I made. I want my dentist to congratulate me every appointment for being faithful with the full teeth cleaning regime (flossing, brushing, mouthwash twice daily is a lot to remember). And I always like hearing a compliment for getting "it" right- whether that's a trendy outfit, timely word, or a perfectly articulated email. 

But in ANY position, either professionally or personally, we have to be careful not to rely on or look for the constant approval and admiration from others.

Colossians 3:23-24 reminds us that whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord. You serve the Lord Christ.

People will affirm us for our work and our family is grateful for our sacrifice, but ultimately we need to remember that what we are doing is a RESPONSE of obedience to our Savior and not as a REQUEST for approval from people. Let the compliments from others be lagniappe in our life, and let our confidence rest in the contentment that Christ has already approved of us and made a place for us in His Kingdom BEFORE we have done a single thing for Him.