There are times when our kids surprise us — or even surpass us — with their insight. This was certainly the case with my youngest son:
“It’s too much,” he said. “I’ve got all this music to learn for honors band. I’m buying a sheep. I want to work with Cyprus (his 4-H heifer). I’m not going to audition for the play.”
Alli Worthington would call that moment of clarity an edit — a proactive edit: making a change in advance, before things get out of control. Breaking Busy is Alli’s invitation to hop out of the hamster wheel, an important read for grown ups (like me) who have yet to learn our limits.
For instance, are you displaying any of these signs of exceeding your capacity?
- Inability to control your emotions
- Lack of self-care
- Chronic lateness
- Self-medicating and excess
- Neglecting important relationships
- Neglecting God
Help is offered at the end of each chapter with Action Steps in the form of questions to ponder and apply to the process of breaking the habit of busy.
However, real and lasting change is more than simply doing less. It’s about doing the things that nurture strong relationships, that help us to zero in on our unque calling in a world with too many options. Breaking the addiction to busy is a choice to live in peace and to focus on what is true and what is positive, (Philippians 4:8).
Breaking Busy involves tempering our own expectations and those of our family so that we can live with ourselves and accomplish the things that bring the most joy, the things that encourage our loved ones to purposefully follow Jesus.
A favorite quote from Breaking Busy comes from Brene Brown:
“Choose discomfort over resentment.”
The momentary awkwardness of a gracious no is far better than the long term knot in my stomach that comes with a misplaced yes. The question that remains, however, is this: how does one make good decisions about the distribution of those precious yeses to the waiting world? Alli has developed a decision-making framework which is available here (with all kinds of other resources and goodies), and consists of the Five F’s of eliminating “analysis paralysis.”
- Faith – Seek wisdom from God.
- Family – How will this decision effect those closest to you?
- Future – Will this choice lead you to who you want to become?
- Fulfillment – Does this fit in with your calling and help you realize your goals?
- Friends – Seek counsel from those who have earned the right to speak into your life.
Healthy and effective communication skills are also key to breaking busy. This includes not letting your phone be the boss of you and excusing all loved ones from the responsibility for reading your mind.
We perpetuate the lifestyle of “busy,” because we think we have something to prove to ourselves and to the world.
“See how important I am?”
“See how much I am needed?”
Breaking Busy is a call to slow down, to find self-worth in doing only what we can accomplish with grace and in the will of God.
The choice is clear: a busy life (of frazzled and crazy) — OR a full life, the life God has called you to.
“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full,” John 10:10.
This book was provided by Zondervan through the BookLookBloggers program, in exchange for my review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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