I was busy. Who isn’t, you’re probably saying? But I was the type of busy that it truly took too much time and energy to consider taking a rest. Between working a job, freelance work, homeschooling my kids, volunteer work, and being a wife and mother, I was stretched way too thin. And signs of wear were starting to show. I felt in a constant state of stress. I was barely sleeping at night, and snapping at my family during the day. There just weren’t enough hours to get everything done. I was sinking. Fast.
A friend contacted me about coming to a class she was leading based upon a Bible study by Priscilla Shirer. My friend and I are close, and my first thought was, she knows all that I have going on, right? She said the class was about being too busy, and learning to breathe. Great, so I was too busy to take a class about learning how to not be too busy. The irony screamed at me. Instead of my immediate, knee-jerk “no,” I decided to pray about going. I barely started when I heard a resounding “Yes!” My husband was definitely on board. It was settled. With my family behind me, I decided to do it.
Little by little, I was exposed to an incredibly powerful force within me: my own thoughts. I realized how much I equated doing things with walking in the grace and favor of God. Volunteering at church and for other charities, involving my children in every single age-appropriate activity within a 30 mile radius, hustling up freelance work in a multitude of publications – all of these are good things. However, none of them was making me more valuable, more worthy, more favorable in God’s sight. The very thing He was after was the thing I wasn’t willing to give – my time, and subsequently, my heart.
In her Breathe Study Book and video sessions, Priscilla Shirer started breaking down the importance of the Sabbath and rest. I began to understand that it is a place and a space that you take effort to create. Honoring that specific time allows me to focus on God, to love on God, and to listen to God. Instead of filling my time and space with the things I believed “should” be there, I tuned into see what He was calling me to do.
I also recognized that my husband and my children are precious gifts from God, and after Him, are my next priorities. I was so impacted when Priscilla talked about clearing her work/ministry calendar so she could enjoy being a mother. She wasn’t enjoying it because she was so busy, so spent. Neither was I. Time with the kids had become another to-do list item, complete with a specific amount of allotted time. I was out of whack, and my own personal “house” wasn’t in order.
I’d love to tell you that after that short course I am now the epitome of graceful times of rest and respite, and I am “breathing.” No, I don’t always get it right. But exposure to that teaching has changed my way of thinking. I’m thankful that I’m on a trajectory to lifestyle changes that will allow me to breathe and flow as the woman God created me to be.
My oldest son recently said to me, “Since you’re not working so much, I like getting to spend more time with you.” That sentence made it all worth it.