Busyness Badge of Honor

My spot this morning: praying, reading, learning, listening...
My spot this morning: praying, reading, learning, listening…

This week has been quiet. With the kids back in school, it’s like we’re finally catching our breath as a family after a very busy holiday season. I’ve spent most of my time at home, with no set agenda and little running around. Sure, I have taken care of household responsibilities, but I’ve used many of my minutes sitting at the table, reading my Bible and praying and meditating on verses God has highlighted to me.

In the stillness this morning, I wondered: shouldn’t I be more busy? My To-Do list laid unfinished beside me, and here I was chatting with God.

Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary.
– Jesus’s words in Luke 10:41

Why do so many moms, including me, wear busyness as a badge of honor? Why do we rank our value and productivity by tasks completed, number of activities our kids are involved in and organizations/ministries we have a leadership role, on top of demanding full-time jobs (within or outside the home)?

Too often, we run ourselves ragged. We stack our schedules to give our children every opportunity, when it really isn’t necessary. Our homes become a yard of passing ships, trying to keep up. More often than not, “busy” becomes a rival to “good” when people ask us “How have you been?” while sitting at the third ballgame of the week or when bustling into Sunday School with a “we made it!” sigh that all mothers understand.

Why is the mark of a successful mom being “busy”?

We look at the life of the “Proverbs 31 woman”, and wonder how she did it! We hold her up on a practically unattainable pedestal, and think we must be just like her if we want our children to rise up and call us blessed, too. This chapter of the Bible was written by a King called Lemuel, and it is an oracle his mother taught to him. She wanted him to choose a wife wisely, so she described a woman to him with the qualities he should look for: most importantly a woman who fears and follows the Lord. This isn’t a laundry list of what a worthy wife should do, it’s a gathering of qualities that we as women should strive to develop and exercise. A beautiful, capable woman in God’s eyes is trustworthy, encouraging, hardworking, nurturing, shrewd, strong, generous, honorable and wise. These can only be learned by spending time at the feet of Jesus, and walking each day by His side.

Busyness can too often block us from the one thing necessary to Jesus: wholeheartedly being with Him.

Most of us have already burst out of the gates, racing into this new year full throttle. God has so many opportunities for us to put our faith into action and be about His Kingdom!

But before our schedules start exploding, let me encourage you (and remind myself) to not become so busy that we cannot simply be with Jesus.

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