A Working Mom’s Guide to Un-Busy

I arrived at work completely unprepared. I know right! Shocker! Anyhow, as I ran through my morning list of to-dos starting with coffee, my brain went into overdrive. “Put the desks in rows. Find out where you are proctoring for state testing. Print out bell ringers for Algebra 1. Finish game for Algebra 2. Figure out where my students go for class during testing. Call in absent since the Regional track meet has been moved. Follow-up with the speech therapist. Follow-up with the adjuster. Call a plumber…”

When I reached my classroom and walked in, I let out a sigh of relief as I saw my desks in neat rows. I relaxed more when one of my favorite new teachers walked in and let me know it would be the two of us working together during testing. As I sat at my computer frantically scanning my e-mail hoping that something would pop up to remind me of what I was looking for, I turned my head slightly and noticed a note one of my student’s gave me the previous Friday during our fire drill.

Just breathe.

It had not meant much then, but right now it was everything I needed to hear. You see, the Interact Club at school created an inspiration wall.  The goal was for people to add when they felt inspired, take when they needed inspiration, and give when they felt someone else needed a pick me up. Here I was less that 10 minutes into my work day, staring at my much needed reminder.

Just breathe.

***

People constantly question, “How do you get it all done? How do you find the time?”

They see pictures I take with my children outside or at the park. They see the final product of whatever Pinterest project went right. They see me engaging with other bloggers on Instagram and Facebook…and on their blogs…and on my blog. They see me enjoying mom’s night out. They see my athletes putting on a show for the home track meets. They see me laughing with my students as we prepare for advanced and mastery.

They see me knee-deep in daily devotion.

Busy never sleeps. Busy never slumbers. Stop filling your schedule with things that do not matter, and be present with those things that do.
My family at the Children’s Museum

“How do you do it?”

***

First of all, I don’t.

Second of all, if I have done nothing else in this journey, I have learned a lesson in obedience.

When God speaks, I get to getting. I ask the details along the way. Sometimes, I am kicking and screaming, but I know He has a plan. And His plan is better than whatever I have in mind.

He told me to stop talking about work at home. He said to declutter my time…and my past…and my finances. He reiterated that I must leave some things undone.

Now, He’s moved on.

He’s constantly and insistently reminding me to play with my children.

Play with your children.”

…as soon as I get home from work during the week…as soon as I finish morning coffee and devotion on Saturdays…right after church on Sundays.

“Put the phone down,” He says, “and play with your children.”

He follows up with a book I need to read, a printable I need to create, and a Pinterest project waiting on me. He points me to certain bloggers. Then, as icing on the cake, He sneaks in, “This house could really use some routines.”

Routines…the bane of my very existence…the monotony…the painstaking care required.

As emphasis to His already duly noted point, He made sure I received the top score in my evaluation in “managing classroom routines and procedures.”

So I began to implement at home the modified procedures I mastered at work…and overtime, I have watched my schedule transform from busy to un-busy.

***

I am not telling you what to do. I am telling you how to do it. Learn this lesson early. Learn this lesson in obedience.

Be still. Let God prioritize.

There’s not enough hours or days or time to do it all – to get it all done. Busy is the new black. We all want to be busy because busy makes us feel important.

The reality is just the opposite. Busy leaves our lives to chance. We are controlled by all the things we have to do. Busy consumes us. Busy will eat us alive.

As a working mom, I am OVER busy.

I am learning to listen carefully as God gives instruction…every time. I am working through my chapter on obedience – learning one day at a time, one foot in front of the other.

***

How do I get it all done?

Simple.

I am not busy.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  (Proverbs 3: 5-6)

***

What are some ways that you keep yourself from being overwhelmed by busy?

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Busy leaves our lives to chance. We are controlled by all the things we have to do. Busy consumes us. Busy will eat us alive.

Linked at Salt & LightInspire Me Monday, and #HeartEncoturagementi

38 thoughts on “A Working Mom’s Guide to Un-Busy

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  1. “I learned to listen carefully as God gives instruction…every time.” I’m so happy to see you’ve experienced this! God has been working this in my life, too! Obedience to God in these moments invites Him to continue to communicate with us! What a privilege and a joy!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a friend who raised eight children and worked full time for much of those years. I would ask her “How do you do it?” And she would say, “Well, sometimes, not very well.”

    But she took in pregnant girls and sponsored immigrants from Vietnam and designed intricate eggs at Easter–and the kids turned out pretty well for the most part.

    Priorities, yes. And delegation.

    And God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow- your first part took me right back to the classroom and All you have to remember as a teacher! I think that is such a thoughtful display of your students with the notes, and great way to get them thinking about what would encourage others as well!
    Thanks for sharing your lessons about slowing down! I totally agree that “Busy leaves our lives to chance” and that simplifying, discipline and obedience lead to more peace in the home!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. As a working mom, I agree that it’s so hard to stay un-busy. Prioritizing is so important and something that I am really working on this year. Saying no is also critical!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You know what I have slowly been learning too, Sarah. Saying “yes” is also critical. Yes to the evening dinner invite from one of your girlfriends, to a hair appointment or spa day, to a walk alone when you have a million other things to do. Priorities are definitely key! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

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  5. And I thought I was busy! It’s impressive you’ve found a way to be “un-busy” and get so much done. Lately I’ve been getting weekly (at minimum) reminders of different balls I’ve dropped because too many are in the air!

    I don’t feel a strong pull from God on what to prioritize, but I haven’t exactly lifted it up in prayer either – I think that’s my next step. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t get it all done actually. Each day has its own set of priorities. It’s funny that you say you don’t feel a strong pull from God on what to prioritize. I was ALL OVER THE PLACE for a long time. I started this blog almost three years ago to find balance or find people as unbalanced as I was. The whole blogging world overwhelmed me almost immediately, but I still felt compelled to write, even if that was all I did. He started with one thing, then slowly began introducing others. Even now I have only two non-negotiables. Play with your children and post once a week. Everything else is extra.

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  6. What great reminders here! I definitely have had to learn (and am still learning!) that I cannot do it all in one day. So at the end of a work day, I know I need to close my laptop and move to the next thing. Or sit down with a book and relax before my husband gets home. It’s the days when I work until the last possible second that I feel more overwhelmed and exhausted. Thanks for this encouragement!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I definitely have to relax by myself. If I do not detox, and anyone in my path should be on the lookout. Last year, I learned to leave a lot of stuff undone for that very reason. I was working from the time I woke up until I went to bed. It was all too much, and I was not any good for anyone.

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  7. What you wrote here is the key: “When God speaks, I get to getting.” Amen, sister! This should be on a wall hanging in my home! I sometimes hear God speaking and then I question it, not truly recognizing if it was Him or not. But I think when practicing hearing the voice of God, obedience just makes it easier to know if it’s Him or not. The more we “get to getting”, the more we’ll be better at discerning His nudges and His leading us to what really matters — relationships. Being busy can keep us from that most important aspect of life He’s given us: relationships. Thanks for your “realness” (is that even a word?). Blessings to you! Lisa Q

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so funny that you mention that part. You are like the second or third person that mentioned it specifically and I almost didn’t write it because I said to myself, is “get to getting” even a real thing 😂😂. You are absolutely correct about discernment. We have to know what voice is telling us to move. Excellent point!

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  8. Hi Brittany!

    You write about a vital topic here. I loved that message on the note, just breathe. Sometimes I guess it can be that simple. Is that Children museum in your area or?

    It is as you say the art of being still so we can hear what God wants us to do.

    God bless,
    Edna Davidsen

    Liked by 1 person

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