Sunday, June 16, 2013

Practical Ways to Slow Down! Rest in God, Part III

Bible Women - Image 2 

"It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep."  Psalm 127:2

We each have very different schedules, families, demands, and life responsibilities. Each of our families function differently. Here are some things to possibly examine in our schedules. Maybe some things can be changed or eliminated altogether. You may even consider taking a break from certain things for a short time.  When you are adjusted to your slower paced schedule add a few things back in and see how they suit your new life, or you may find they were time wasters.

Examine each opportunity you are presented in your life. Talk it over with wise council, (a good friend/husband/sister/etc) and most importantly pray! For each new activity presented examine the cost, time, stress involved and the phase of life you are in. Just because good things to do exist, doesn't mean it is our calling or our season of life to participate! Remember the first priorities that God has put in front of you, and examine everything in relation to those "first calls" in your life.

A few important questions to ask to avoid constant "anxious toil:"

-Will it enhance or take away from my family life? 
-Will it give me a necessary break to feel refreshed and better serve my family?
-Will it make my day too rushed?
-Will it overload my day so that I can't accomplish everything and feel stressed?
-Will it cause me to neglect my children?
-Will it cause me to not spend time listening to God?
-Will adding this into my schedule take away from my health because I will be frazzled?
-Am I doing it just because I am bored to waste time or is it truly enriching our lives?
-Do I still have a few days per week that have a lighter "busyness" load?
-If I have a free day am I glad to spend it with God or am I running from God and filling my time with anything and everything?
-Do I really need to "be busy" every weekend?

Things to possibly eliminate, change or alter in our schedules-

-TV time- Do we need to keep up with 10 shows? Are they edifying and enriching our lives? Consider cutting cable. You will be saving money and time. An added benefit is cutting down on the amount of advertising and "busy noise" in your home. You'll be surprised at how much peace and rest just this alone will add to your life.

-Do I/my children/husband/family need to be involved in all the classes we are in each week? Are we learning and growing as a family from them, are they worth the time? Or are they distracting and causing stress? Will our life really fall apart if we do not attend these activities?

-Do we really need a gym membership? Is the time spent there, or the time spent packing up the kids worth it? Could we hike, take walks around our neighborhood, bike or get equipment in our house/garage/do workout videos?

-Do the kids/myself really need to always be out of the house or do outside activities every day? Can the kids play at home/outside? Are we doing these things because we really need too out of a healthy need or an unhealthy desire to fill a hole that can be filled by God?

-Do we need to accept every invitation offered to us or are there some we can politely say no to?

-Do my/our activities leave enough time for my children to play? Do these activities leave a few days a week to just be at home with my children playing with them, teaching them, training them?

-Do I need so much media in my life? Do I need to sign up for each new pinterest, facebook, twitter, instagram site or is it eating away my time and making me feel anxious? 

-Can I simplify family meals? Is there a way to eat nutritiously and spend less time?

-Can I simplify my weekly shopping in any way?

-Am I being a wise steward of the time God has given me? Are my pursuits what He would have me pursue? 

-Do my children really "need" outside activities at this phase of their life?

-Do I have time to listen to God and grow in the things He is asking of me? Or do all these things on my calendar distract from that?

As you progress and start "peeling away" the layers of your schedule, you will find more ways to simplify and with time it becomes a skill that is strengthened. Keep taking small steps! Pray for God's guidance and He will show you what to keep on your plate and where He wants your time to be directed.

Don't be afraid of a life without busyness. It may be all we are used to, but if you feel God is directing you to this new life of rest in Him, He will give you something far greater than your busyness! Follow God's direction and let Him lead you. The alternative is to live a life of busyness, having wasted our time and never reaching God's plan for ourselves, our children and families. Maybe simply cutting our busyness allows us to work on ourselves and then pour into our families what they deserve and have been missing all this time.

May you rest in God's peace and only the rest He can give. The world will keep you blind behind the wall of distraction and busyness. God will surround you with His wall of peace, clarity and clear vision for your time and goals. He doesn't want you to live frazzled and anxious! He is not a God of anxiousness and busyness.

"If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet." Proverbs 3:24

“Do nothing that you would not like God to see. Say nothing you would not like God to hear. Write nothing you would not like God to read. Go no place where you would not like God to find you. Read no book of which you would not like God to say, "Show it to Me."
Never spend your time in such a way that you would not like to have God say, "What are you doing?”-J.C. Ryle

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth. 


  1. Great tips and great questions! Love the question about is there time for the children to play.

    I have a friend who kept her children very busy. She was afraid that they might "miss" something.

    The problem was, when they went places she hurried them through it because she wanted them to see everything or experience everything. So the kids did not really get to enjoy anything and certainly did not get to play on or with it!

    She also made herself a nervous wreck and couldn't enjoy it either. But she knew it and so was working on it and praying about it!

    Thanks so much for linking up to the "Making Your Home Sing Monday" linky party today! :)

  2. This is such an encouraging post. It's so important to take a Sabbath and make renewal a priority.

    Stopping by today from MissionalWoman.Com. We were blessed to link up after you at Proverbs 31 Thursdays.