Years ago, in preparation for one of our classes, I asked Ellie how it made her feel when we weren’t connected, and her immediate response was, “Why did God have to make computers?” I was in awe of her answer. Do you see who got the blame when I didn’t connect with her? She blamed God for creating something that took her mom’s time and attention from her. It was so convicting that I immediately set up better boundaries. It also made me realize how important it is to remind her of my weakness and imperfection. Father God is never too busy or distracted to connect with her.
BUSYNESS is the enemy’s tool to get you distracted, worn out, and without hope. Let me say that in reverse. Are you feeling worn out? Are you battling discouragement? Are you feeling exhausted? Are you overwhelmed? Are you feeling stretched too thin? Are you panicked and anxious? Before you check your heart, check your schedule. Busyness, even filled with the ‘good stuff,’ is NOT your friend. Guard against this trap of the enemy. I have had to be super diligent in not overextending myself, especially in this hour, because it is so easy to become distracted by the things that don’t matter, be filled with worry and the ‘what-ifs,’ and crowd out the voice of the Lord.
If your busyness does not include peace, joy, laughter, and connection, you may be idling on busyness.
“It’s been a crazier kind of day. I didn’t play with my daughter 1:1 for very long before I had to get to an apt. After I returned, my son needed my full attention. Then my husband came home for lunch, and I was finally able to leave to pick up my car from the shop. So much happened, and I didn’t realize that my daughter was upset with me when I got home – and trying to get my attention. But I could see it was nap time, and physically she was beyond tired. I gave her a verbal heads up that nap time was happening, and she had a full-blown toddler tantrum for the first time ever. She’s had many, but never running into the room screaming NOO so gutturally. It was so loud and all of a sudden I was shocked! It could have sounded like defiance. But I heard so clearly, she needs more connection. And even though she resisted for a good 5 mins, I got her back, calmed, and apologized. I was able to play with her before she went to sleep, reassuring her I’d be here when she woke up and that we’d play together. She went from screaming “NO, MOMMA GO!” when I tried to get ready for the nap to sound asleep as I left her room. I could feel how easily I could have missed her needs cause it was a busy day. To encourage you mamas in the thick of tantrums. Just sitting here so thankful for Holy Spirit, your mentoring, Lisa, and our babies that help teach us and make us better.”
I am intentional to guard against idle busyness. I have no problems saying NO to something when I am in the midst of a battle. I try to lie down at least once daily, even for five minutes. Some days I have to focus on my breathing and be intentional about breathing in peace, breathing out stress and worry.
The other day Ellie came to me and said, “I know I am loved, but I am just not feeling it today.” The following day I felt led to lavish on her through her language of love. She thanked me, and I told her, “I did not do that to love you. I did it to REMIND you that you are already loved.” As a busy parent, it is easy to feel pressure with the love languages as if it means our children are not loved or are lacking something essential if we don’t fill their tanks daily. The truth is they are ALREADY loved, and speaking their language stirs up what is already there. Take the pressure off yourself of ‘having to’ give your child what they need and view the love languages as a privilege to stir up, call forth and remind them of what was theirs all along.
Testimony from a mom: “I have a memory of my mom in the kitchen, having her back turned against us and doing dishes. My dad, brother, and I were in the living room chatting, eating, and watching TV. I realized God was showing me a lack of connection with my mom. My mom was a busy homeowner taking care of two young kids while caring for a huge extended family. I always yearned for some time with her (later on, I learned that my love language is quality time). God showed me that He wants me to connect with my children by spending time with them. The sad truth is that I spend a lot of time cooking, cleaning, and just taking care of a family. All the chores weigh me down, and I can’t seem to find time for them. God is shining a big flashlight in my heart and my past to let me know that He wants me to put down my chores and spend time with my children (my older one’s love language is also quality time). Thank You, Jesus, for showing me this.”
I have a rule in my house – if I cannot participate in something and remain in peace, then I will not do it. As a result, I have had to say no, or decline many good things. I have made the choice not to allow even some good things to rob me of my peace or connection with my children.
I am convinced if the enemy can’t get you to turn from God, he uses busyness to get you distracted from God. Busyness is one of the top things that work against families. Too busy to connect. Too busy to hear/see your child’s heart. Too busy to play in the Kingdom. Too busy to rest. Too busy to get in their world. Too busy to empower/teach them. Too busy to work through heart splinters. Too busy to go to church. Too busy to worship as a family. Too busy to read the Word. Yep, you are TOO busy. Busyness is not the same as bearing fruit, and you have permission to say NO to the enemy’s trap of umpteen demands on your time and energy. I have a rule in my house – if I can’t do it in peace, then I won’t do it. I have said no to many good things but will not let even good things rob me of my peace or connection with my children.