Busyness is one of the biggest dangers in our life. It robs us of our intentionality, our focus, our purpose. It side tracks us, exhausts us, and changes us. And yet busyness can be productive, purposeful and proper. We are to be busy people – we are to work and use our time wisely. The key is balance – we are to balance the need to work and get things done with all areas of our life. That is the trick, and when we fall short that is when we see problems in our family.
It is all about how we keep busy. Here are five character traits that can help us maintain that balance:
- Be intentional
- Be Wise
- Be Dependable
- Be Relational
- Have self control
Be intentional – know where you are going, know how you are going to get there. This starts with knowing your spheres of responsibility.
- First of all there is our own life – we need to be responsible for our attitudes and our choices.
- Our relationships – our marriage, our children, friends and neighbours
- Our home and all that it contains
- Our tasks – be it the mundane of everyday or the opportunities to help others
What do you want for each sphere of your life – and how are you going to get there?
Being intentional starts with knowing God’s heart: What does God want of you? God has a plan for my life – and that is to glorify Him in all that I do.
Be wise – depend on God for his wisdom. Wisdom is the practical application of knowing Jesus. There are actually three aspects of wisdom referred to in the Bible:
- Craftsmanship – when they were building the tabernacle the craftsmen were referred to as wise in their craft.
- Solomon observed nature and drew conclusions
- Solomon was also given insight into the ways of God
We need to grow in all three ways of wisdom – we need to:
- Study and practice our craft; whether it be the craft of homemaking, parenting, frugality, communicating, teaching etc.
- Observe the world around us, and draw ‘heart’ lessons. Parables or stories connecting to real life are one of the strongest teaching methods.
- Know God’s word, learn of his ways by reading His word, the Bible.
All wisdom comes from God. He has given us the ability to learn skills and knowledge, he has given us the ability to think and apply wisdom. He has sent the Holy Spirit to teach and guide us.
James 1:5 If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.
To grow in wisdom – to live a life directed by God’s wisdom – we need to ask him for it. Solomon asked God for wisdom – and he received it. God will give us wisdom too.
Be dependable – To do what you say you will do.
It seems like such a simple response – be true to your word, let your yes be yes and your no be no – but our desire to be dependable quickly crumbles as we take on too much, as we get too busy, as we lose balance and our priorities.
Three ways to show dependability
- Follow through with our parenting
- I hear myself say, “in a minute”, “hang on”, “be there in a sec”. I don’t really mean these words – they are a delay tactic and I rarely hold myself accountable to being timely.
- I hear myself change my mind – when I cave in to big eyes, whining voice, or nagging or when someone’s anger, annoyance or disapproval makes me back down.
- I hear myself letting it go – I said it, but now I’m just not going to make a scene.
If I’m not prepared to follow through don’t say it!
- Reliable with our commitments – I want to be known as a person who is reliable. If a meeting was scheduled I’ll be there – on time. If I said I’d do something, it will be done – and go the extra mile. Busyness though stretches our ability to build this reputation – we start over scheduling, forgetting commitments, not doing what I said I would do.
- Consistent with our attitudes – We all have our ups and downs, but overall, I want to be characterised as a person who gives energy, not one who is exhausting to be around. And this all comes down to my attitude – my attitude to my family, the tasks I have to do, my attitude to when things go wrong. Looking after myself, my whole self – spiritually, morally, physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially – which is hard when we are busy, but it will protect me from letting my attitude slide.
If we are intentional with the decisions we make, if we are wise before we speak, then we need to have the courage to stand by the decisions we make. Whether those decisions are the quick ‘no, you can’t have chocolate right now’ or the thought out ‘we will go and do this today’ we need to learn to be true to our word.
Two things to remember: If we don’t mean it don’t say it. If we aren’t prepared for the consequences – don’t say it.
Be relational – Be people focused, not task orientated. Be available. Be Heart focused
This of course is the very core of what being busy is about – getting things done. But we must remember the reason why these things are important – and that comes down to people – the people we love. What is a clean out without time to enjoy it with the people we love. What is money without people around us. What is a gift or talent without people to share it with.
Be intentional with your time – a time for everything, and everything in its time. Set aside time for the tasks, be focused, and then walk away. Whether it is finished or not. This is the key – walk away whether it is finished or not. There will always be time to work again tomorrow, or later in the day. But if now is the time to be with people – now is the time to be with people. The same goes for people people – you may have to walk away from social time because it is time to work. We all need to use our time wisely – know the purpose of this hour and focus.
Be available – people and needs cannot be boxed or scheduled. We need to be available and sometimes, in some seasons of a mums life that is 24/7. But that won’t be for always. Our attitude to be available helps us deal with what can otherwise be seen as interruptions. They aren’t interruptions when our purpose is to help our family.
Being heart focused means that we think deeper than the actions we see – we look for the cause. A tantrum can be a frustrating thing – it can be inconvenient. This is the thinking of a busy woman. When we turn our thoughts towards the heart we start to see a child who is overwhelmed, a child who lacks self control, a child who has faced injustice, a child who is tired.
Being relational will turn our hearts towards people even though we may have things to do.
Have Self Control
Self control – walking away from my own desires and doing what is right
Self control is the basis of maintaining a life balance as a busy woman. A person with self control will not act impulsively – but rather be intentional. A person with self control will set limits and walk away when things are not right.
We can get caught up in getting a project or task finished and yet we know we need to be getting dinner on, or our little person has asked us to help them, or we know we should be going to bed. It takes self control to walk away from something that absorbs us, to focus on what we know is right (right task for the right time).
It is easy for a busy person to get areas of their life out of balance. We tend to respond to the urgent needs and send all our focus on that. By living with self control, we can create time for all things in our life – and if we can’t we have to acknowledge we have taken on too much or we need help.
We need to have self control if we are to manage all aspects of our life – and as women we specifically need to manage our time, health, resources and passions along with our responsibilities, relationships and roles in life.
I want to be an influence in my children’s lives – and I’m reminded of this quote:
When you show character, people begin to respect you
After time, that respect grows into trust
After time, that trust builds a relationship
When you have relationship with people
You have influence…
Being busy, too busy, certainly puts that at risk.
Also sharing and linking with others throughout the week:
Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs (see more details on my Link Parties page)
Mom’s the Word, Mom2Mom, Mummy Mondays, Monday’s Musings, Thoughtful Spot, Mama Monday Musings, Hip Homeschool Moms Blog Hop, Titus 2 Tuesdays, Coffee and Conversation, Finishing Strong (Middle & Highschool years),Women with Intention, Whole Hearted Home, Thriving Thursdays, Hearts for Home, Shine Blog Hop, All things with Purpose, A Little R & R, From House to Home, Fellowship Fridays, Homeschooling Highschool Linkup, Tip Tuesday with Debbie in Shape