Sunday, July 2, 2017

Beautiful Busyness

 Sometimes anymore from articles I read and conversations I have I start to get the feeling that "busy" is a "dirty" word. That it is something that should be avoided if all possible. That if we want to have a good relationship with God or others that we won't have much going on and have a lot of time to focus just on that one relationship we are working on at that moment. I think I am over exaggerating what I am saying a little but have you all seen that trend as well? The encouragement to slow down?

 Now don't get me wrong. I don't think that is all bad. I do like to have a set apart quiet time with God every morning. I also feel pretty strongly about have my 20 minute power nap each day and I rarely miss it. I do also love some lovely one on one visiting time with my family and friends. I like to slow down and read a book, play a game and so many other things.

 But I also believe that being busy and industrious can be a beautiful thing. I strongly believe that relationships can be strengthened even in our busy times. That our walk with Jesus can grow stronger and that we can learn to more fully rely on the Holy Spirit in our lives. I hope to study God's word more on this issue soon and share my findings with you but meanwhile I wanted to share a little from our beautiful busy week with you.

This week - particularly the last 4 days have been very busy. During those 4 days we have gotten ready for and held a 3 day garage sale. I baked 23 loaves of bread plus a double batch of rolls and a batch of cookies and an apple crisp, I had a Bible study, went to a concert and helped fix lunch with friends, I did laundry and helped Jonathan get ready for camp, I had a wedding consultation, I cleaned and arranged wedding flowers and then also did decorating for the wedding, our family went over to my in-laws to help them cut down and cut up into firewood (and stack the brush and wood) a couple of trees, I went grocery shopping and made meals for my family plus various guests. I also harvested quite a few things from our garden to use in our meals.  That is my list of busyness but that doesn't really explain the whole picture. With just that list we don't see the beauty that we are being blessed with throughout the busy days.

  So I just want to share some of the beauty that I have been experiencing lately.....

  • Appreciating so much the strength that I find through the Holy Spirit.
  • Seeing God's provision far beyond what I imagined through the garage sale.
  • The delight in getting rid of excess in our lives and seeing it go to others who hopefully have a need for it.

  •  Getting to do flowers for a really neat couple. They and her parents (which was all that I met) were so lovely to work with. So appreciative and thoughtful. 
  • Getting to spend time in God's word with friends.
  • A friend coming to spend time with us to help set up and make signs for our garage sale. That was such a blessing!
  • Getting to go to a free church musician concert. It was an organ recital/hymn sing. It was different from anything I have gone to before but really fun. The lady playing the organ also shared a lot of stories that went with the hymns and verses that went with them. I enjoy hymns a lot and it really was a neat experience. My 2 friends and Jonathan went with me.

  •  Having fun watching the boys play a lively game of basketball. The kids' 2nd cousin, DJ, is visiting for the week and it is so fun to see all the fun they are having together!
  • DJ has been a wonderful guest to have - incredibly helpful and thoughtful. I am so thank-ful that my boys have him for a friend.

  •  Megan was my super duper helper for the garage sale. She manned it a lot of the time and I love seeing her shyly smile at the people when they arrived. She had fun sitting at the table and drawing much of the time.
  • I am enjoying Megan's current art project which is reading through the "Wizard of Oz" and drawing a map of it from the story.

  •  Just loving my job of working with beautiful flowers that God has made. He is an incredible creator!

  •  Not much can beat the smell or taste of fresh baked bread. We got to experience that a lot the last few days. We sold a bunch of the loaves but we got to taste plenty too.
  • Getting to meet more neighbors that came to our sale. I love that!
  • My Sister and Sister-in-law with really cute babies in tow came and hung out with us one day of the sale. That was lovely fun!
  • DJ's mom (my good friend and Ken's cousin) was here for a brief visit while she dropped him off and I always love getting to spend time with her.

  • Being able to work together as a family to help others. That is a special thing!
  • Enjoying our pets with the people that came.
  •  I just loved getting to talk to many different people and truly see a little (well often a lot!) beauty in each one of the. God made each person special!
  • Laughing together with my son and we worked to get him ready for camp.
  • Laughter around the supper table!
  • Aaron's quirky sense of humor.
  • Ken offering to help clean up after the garage sale and getting the others to help too.
There were so many other beautiful things that happened during these busy days but sleep is also a beautiful thing and I need to head that way. :-)


Amy and Mark said...

I have also noticed that trend about being busy. I think it really depends on what the person is actually doing! If one is busy with activities that they are doing with their family and friends and/or to truly fellowship and help others than I think we should all be busy! I think it becomes an issue when people become busy with things that aren't so good - having children in too many activities so that the parents are just driving around and dropping off OR poorly planning time so that they are rushed as they try to complete chores and errands.

Nola said...

I have noticed this as well. I agree with what you are saying, but I think there is also another side to this issue, which is where I think the danger is. I hear again and again people saying they are busy, or too busy even. People who say it with sighs, and people who say it with an excuse of why (again and again and again and again) they can't make time for what is important in life. This isn't what I see you doing. Being busy in the way you are busy is fine. But being busy in the way that I see so many being busy I don't believe is right. I have tried many times to get together with people who say they are busy. Then later I ask again. Still busy. I don't believe they don't want to get together- they seem sincere and frustrated at their busyness. They sigh and talk about how good life will be when "things calm down" but then it seems they never get there! So many people's lives are filled to the brim with their children's extra curricular activities. It seems to me that there are many "busy" unhappy people. I think this side of things is dangerous. There is busy with things that matter and then there is busy with too many things that don't matter. There is busy with things that might matter somewhat but they take away from the big things that matter more that never can get done because of this type of busy. I think this is where the problems lie.

Abbi said...

Amy and Nola,
Thanks so much to both of you for your comments. You are so right! We do need to be super careful what sort of busy we are. Is what we are busy doing truly in line with our priorities? Do we even have priorities set? My top priority is to serve God and glorify Him in everything I do. That is not by any means always done perfectly but that is what I am working towards. Relationships are also extremely high on my priority list. My husband, children, extended family, church family, friends, neighbors, etc. I want to use every opportunity that I am able to share God's love with them in some way. I do truly appreciate a pretty flexible schedule that allows me to take the time to visit with a neighbor, to have lunch with a friend or to go help a family from church. We do also try to eat pretty much every single meal sitting down together as a family (Ken and my working kids do miss lunches on weekdays but otherwise...). I know that I have also been saddened when I see how families can get split up so much by super busy schedules. How sports/dance/ etc can get in the way of church and other things. Anyway - I do agree!

Mrs. Chrissy T said...

I have noticed this too! I even have gotten on the bandwagon. But quickly noticed there has to be balance. We should be industrious, busy about the Father's buisness, and fight apathy. On the other hand we can't be so busy we don't hear the gentle whisper, read and snuggle with a child, or just stop in the middle of a project to pray. This happened me today. I had great plans to deep clean the kitchen and I already had my time with the Lord. I started on the food cabinets and was not but 10 minutes in and felt a urge to stop and pray. At first I just kept cleaning and prayed but I felt a nudge to stop and be attentive to The Lord. So, I climbed down from the chair and went to my room and began to praise and pray. Oh...I'm so glad I slowed and listened. I had been praying for weeks for encouragement and guidance and I was getting nothing. Today I got both. I think you are on target. We must balance it. I kind of felt by some places I've visted that it's kind of becoming an idol type mindset. So, much focus on it. I beleive in breathing, being still, listening, and setting aside purposeful quiet times, slow time with family, and etc. But also keeping busy in a healthy way.

Nola said...

I just wish that more people saw it this way. We have seen this type of situation so much even in churches (being busy with things that don't matter so much that there isn't time for the things that matter). We end up feeling very counter-cultural at times because we don't have our children in tons of extra curriculars and sometimes it can feel isolating. Instead we have invested money into things that we can do as a family and with others (bikes, canoes, snowshoes, etc). It really saddens me to see when families spend so little time together. I know a family that their children have something on almost every day of the week and the parents are both working and the kids are also sent away for most of the summer. I don't know why as a society we have bought into the idea that kids "need" all of this type of thing. Some activities are not bad but the level of things taking over I see around me is so sad and I wonder what effect it will have down the road.

Greg and Donna said...

I think the busyness that people are encouraged to slow down with is the busyness that takes Mama's away from the home and family, Dads doing their own thing during non work hours, kids being involved in every activity under the sun. Your days of busyness centered around home, family, and serving others ~ which is fantastic. It having older kids (Amy is the youngest at age 21) my days have slowed down considerably ~ except for the wedding preps for Amy's wedding. At different stages of life we have different levels of busyness. Right now, I have 3 buckets of vegetables and tomatoes to chop and process. Time to get busy!

Anonymous said...

Could you write a post about having a successful garage sale?
Thank you

Marilyn @ MountainTopSpice said...

I hear you loud and clear Abbi! I think there is a balance for sure... nothing wrong with being busy, or with taking time to be quiet, but to focus too much on either one becomes a problem! Finding a balance is really the key thing, I think, and that comes from being led of the spirit. If we be obedient to the spirit of Christ within us, it will teach, lead and guide us as to what we need to be doing for Him and for our families. Always appreciate the truth and love for the Lord in your posts Abbi!

Abbi said...

Thanks to all of you for sharing your thoughts!
I did write a post about our garage sale here: I hope it can be helpful.


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