God loves when women are busy living out their God-given purpose. This means goals are being accomplished, degrees are being earned, children are thriving, businesses are flourishing, and the Kingdom of God is expanding. However, God is less than thrilled when our accomplishments are accompanied by feelings of being in over our heads, inadequate or even bitter from the amount of responsibilities on our plates. I’ve been in this place, and know it well.
A place where I’ve been so overwhelmed and angered by my tasks and responsibilities that I’d picked a fight with God. There were times I’ve been so bus, I just went through the motions. Even though I checked another item off the checklist, I was left unfulfilled. I was more excited that an event was over, than excited about the success or impact of it.
Have you been in this place? Are you currently in this place?
This place I know so well reminds me of Mary and Martha. Mary and Martha were sisters whom invited Jesus into their home (Can you imagine the pressure of having Jesus in your home… yikes!). While Jesus visited their home, Mary sat at the feet of Jesus and enjoyed every moment. But Martha was distracted! She got so angry she complained to Jesus: “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her to help me!” Luke 10:40.
Inside I’m rooting for Martha! (Yeah, tell Mary’s lazy butt to get up and help!) But, Jesus called her by name and said: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42
Jesus wants us to be excellent and hardworking women, but not at the expense of missing the “good part!” What good part have you been missing out on? Relationship with God? Relationship with others? Fulfillment? Enjoying your accomplishments? God wants us to be “Mary in a Martha’s World!” Here are 3 things I believe God wants all BUSY women to know!
1. I command you to REST!
If God rested, how much more should we rest? Not just a nap or 8 hours of sleep, but the type of rest that replenishes our mind, body, and spirit. The type of rest that fills us and in turn we serve others from that overflow of energy and peace.
God commanded Israel to honor the Sabbath by setting one day a week (Saturday) aside for rest and worship. The Sabbath day was to be a day of complete rest from all forms of work. God planned the Sabbath to give His people a healthy cycle of work and rest. Today the church isn’t commanded to keep the literal Saturday Sabbath, but we should take this principle to heart. The Sabbath was created for Human benefit (Mark 2:27) and God promises to bless those who keep it (Isaiah 56:2-6, 58:13-14).
Our western culture does not foster the idea of a Sabbath, and many of us may feel it is literally impossible to take a complete day off a week. Even on our days off, we are thinking about work or accepting work related responsibilities. However, God created you and knows your inner most being. He knows in order for you to operate at your best, you need rest. If you feel one complete day away from work is impossible; start small with setting one evening aside to do what rejuvenates you. Turn off the phone, do not accept any appointments and put any unfinished work aside for the night and rest.
2. You Can Have it All- Just Maybe not All at the Same Time
The Proverbs 31 Woman is an incredible example of an excellent wife and mother. Many look to the example of this virtuous woman and become overwhelmed. Many become overwhelmed at the thought of her capability and accomplishments to the point of deeming her unattainable and not a real woman. It’s deemed unrealistic for her to accomplish all she had while being a wife and mother. She was a successful wife and mother while being an:
• Entrepreneur- v. 18, 23
• Financial investor- v. 18
• Realtor and Landlord – V. 16
• Designer and seamstress of her own clothing and bed linen – v. 22
• Influential teacher – v. 26
• World Traveler- v. 14
• Merchant to tradesmen- v. 24
• Avid Gardener – v. 16
She held those roles all while working late into the night and rising before the sun. Some of us may feel inadequate after reading this list but; the Bible never tells us she accomplished all of this at the same time. This was her life’s work.
At one point she was single and without kids- and at another point she had an empty nest! There is a season for everything. We become overwhelmed and burnt out when we place unrealistic standards upon ourselves. God wants us to know His “yoke is easy, and [His] burden is light.” His plan for your life is for you to thrive; not to be bogged down by the world’s expectations for modern women.
3. Learn to say NO!
Jesus says: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11: 28-30
A yoke is literally a wooden frame placed upon the shoulders of an animal to submit and direct them. Jesus uses this metaphor to urge believers to take His Yoke, instead of the yoke or weight of the world.
The irony in the yoke placed upon the shoulders of an animal to control them, is we too are controlled by the yoke or weight of school, careers, spouses, children, love ones and even ministry. Often times the things that overwhelm and frustrate us the most, are the things we volunteer to add to our plates. We feel inadequate when our work lacks excellence, and in some cases curse God when things seem out of control. “Lord, why am I so busy?!” “Why aren’t I good enough?” “Why don’t I have any help?”
God has giving you all you need to accomplish what He has called you to do. When it comes to the things outside of His calling for your life…Politely Say “No.”
The yoke used to submit an animal was also used to make a load easier to carry by evenly distributing the weight. Jesus wants to make our load easier to carry. He wants us to exchange the yoke of unrealistic demands for His.