Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Breaking Busy {a review}

I wore busyness like a badge. I defined a successful day by how much I got done. I wanted everyone else to multi-task at my pace.

And then I had kids.

My idol of productivity still creeps in after more than eight years of motherhood. But the changed started happening when little people started depending on me.

Especially this third one who comes after an almost-six-year gap. In these first four months, she’s reminding me to slow down and cherish the moments.

I’m not the same person I was when I got married, or welcomed our first daughter home, or our son 30 months after that.

I don’t wear busyness as a badge anymore. Yes, I still have to remind myself that my to-do list doesn’t have to dominate my days. I still have fight the temptation to bow down to productivity as an idol.

But at least now I know better and recognize the importance of breaking busy.

At the end of 2015, I read Alli Worthington’s “Breaking Busy: How to Find Peace & Purpose in a World of Crazy,” which solidified what I’ve been learning the last several years. It’s a practical, real book with plenty of advice worth hearing and real life tales to make you giggle.

Just look at the chapter topics: Capacity. Relationships. Calling. Editing. Thoughts. Traditions. Time. Decisions. Communication. Worth. Those are all relevant to everyday life – the routines and motions that make up our usual days and the bigger picture of life.

It’s when we slow down enough in our ordinary days that God gives us a glimpse of the big picture – of what he has for us. “Breaking Busy” reminded me that God has me where he wants me, but trying to control everything around me conflicts with my calling to serve him.

“God has set our feet on a path that leads to where and how we can live out our calling. We often make ourselves very busy because we are searching for our calling. But it is when we slow down and choose to be busy only when what we are doing is our God-given purpose that we can see where God is leading us.”

Later in the book, Alli talks about how she had to make a choice about believing God – and that’s a choice we all have to make if we’re going to let go of the desire to control our lives.

“At that moment I had to decide whether I was going to keep living as if God wasn’t truthful, or if I was going to live like I believed that the God of the universe, who knit me together in my mother’s womb, was good and would bring me what I needed each day.”

Knowing God is enough and provides all we need is the essence to breaking busy. {Tweet that.} We don’t have to work harder and do more to prove our worth. Yes, we need to care for what he’s given us – and sometimes that’s hard work – but we’re loved just as we are.

In “Breaking Busy,” Alli also contrasts worry and anxiety – which is important for all the pressure society puts on us to be more, look better, exercise more, eat this and not that, be there and here at the same time, and maintain perfection in the process.

We can’t be all things to all people, but we can be our best selves to the people who matter most and the people God calls us to serve. We can have hard days and still be grateful for what we have and where we are. Like Alli said, “Gratitude is the antidote to anxiety.”

The last few years have been packed with lessons on letting go, not worshiping productivity, trusting God and believing his promises, and choosing joy. And this book ties so much of that together for me.

ABOUT THE BOOK :: “Breaking Busy” marries popular secular research from the fields of social and positive psychology with solid biblical principles, instilling readers with the confidence that they, too, can move from crazy busy to confident calm.

The 207-page book officially releases today (Jan. 26) from Zondervan.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :: Alli Worthington is an author, speaker, blogger, and the executive director of Propel Women. Her goal is to help women live the life they were created to live. Alli co-founded BlissDom Events and has helped individuals, small business owners, and Fortune 500 companies be more successful. Alli’s no-nonsense, guilt-free take on motherhood, parenting, and balance has led to appearances on TODAY and Good Morning America. She lives outside Nashville with her husband, Mark, their five sons, and their rescued dog and cat, who moved onto their doorstep. You can connect with Alli at AlliWorthington.com.

I received a free, advanced copy of this book to read as part of the launch team. All opinions here are my own. 

Want more insights? "Peace in the Process: How Adoption Built My Faith & My Family" is available on Amazon. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter, peek into my life on Instagram, follow 152 Insights at Bloglovin', or subscribe to receive "Insights in Your Inbox."

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