If you’re like me, you often feel like there is not enough time in the day to get EVERYTHING done. I’ve been running around for weeks feeling overwhelmed and stressed. The to-do list seems to keep growing and I’m not sure how to make it stop. I’ve even said no to a few people in the process.
I say I won’t take on anymore stuff. But I do.
Although I have so much already on my plate – editing, keeping house, making meals, writing, helping with various organizations I’m part of – I still often say yes when friends ask for help.
I care for people. I want to help when I can. I believe that by doing it shows God’s love to those around me.
But I get burnt out. So recently I asked myself, “When is it enough?” If I say no to someone, does it have an averse affect? Does it mean they WON’T feel the love of God? If so, what if I say no to that ONE person who truly does need my time?
Recently we’ve all heard about people like Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain. They’re celebrities, but thousands of ordinary people commit suicide every year. And we’ve all seen those Facebook posts going around, encouraging all of us to “reach out” and “listen to a friend today” – but what if I simply don’t have time because I’m helping so many already? Why does it all have to fall on me?
There’s a lot of guilt involved in those kinds of statements. Yes, I want to reach out. Yes, I need to reach out. But I can’t reach out to EVERYONE.
Conversely, what about my own struggles? When I need a friend, there is often not one willing to hear my issues. They have enough of their own. And why would I want to burden someone with mine when they’re struggling too? But we’re ALL struggling. We all need EACH OTHER.
When is it enough?
When can it be about me?
Where is the balance?
As I write this I realize I feel guilty. I don’t want to sound callous or selfish. I love doing for others and do my best at it with what time I can offer. I love sharing God’s love. I love being His hands and feet. But I feel myself being spread too thin and I simply ask, “When do I say it’s too much?”
So I began to do some research online. Here are three things I need to start doing (and you probably do too).
- Take a Sabbath rest. It doesn’t have to be Sunday but it needs to be one day a week. How often am I still working, still doing, every single day, every single waking minute of that day? God told the Israelites to remember the Sabbath day and “keep it holy.”(Exodus 20:11) He sent His son to die on the cross so we could rest! And there needs to be time in my week when I’m seeking out that rest He provides. I need to rest in His care and keeping. I need to let my soul be restored. Hebrews 4:9-11 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will perish by following their example of disobedience.
- The Need is Not the Call. My husband told me that I offer before being asked. It’s true. I step in right away – a “Get it done!” attitude. But I need to know whether I’m being ASKED. I need to discern if it’s my calling to help or if there is simply a need being expressed. What if we were asked to respond to EVERY need? Do you feel as exhausted as I do thinking about that possibility? But if we all pitch in, if we all try to answer the specific call on our lives, each individual wouldn’t have to do EVERY THING.
- Let God direct and give rest.
1 Thes. 3:5: May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.
1 Kings 19:3-9 (The Lord gave Elijah rest):
Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God. There he went into a cave and spent the night.
Mark 16:19 (Jesus rested):
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.
Yes, we’re often called to do the will of God – to show His love to others. But we’re also taught to rest and we must allow ourselves the rest we need. I’m going to try and I hope you will too. God bless.