2021 posts

Are You Busy Or Are You Full?

I know it’s a weird question, but it’s been circling in my mind lately and now I’m finally at the place where I can start to process it on paper (well typing it out…but you get the idea!)

A few weeks ago, I recorded an interview about some tips to grow spiritually for the busy Christian women. (you can check it out here)

I also recently recording an interview specifically looking at how increasing our boundaries and decreasing our business can help us achieve balance (and who doesn’t want that?!)

The link for that interview should be out soon, I’ll post on my facebook when it’s live! (remember to follow me on facebook.com/stephaniemillercoach for all the latest updates)

But I actually need to back up to before Christmas on one particular Thursday that also happened to be my daughter’s birthday.

I woke up early and had a grand plan to take my daughter to grab a donut before preschool. So that’s exactly what we did. We grabbed donuts and ate them in the car (which was super messy by the way!) She had just enough time to finish her birthday treat before I had to drop her off for school.

busy, but full.

After dropping off my daughter I had to rush home to prepare for a video coaching meeting (while getting my son down for a nap right before).

busy, but full.

This meeting had been initiated by someone who read my book and thought so highly of it, that they wanted to meet me “in person”. The meeting itself when well and I ended in prayer. Not an easy prayer, a spirit-filled, heart’s cry, intercessory prayer. Wow it was so powerful.

busy, but full.

The feeling I had after praying for this person was unlike one I had experienced in along time. God was using me. He was using my feeble and humble efforts to accomplish His plan.

So I took it and ran with it. I decided to open up so time for anyone to come and get some prayer and encouragement amidst the holiday season. (a few people took me up of my offer, and it was also an incredible thing!)

So I squeezed this in my already busy schedule, but didn’t feel overwhelmed, I felt full.

Then, I picked up my daughter from school, took her to swim lessons and came up cooked dinner, and did the usual bath and bedtime routine and then hosted my zoom small group study.

I share this because I distinctly remember when my head hit my pillow that night I had the feeling of being satisfied and being full, instead of being overwhelmed and stressed out with all that I typically fit in my jam-packed schedule.

I had a similar expierence the other day after recording an amazing podast interview and making a connection with a like-minded Christian sister.

It was a busy day, but I felt full.

Let me ask you, at the end of the day when your head hits your pillow, do you feel busy or do you feel full?

It’s an interesting question though, right? As we are still very much in the “new normal” of COVID where schedules have been permanently adjusted and we’ve had to make several other changes that have disrupted our “autopilot lives”, many of us have just been busy for the sake of being busy.

Business is a distraction, a shield that you can only hide behind for so long.

With all the shutdowns and everything moving remotely, we had a crash course in spending alone time with with our family, but also ourselves. Many of us got reacquainted with our simple comforts, but also learned that we will go to great lengths to avoid feeling alone (or avoid feeling anything at all)!

While that can be it’s own separate post, I want to encourage you to reflect on your daily to-do list,

Are you:

Being filled up so you can pour out

or

Are you stuffed to the point of overflow and exhaustion

My small group and I recently discussed this idea, how can we prioritize and accomplish all the things we set out to do?

It’s a great question, and while I don’t have the perfect answer, I do have an exercise that I encourage you to try if you’re interesting in maximizing your time and avoiding feeling busy, and instead seek to feel full.

  1. List out everything you do during the day, or throughout the week.
  2. label each of these things as something that energizes you or something that depletes you. (note that not everything you do can easily be labeled as energizing or depleting so in this case you can just leave it as neutral.)
  3. Now think back on your day, when do you have the most energy and motivation to do things and when you feel like you’re dragging? Go ahead and make a note if you feel are a “early bird” or a “night owl”.

Now lets take a closer look into those “energizers”:

  • These are things that give us a boost.
  • They excite us, or something we are passionate about.
  • We often look forward to doing these things, or we feel so much better after we do these things.

Meanwhile the “depleters”:

  • These stress us out, or make us feel overwhelmed.
  • We often procrastinate and push these “depleters” off to the last minute.
  • We don’t enjoy these at all, in fact we may feel more stressed and anxious doing these things instead of better.

There are a few different approaches to helping us maximize our time and energy, but I’m going to focus on two: delegate and diversify.

Delegate

if you can, delegate those “depleters” to some one else. Maybe that person can’t take that task off of your plate all the time, but if they can help in any way some of the time that will free up your precious time and energy. If you can’t delegate any of these things, then the next tip should help.

Diversify

By this I mean mix up the time that you do the things that energize you and deplete you. I know when we are typically motivated we want to focus on doing the things that excite us, but it is when we are most motivated that we need to do those other things that we aren’t usually too excited about.

I challenge you to try to alternate perhaps completing a task that excites you and then a task that you’re perhaps not too excited about.

God doesn’t call us to an overwhelmed or stressed-out life. Yes, we have troubles and difficulties, but when we feel that we are “stuck” or “on the hamster wheel” and are chronically tired and depressed, we have to remind ourselves that:

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full John 10:10 NIV

So, tonight when your head hits your pillow after a long day, I encourage you to ask yourself, ” Was my day busy (hurried, stressful, overwhelming) or was it full (complete, whole, satisfied)?

Blessings to you, my sweet friends!

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