Breaking Busy

(B)urdened (U)nder (S)elf-imposed (Y)okes

How to Have God Streamline Your Life

Part One

A friend texted me the other day and ask me what it meant to “have a yoke”.  I explained that it was a thick wooden implement used to tie oxen together to make them plow.  Then I found this image on Wikipedia with a quick search:

Yoke of Oxen

By Cgoodwin – Own work, GFDL, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3894456

I don’t know about you, but this image REALLY makes me not want to be an ox!

 

This was the passage my friend had come across.  These are the words of Jesus.

Come to Me, all you 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 (NKJV)

 

Isn’t it wonderful that we aren’t downtrodden under the Lord’s yoke?  The Lord still has work for us to do – “take My yoke upon you” – but it’s not wearisome and our noses aren’t in the dirt like oxen as we work for Him.

We all have duties.  We have jobs, or school, or a house to clean and laundry to do.  Some of us have husbands and children and a whole host of things to keep us busy.  These are all great things!   They’re the things which God has entrusted us.  Some days we enjoy them a lot, others not so much, but they are necessary.  There are times in everyone’s lives though, that become busy, stressful, and frustrating.  Days that we have so much to do that it becomes overwhelming.   Days where we feel like we’re going to snap from all the pressure – and then we do.  Well, I do anyway.

 

I’d like to give you a few tips on what the Lord has been teaching me about “Breaking Busy” and how to deal with it.  Some of this is basic – If you already do all I’m going to recommend in this post and the following ones, please pray for me that I will continuously be conscious of how the Lord wants to plan and arrange my day.  If there is something in this post or a subsequent post that you feel like the Lord has been nudging you to do, I encourage you to take some time and wait on a whisper from Him.

 

 1. Start your day in God’s Word and in Prayer.

Jesus’s first instruction in the verses in Matthew is to “Come to me.”

Make it your #1 priority every day.  The ONLY thing I do before sitting down to read in the morning is take my medicine and pour myself a (large) mug of coffee.   While I was teaching, I would wake up with enough time to meet with God before I had to get myself and my daughter ready for school.  It wasn’t always easy, but it was ALWAYS WORTH IT.  Please, if you feel like the Lord is whispering that He wants to meet with you in the morning, but you just don’t think you have the willpower to do it, pray and ask Him to help you get up.  When He does wake you, go ahead and start shuffling toward your coffee pot.  You’ll be glad you did.

I am convinced that the Lord wants to spend time with His children to help them plan their day.  I read somewhere that you should see your time with God as an appointmentWe try not to miss appointments or be late for them.  If you schedule it early into your day, more often than not, it will become part of your routine – and start a gradual process that takes your heart and makes it more like Jesus’s.  If you aren’t making a daily appointment with Him, I would encourage you to do so.  You will be amazed at how much more smoothly your day can run with His guidance!

 

2. During your prayer time, ask God how He would like you to plan your day.

Jesus also said, “Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me”.  That must mean we have something to learn – about life and about our work.

Over the past year or so, I cannot tell you how many times the Lord has helped me plan my day.  Are there still days where I forget to ask for His help?  I’m sure there are!  I’ve learned though, that when He helps me arrange my schedule, my to-do list frequently becomes smaller.  As a result, my day is less stressful and affords more time to rest and enjoy my family.  You see, He is outside of time.  If all my days were written in His book before one of them occurred, then I think He has the higher perspective on my life.

“Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.  And in Your book they were all written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.”

– Psalm 139:16 (NKJV)


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than yours.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (NKJV)

 

He can guide my decisions.  He can help me have a smoother day by submitting each day to Him before I go anywhere or do anything.  My pastor once taught that we need to “yield to the Lord.”  Yielding to His will doesn’t mean that “I don’t move a muscle until I have explicit directions from You, Lord.”  Instead, it’s like a 4-way stop where three cars arrive all at the same time.  We must yield to the one on the right.  It means that before I go anywhere, before I do things, I try to ask, “Lord, what do You think about this?” or “Is this OK?”  Frequently I feel I have the “go-ahead” in whatever it is.  Other times,  I sense that He is saying “Not right now.”  This may sound legalistic, but I assure you, there is liberty in not having to do everything and go everywhere, and continuously living in a burned-out state!

Last winter I was teaching my daughter the basics of the game Rush Hour.  It’s a fantastic logic-building puzzle game.  The object of the game is to get the Little Red Car out of the right side of the game board.  The ONE RULE is that you cannot lift any blocking cars or trucks off the grid as you play.  Only the Little Red Car can leave the board.  Here’s one scenario of Rush Hour:

Traffic Jam - Breaking Busy.JPG

 

Take a second and try to figure it out.  I’ll wait…

 

Initially, it doesn’t appear to be too challenging, right?  All you have to do is move the Large Yellow Truck.  Easy peasy.  Well, then you notice that you can’t move it until you move the Purple Car, then the Green Car, and so on.  In other words, to move the Little Red Car out of the grid, you actually have to move EVERY car and truck somewhere else first!  

 

Now, it may be because I drive a Little Red Prius and I constantly feel like my life has so many twists and turns, but when I was playing Rush Hour with Hannah, I felt like the Lord read Isaiah 55:8-9 to me.

I sensed that while I’ve been praying about seemingly impossible scenarios (getting pregnant after miscarriage, how we could afford for me to be a SAHM, how we are going to get out of debt, etc.), I tend to look at only the Large Yellow Truck.

I think, “Oh, it’s so EASY, Lord, just do this…” 

Meanwhile, He sees all *37* maneuvers that must be made AROUND the Little Red Car for it to get out of the jam it’s in.

Here’s the Answer Key to Card 32 with all 37 maneuvers listed:

Traffic Jam Back of Card - Breaking Busy.JPG

You see, since He’s got the card with the 37 maneuvers – the book where all of my days are written in them – so I know He’s MORE THAN CAPABLE of helping me with my next maneuver. 

I would encourage you to schedule some time with Him each day.  Make a coffee date with the Lord and see how much your ordinary day will improve!  If you’re overwhelmed by a massive to-do list, ask Him for wisdom to decide what must be done, and what priorities can be given up or modified for you to live your best life for Him. 

“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” – James 1:5 (NKJV)

 

If this were an Amplified version of the Bible for women, I wonder if it would be allowed to say,

{{If any of you stressed-out women need wisdom, let her ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach (He won’t reprimand her for asking for help), and it will be given to her.}}

 

Anyway, back to the verse that prompted today’s post:

“Come to Me, all you 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 (NKJV)

 

Thank you, Lord for an easy yoke and a light burden!

 

 

Coming Next:

Breaking Busy: Part Two

(B)urdened (U)nder a (S)elf-imposed (Y)oke

Living Intentionally and Focusing on What is MOST Important

 

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