Recently, I have switched from writing at home to working work hours and working at a coffee shop in different areas to put more focused time into my writing and working towards my writing goals. This comes with a need for more diligent discipline and saying “no” to things and people I want to say “yes” to in those moments.
I have always thrived in structure. It was much easier when I had a regular job, went to work during specific hours, and knew my job and its rules and boundaries. I can function in that situation a lot easier than unstructured time.
Working at home and on my own has been a challenge. There are so many different pieces to manage and keep up with, and only so much time to do it in. Then there are the responsibilities of home, relationships, ministry, and all the other things in life.
Sometimes it gets overwhelming to me.
When I get overwhelmed, I get anxious fearful that I can’t get it all done and will somehow be a failure and disappointment to someone in my life. I get stressed, cranky, and all other things. Throw in a hot flash, and I can be over the edge in a moment.
I have prayed about this and sought the Lord about how to do this better.
He brought me back to a familiar scripture about Mary and Martha. I love how God uses familiar scripture to bring about a new way to handle a situation.
Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42
There had been several times during the week when I had to choose between different things I needed to be doing. Sometimes, it was choosing between getting something done in the house or writing. Other times, it was between getting together with someone or getting a task done. Sometimes, it was choosing between a ministry need and writing. Other times, it is between spending time with God and letting the other things of the day go. There were continual scenarios, and I was torn for many moments, causing me to feel overwhelmed and anxious about it all, not always knowing what to do.
God brought me to this scripture, and as I read through it, He said to me, you need to ask me, “Which is the better thing right now?” If I need and want to do the better thing, according to God’s perspective, I need to ask Him for direction.
I began doing that, and the responses were interesting. The answers weren’t always what I thought they would be at all. Some of it just boiled down to keeping my work hours as work hours; other times, it was shifting work days. I am a people person and will put people before a task as much as possible, but sometimes it was the task He said was the better thing in the moment.
I have been practicing this when I feel torn about what to do when multiple things are in front of me. It teaches me to lean on God’s wisdom and understanding more, not my own. It also quiets the voices of others who have opinions about what is most important or what they would do.
This also helps me in my mental battleground because it quiets my voice. When God shows me what the better thing is, I can rest in Him despite people’s disappointment with me, my own disappointment, and He helps me let go of what doesn’t get done.
When I know what He wants to do in those times, His peace calms my anxiousness, and HIs love casts out all my fear.
We live in a crazy, fast-paced, moving world. There are always things coming at us and choices to make; oftentimes, they are hard choices. We have responsibilities, we love people, and we, as women, often compare ourselves to how much we are doing compared to someone else.
My heart desires to live in the better thing, always.
There is so much more peace and joy in that place. I have lived with fear, anxiety, and depression so much throughout my life. I long to live free with fewer battle times. I don’t know if that is fully realistic, but I do know when I ask God, He is faithful to answer, so I will continue to keep asking and seeking Him about what the better thing is for me when I am torn.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
And He delights in his way. Psalm 37:23
The mind of man plans his way,
But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
God has beautiful plans for our lives, but some of the steps He gives us don’t excite me or feel like the best thing at the time. But I am trying to trust where He is taking me, and I am praying for us to be willing to follow where He leads, one better step at a time.
Let’s commit to lay down our days to Him, continually seeking Him for the steps He has for us, knowing He is leading us where He wants us.