This week I invited a complete stranger to come sit in my kitchen (surrounded by laundry, deadlines, guitar practice, a sick hubby, a blizzard and a cooped up 5-year-old boy). Mind you, I don’t have tons of time to sit and chat (or read) but she came over and jumped right in the middle of my chaotic week. As we chatted about real life and wanting real meaning, she lovingly told me (as any true friend would) I had cilantro stuck in my teeth, and there’s a better way. So I better do something about it.
So I’m going to tell you too.
Friend, it’s time to Break Busy, its time to trade in crazy for peace and purpose.
“Breaking Busy” by Alli Worthington is not another book filled with time management tips. This book sits down with you right in the midst of your crazy and calls out your very soul. Yes, friend, she calls out the being part of you that has been shoved behind all the self-protective layers of doing.
“Crazy busy is a life without peace. It’s marked by decisions made for the approval of the world, not the approval of God. It’s filled with what we think we ‘should’ do, what we think will make others happy, and what we think being a good person looks like. All this busyness, in the end, keeps us just out of reach of the life we were created to live.” (pg. 22)
The first half of Breaking Busy gives you insight into identifying real busy, the kind that saps your joy and leaves you lifeless. We almost can’t feel this encroachment until we’re drowning. For me… since we’re being honest… I wrestle with fear of failure or rejection (pick your poison) and focus too much on all my flagrant flaws. So much so that I end up choosing crazy busy to avoid those pesky loud lies about not being enough. And Alli totally called me out.
“Whether we are focusing on our fears or focusing on our flaws (real or imagined), we are focused in the wrong place. When we stay focused on our flaws and weaknesses, we lose sight of the truth that God is the one who is great, and he does great things through flawed people.” (pg 113)
The second half of the book has more ‘how’ to break busy. Seriously, your best girlfriends don’t just tell you have cilantro in your teeth — they hand you a tooth pick. But I want you to know, this wasn’t a list of do’s and don’ts… this was a baton toss. I won’t spoil the divine dish she serves up in these chapters, but here’s a taste:
“Our lives have gotten so cluttered up with things we think we ‘should’ do, we can’t figure out what we were meant to do. …Let your life be about what you are meant to do, not full of what you think you should do. This starts with your daily decisions about how you spend your time.” (pg 147)
But… I have one more confession. I wrote the above 500 words and then went to the hair salon. Where, wrapped in foil and left alone in the heat of the dryer, I finished the book.
I may or may not have shed some tears RIGHT there (I took this picture later). Chapter 10 took it to a whole new level. It was as if Alli reached across the table, grabbed my arm and with sincere grace in her eyes said:
Sweetheart, “the lie of shame is often the reason we find ourselves living busy. …But I am here to tell you this lie, the shame [the enemy] pours into us, serves one purpose: to distract us and keep us busy trying to prove to the world we are perfect. …Jesus teaches us that our worth is in him.” (pg 196, 199)
Bam. Freedom. RIGHT there.
Listen, I could tell you the stats on how many pages this book has, how the lay-out of chapters flows and even talk about the voice the author writes in – but you won’t buy the book because of its length or writing style. You’ll buy the book because of its impact.
And it will. It will reach into your messy and call you out, out into abundant life, a life full of blessing instead of stressing.
In the midst of all this busy we just want to know that it matters, that we matter. This week, God showed up (tucked inside a little blue book) in the midst of my crazy to remind me. It matters not because I do it all, it matters simply because He loves me and He is my all. And He wants to remind you too!
Should you go get this book? YES and I am shouting it SO loudly that I’m gonna GIVE you a copy! Share this review on your social media sites and tag me (Twitter: @Brennemeyer; Instagram: Faith2Shine; or Facebook: Brandi Rennemeyer) The more you share, the more entries you get. I’ll do the drawing Monday (midafternoon ish).
Oh, and, I have been compensated by Zondervan for this review of Breaking Busy. But in all honesty God totally set me up. This book was amazing and I will be sharing it A LOT!