Heart Choices: Busyness and Avoidance -->

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Busyness and Avoidance

Have you ever considered that your busyness could be an avoidance tactic? 

Now I'm not suggesting that you stop taking care of your home and your children.  But the never ending to-do lists can be a drain on your energy.  And you may find that life is passing you by and you seem to get nothing of significance done.
(Photo Credit: Google images)

Remember the story of Martha and Mary in Luke 10:38-42?  Jesus was in their home and Martha was doing what a normal host would do, right?  She was preparing the food to serve and all the other preparations.  And frankly, she was a bit frustrated with her sister Mary who was sitting at Jesus' feet, listening to what He said.  I can understand Martha's frustration as she told Jesus to tell Mary to help her.  But what did Jesus say in verses 41-42?

"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."

When I spent time alone in the mountains last week, there was one evening when I was so tempted to leave the quiet and return home.  I missed my husband and I became lonely.

I've become so used to being active and productive.  I may spend long hours working online but I feel like I'm helping out and being very useful.  Being alone in the mountains almost seemed like ...running away from responsibility. 

But by the next morning, that temptation left me.  I knew I needed to be right there alone with the Lord.  And I also realized that during this time, He was peeling a layer off my heart.  I was getting a bit scared by that and wanted to avoid it.  It wasn't something conscious at first but I realized that if I had gone home, I would have missed out on this time for the Lord to do a work in me.

Listen to what I read from my devotional "Jesus Calling" by Sarah Young that next morning.

Relax in my healing, holy Presence.  Allow Me to transform you through this time alone with Me.  As your thoughts center more and more on Me, trust displaces fear and worry.  Your mind is somewhat like a seesaw.  As your trust in Me goes up, fear and worry automatically go down.  Time spent with Me not only increases your trust; it also helps you discern what is important and what is not.

Energy and time are precious, limited entities.  Therefore, you need to use them wisely, focusing on what is truly important.  As you walk close to Me, saturating your mind with Scripture, I will show you how to spend your time and energy.  My Word is a lamp to your feet; My Presence is a Light for your path.

The Lord continued to reveal things to me during this time alone.  The clouds of discouragement began to leave me and were replaced with a spirit of Hope.  If I had given in and gone home, I would have missed out on my Mary time of sitting at the feet of Jesus.

How about you? 

Do you ever get caught up in busyness and realize you are simply avoiding what's really important?  Are you fearful of opening up your heart?  Are you so used to running about all day that when you sit down you feel like you're being lazy?

Blessings and love,

Debbie Petras
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  1. Awesome image and post!

    Beautifully said!

    Be STILL and get to KNOW GOD!

    Love you!

  2. This is true of everyone from
    time to time, I think. We've
    all felt this way. Mary was
    wise in choosing to just sit
    at His feet and listen and
    learn. We all have a little
    too much Martha and not quite
    enough Mary in us at times.
    Wonderful post, Debbie. I
    enjoyed it.

  3. Yes...so I started to feel "bored" and what God has been doing in your life He is doing in mine with a teenager and four year old at my feet. He is giving me small times of inactivity to go to my room, curl up on my chair and spend time with Him. It has been so precious...I am filling out cards of verses to memorize...I am allowing the Mary to come out and just set at His feet.

    Wonderful post...spoke my heart in each word!

  4. Hi my dear friend, So appreciated this post-I've built many walls around my heart over the years to avoid the pain of deferred hope.
    Thank you for sharing this; I think I'll have to get this devotional!
    Hugs today.

  5. Great post, Debbie. I can truly identify. I am so glad you 'stayed' in the mountains. Now we are reaping the benefits. Thank you.

  6. The temptation to return home early, was just that---a temptation. The enemy knew that would rob you of a wonderful blessing. . .and look how you are sharing this blessing with all of us! "Mary (and Debbie) hath chosen the better part." Sending hugs to you! :)

  7. I'm such a Martha and often defend her! lol How would the world function without us? :)

    But I do understand the point Jesus made. It's about priorities and balance and I often lose both in my zeal to organize and do supervise instead of just resting at Jesus' feet to hear what He has to say to me.

    Sometimes when I pray I even have to fight the urge to outline for God the best way to go about answering those prayers as if he needs my advice. I think He smiles and shakes his head. I hope he does....

  8. I just heard the call in my spirit this morning to get away with Jesus and here you wrote about your trip to the mountains! But, like you, I'm sooooo responsible. I hope I follow your good example, Debbie!

  9. I'm that way...Don't want to sit around so I try to keep myself busy. It's too bad that having this pain was one way for me to slow down and truly spend time with Him, day after day. He finally got my attention!!! No pain, no gain :) God bless sister and thank you for sharing God's messages through you!!!

  10. Much truth in this post - so often women can hold their to-do lists up as trophies....trying to earn God's approval and praise by being the busiest - when really He wants "us" -

    Great reminder...

  11. Wow...those last 3 questions were doozies...really made me think...especially the last one...that Martha temperament is a hard one to conquer...by His grace...my Mary side does take time to sit at His feet....

  12. Those days away were richer in content than in number... you gained so much Debbie! There IS a time to be alone, especially when we are listening to what God is sharing with us. I think I detect a new bounce in your step! :)


  13. Dear Debbie,
    I'm so happy for you, that you got what you needed, and that you had willpower enough to stay, and resist the temptation.
    I have made this experience several times this summer, I embarked on a project, trying to serve God or help people, and then I was feeling discouraged in many ways,tempted to give up my "mission".
    Funny thing was, every time the things I had set out to do, were important and right.
    Old satan is very loud spoken when he sees we are on the right path. My conclusion has been; the greater resistance, the more important is it, to do what I intended to originally.

    I'm rejoicing that you are getting stronger, and hopefully your burdens will gradually become lighter.

    Being depressed is a natural reaction of hard struggle. Even Jesus had to go through that. Mat26:"My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me."

    As always Jesus showed us the way. He needed company of his friends, power from his Father, and even an angel was sent to soothe him.

    My family and my friends are and will remain important in my life, but if they should fail, my heavenly father has promised to be the strength by my right hand.
    I'm clinging to that.

  14. WOW, this is a great post...a challenge and a comfort!
    I have struggled with "being" over "doing" my whole walk with our LORD (32 years).
    Too often I forfeit quality time with the Lover of my soul, JESUS (my best friend), and wonder why I feel lonely.

    Blessings Sweet Lady and lots of ((HUGS!))

  15. And Debbie this is so true of me too. Like aboiut every night at supper..It is so hectic especially while getting it all on the table..:0) Rush rush now that there is school in session for our boys and the football practice craziness, clothes to be washed AGAIN,,
    I sooooo LOVE our prayer times with my hubbs and I each night in the quiet,,,WOW (( i think thats my favorite word to describe God moments)).. To be totally frank I find prayer time in the shower is awesome..kind of weird you may think but Awesome.. Because I can just go on and on to my Jesus about everything.. Do you suppose He is offended??? ;0)
    It amazing just how nmuch of your post fits...Thanks for being such an Awesome Woman of God and sharing your Love for Him and about Him to all of us..
    You are a Blessings to my heart...
    I just Love you !!! Tammi,, Lisa You..I am honored to say your all my Sisters in Christ..And I thank Him for all of you...

  16. I always love the story of Mary and Martha! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  17. Powerful post, Debbie. Yes, I think that I avoid sometimes spending time with God because of I might hear...The story of Martha and Mary is very fascinating. I am currently reading Joanna Weaver's book "Having a Mary Spirit..." It is a very powerful book - hope to share some later this month on my blog about the insights.

    Thank you for sharing from your heart and for your encouragement to take time out with Him.

    Love & peace,
    <>< Iris

  18. Wonderful post. I loved what you said, and the quotes from "Jesus Calling," was so applicable. I surely struggle in this area of busyness. And even when I think I am starting to get it under control, it creeps back in. Such a thief. Thanks for the insights.

  19. Absolutely! So many times I feel like I'm keeping busy just so I don't have to deal with what actually might be lingering in my head. Thank you for the challenge to rest. Your time away sounds like it was wonderful for you.


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