Freedom from Overload

by Kristine Brown @kristinebrown43

“Then David continued, ‘Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly.’” 1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT

My writing space, also known as my office, doubles as a guest bedroom.

Or maybe I should say, our guest bedroom doubles as my office.

So, as I sit at my makeshift desk, peeking out the window at raindrops bouncing off piles of leaves in the yard, something out of the corner of my eye begs for my attention. I’m trying not to look, but I give in to the pressure. It’s the overstuffed closet I’ve been meaning to clean out for months.

I immediately turn from my writing task and scan my monthly planner. Maybe I can squeeze it in between work and dinner one day this week? Or better yet, let me work on revamping my entire schedule. Something has to give, so I can fit everything in and finally enjoy a clean closet! Planning helps me feel more in control, so I resolve to make a new plan. Again.

Organizing, analyzing, prioritizing, scheduling: I’m a planner by nature. I love the idea of becoming more organized. But even though organizing the schedule can be fun for a detail-oriented girl like me, all that planning doesn’t leave me feeling any more at peace.

I know deep down the best thing to do is just clean the closet.

When David passed along the assignment of building the temple to Solomon, he began by encouraging his son with this advice, “For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought.” A task like that came with a lot of detailed directions, too! Maybe David knew Solomon would feel overloaded and need words of wisdom to help him get it done:

Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work related to the Temple of the Lord is finished correctly” (1 Chronicles 28:20 NLT).

David gave Solomon sound advice in his instruction for building the temple. After encouraging Solomon to be strong and courageous, he then added these three simple words.

“Do the work.”

We can learn an important lesson from this statement. Sometimes we try to find solutions for our overload, but it just adds more to the to-do list than what’s already there. When instead, we should stop trying to give our schedule an overhaul and just tackle the tasks – one at a time.

I don’t know about you, but I can make things so complicated. That’s why I love it when God keeps it simple, as He does here in this message to Solomon. After his instructions, David goes on to share the best news of all. “He will not fail you or forsake you. He will see to it that all the work…is finished correctly.”

When I do my small part, God will make sure the work is finished correctly. What freedom!

So, the next time a seemingly overwhelming job taunts you, remember today’s verse. Let it guide you through the temptation to spend an hour rearranging your schedule or creating a new to-do list. Instead, spend an hour tackling that task. Just doing the work will free us from the pile of jobs that overload us.

Now if you’ll excuse me for an hour or so, I have a closet to clean.

TWEETABLE
Freedom from Overload – insight from @KristineBrown43 on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

kristine brownAbout the author: Kristine Brown is a communicator at heart, sharing insight with her readers in relatable  ways. Her lessons  highlight God’s powerful Word and redemptive grace. Check out Kristine’s weekly devotions and other resources at kristinebrown.net.

Do you ever question whether you measure up? Kristine’s book, Over It. Conquering Comparison to Live Out God’s Plan,  learn the solution to a battle all women face. Through practical Bible teaching, find contentment in your God-given uniqueness and take simple steps to claim victory over comparison. Learn how to say “I’m over it” and mean it!

Join the conversation: What work do you need to accomplish today?

The Dog Ate It

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Anytime it takes me an entire half-hour to write out my to-do list for the day, I know it’s a day I’m likely in for some hullabaloo. That’s what hullaba-happened yesterday. I’m not the most organized cookie on the block. The to-do list helps keep me from wasting my day flitting here and there without accomplishing the things that are most vital. So I built my list and numbered each item in order of importance.

Okay, since organization is not my best thing, the list was on a napkin. But at least I made it. In a few hours I had a couple of items checked off with about a dozen more to go. Still overwhelming, but I was making progress.

I figured I could make faster progress if I had coffee, so I went to whip up a pot. Here’s my to-do list tip for the day:  If you’re going to put your to-do list on a napkin, at least make sure you put something on top of it so it doesn’t float off the desk. By the time I got back with my coffee, the dog had run away with it. She was under the table in the dining room. Shredding.

The next part of the hullabaloo involved an intense chase scene. I fished most of the list out from under the table and a few pieces out from between LuLu’s molars. A half hour spent on a list that was suddenly coleslaw.

LuLu was trying to look innocent. Maybe she was even trying to help me. No to-do list means nothing to do, right? Isn’t a good shredding even better than a few check marks? Still, the list of all the work I was trying to accomplish at home was now dog chow. The dog really did eat my homework.

It was a good reminder, though, that there are times when all those good things on a to-do list need to give way to things that are most vital. It’s always a good test for me when I have deadlines up to my eyebrows, and I get a call from a friend who needs a listening ear. Or even when my kids want to play a game. Am I willing to shred my own agenda when the Lord might have a different one in mind? If there’s something that will bring him glory that’s not on my to-do list, am I willing to trade my list for his?

Colossians 3:2 (CSB) says to, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” Then a few verses later, we’re given this reminder: “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17 CSB).

Whether in word or deed, whether on a napkin or over the phone—or even playing tiddlywinks—I want my agenda to ever and always line up with his.

Of course, we’ll have trouble playing tiddlywinks. LuLu ate them. I think she thought they were baked beans—which I’m guessing she thought would go well with the coleslaw.

TWEETABLE
The dog ate it:  thoughts on keeping life in line with God from @RhondaRhea on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

rhonda rheaAbout the author: Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and a humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLife, Leading Hearts, The Pathway and many more. She is the author of 12 books, including Fix-Her-Upperco-authored with Beth Duewel, and a hilarious novel, Turtles in the Roadco-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea. Rhonda and Kaley are also excited to be teaming up with Bridges TV host, Monica Schmelter, for a new book and TV series titled, Messy to Meaningful—Lessons from the Junk Drawer. Rhonda enjoys speaking at conferences and events from coast to coast and serves as a consultant for Bold Vision Books. She lives near St. Louis with her pastor/hubs and has five grown, mostly-coffee-drinking children. You can read more from Rhonda on her website or Facebook page.

Join the conversation: How do you keep yourself sensitive to God’s leading?