A Little Bit of Nothin’

It’s past noon and I’m still in my pajamas. I am pretending it’s Saturday morning, trying to rest up for a busy week of work and packing! Thanks for your prayers for the wonderful women’s retreat on Amelia Island in FL this past weekend. It went great!

I really needed and felt your prayers. I was so tired and my head was pounding by the time I got to the event Friday night, but my sweet event coordinator (Suzanne) kept looking out for me and praying for me. When I opened my mouth and my Bible, He showed up! My headache faded and His presence filled me.

The women were so sweet, so encouraging and so hungry for God’s Word. Women of every age shared stories of how much God had spoken personally to them. I love it when He does that in a detailed way so we know it’s HIM speaking to us.

To all my new friends in FL, I am praying for you today – that you will drink deeply of His love, seek His purpose and plans in all you do and move closer to Jesus throughout your day listening to Him speaking words of Truth to your heart!!! The winner of our drawing was Karen Monk!

Now back to my pajamas…this weekend’s conference was about balance. I shared how several years ago I ended up in a really hard place, totally overwhelmed and discouraged. My weeks were filled with random acts of chaos. I randomly decided what I was going to do each day based on 1) how I felt (should I do something fun? something productive? something creative? something easy?) and 2) what everyone else needed me to do.

I didn’t have a plan and my schedule was a mess. Every week was different – no rhythm, no reason, no purpose – just surviving each day and hoping the next would be better.

Finally I asked a friend for advice. She and I told me to write down all that I did each day of each week. By the time I completed that assignment, I could barely read the piece of paper. She then asked me to list my highest priorities, hoping to add order to my days. She mentioned the dreaded word – schedule. I wrinkled my nose. It sounded boring. I liked being spontaneous! But as Mary pointed out, it was killing me!

She challenged me to make a list of what I wanted to invest my time and my life in, and then schedule those things and people into my days each week. Time with God, dates with my husband, fun with my friends, face-to-face activities with my kids, reading, work, ministry, walking, managing our home, and refueling my soul with rest and down time. I knew that if I didn’t take her advice, I’d end up in a pit of depression. This over-achieving, people-pleasing lifestyle had led me there before and I didn’t want to go back.

God created us to live lives of balance. I don’t always get it right but I try to learn from my mistakes. Like when I used to come home Saturday night or Sunday after speaking and jump right into the week. I wouldn’t give myself a week-end; the week before just became part of the week after. Then I’d wonder why I felt discouraged and depleted, unsure about how I could do the next thing.

Sometimes we need to step back and adjust how we’re living and move things around to find balance. Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to do nothing. To just rest. And we need to remember that life was meant to be lived, not survived. I have learned the hard way that I can’t be it all and do it all, all at the same time – not even Jesus tried that – so why do I?

Well friend, for just a little while longer, I am going to do a little bit of nothin’. I hope you’ll give yourself permission to do the same sometime soon.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Thanks Renee, I too had a really hectic weekend and did not get to have any “down time” so I think I will curl up on the couch with a “chick flick” and a cup of tea before that old school bus pulls up. You encourage me! =)

  2. I don’t believe this! Yesterday I wrote a post on my blog entitled, “Balancing Act” – looking for guidance…and here I read this today!!! The line that struck me the most from what you wrote is: “…make a list of what I wanted to invest my time and my life in, and then schedule those things and people into my days each week.” You also said that God wants us living in balance.

    If you have a minute (while still in your jammies), check out my questions on ‘balance’. God is certainly speaking to my heart.

    Your “little bit of nothin” has meant a whole lot to me!!!

    Love & prayers,
    Joy

  3. Wow, Renee. Thanks for another encouraging post. Thanks also for the reminder that life is to be enjoyed, not survived. I have found myself in the “survival” mode for the past week. Sense of duty has overwhelmed me. That “intentional” word kept popping into my head this morning, and I realized that God was telling me to be intentional in everything, including making time for rest and fun. Great reminder. Thanks again.
    Bev

  4. Renee,
    What a wonderful weekend with my sisters in Christ! The retreat at Amelia Island was awesome. I truly felt the presence of the Lord at our sessions. God’s message, spoken through you truly touched my heart. The trip to the cross was so moving and something I will always remember. Thank you for sharing your love for Jesus Christ with us.
    Believing in Him,
    Karen W

  5. Renee,
    So glad that things went well this past weekend. I could relate to what you wrote today. This week will be an intense one for me, but I’m looking forward to next week of doing a little bit of nothin’ as well! Enjoy your rest.

    Blessings,
    Pearls

  6. Thank you! Now, I don’t feel so bad when I take Monday off to take a nap or rest a little longer in bed. Weekends are my busiest time of the week.

    I agree that we need to take time to breathe in the air God created.

  7. So, glad you got to do nothing for a bit today! Glad that you felt God’s presence too. Have a great week.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Hi Renee,

    With two young boys (3-years old+ and 3-months-old), and a husband who has a very busy schedule, I just don’t have time to rest/read/reflect. Today, I’m choosing to do nothing but just enjoy my time with the boys. I absolutely love today’s blog. Cheers, Cris/Orange County, CA

  9. Ah, and maybe the little bit of nothin’ is the most important somthin’ of all: Be still and know that I am God.

    Thank you….

  10. Thanks for that Renee.. Sometimes I fill my days with too much “nothing”. I normally spend too much time on this little piece of wireless machinery. I need to do just what you did with writing down what I do during my day, even how much time spent on those things, and then what my priorities are. I have good days and bad days just like any other woman, so I try not to be so hard on myself. Seems that when we have a bad week out of routine, such as a sick child, etc..it takes 4 weeks to get back on schedule. Its hard, but I am thankful God has placed me in the home and not outside of it.
    Blessings~
    Alyce

  11. Renee:
    Just wanted to say that we are so excited about you heading our way in a couple of weeks! I know the stress that you are under with the move and everything that goes along with it. I’ll be praying that God guards and guides your heart as you prepare to lead us.

    We wait in eager anticipation for what the Lord will say to us via you.

    peace~elaine

  12. Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Projetores, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://projetor-brasil.blogspot.com. A hug.

  13. Renee,
    I’m with you on having to take a break at times!

    Have a great evening!
    Jen

  14. OH, this was really great for this “fly by the seat of my dirty pants because I didn’t do laundry girl”! Great words of wisdom shared here Renee! Thank you much!!
    Lelia

  15. Anonymous says:

    Wow Rene,

    Your story sounds so much simliar to mine. I can relate totally and completely to what you are challenged with and what yoy use to struggle with over-achiever and people pleaser lifestyle.

    Sometimes we need to challenge our faith and bring balance to our everyday lives. How a better way to show the world we are walking in Christ if there’s no balance.

    Your message stood out very clearly: Thanks for sharing that with us all. I’m sure it encouraged us all in some form or another.

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