In a world of being constantly busy, I treasure the slow seasons in life. The ones where you can afford to stop for long enough to feel the wind and the pause reminds you that God controls which direction it blows. I love that the slower pace makes you notice little treasures and pockets of time and moments that you wouldn’t have otherwise caught.
But, I’m also terribly aware of the void and loss of growth that’s left behind in the hurried, busy, dry seasons. You know what I’m talking about. The seasons where sleep feels like it lasts 8 seconds, and you wake up already on the go, with your 75-item list broken out by category and your planner secretly wishes someone else purchased it. Yes…those seasons. And isn’t it “funny” (not at all) how in those seasons we need God most but seem to have time for Him the least? Well, I’m no expert but I have found these 4 things to be so helpful in my own life, to push me towards growth when life seems to be unavoidably busy.
1. Pray The Whole Day Through
It’s silly really, how often I forget to pray. It’s as if I have convinced myself that all my prayers should sound like I went to seminary school. Elaborate, perfectly worded, poetic, and looonnng. But really, it’s not about that. It’s the best friend conversation that’s ongoing, authentic, real, reliant and vulnerable. And in the busyness of life, this daily chat time with God can be anytime, anywhere, for any length of time, and about any topic. It doesn’t matter if you’re cleaning up spit up for the thirteenth time, commuting to work, or preparing for a test. Praying, or talking to God can and should be in the midst of it all because HE is in the midst of it all with you.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
2. Listen Listen Listen
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t love a good old fashioned paper book! But, in the hustle and bustle of the busy seasons, audio anything is how I make it through. Download that little bible app, find yourself a good podcast, look up a sermon online, purchase an audiobook. Whatever it looks like for you, listening is your friend. You’re being filled with something edifying as you go about your day, and you never know how God just may show up with a word for you somewhere throughout all the listening.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
3. Give Him Your First
I have definitely been that person who mutters those words “I don’t have time”. Don’t have time to get up early, don’t have time to pray, to read, to blah blah blah. And I will be real with ya…there are those rough seasons where that is basically, nearly true. BUT, I have found this to also be true. IF you dare to give God your first, He will shock you on what He does with the rest of your time.
So, even when it’s hard, even when you would rather snooze your alarm for another 5 hours, even if you cannot find a moment to go to the bathroom (don’t judge this is real haha), try, just try, to give God an intentional morning spot before your day starts, see what happens and what growth may stem from it. The sacrifice may feel hard in the beginning but over time you will see the reward.
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.
4. Mind Your Mouth
I was thinking about this last point. Really pondering what it is that really gets me through the tough seasons where even showering seems like a luxury you cannot afford. And this one is so overlooked but undeniably important. When you are in survival mode…what you tell yourself will either bring life or death over your situation.
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.
Being busy, exhaustion, overworked, overscheduled, underfed (haha), are all breeding grounds for the devil to stunt your growth. So, doing something like declarations or adorations is something that can protect you from the lies of the enemy and help keep you firmly planted and growing when life gets busy. As you do your dishes declare his goodness. As you wait for your class to start, adore Him for His never-ending faithfulness. You will soon see that your tongue will direct the course of your season.
In a Perfect World
In my perfectly perfect world, I would always be sitting on the front porch drinking tea, reading books and listening to the giggles of neighbor kids and my own. But, in the seasons where I’m not sitting, but standing in line for the 5th errand of the day, sticking my tea in a to-go mug, and listening to the sounds of grumbling people in the same boat as myself it’s important to…in the midst of it all… try and find the path that leads to growth. These things may not seem significant, but it’s in the army of small little everyday habits where your roots go deeper and you grow right in the midst of a busy life.
Bio: Briana Barrios is a believer, wife, mama of two, and the creator and owner of Growth Roots Co. She received her B.S. in the field of Psychology and family studies at the California State University of Northridge and worked for the LAPD and Mayoral office of LA focused on at-risk youth programs before moving to San Diego where she began a family of her own. Soon after, Bree developed a year-long “Growth Book” journal designed to help believers grow in their spiritual journey. When she isn’t working on Growth Roots Co., Bree spends her time cooking, gardening, and adventuring with her two little ones. You can find out more about Bree and Growth Books over at her website www.growthrootsco.com!