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Because I’m on Alli Worthington’s book launch team, she provided me with a free copy of her new book, Breaking Busy, but that was my only compensation. I am reviewing her book simply because *I* want to, and not due to any agreement to do so. So, obviously, all opinions are my own.
A couple of years ago, I had decided that I had done a miserable job of branding my blog, by naming it, “Wild Life in the Woods”. People who heard the name either assumed it was a site for nature photography, or a swinger’s site. It was neither. 😀
I didn’t necessarily want to be locked into being only a food blog. Can you say, “Don’t Fence Me In”? (I thought you could.) I am a story teller. I love to talk about things that are important to me: my faith, my family, the things I’m learning, products I love. It gets lonely up here in the woods, and writing is a huge creative outlet for me, so I try to treat my writing as if I’m telling a great story to a good friend.
One day, in a Facebook group, after hearing me mention that I was ready to re-brand/re-design my blog, Alli Worthington, whom I knew OF, through attending the blogging conference, Blissdom, messaged me that she knew someone who might be helpful to me with my blog design. With Alli’s help, I connected with Erica Mueller, who designed my blog for me. (And I love her work, and hope you do, too!) When Erica and I met to discuss my “re-invention”, Alli came to our meeting. She didn’t need to, but out of the kindness of her heart, she did. I was thrilled! As we were discussing my “re-branding”, Alli mentioned I might want to use my own name, but then acknowledged that my name was a common one. She began rapidly brainstorming possibilities out loud: “A Susan Williams, The Susan Williams, That Susan Williams…” I stopped her. “That’s it! I am #27 of 40-something Susan Williams-es in my insurance system. I’m not that Susan Williams. I’m *that* Susan Williams!” I knew immediately it fit me like a glove. Done.
So, in one respect, I kind of owe at least a *part* of my identity to Alli. 🙂 When I heard she’d written a book, I applied to be a part of the launch team, in hopes that I might be able to do a kindness for her, in the same way that she’d gone out of her way for me.
Never try to out-give God.
Once again, in attempting to be a blessing, it turns out *I’m* the one who got the blessing.
Alli’s book Breaking Busy has been transformational for me.
And here’s the truth: I never expected it to be.
I’m not in a particularly busy season of my life right now. I’m not the kind of person who is eaten up by ambition, or drive. I don’t go around telling people about how I’m going to speak my dreams into existence, or scale the highest peaks of success by achieving my lofty goals. God bless you if you do that, but it’s just not who I am. And I’m past that stage of life where busy is a given, due to infants, toddlers, and the demands of homeschooling kids. Life’s pace is a little slower for me right now, and frankly, I’m OK with that. So, I didn’t really see my own need to “Break” any “Busy”.
But even if you DON’T need to “break the busy before the busy breaks you”, what I was desperately in need of was a tune-up in prioritizing my life. A part of the way Alli helps her readers to “break the busy” is by walking them through a process whereby they can self-evaluate to make room for, and prioritize what’s important to them in their life.
As I was going through the chapters, and thinking about the issues she challenges her readers to examine, I came upon this sentence:
“Life is all about our constant, ongoing choice to trust God.”
Now, I don’t know if that will hit you as hard as it’s hit me, but at least, I’d like to take a shot at explaining to you WHY that sentence just ate my lunch, when I read it, and why “trust” has become “my word”, for the year 2016.
Ever since I was a small child, I knew my heart’s desire was to please God. Reading the book, “The Cure” helped me see that I am a person who is ALREADY pleasing to God. II Corinthians 5:17 is the verse that backs that assertion up: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone. The new has come.” I think of it as my Butterfly verse. In God’s eyes, I’m already the Butterfly – that new creation. When I look at me, I see the caterpillar. But I have the DNA of a butterfly. So, I already AM (present tense) that new creation. So, I don’t have to worry about that knit-together-eyebrow look of displeasure on God’s face when He looks at me. He sees the new creation He’s made me to be. He is pleased with me.
So, if I am *already* a person who is pleasing to God, I can walk in joy, and freedom, and love.
But there is one more thing that the Bible says about pleasing God that is important to recognize, and it’s the converse of pleasing God. Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith, it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.” So what does faith look like?
Thus, the converse is true. If I want to please God, I need to TRUST God.
Do you get it?
Apparently, I wasn’t getting it.
Times have been tight around here, financially speaking. And I was living in anxiety, worry, and with a lack of joy. Would we be able to pay bills? How will the technological changes in the music world affect our ability to earn the money we need?
But I heard God speaking to my spirit, in a way similar to the way He had spoken to Alli, “Get up, and live like you trust me. CHOOSE to trust me. If you want to find joy in the midst of what you’re going through, you can find that, by choosing to trust me. And when you choose to do that? Then, you can know for certain that it pleases me.”
One thing a person who knows that she is pleasing to God and who trusts God does, is to spend regular time with Him. She talks to Him, unloads on Him, reads His thoughts (through His Word) and asks for leading, and guidance. And then, she does those good things that He has prepared in advance for her to do. That’s how we keep in step with the Spirit: by staying in touch with what He’s saying.
So, if for no other reason than for getting my feet back on that path…the path I’ve wandered off of more times than I can count, Alli’s book reminded me of the importance of the basics. And living in relationship with God: it’s the crux of who I am! Why do I go astray? Prone to wander: Lord I feel it! Y’all can just sing that line at my funeral, and smile!
“Bless her heart.”
So whether you’re busier than a one-armed wallpaper hanger, or you’re not so busy, there are all kinds of good things that I’m not even telling you about inside of Alli’s book for you. Truly, as you start off this year of 2016, this book will help you set your feet on a path that will bring you joy and freedom.
The book actually launches on January 26th, but if you order Breaking Busy by following the steps I’m linking you to here, on Alli’s website, before January 26th, you’ll get a FREE Breaking Busy Guide from Alli Worthington and friends.