Do you ever feel guilty for loving what you do (work, ministry, volunteering)? Dose the lingering feeling of “My_________ (relationship with God, my husband, my kids,) should be enough” haunt you as you do what you love?
If you have experienced these feelings in the past (or are right now!) you won’t want to miss today’s interview with Crystal Stein, author of Holy Hustle. She is the expert on the guilt-free hustle. I know this is a problem for me and my friends, and many of my listeners – we love our families, but we long for more. Well Crystal is going to give us the inside scoop on hour to put the Holy in your Hustle and not feel guilty about wanting to accomplish great things outside of your family.
In this jam-packed interview, you will learn how to:
balance work with holy rest
bring your family along for the adventure
stop feeling the guilt of the world’s (and your own) expectations
I’m thrilled to have Crystal on the show – so buckle up those kiddos, grab your phone and let’s dive in.
Special thanks to Crystal Stein for joining me this week. Until next time!
Meet Our Guest
Crystal is a coffee-loving self-proclaimed “digital missionary” who loves creating a space where faith and friendship come together. She started her blog as a private site where she could journal, post thoughts from her day. In 2009, God put it on her heart to make that blog public and begin using it for His glory. Her passion is to encourage, equip, and inspire women. Learn more at crystalstine.me.
Just like me, you want to start your day right. Right? And for much of the world that involves a green smoothie and some hot yoga.
But for those of us who follow God, you and I know that the best way to start your day right is to spend some quality time with our creator.
Some things not to do:
Go from zero to 60 Maybe you heard a great sermon at church this weekend that talked about priorities, or were at a retreat that talked about the importance of quite time, good for you! It’s great to be inspired by people who love God and have had a difference made in their lives by spending time with Him. But don’t become so inspired that you try to change everything about your routine – that’s a sure way to think that a morning routine is impossible.
Instead of saying “I’ll spend an hour with God every morning.” How about, “Every day, I will start with a five minutes.” Five minutes every morning is a much better place to start than a 45 minute crash and burn session.
Thinking you can “squeeze it in” When has a morning ever offered up more time magically? When has it taken less time for your kids to get dressed, for your hair to dry, or for you to take the dog for a walk? Morning magic time doesn’t exist (except in Cinderella, but she had all those mice and birds to help her get dressed…)
If you want to start your day right, don’t put yourself behind before you even start.
Going too deep, too fast So you’ve decided to do your morning devotions and you think the book of Leviticus is a good place to start.
Let’s be a little kinder to ourselves – shall we?
In order to start your day right, find a devotional that will meet you where you are. You can work your way up to Leviticus – it will still be there when you’re ready – promise.
So how do you get yourself together in the morning if you do want to start your day right with time with God, but you are already feeling behind?
Round up Your Tools
What you need to accomplish this is pretty simple:
A devotional book
Your favorite pen
Reserve Time I know it’s hard to do first thing in the morning, but hear me out: When you start to live Clutter Free in every area of your life, including your schedule, it’s amazing what you can prioritize. As you start to put practices in place to make your mornings easier, but the night before being kind to your future self and setting up the coffee, picking out your outfit for the next day, figuring out what is for breakfast, and having your kid’s backpacks and your computer bag packed and by the front door. If you do any of those things the night before, I promise you, you’ve just given yourself a way to start your morning right with at least five minutes with God.
Set the Time I have an alarm on my phone that reminds me it’s time to sit down with God. I know when it is (7:15 AM) but knowing that the alarm is coming helps me do what I need to do so I can actually sit down for my devotions.
Set the Scene One of the ways that I work to anticipate my morning time is to set the scene; my coffee is set up the night before so I can enjoy it while spending time with God. I have my favorite blanket ready on the couch and a Yankee candle and a pack of matches next to me so that I can set my time aside as a little bit of sacred in what I know will be a very busy day.
Read Decide in advance what to read. I tend to either follow a Bible reading plan, or go with a daily devotional that I can read in about five minutes that is accompanied by scripture. Currently, I’m going through Unblinded Faith – Gaining Spiritual Sight Through Believing God’s Word. It’s a 90 day devotional that is set up perfectly for a quick morning read, but with enough spiritual depth that I feel like I’m able to carry the message all day long. Highly recommended.
Reflect (Mediation and Journaling)
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Joshua 1:8 (NIV)
If all you are able to do to start your day right is read a devotion, then start there. But, if you do it consistently, it won’t be enough. Eventually, you will want to go – and grow – deeper. That is where refection comes in – meditating and journaling.
I know that for years, I made meditation a much bigger and way more mysterious thing than it needed to be. But meditation is simply the practice of thinking about the scripture you just read, and then giving God the space and silence to speak to you on that scripture or anything else.
So when I’m going through a devotional, I read the chapter, and then go to my bible to read the scripture. Then I spend some time thinking about the scripture I just read, and then ask God to bring anything about that scripture to mind.
Finally, I have a journal where I write down anything I’ve discovered from the scripture or from the devotion that I’ve read. This is also where I can keep track of any prayer requests that come up in the morning or throughout the day.
My journal is simple. I have about a half a sheet per day where I can write things down. There is no elaborate system (those have never worked for me in the past.) This is just something between me and God, for no one else.
At first, creating a daily routine can feel awkward and as if you’ll never make a habit of it – but trust me – if this girl can learn to enjoy and embrace the routine of a daily quite time – I have high hopes for you.
In the comments below, tell us one step you can take to start your morning right – let’s all learn from each other!
Is your nest emptying? Dealing with transition can be hard! It is both an exciting and difficult time as you process the loss you feel as your kids move out. We need to remember that as The Lord lets us go through the hardship of our children leaving because He has dreams for our kids, He also has dreams for us. We don’t need to apologize for pouring into our kids or needing to be poured into ourselves. But as we are dealing with transiton, we need be mindful of what we are preparing for in the season ahead without trying to step out of the season we are in.
Join Kathi and Marci Seither as they talk about Marci’s book Empty Nest and discuss tips for dealing with transition, as well as handling the clutter those kids can leave behind. Plus, we will learn how to be kind to ourselves in dealing with the transition from being a hands on mom turned mom of adults.
Leave a comment about one thing you did, or anticipate doing, to ease yourself through the time of dealing with transition when your child(ren) left home for the chance to win one of 3 books we’re giving away!
Marci Seither’s writing career began after her humor article was published in the small-town newspaper. Since then she has authored two books and hundreds of articles for local papers as well as contributing to national publications such as Guideposts, Light & Life, and Focus On The Family.
We all are prey to the way the enemy tries to take our mistakes and twist and turn those failures into making us believe that that is who we are. But failure isn’t final and it isn’t fatal. If you never, ever feel like enough, this is the podcast for you!
When we replace those lies with God’s truth, we start to change our thinking, our hearts and our behavior.
Join Kathi and Sharon Jaynes as they discuss Sharon’s new book, Enough, Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence, and how clutter is all about a discontent heart. They talk about that if we don’t deal with the heart issues of why we don’t believe we are enough we will just replace our clutter with more clutter, addiction or other things, and how knowing the 2 universal lies will help us see the areas we need to speak God’s truth into the lies we’ve believed.
Leave a comment about one of the lies you’ve believed for the chance to win one of 3 books we’re giving away!
Sharon Jaynes is a conference speaker, devotion writer for Girlfriends in God and Proverbs 31 Ministries, and author of 22 books. Her latest book, Enough: Silencing the Lies That Steal Your Confidence will help you accept God’s grace and move past failures and pre-load your heart with truth to fight your deepest insecurities.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10, NIV).
Have you ever met a woman and wondered, “How does she do it all?!”
I know I have. I see the mom who has the kind of house where everything has a place and kids with perfectly coiffed hair and coordinating outfits and I wonder, “What does she have that I don’t? How does she do it all?” The same goes for the homeschooling mom and the mom who recreates every DIY Pinterest idea to perfection. I make judgments: They must be super-human. They mom way better than me.
Yet there are also those who would say the same about me.
When outsiders look at me, they see what I do: full-time PR pro, ministry volunteer, grad school student, wife, mom, part-time consultant … the list goes on. They think I’m organized and accomplished. They jump from the facts to judgments: intelligent, super-human, even perfect. They want to know what I have that they don’t.
Sound familiar? Have you ever had these thoughts? Would you believe that somewhere out there, someone thinks the same thing about you?
Our perceptions and judgments are comparison clutter, and they secretly interfere with our relationships. Comparison keeps us at arm’s length. The desire is there to go deeper and know each other better, but we have to dump the clutter to get there.
Others use their perception of what I do to highlight what they think of as weakness in themselves. I get it. I see gifts in others and think of my own deficits. But Hebrews 4:13 tells us that it’s God to whom we must give account – not each other. I do what God created me to do. These gifts were made for me, not for others. Just like the gifts of organization and crafty creativity that come so easily to others missed me by a mile. Comparison clutter is sneaky. It separates us not only from each other but also from what God has designed us each uniquely to do.
This is where I hope we can remember the spirit of Ephesians 2:10. God created us individually to do good works that he already has prepared for us. We all have a sweet spot when it comes the number of hats we wear. Some of us can be working moms who invest in their marriage and in their community. Others can’t handle more than just a couple of roles before feeling over-extended. It’s by design. You were made to do what you do, just as I was made to do what I do. Neither of us gets salvation bonus points by reaching beyond God’s desires for us.
We often wear our busyness like a badge of honor, an outward sign of our importance or our sacrifice. This is like putting the welcome mat out for comparison to enter. What if we instead looked to live life within the margins our creator designed for us? What if instead of comparing ourselves to others, we celebrated the way we each use the gifts God has given us?
One Small Win
Write down all you do – all that keeps you busy – in a given week and pray over it. What on that list has God created you to do and what might be meant for someone else? Consider what can be delegated or eliminated and take the appropriate action, knowing you are fulfilling God’s design.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:30-31)
I walked into the beautiful home of a new friend for the very first time. She is a single mother of 3 young children, successful entrepreneur and multi-business owner. As I was ooo-ing and ahh-ing over the impeccable decor and the stunning architecture of her home, she repeatedly asked me to overlook the “mess.” After a couple mentions about the kids’ toys I stopped and quickly replied, “One of my superpowers is that I only see messes in my own house, not in others’!”
It’s so true. So many of us have unlimited mercy for other people’s “messes,” whether that be a cluttered home, a wayward child, a disconnected marriage or even difficulties getting pregnant, but when it comes to the messes in our own lives, we seem to have run out of compassion. Why are we so hard on ourselves? We can be rocking it in so many areas of life, but we beat ourselves up over the one or two areas that may be a little bit messy.
God’s Word is clear. The second greatest commandment that Jesus gives in Mark 12:31 is for us to love others as we love ourselves. Leave it to Jesus to be able to strategically maneuver two crucial commandments into one simple message. In order to love others well, we first have to be able to love ourselves well! No matter who you are, the number of degrees you may have, or the amount of talent you may possess, it isn’t realistic or possible for any of us to have success in every area of our lives all at the same time.
It sounds ridiculous even saying it right now, yet, we can become our own biggest critics when life isn’t going as planned.
Do what Jesus says. Love yourself and others well. Have mercy for your own mess.
One Small Win: Today, I want you to think of one area of your life that is messy. Now, take a look at it through the superpower of mercy, just as you would see it in someone else’s life. How do you see your mess now?
As a Couples Life & Fertility Support Coach and 3x Surrogate that has carried five children for three families dealing with infertility, Tiffany Jo Baker spends her time speaking, writing and helping women and couples birth their dreams and navigate the road and relationships well while trying to conceive. Married for 18 years to her polar opposite, yet best friend, together they have two teenage girls and have built a life and family based on faith, core values, humor and forgiveness. She loves to laugh, eat french fries, find amazing deals and create new memories.?? www.TiffanyJoBaker.com
We'll be conducting the book club through Kathi's Private Facebook Group, Clutter Free Academy. Join the book club to get access to the private facebook group. You'll receive an email with instructions once you submit this form.