be more. do less.

whiteflower

In the midst of an active, blurry week, The Man came home from a walk with a friend who asked him this question: Are you willing to be more and do less? The words stopped me in my dinner making, clothes washing, nose wiping tracks. On the scale of life, these days my doing far outweighs my being.

Be more. Do less. It sounds as blissful as it does unrealistic. I hear the mocking voice of reason, the one telling me how the sentiment is nice, but the reality is that things just have to get done. There is no room for rest, for still, for quiet. The words repeat like a drumbeat in the background.

Do. Act. Work. Produce.

But there is another Voice. The voice of One who invites me to abide in Him and rest. He renews, restores and redeems. In the inspired words of Sarah Young, He bends time in my favor. And the gentle rhythm of truth rises from within.

Be. Trust. Receive. Respond.

When I live as though I believe that’s true, activity doesn’t stop. Rather it takes on new life. It doesn’t require an entire day of quiet reflection, although I wouldn’t turn it down. It is purposing in my heart not to fret.  It is allowing the day to go as it will. It is holding my plans with an open hand and a willing heart. When I have a chance to either be still or check my email, I can choose to be still. Not every time. Just this time.

Even in the midst of lots of activity, our souls have permission to rest. I don’t always choose rest, but this is a sweet reminder to me that I have options.

Comments

  1. says

    Really? I’m your first comment? Cool. I should indeed be resting right now. And not staying up so very, very late watching the Oscars. And enjoying peace and quiet and time alone.

    It’s a great post. And oh, do I ever need reminding of this one. I rarely choose rest. Even though it’s almost always the wiser choice.

    Let me just tell you that your “Motherhood for the Introvert” post is still resounding in my soul. I know it sounds silly but it explained SO MUCH about me. To me.

    And I feel like I need to tell everyone who knows me well to read it. It would explain why I am a less chatty and extroverted and outgoing person than I used to be. Anyway, I felt like you wrote it just for me. Even though you didn’t…

    But I’ll pretend you did.

    Oh, and I also call my husband The Man. Did I subconsciously copy you? Or maybe great minds just thinking alike?

  2. says

    Just beautiful Emily!!! Why is it we fall prey to the busyness of life? I too don’t want to rest, I’d rather be cleaning, polishing, playing with the kids, etc…than simply resting to just “be.” Thanks for the reminder that doing less can bring us more time to be just ‘be’ and embrace that to do less, means to be more!

  3. says

    A timely reminder as I stand facing what will inevitably be a very busy week, wondering how in the world I am going to balance it all. What a wonderful thing to remember — that He beckons me to be, trust, receive and respond even while this beautifully imperfect life keeps spinning around me and to discover what happens when I do.

  4. says

    I love that you wrote about this today because in the midst of trying to keep my house clean and ready to buy (it’s on the market), I decided to let go and let God on Sundays. I decided to “do less and be more” and if someone needs to come see it on that day then we’ll run around stuffing things under the bed, but for that one day I just won’t worry about it and enjoy the day with the kids.

  5. says

    i love the clarity of your blog design! it’s beautiful. “be more, do less” will be my mantra this week…(maybe i should start small, and try it for just today first?) :)

  6. says

    I like this. Usually I think I need an entire day of solitude to make this happen, but like you said (eloquently as always) it’s not about stopping completely all the time. It’s about the choice to have a still soul. Good stuff, girl.

  7. says

    Thanks for this beautifully written reminder to just be and to “hold our plans with on open hand and willing heart”. Having this perspective can definitely transform the everyday activity from just moment-filling to truly life-living.

  8. says

    Be more….Do less…..that is it in a nutshell. Intentionally living life with purpose and passion, but not always having “to do” in order to just BE.
    As I come off my few minutes of “doing,” I can’t wait to just “be.

    Going back to read this one again. :)

  9. says

    Sarah – so where I am at this week and is exactly where I am at – God used you in my heart this morning.

    SIDE NOTE: your layout is the most adorable I have seen yet and I tried to ‘contact’ your designer but can’t? do you know how to get a hold of her?

  10. says

    Thank you for listening to Him and sharing the wisdom you receive with us. And I do like the new design in its ability to assist in quiet reflection. Like a blank canvas. We can fill in the blanks.

    Bless you, Emily. Truly, may you be blessed for the sharing that do here.

    Karin

  11. says

    God is whispering the same lesson to me the last six weeks. In a world that rewards and crowns busy ness and financial success pushes….He continually has whispered “Be about my business…I will take care of your abundance” and that is exactly the transitioning that is happening…as I let go of my plan more His plans have taken over….and a new thing has begun…Your writing is beautiful as is your heart…and I always enjoy knowing it here.

  12. says

    This is a really wonderful reminder, thank you. I especially love the idea that “He bends time in our favor” because often things feel the opposite way. But we really do have enough time to do all the things He wants us to do.

    Jamie

  13. says

    Perfect – I love it. How easy to get caught up in the doing. How amazing that we can rest in Him even in what we are doing. Going to have to put a link on my blog!

  14. says

    Beautifully written. It’s important to keep everything in perspective, and is so easy to get caught up in the daily grind.

    I lost a dear, 26 year old friend yesterday–lover of life, craftiest person I knew, and mother to an eight year old son.

    I know she is at rest, and this article–and her death–encourage me to stop, and be, and live–not just do.

    Thank you.

  15. says

    Emily,

    This is a lesson I have long been learning. I used to do more and felt I HAD to DO more. I had no time to BE, there was too much to DO.

    God has whispered this concept of the importance BEING to me over and over again through the years and while I do not have it down by any means, I realize there are so many things I DO that I do not have to DO. I can let go and let God! He can do so much more through my stillness than I can ever accomplish by my DOING. It is the BEING that transforms my day, my life and the lives around me.

    Thanks for the beautiful way you communicated this!

    blessings,
    melissa

  16. says

    Thank you! I needed this. Hugely! 2 sick kids and a whole list of stuff to do. I am right this minute choosing the “better part”. But just had to thank you!

  17. says

    Loved this Emily. I find myself trying to take more time to be still too. Getting down on my knees feels like being welcomed home. It’s a good feeling. Not that I won’t still check that darn email 3 out of 4 times, but I’m thankful for that one time I choose to be still too.

    All the best to you.

  18. says

    Beautiful!!! I have a hard time being still. When I do I feel as though my body and soul get’s a much needed rest. It’s ok to be still I have to tell myself. I hate to admit this but I have to make time to be with my Lord. I try to fit him into my busy day. Shame on me… Although I know He loves even the bits and pieces of me it’s so nice when I can give him my all. Thank you Emily…I will be still, smile~

  19. says

    I really need this, as you’ll see on my blog…I haven’t chosen rest much lately. I am somewhat of a busy bee and need to rest! Thanks for the uplifting message and reminder of what’s important. I hope all your readers are finding their way back to you.

  20. says

    Thank you for sharing this, Emily! I have been struggling with this concept lately as I have been trying to be faithful in the little things; trying to be JOYFULLY faithful in the little things because the little things are attached to the blessings in my life. The problem comes when I start to define myself based on the little things instead of the blessings by letting how much I did or didn’t do in day tell me what kind of day it was. God knows that we tend want to pull things down to a tangible level and I know that’s why his Word is full of reminders to rest in Him and find our value in Him!

  21. says

    Well now you’ve got me thinkin’. I don’t choose to be still very often. To take in the moment. To sit down and take a load off and clear my mind instead of going, going, going. I need to do that!

  22. Vicki says

    The greatest struggle for all women, I think. I tell myself, sit a spell, listen for God, if you are so busy how will you ever hear Him till He has to knock you up side the head with something to get your attention. Then other little voices (otherwise known as the laundry, dishes, stinky diapers, screaming children, research papers, friends, family) start to whisper “what about me?” I so desperatly want to learn to “be” with dirty dishes, unfolded laundry and dust bunnies in the corners.

  23. says

    I so needed this today, Emily. My mind and body are running ninety-to-nothin’ and I feel like rest is not in my future for a while. Thanks for the reminder that it is my choice to rest in Him.

  24. carly says

    love, love this post. spoken perfectly and from a heart that seems genuine and authentic.

    i also love this new layout. it is quite appropriate for your writing and insight.

    thanks for sharing.

  25. says

    AWESOME post, Emily… Wow… How God uses everything we see and hear when He wants to get our attention. Your post was much needed this week. :) Thanks for sharing!!

  26. says

    Several of my favorite blogs mentioned this post earlier this week. I think the post is beyond wonderful. My husband and I just finished remodeling our kitchen in Berlin. We really need to capture the essence of what you write now. I said “be more. do less.” to my husband. He was a little thrown off by the “do less”… until I explained. What a timely post for us. Thank you! I’ve been won over by your writing and will be here to stay.
    Katie

  27. Judith says

    Thank you for that! I stumbled upon this post … and am so inspired!

    I have to remind myself daily to not “wear busyness like a badge”. My state of mind is my choice, and today I’m going to have a peaceful day inside my heart and head, no matter what’s going on outside!

  28. says

    So many people think they have no choice, no options but to live life at the fastest pace possible and fit as much into the day as they can. To do so, they stay up later and get up earlier.

    And they not only cheat on sleep, but they forget to rest.

    Lovely post. As I talk with people about living “not so fast,” they crave a life that would lead them to do less and be more. But it takes courage to live that way.

    Take courage!

    And rest.

    Good, good words.

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