This morning I woke up later than usual.

By the time I sat down at my dining room table with a bowl of granola, a cup of coffee, and my Bible, I was already feeling the pressure of another busy day weighing heavily.

Ultimate DIY Bundle, January 21-26, 2015

Even as I opened my Bible, my mind began to fret: 

How am I going to get our school work done today AND clean this house? 

What about the needs of my friends from church… I feel overwhelmed that there’s nothing I can do to help them right now. 

I didn’t get up early enough to blog this morning or update my weekly newsletter.  Wow, I’m totally going to bomb this bundle sale

I meant to turn to my daily reading in the New Testament, but my Bible fell open to the book of Ecclesiastes.  An underlined verse in chapter four grabbed my full attention:

Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit. 

Quietness. 

Isn’t that my word for this year

It’s funny how I just keep bumping into “quiet”.  Daily being reminded of how very much I need this “quiet” in my life, my heart, my mind.

“Better is an handful with quietness, than both the hands full with travail and vexation of spirit.”

Are You Trying Too Hard? | Encouragement from Kristy's Cottage blog

I cross referenced this verse (Ecclesiastes 4:6) in several different Bible translations, and basically it means

It is better to be satisfied with the few things you have than to always be struggling to get more.

Always struggling. 

Do you ever feel like that’s you?  Like you’re always trying too hard?

Trying too hard to get ahead. 

Trying too hard to reach perfection. 

Trying too hard to lose weight or get into shape. 

Trying too hard to be a better wife… or find a husband! 

Trying too hard to eat healthier. 

Trying too hard to get a home business or a dream off the ground. 

Trying too hard to get your name out there, be a better blogger, or a better _______________ (you fill in the blank). 

I think a lot of us are guilty of trying too hard

I’m not suggesting that we should sit back and take the easy road-to-nowhere.

As Christian women, we should be intentional, driven, focused.

But sometimes we simply fall into the trap of “always struggling for more”, or, as another translation put it, “always chasing the wind”. 

 

Are You Trying Too Hard? | Encouragement from Kristy's Cottage blog

Can I ask you a question?

What are you chasing after?

And where is it leading you?

Toward rest?  Joy? Contentment? 

Or are you “always struggling”?

Against fatigue, discontent, and a feeling of no sense of accomplishment?  

Motivation and a certain amount of “striving” are good things.  

But when is the last time you simply enjoyed life?

Just because it’s your life? 

Not because you have the perfect skirt or bra size. 

Not because you have a perfect marriage. 

Not because your house is big enough and clean enough and organized enough.

Not because you eat great and look great and feel great.

Not because finances are good and you’re reaching all your personal goals.

Those are all good things, but what about just being satisfied with the things you have (and are) instead of always struggling to get (and be) more?

What about taking a nap so you’ll feel like a nice person instead of an over-worked grouch? 

What about cuddling on the couch with a good book and a cup of coffee? 

What about just relishing the rain… or the cold… or the heat… instead of battling the elements? 

What about just… enjoying life anyway?

Are You Trying Too Hard? | Encouragement from Kristy's Cottage blog

So here’s my challenge for you (and my weekend reads): 

  • Stop trying so hard.
  • Ask the Lord to show you one thing you should focus on right now (instead of the many things that are wearing you out).

 


 

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This weekend, I’ve got homemade personal pizzas on the menu, a lavender soak with a good book on the agenda, and hopefully enough quiet time to write up my workshop outline for our upcoming Girls’ Day Out at church.

How do you intend to enjoy this weekend?

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10 thoughts on “Are You Trying Too Hard? {and weekend reads}

  1. Thanks for sharing. I looked up the verse and I’m writing it on my white board for the week, because I know come tomorrow I will start trying to “get it all in” when I need to just make sure we do what is needed, but not over do in order to have a peaceful spirit.

    Posted on January 26, 2015 at 10:26 am
    1. So true, Suanna! I have to continually remind myself, as well.

      Posted on February 26, 2015 at 11:28 pm
  2. Thanks for the beautiful reminder, Kristy! Such a lovely read with a practical, bite-size challenge. I needed this today.

    Posted on January 24, 2015 at 7:01 pm
    1. Thank you, Julie. You know how much I need it, too!

      Posted on January 26, 2015 at 6:38 am
  3. Wow. You have no idea how much this was for me. Thankful to God for ministering to me at my need. Thank you for being sensitive and typing His words.

    Posted on January 24, 2015 at 12:52 am
    1. I’m so thankful the words blessed you, Kaylee. Thank you for the encouragement comment!

      Posted on January 26, 2015 at 6:39 am
  4. Another great post. Love you and appreciate you!

    Posted on January 23, 2015 at 6:56 pm
    1. I love you too, Lynley!

      Posted on January 23, 2015 at 7:12 pm
  5. I get so caught up in the hectic everyday with littles, and so often forget it’s the eternal that’s important, not my (VERY) dirty floors, not the freezer I still need to sort through, or any other of the never ending to do’s. Lots of links here to read (and re-read). Thanks Kristy for the reminder to enjoy life. “Rejoice evermore”. One of the shortest verses there is…

    Posted on January 23, 2015 at 6:25 pm
    1. Priscilla, your list sounds so much like mine… and you’re right: it never seems to end!

      It’s so easy to get swept away and worn out by all the “to do’s”. I hope your weekend is very blessed and purposeful… yes, “rejoice evermore” is a choice!

      Posted on January 23, 2015 at 7:14 pm