busyness & our badge of honor

Along with a hundred or so other photographers who had the opportunity to hear the wonderful Justin & Mary speak yesterday in DC, this morning my head is still left reeling a little bit. I’ve heard J&M speak a few times now, but the great thing about them is they never fail to teach me something new every time. They are going across the country empowering and challenging photographers to do one thing… be better. and even more importantly, to live better.

It was about half way through when Mary spoke the words that made me stop dead in my tracks. Something that I have done for years without ever realizing it. Something I am 100% guilty of. Something that still now 24 hours later has left my head spinning trying to process it. and something that i thought was worth sharing with you today…

We wear “busy” like a badge of honor. 

A badge of honor. If we’re “busy” it feels like something REAL is happening. If our days are packed, if the never ending to-do list overwhelms you, if your time is in demand… that MUST mean something REAL is happening… right? I think there’s a reason she picked the world ‘real’ instead of ‘good’. She went on to say “It’s not being BUSY that makes you successful, its doing the work that MATTERS.”

What work matters in your life? What are the things that you want for your life that are being blocked, or delayed, simply by busyness? Why do we I think that busyness equals success? Why do we I have such a hard time saying NO?! Why do we I feel the need to take every job or every opportunity that comes our way? and why do we I let those opportunities take the place of the people and things that we love? Are we so scared of failing at the thing that we LOVE or the thing we want for our life that we feel the need to have one finger in every possible escape route for when/if it all goes up in flames? a back up for our back up of our back up plan? i’m tired just thinking about it, and tired for all the many people in my life that I see live life this way.

For years when people would ask me “How’s it going?!” my response was always the same: “Its Busy!” … as if that was a GOOD thing? there are so many other ways I could have and SHOULD have answered that! but I wore it like a badge of honor. If I’m swamped and overwhelmed that clearly means my business is growing, right? I am so blessed to have a job that i truly TRULY love, but I run this business, it should not get to a point where the BUSINESS runs me and my life.

This past year I made some practical steps to ensure that didn’t happen again, the biggest one being that I prioritized Sundays as a personal day. I have a church that I love, and every week I get to hang out with kids that I adore, but that ministry and my relationship with the Lord isn’t going to grow if I let other things get in the way, so I made it a point to only book one weekend away per month at the MOST. It was amazing to see how God honored that commitment and how things in ALL aspects of my life have grown and improved since then! Amazing what happens when you give God room to work :)

I don’t ever want to get to a point where I’m TOO busy for the things and people that matter, because at that point its just not worth it. Too busy for ministry? Too busy for a relationship? Too busy to meet a friend for lunch or help them with a project? Shame on me. That ministry, those people, and my relationship with the Lord are the badges of honor I WANT to display….. “busy” for the sake of being busy can always take a backseat to this:


“Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” This is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build my house, so that I might take pleasure in it and be honored,” says the Lord.” – Haggai 1:5-8

Give your work an eternal purpose. Live a life that leaves a legacy. Choose to live this life better.

Happy Friday, have a great weekend dear friends :)

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  1. Callie says:

    Are you sure you werent speaking directly to ME?! Amazing thoughts, absolutely amazing!

  2. This is so wonderful to hear! It’s so true too. I love knowing other people realize that busyness isn’t all amazing and good for you like everyone makes it seem like it is. Thanks for sharing Jessie!

  3. Lauryn says:

    LOVE that scripture. Yes, yes. Thank you for sharing.

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