I didn’t get enough sleep
I don’t have enough time.
I told you last week, these are the two lies I hear in my head every day, without fail.
They are the first lies of the day, ready to greet me before I’m fully awake.
If I don’t expose and expel these lies early and often, I will conduct myself as if they are true. For me, that means blasting through my day irritable, hurried and overwhelmed.
For my family, that means YIKES!
The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is. – C. S. Lewis
Let’s Define “Enough”
It’s tempting for me to agree with these lies, to own them, to wear them like a badge of honor. After all, I usually go to bed later than I intended and I always seem to have more on my plate than I can manage (society honors this, right?). But I’ve learned that God’s definition of “enough” is quite different from mine.
Do I have time to keep my house spotless, keep my body flawless, keep my hair trimmed/washed/styled, attend Bible study, grow my own vegetables, prepare those vegetables as part of a gourmet breakfast/lunch/dinner, wash/dry/fold/hang/put away all the laundry, scroll through Pinterest, volunteer at school, assist in homework, scroll through Twitter, drive kids to basketball, visit with my friends, read blogs, date my husband, read to the children, pursue a career, scroll through Facebook, serve the church, serve the poor, watch American Idol and change the world? Like, today? Every day?
And yet, this is often what overwhelms me—especially at 5:30 am.
What the heck is that? What drives the incessant lying voice that says, “I must have it all, achieve it all, do it all perfectly and do it TODAY”?
Let’s get deep and introspective for a minute. I know it’s a lot of soul-work, first to listen to that inner monologue and second to figure out why it’s saying what it’s saying. But trust me, it’s so important to identify the root that propels us to pack our days full to the point of exhaustion.
Consider that maybe the root has nothing to do with God’s plan for your life, but instead emerges from one or more of these:
As with every Lie, the author of the Not Enough Lie is The Father of Lies.
The root of the Not Enough will destroy you.
Each morning, before this parasite of Not Enough has a chance to attach to my soul and suck the Life out of me, I sit down with Jesus and simply ask Him,
“What would bring You glory today, Lord? Where should I focus my attention? What is the best use of my time today?”
Most days while I’m asking this question, I have my To-Do list right in front of me. That, along with my Bible, my journal and a cup of coffee. I mean business. (Because that picture right there is my actual To Do List. It’s long and scary, mostly.)
And this is what Jesus reminds me of almost every single day:
Anxiety does not come from God. He is Peace and He wants me to live in Peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
God does not want me to worry about my life.
What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.
~Matthew 6:32-34 (The Message)
I actually need very little.
Keep falsehood and lies far from me; give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me only my daily bread.
Striving for what the world says I need only brings stress.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
~I Timothy 6:6-11
I do have some legitimate needs, and God will supply those.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
God doesn’t want me to operate in isolation. Asking others for help brings Him glory, too.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else.
~II Corinthians 9:11-13
He simply wants me to entrust my time to Him, knowing that when I use it to serve others and build God’s kingdom, He promises to give it right back to me and refresh me.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.
If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.
So when I hear the lies “I didn’t get enough sleep, I don’t have enough time” I respond confidently with,
“GOD HAS GIVEN ME EVERYTHING I NEED TO DO HIS WILL TODAY. TIME, SLEEP, TALENT, MONEY, PEOPLE. EVEYRTHING.”
Sometimes it doesn’t always take. So, I need to respond to that lie again.
And sometimes, again.
If you hear this lie, too, you might also like these blog posts about sleep and time