When Life is Too Loud for Quiet Time

REMINDER: Don’t forget the free conference call next Monday night, April 30th, at 8 pm EST. I’m offering it as a wrap up discussion on our online hospitality series. It will include me yakking some and then Q & A and idea sharing. Can’t wait! Details for the call will be posted next Monday. Mark your calendar now :-)

Ever lay in bed and think about the week to come with dread, not delight?

Oh, not because of a tragedy or sadness, but just because of all you have on your plate. When you think of your tasks and responsibilities and then do a quick mental check of the time you have in which to do them, well, the ole’ freak-o-meter goes haywire.

I was there last night, sisters.

Although I am super intentional to try not to take on more than I should, I over-estimate how much my plate can handle at times. Or, I take on good things for bad reasons.

Then, the good crowds out the best—time alone with God each day.

My life gets so loud that I can no longer find the quiet.

Let’s talk about this a bit this week & see if you can relate. For a few days, we’ll look at reasons. Then, we’ll look at solutions.

Why do we let life get too crowded?

Reason # 1:

We under-estimate the time needed to do a task.

Sounds simple when the committee chair says, “Can you make 2 dozen cookies for the church/school/campaign events?” But we might not realize that they day they are needed, we’ll find ourselves pulled in 14 different directions and then, instead of joyfully whipping up a batch with a smile on our face, we swing by the store and begrudgingly purchase some fancy, looks-like-they-were-homemade cookies and curse the day we ever answered the stinkin’ phone when the committee chair called!

When asked to be in charge of a small project, we might guess it will take us an hour or two. Sometimes it takes us an hour a two a day for a week instead!

Or, we don’t take into account the schedules of our hubby or kids when we say “Yes” to the task or “Sure” to the responsibility. Then, when we are fulfilling the duty for which we signed up, we are neglecting our family in order to do it!

We women have what I call the curse of capability. We are so capable at multi-tasking that, when asked to take on another responsibility, we don’t actually remove anything from our over-crowded plate. We are just so sure we are such whizzes at multi-tasking, that if we just rearrange everything, somehow we can make it all fit.

Okay- that is reason number one.

Tomorrow, number two.

In the mean time, what about you? Do you take on too much due to a wrong estimation of the time it will take to follow through?


  1. Thank you for sharing this! committing to do many things without considering time and priority unknowingly is a common reason for my failure to meet intended targets. God bless for this lesson.

  2. It seems there is this cycle in my life where I have way too much to do, then I go crazy over it, then I scale back, and things seem calmer for a while, but then I take on too much again. It used to be volunteer work that put me over the edge. But since the financial crisis that began for many of us in the fall of 2008, it has been work. My husband has taken multiple pay cuts in order to keep his job, and so I have taken on more part-time jobs. Basically, it started out that I was trying to keep our finances even, but then I couldn’t do it. We made cuts to our budget, and it still wasn’t enough. I am up to four part-time jobs, and now one of those jobs has cut my hours. (I’m trying not to panic.) Some people think I’m crazy – “Why don’t you just get ONE full time job?” But we do it this way b/c with part-time work I can keep enough flexibility to still make my children a priority. They only have to go to child care one afternoon a week. So far, we’ve been able to maintain music and dance; but our family just decided last week that there will be no softball for anyone this summer. Our “vacation” will be attending a wedding several states away, and yes, I’m already worried about how to pay for the gas to drive there. I have four nieces and nephews, and this is the last one to get married – we did not attend any of the other three weddings due to financial constraints.

    OK, I’m babbling! But I do overestimate how much I can get done in a certain period of time.
    I don’t know what other reasons you plan to address this week, but one of my big ones is the attempt to ‘do it all.’ As a working mother, I’m still trying to do all the same things that I did when I was primarily a stay at home mom. I think I can get away with it b/c of the nature of my work, but the fact is that I can’t. Accepting that realization is difficult to say the least. It makes me feel like a failure at the thing I want to succeed at the most.

  3. Glad to see I’m not alone with a plate that is so overloaded. It seems I am always doing the urgent and leave a huge pile of need to be done still on my plate. There are so many important things in that pile but the urgent always gets first place. Looking forward to the solutions later in the week.

  4. The thing that usually throws me is that I care for an elderly parent who is not completely well. I will get so excited to have an opportunity to serve in some capacity and I try to take care of everything, any possible detail I can think of for my parent to give me the opportunity to serve and than something happens not allowing me the joy of serving like I wanted to. I get disappointed but than I have to remind myself that I am honoring the Lord by serving my parent. Sometimes I just wish to have a change.

  5. What really really hit home about the message is that I will also be so over committed that I do not complete my task with the happy heart I should have when I agree to “serve” or “help” others. I asked a friend the other day, “How in the world did I ever have time to work?” Since I have been a “stay at home mom”, my life has been insane. I am just now starting to understand that I am losing the whole reason I am home which is to spend the extra time with my little ones:) Thanks for the reminder of priorities!

  6. Oh my goodness yes! I am trying to better about what I take on but I do forget what my family already has when I schedule something.

  7. I say yes knowing I will beat myself up later for it. Why is it easy for some to say “no” and so difficult for others.

  8. First comment posted to soon anyhow this is huge for me I often say YES YES YES not realizing my plate is to full already. It’s a habit because I don’t like to say NO and I am a recovering PEOPLE PLEASER but she still at times rears her ugly face and I have to re-evaluate my priorities. Also I tell myself well it’s all good stuff but your so right all the good stuff starts to overtake the great stuff in which I should be doing to “run my race” we are all running in the same race yes but that will LOOK differently for each of us and some may be able to keep very busy schedules and do it well where as others NEED to be doing less so it’s constantly praying for that balance!! I am so encouraged by this perfect timing have a BUSY week ahead myself just a short season though!!

  9. Thank you for helping me know that I am not the only one who overbooks. I was so overwhelmed yesterday thinking about work this week, planning a bridal shower, teaching a Jr. church lesson, and helping lead a Bible study. Yikes! What was I thinking? It must have been a slow time when I agreed to all of these things. Without time with the Lord, I’ll never make it. Thanks for that reminder. Hope your week goes well.

  10. This post hit me really hard today. I am often the person who always says yes without thinking about exactly what I will have to do. I try to say no however what I intend to keep as a dessert plate often turns into a thanksgiving turkey platter. As far as my quiet time goes…I try to have it in the morning but lately I have found myself hitting the snooze button because I am exhausted from doing all these things that I thought I could do. Praying that God will make this week a bit easier but so far it doesn’t seem like it….I will keep praying and trying.

    Smiles and Blessings,
    Robin :)

  11. As so many have stated before, this series hits the nail squarely on the head for me! I dreadfully UNDER estimate the time required for each task and frequently need to ask my husband to help me organize my time effectively.

  12. Well I don’t take on as much as I used to. I learned a few times the hard way that I needed to ask God what to say yes and no to. Once I said yes to running a school talent show that I had run the year before. I had taken on new ministry responsibilities. But didn’t bother to ask God about the talent show, because I was getting such accolades for the show I had run the year before. It felt so good to be wanted, appreciated, and asked again! Oh boy did I pay the price for my ego being stroked. The whole six weeks was miserable…and as a result I made everyone else suffer…especially my family. Ugh! And missing out on our quiet times because of busyness…now that’s a killer.

  13. Yes! All the time…I take on more than I can handle. And then, I usually have to sheepishly and shamefully back out of a couple things. Looking forward to this series very much…sounds like alot of us could use this!

  14. YES! I actually had a crazy breakdown last week! My freak-o-meter went haywire too. Last time this happened was last year and I knew what I had to change…somehow I ended up there again. Last week I made a decision to concentrate on my health and my family and somewhat remove myself from my business that has been sucking the life and time out of me for almost a year. I’m on week two! Making healthy meals, exercising, and taking care of my family. I have put 200% of myself into my business for almost a year and I’m tired. God’s gonna have to take care of my business while I take care of my family. It will come together in His timing and I feel like He wants me taking care of my home right now. Thank you for this!

  15. Wow is God talking to me through your article! Last night and many nights this past week I lay awake until the wee hours thinking of all the things I have to get through this week and next week isn’t much better. Your series this week is very timely! Thank you and I look forward to the rest of the week!

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