Wake-up Call | Slowing the Pace of a Busy Life

Welcome to Real Life. This week’s blog is a guest post by my friend Michelle Virnelson.  Her life has been a bit busy lately ... 

I had a minor parking lot scrape last week. It wigged me out for days. I couldn’t get it off my mind. What happened? Where did that car come from as I was backing into my parking spot? And why couldn’t I stop thinking about it? My life is filled with far more pressing matters to think and pray about. This was a minor incident. No one was hurt. 

As I pondered (no, ruminated on would be the better description) what happened, I sensed God say, “Michelle, I’ve been trying to tell you. Slow down. Get more sleep.” 

“I know, Lord. I’m trying. But, I don’t know how or what to do.” 

Been there? Is life so busy that it seems there’s no way to slow down? Everything is urgent. I’ve already cut everything that’s not urgent. One daughter is coming home from college and needs her room back. Another daughter is graduating from high school this month and preparing for college. My youngest daughter is transitioning from homeschool to public high school. My husband is finishing his MBA while working full-time. How can I possibly slow down? Instead of slowing down, I’m shutting down. It’s all piling up. Because I’m trying to get everything done so the house can function, I’m not sleeping. 

Yet God is saying, “Slow down. Just be with me.” It’s easier said than done. I love the Lord. I love spending time with him in his Word, in praise and in prayer. That’s not the issue. It’s about simply being with him—letting go of even more things that I think need to be done. 

One of those things is a clean house. Do my friends care if my house isn’t clean? Or are they just happy that in spite of the mess, I continue to have them over for a weekly meal and Bible study? I know the truth. They’re more interested in fellowship and exploring God’s word together than whether their socks get dirty from my unkempt floors. (Besides, they can always keep their shoes on.) Do my kids care? For heaven’s sakes, no! They’re thrilled. My youngest was overheard saying, “Wow. She doesn’t care as much about the house now.” It means she is getting more of my time—playing games, laughing or watching a show together.

Where is this “balance” everyone talks about? My definition: doing what God calls me to—not what others say I should do. So, where am I off kilter? How much more can I let go of?

I don’t know the answer yet. What I do know is that this is my wake-up call. Slow down even more, Michelle. Refuse the rat race. Simply enjoy where I am. Each day, ask God what to do. And get more sleep. Take a nap. Enjoy the rest He provides. This is a season of busyness for me with parenting and home. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t slow down. I can choose to let more things go that are really not important for this day.

So, I’m going to lie down and take a nap. The mess will still be here. But, my family needs a mom who isn’t so tired.

Taking it further …

· Are you ready to recover your reserves? Read Discovering Soul Care by Mindy Caliguire.

· Need help in how to cut back? Try The Overload Syndrome: Learning to Live within Your Limits by Richard A. Swenson, M.D.

· Dr. Jennifer Degler discusses “Creating a Life You Love” on five Midday Connection radio broadcasts (produced by Moody Radio).

· Need to stop and rest? Try “The 8 Minute Stillness Challenge” by Wanda Walborn.


  1. I'm sure it won't surprise you that this scripture comes to mind:"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." Luke 10:38-42 NIV In my younger days, I didn't think Jesus was fair to Martha, but now I understand fully.

  2. Yes, love that Scripture, Linnea. Only one thing is needed. If we can only remember that! Thanks for sharing. :)

  3. Wow!...thanks for sharing Michelle! And...you serve dinner with your Bible study??!!...lol...what day and time is that again. Haha...love you!

  4. Hi Peggi,
    This is a wonderful guest post and I really enjoyed it. I can identify with slowing down. Since I am a very early getter-upper, I have had to learn how to take a two hour break in the afternoon and get out of my office, lie down and take a nap. That was one of the hardest things to do, but since I have started doing it, I am more creative.
    Please let Michelle know that I enjoyed her openness. Tell her she should see my kitchen. There are times when the dishwasher is full and the sink has glasses in it, however, I don't stress out like I used to. Now, I take my what I call my time-out. Those things can wait until afterward.

  5. Hi Patricia,
    I've forwarded your comments to Michelle! The blog really blessed me, too. I always need a reminder to "slow down - rest more." You're right - the dishes and cleaning can always wait. :)


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