Less Really is More

Pursuing a life of less yields richness money can’t buy.

“Better one handful with tranquillity
    than two handfuls with toil
   and chasing after the wind.”

(Ecclesiastes 4:6 NIV)

September is a difficult month for my family. With four people heading out to three different schools, there’s a lot to juggle. Two parents who are teachers and two kids in school means lots of grading, homework, forms to fill out, and multiple back-to-school nights. It’s a lot.

The first couple of weeks were brutal this year. After the end of the first week with students, I asked him a question that made us both laugh nervously.

“Is it this hard every year?”

Maybe it’s the culture shock of enjoying summertime as a family, then suddenly jumping back onto the breakneck pace of the school year. Maybe it’s because we’re getting older. Maybe it’s because we both have more responsibilities this year on the job. Maybe a little of each.

No matter the reasons, the pressure and exhaustion are real. Besides working full-time, we host a monthly home group, run a Wednesday class at church, and my husband counts the offering monthly. Plus our children have Cub and Girl Scouts.

On a normal Monday the second week of school, I came home with my head spinning and heart heavy. For no particular reason, I dissolved into tears upon arriving home and flopping onto the couch.

It hadn’t been a bad day. There was nothing “wrong” at work. I was just at a breaking point of feeling overwhelmed. Something had to give. I’d suspected over the summer it might come to this, and I was right.

I needed less in my life.

After four years of serving on the Care Team at church, I stepped down. This was a weekly commitment to gather and make calls to members of the congregation who put in prayer requests on Sunday. I loved doing it.

Making connections with people by talking to and praying for them was a wonderful experience. Hearing their answered prayer stories and loving on them made me happy. I felt blessed to be used by God this way. But the time had come to step into a new season.

It was difficult to step down, but I had to think about all the other things going on in my life. I had to find space to breathe. When I joined the Care Team, there were only two other people. By God’s provision, we’d grown to seven.

Stepping down was bittersweet. However, the reason I joined was to fill a needed role. Since the team had grown and I was overwhelmed, it was clear. God was releasing me from that season of ministry.

Giving up ministry is hard. Giving up any good thing is hard. However, by freeing up margin in our lives, we honor God by creating space to be better at the things that remain.

I can be a better wife, mom, and teacher when I don’t overload my schedule. Somehow, things had become packed to the gills, some of which were beyond my control. A full schedule but an empty spirit are not good company.

A full schedule but an empty spirit are not good company.

Looking for and praying about what to give up is work. You may have to let go of things you love–things that are good. But God honors our obedience. He will use us where we are when we listen for His voice.

Hi! I’m Tracy…Christ-follower, wife, mama, writer, blogger, speaker, teacher, dreamer. I love Earl Grey Tea and quiet mornings. Here at Earl Grey and Yellow, the focus is striving to be faithful and appreciate the small things. So glad you stopped by. Please have a look around and subscribe to our newsletter and social media to stay connected.

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