Earlier this year I began to think of all the “good” answers I had given recently to others who asked about how business was going.
Most of those conversations started with genuine questions like this:
“Is business booming lately for you?”
“Are you staying really busy with Lovely Little Light?”
“Have you gotten a lot of orders lately?”
“Has the workshop sold out for you?”
“Do you have so many bookings right now?”
And my answer to them all was honestly, “no.” .
But instead of that answer, I simply said, “Things are going really well!”
Why did I feel the need to justify my work with a yes to those questions and feel the need to cover up the simple “no,” covering up the truth to make my business “look” better to others than it actually was?
In all reality, my business was feeling really good to me, but I was not crazy busy, I did not feel like business was “booming,” like I had gotten “a ton” of orders lately, a few workshops have not sold out, and I wasn’t booking a lot of new clients. Yet, my business was still meeting the financial goal that I set for the quarter, I was satisfying the mission of my business to be a light to others and I was making aligned decisions with the definition of success that I had set for Lovely Little Light in 2023.
However, in these conversations, I felt like if I answered “no” to any of those questions, people would see my business as a failure or not “successful.” So instead I said, “things are going really well” which felt true to me but felt like a lie when I said it out loud to others simply because I did not feel busy.
How often do we do this with other things in our life too? How often do we say that things in our family, our relationships, or our career are better than they really are for the sake of wanting others to view our lives as “good”?
The crazy part in all of this is that I started to analyze those questions that others were asking me about my business. All of them revolved around the concept of being busy and that busyness meant I was successful.
In all reality, my business was meeting all the goals that I had set for it. And being “busy” was quite frankly, not one of my goals. It was actually quite the opposite. With a baby coming in less than 3 short months, knowing my life is drastically going to change, I have enjoyed having more intentional time in the mornings to pray over our baby and spend time with God, more time than ever to make meals and experiment with new recipes in the kitchen, more time to spend with my husband, more time to invest in creating just for the joy of creating - (rather than for a deadline), more time to meet up with women for random coffee dates, and more time to invest in ministry.
Never in my life have I felt more rested and more intentional with those that God has placed in my life.
So why was it that I felt that I needed to cover up this beautiful season of rest that I have been so blessed to be able to experience?
That was when it hit me clear as day: Busyness is a badge in our culture.
Later I came across this quote: “Adam and Eve in the garden covered themselves up to make themselves seem better than they really were and we have been doing the same thing ever since.”
I was doing this. And the reason why was rooted in the sin nature I had in been believing the lie that I need to make my business “look” and “seem” successful to a world who equates busy with success. I was trying to make myself seem more worldly successful for the sake of pleasing others.
Fast forward a few days and someone asked me a similar question I had received before: “So are things just booming with you doing Lovely Little Light now full-time?”
The nature of the question was genuine and not out of a place of judgment, but her answer clearly revealed to me the nature of the busy world we live in.
My simple answer: “No, not really at all”
She then looked at me in near pity to say, “Oh that’s okay, I am sure it will pick up!”
But then my heart's answer came out for the first time.
“Well, actually, I am okay with not being super busy. I love the level of busy I am right now. Truly I have never felt more rested in my life, and just at peace with the pace of life I have on a daily basis not working all the time or worrying about getting everything on my to-do list done.”
That’s when she stopped and thanked me. She thanked me for my vulnerability and for simply helping her rethink the trajectory of her own business goals.
We had a great conversation about how I recently had the conviction that somewhere in my mentality - likely influenced by our on-the-go culture driven by success - I married the idea of “busy” and “success” with one another. My mentality said: You are busy if you are successful and you are successful if you are busy.
But here’s the deal: nowhere in the bible are those two things ever connected.
Biblical success is obedience to God, empowered by the Spirit of God, motivated by love for God, and directed toward the advancement of the kingdom of God.
Just like Adam and Eve in the garden, I often feel the need to make myself seem better - or busier - than I really am all for the sake of thinking I needed the approval of others to be validated in my business and deeper yet, validated as a successful person.
What area do you do the same? How do you mark your success?
Thankfully, God in his goodness has revealed to me that the ways of this world are not the ways of my Heavenly Father.
And thankfully God opened my eyes to see that my true success is found in the One who covered Adam and Eve in the garden - the same one who is still covering his children today.
So my question to you is this: How can you give up making yourself seem better than you really are?
Praying that you can remember what matters in your life as a beloved child of God.