In the Middle of Hustle & Hurry



Picture of my journal from

The beautiful new planner sits on my desk, a collection of blank, white pages ready to be filled. I actually purchased it in the airport after speaking for a weekend. The clean pages and calm colors drew me in.

As it lays on my desk, this calendar may seem silent, but don’t let it fool you. In reality, it is sending me messages; the same messages I have heard for years. Action leads to achievement it whispers to my mind. You had better get moving; time is ticking by.


Much of my life, maybe like yours, has been dedicated to the development of my talents and my abilities, increasing my capacity and getting it all done. As a young professional, my worth hung on the words of my employer – positive or negative. As a mom, I needed to hear that I was doing a good job. In this new season, I call “just us”, where our kids are on their own, you would think this inner drive would slow down. But it doesn’t. See, it’s not my surroundings that drive me; it comes from inside.


Maybe as a new year begins to approach, the same happens to you.  You hear the sounds of “hustle harder” so you make all the goals, begin the new plans, and start a fail-proof system. That has defined my January for many years as well.


Recently, I’ve started listening to a different voice. It’s a voice that has been there all along, I’d just failed to hear it. This voice speaks to me to set aside all the demanding expectations I feel and breathe a short prayer. It calls to me with calming words directing me to be still with God. Habakkuk 2:20 says, “But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.”  ESV This voice is the Holy Spirit, the One who has been with me and in me since the day I said yes to Jesus; accepting His new life and giving Him mine. He calls me to quiet and to peace. He calls me away from hustle and hurry.


I’m learning to not only listen better to this still, peaceful voice but also to remind myself throughout the day of the messages He sends me in His word: “My soul, wait in silence for God only, For my hope is from Him.” Psalm 62:5 NASB


Stillness; it goes against everything the New Year stands for. Yet it is everything our soul longs for; peace, contentment, and serenity.


Our worth can’t survive on the daily grind of doing it all. Instead, it is built in the quietness of learning who He is, so I can know who I am.


Oh, Jesus. Thank you for calling me to come and be still. It goes against not only the culture but sometimes the voice inside of me. Help me to still my heart and come to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.


Find some time today, even if just a few moments, to set down the phone, turn off the noise and be quiet with Jesus. Reflect on how good He is and let His calm wash over you.




    1. Lynn Cowell says:

      Barbara – I am so glad this spoke to you. Just two seconds ago, the pull of hustle and hurry were jerking my chain again. Fit this in and that in. The hurry wears me out and I have begun to see that where a lot of this comes from in me is a lack of personal boundaries. I need to learn to say “no” not just to others, but even more so to myself. I am my own worst enemy … but change is on the way. I just said no and while it was so uncomfortable, my day will be better for it!

    2. I do have your book brave beauty we and my friends had a bible study with it

  1. Lara Polk says:

    How do you say NO when you know the other person needs you and they don’t have anyone else but you? I am so burnt out and worn out from taking care of my extended family – it would be OK if it was just one or two, but I have 4 elderly members and more. I still have my son at home to take care of who has a major illness. Thanks so much for your message … love your journal. I am a big journal person and there is something about all those blank pages turning into a story of my life. 🙂

  2. Thank you, Lynn, for sharing your insight and experience.

    Like every American, I’ve been hearing those same messages for years, most recently by reading biographies. Their message: You’re not good enough if you’re not triumphing, succeeding, moving mountains. People won’t notice you, love you, appreciate you if you’re not on the go 24/7, achieving the impossible, sacrificing your all. The most dangerous message: God won’t either. The common thread behind all the biographies seems to be a fear that no one can earn other people’s love, or God’s love, unless they drive themselves relentlessly.

    And yet we (I) get such satisfaction and fulfillment from doing something worthwhile, especially if it ministers to someone else. God made us this way. We’re designed to be doing and going and exploring and building. Adam was put to work in the Garden of Eden even before the Fall (Genesis 2:15). We Americans simply take it too far and allow too much of our worth to depend on our work. (Adapted from my blog at

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