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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

 

Busy Betty
by Lygia Lovelace

 

 

Do you know her?

 

She's the most dedicated lady in the church. She works in the nursery, she works in the kitchen, and she makes sure the women's bathrooms are clean before Sunday morning services. She is the first one visitors see when they come through the door, and the last one to wave good bye as the church is locked up until the next activity. She knows who is in the hospital and who is out of town.

 

She takes meals to the sick and even sends cards every week to the absentees. No one really offers to help her because she seems so capable and…well…so busy. She seems to have it all under control and to love what she does.

 

She is nice, friendly, and fun to be around…at least most of the time.

 

But you see, there is another side to Busy Betty. She can be harsh, depressed, grumpy, and even angry with others during her times of being overwhelmed.

 

Because really, Busy Betty is Absentee Betty. And she is really very Unhappy Betty…Restless Betty…Burned-out Betty…and Joyless Betty. And though she won't admit it, she is Empty Betty.

 

Betty is so busy being Busy Betty that she has no time for personal growth. She teaches preschoolers on Sunday morning during Sunday school, she watches the nursery during worship, and during the Ladies' Bible Study, she flits in and out, making sure everyone is comfortable.

 

She avoids prayer meetings and stands out in the hall visiting, "watching the door", during the entire discipleship hour.

 

How did Betty become so busy?

 

Well, you see, she has had some very painful experiences in her lifetime. She doesn't like to think about them, and in truth, there are some things that have happened that she just doesn't understand. And that makes her angry…but she knows that anger toward God is wrong…

 

So she just won't think about it.

 

In reality, if she allows herself to be still for one moment, those tough questions rise to the surface of her heart, like bile in a nauseous stomach…

 

How could God have allowed that? Why has this happened to me? How can I explain these experiences in my life? Why me?! GOD I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND!

 

She's got business to do with God and she doesn't want to face it. She doesn't want to be still; she doesn't want to give her brain time to think and process.

 

She doesn't want to give her heart time to cry because that is not her idea of strength.

 

After all, life goes on, right? If God let this happen, then so be it.

 

So the painful thoughts and feelings are pushed down deep, to fester and boil, and to erupt occasionally when things get too stressful, blasting those around her.

 

Busy Betty can really become Scary Betty when she's stressed…

 

Have you ever heard of The Feast of Tabernacles? It is a special time for the Jewish people (and even today for some Christians) --a time for remembering how God provided for His people in the wilderness long ago. This is a time after the Day of Atonement, when the people of God truly search their hearts and come clean before the Father. Each participating family builds a booth to live in -- a hut of sorts -- made from branches of good strong trees. They live there for about a week, getting away from schedules and distractions. It is a time of thinking about the Father and His working in their lives. It is a time of renewal, a time of fun. It is a time of focus.

 

It is a time to celebrate cleansing. It is a time to celebrate the harvest. It is a time to celebrate Jehovah-Jireh, the Great Provider Himself!

 

Each summer we as a Christian family seek to celebrate The Feast of Tabernacles. Oh, we don't build a shelter of tree branches, but we do retreat to the Father, whether we can afford to go anywhere or not. In the lean times, we stay at home. But sometimes we get the special privilege of attending a Family Conference Center, like Ridgecrest or Glorieta, where we can spend time together as a family, pray, go to Bible classes, and relax.

 

This past summer was such a time for us...a time to go to Ridgecrest.

 

As we packed for the trip, I put my usual Bible helps and study books in my bag. It had been my habit to spend hours before the Father at such conferences. I packed for it…but in my heart I was Busy Betty, not planning to seriously go before Him.

 

It was just too painful.

 

You see the months preceding this time of Tabernacles, I had been going through a deep hurt. Busy Betty's questions kept flowing through my mind:

 

How could God have allowed this? Why has this happened to us? GOD I JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND!

 

I was tired of the tears and tired of facing the situation. I just wanted to forget. Thinking about it and praying about it was just too painful. Oh, I think there is a time for that "groaning before the Father," that time of silence and grief. But I had long passed that time. Now, I was a little angry, a little resentful, and a lot disgusted with what was happening.

 

I knew I would have to let go of this if I came before the Father.

 

And I didn't want to let go of it and to my shame, I really didn't want to hear what the Father had to say.

 

So the week passed. Ken and the kids and I climbed mountains together, we ate ice cream together, we met new people and laughed together… During the private times I would get out all of my books, then I would decide to go for a walk…or a snack…or take a nap. I refused to stay quiet before the Father. There was a big elephant in the room between us and I knew it. But I just didn't want to think about it anymore.

 

By Thursday, it was getting harder to avoid the issue. Whenever I would sit down with my Bible, the Father would begin to speak to my heart and the tears would begin to flow. I didn't want that! I decided to go and sit outside at the tables on the front porch of our hotel. After all, it was a beautiful day! Bible and computer in hand, I found a solitary table. I didn't really want to be alone…but I unpacked my things and sat and stared at the people walking by. Little by little my eyes turned to Scripture and God spoke so strongly in that early morning that I just sat and listened….

 

…then the tears began to flow.

 

What did I get from the Father? So much love. So much comfort. As I sat at that little patio table, looking down at the Word, I felt as if the Father was silent, literally holding my hand and crying with me. I was hurting, so He was hurting. That was such a revelation and a relief to me.

 

He didn't condemn me for being Busy Betty -- I had done enough self-condemning already. He just held me, and He cried.

 

Are you wearing the Busy Betty mask? Are you refusing to face what's really going on, way down deep? Are you avoiding deep fellowship with the Father, wearing that plastic smile and going through the motions.

 

My friend, it's time to stop. Slow down. Talk to Him! He loves you so. He is hurting with you, and His arms are open wide.

 

Get out of the hall. Go to Bible study! Let somebody else do the busy work. Deepen your walk with Him! Stop running away.

 

Get rid of Busy Betty.

 

Be still and know that I am God.
Psalm 46:10




Copyright © 2010. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com




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