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Busy vs Full: Do you know the difference?

I used to think the good life was the busy life.

Because surely busy meant meaningful, rich, influential, exciting.

But I’ve come to see that there’s a difference between busy and full.



The busy life is one where the minutes are always too few for the list that is always too long. The motion of your days doesn’t necessarily fill the buckets of your heart. You’re so busy going from one thing to the next that you might not  consider if that’s how you even want to be spending your time around the sun.

Unexpected interruptions leave you scrambling and maybe a tad angry, rather than being welcomed as part of the adventure.

The full life might be slower. Or it might not. But it is intentional. You say “No” more than you say “Yes” because you know that being present isn’t just about your body, but your mind as well. It’s making time in your days to fill your heart, whether that’s with a book, a cup of tea, a walk in the evening or an unhurried talk with a friend. It’s slowing down long enough to be in each moment, rather than thinking about what is next.

Like Jesus focusing on the sick woman on his way to raise a little girl from the dead, a full life catches the holy moments on the way to the miracle. Because all of life is really one miracle unfolding every day.

A full life turns the mundane into moments of reflection, delight, and wonder. We all have to cook meals and wash laundry, but some have figured out how to enjoy these hard stops in the day. A little gratitude goes a long way towards that end.

The full life doesn’t buy into the lie that being seen by strangers through a screen is what gives our real days meaning. It doesn’t get caught up trying to make  each minute  efficient, strategic or productive.

The full life puts people over projects, cultivates relationships over ‘likes’ and ‘follows,’ and delights in unexpected pockets of time where nothing is scheduled. It’s hard for a brain to think and a soul to catch up without intentional pauses in the noise.


How do I know this?

Mostly because those days when I find myself most stressed, unhinged, and emotionally unstable, it’s the days that have been filled to the brim with busy but lacked fullness. Days where I did not ask Abba God how He would have me order my day, where I failed to follow close enough to keep His perspective front and center.

And then there are other days, where I can be hanging laundry on the line or forming a loaf of bread and find myself bursting with gratitude. I find my eyes brimming with tears watching my kids running loud and my heart overflows from a call with a friend.

And there is joy in having made a small step forward in a big cause, even if no one saw.

It’s almost like our hearts were made for a more purposeful, probably slower, definitely more people centered life.

A poet king wrote that everything is meaningless, a toiling and striving after things that will blow away as easily as burned grass. And yet he also says that finding meaning in our work is a gift from our Maker, as are wisdom, knowledge, and happiness.

In a time where busy is a high virtue, we can turn our endless running into purposeful living by doing the following:


Rather than having prayer on our to-do list (guilty 💁🏻‍♀️), what if we formed our lists in our time of prayer? In the Throne of Heaven, we have access to the One who holds our stories so why not ask Him for how to best live it? In Him, we find the wisdom, peace and courage we need to live with grit and grace.

If Jesus could find the time to get away and meet with God, how much more should we?


Reflect on when you have found the most joy and meaning in your days. It has likely been connected to people in some way. Prioritize the relationships in your life and you’ll find the day full, even if it’s in serving through the mundane. (This one is particularly difficult for me)

Struggling to know what to prioritize? Above (Pray) and below (Perspective) will anchor your soul and set your focus.


Living a wild and beautiful faith requires following a different narrative than the one running the World around us. The Word of God is our active source for helping us live out this radical perspective shift. Make time to spend a few minutes every day letting it seep into your mind and heart, whether through audio or reading.

What you feed your mind and heart sets the tone & order of your days. Root in Truth!

As we enter into the Holiday season, what is one step you will take to prioritize living a full life over a busy one?

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