Review: Doing Busy Better

August is always a busy month for me, and this book is helping me do busy better.

Glynnis Whitwer’s Doing Busy Better is helping me see that my drive to stay busy doesn’t fit with God’s best for me.

Yes, he has given me a productive, task-oriented nature. I am known for being hardworking and self-motivated. But God doesn’t want me to find fulfillment or identity in what I do; he wants me to find my purpose in him alone.

Glynnis tells stories of how her busy nature got her in trouble, again and again. Even when she had her hands full as a mother of three, she kept taking on more responsibility at church and work to feel fulfilled.

I have done that too, many times. I think I’m still taking on more than I need to, because I still want to prove my worth to myself and to others.

What I enjoyed about this book most were Glynnis’ real, imperfect stories, her helpful explanations of scripture, and her suggestions for finding rest in the Sabbath.

She does not villianize work; she shows us how work is a gift from God, yet we corrupt it with our extremes of laziness or workaholism.

She shows us that Sabbath rest is another gift which actually increases our productivity by making us more dependent on God.

A few quotes that are still speaking to me:

  • The promise of an unhurried, productive life calls my name.
  • When we feel that our safety, security, and significance depend on us, we will not know when to stop working.
  • Changing our allegiance to God means dealing with old habits that chain us to our previous master.

The part that resonated with me most is how the Israelites struggled with a slave mindset for decades after God set them free from Egyptian rule. After reading this book, I’m thinking through my leftover slave mindset (work = worth) and slowly tearing down the untruths with God’s help.

I have purposely stopped doing work on Sundays, and I have seen my productivity go up when I simply rest for one day.

If you are looking for a thoughtful, wise discussion on how to reprioritize your schedule, Doing Busy Better is meant for you.

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  • I will definitely be reading this in the very near future. I enjoyed her earlier book “Taming the To-Do List.” Thanks for sharing your review.

    • Sarah Geringer

      It’s a great book, the first one I’ve read of hers. Definitely willing to read more of Glynnis’ wisdom!

  • Thank you for sharing this review Sarah. I’m a believer in saying no to the good things so I can say yes to the God things (Alli Worthington). I look forward to reading, Doing Busy Better!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Love both books: Breaking Busy and Doing Busy Better!

  • Cindy

    I need to return to taking Sunday as a full rest day from my blogging. I started off doing one small job that ‘won’t take long’ and it grew from there. Like you, Sarah, I need to give God my full attention on Sundays and rest in Him. He’ll take me through the new week after that.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Cindy, taking Sundays 100% offline has really helped me mentally unplug. Hope it helps you too!

  • Jerri Miller

    Thanks for sharing – this post really resonated with me. I especially am pondering this: “…she shows us how work is a gift from God, yet we corrupt it with our extremes of laziness or workaholism.”

    That’s me, I’m kind of an all or nothing girl! ~ Jerralea

    • Sarah Geringer

      Me too, Jerralea–I tend to be an all-or-nothing girl, and I’m trying to overcome that for the greater good!

  • Summer Overstreet

    So funny that I should read this tonight…a Monday night. I just took yesterday off. Completely off. I went to church, came home and just rested. Today, I feel like a new person! I loved the quote from the book about how we act when we believe that our significance, safety and security depending on us. So true! I’m going to have to add this book to my “must read” list! Thank you so much, Sarah!!!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Yay! A whole day off for you, Summer! I hope that if it becomes a new rhythm for you, you’ll gain lots of peace. Blessings to you!

  • Christin Baker

    It’s so great to see you, Sarah! Slowing down is something I continually need to work on! I was just talking to a friend who expressed that not taking a Sabbath really shows a lack of trust in the Lord. Yikes! Do we really trust him enough to put all of our work on hold to enjoy Him fully? This book sounds like such a great reminder of that! Blessings to you and your family as you rest in the Lord this week!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Christin! I’m glad you’re back from your blogging break. I’m really looking forward to Sunday so I can rest from this busy week. I hope you’ll get a good Sabbath break this week too!

  • I enjoyed this. Some years ago I started reserving Sunday for rest, only doing the minimal work required that day, after coming across verses in Isaiah 58 about regarding the Sabbath as a delight and as something unto the Lord. As Christians sometimes we can stuff it with all sorts of Christian activities, good in themselves, and forget to just rest. We usually have a big Sunday dinner, and after that’s done and cleaned up, it’s nice to have the rest of the afternoon to nap or read and the time after the evening service to read or be with the family and purposely keep all other tasks for Monday. My kids are old enough to “fend for themselves” eating the rest of the day, but even when they were little, we kept Sunday evening snacks pretty simple. So refreshing!

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hello Barbara! I love big Sunday dinners…that’s what I enjoyed as a child at my grandparents’ home. Mealtime is a great way to honor the Sabbath and enjoy community. I’m glad you brought back that memory for me through your comment!

  • This sounds like a great resource. I tend to keep doing one more thing, one more thing, before I’ll stop for the night. But lately I’ve been putting on my calendar, “All done,” so that I’ll stop for the night and just enjoy time “off.” Thanks for sharing this, Sarah. I’ll be on the lookout for this book.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Lisa, I think you will like this book. Glynnis speaks with a wise teacher voice, and I appreciated her wisdom.

  • The older I get the easier it is to not take on ‘busy’ things–but sometimes I wonder if I say no to too much :/.

    • Sarah Geringer

      Hi Anita! I often say Yes too much, more often than No. I’m trying to work more grace-filled No’s into my schedule. Thanks for visiting!