GIVEAWAY: Doing Busy Better

Gwen Smith Blog, Giveaways, Priorities, Worship 114 Comments


Today I welcome my friend and fellow author, GLYNNIS WHITWER, to share from her new book, Doing Busy Better. After you read the excerpt, which you are totally going to love, you will have a chance to win one of two copies of Doing Busy Better that Glynnis is giving away…  PLUS she has free downloads for all of you! Woohoo! Here’s Glynnis:

Do I Pursue Goals More Than God?

Today I have a confession, one that is hard to admit. Many times I want the satisfaction of completing a goal more than I want to experience God.

This is a battle every morning, knowing my to-do list beckons, tasks await, people expect, emails ding.

All the while my Bible sits on the table with a silent invitation. It’s not demanding, simply a peaceful promise. Sadly, it’s easy to pass by as I move on to things I “need” to do.

I’m wired like Martha — maybe you know her from the Bible? She was concerned about her to-do list too.

Luke chapter 10 records a day when Martha was the hostess and Jesus was the guest. It’s a short story, but we know Martha fussed at Jesus because her sister wasn’t working hard enough. Rather than helping Martha fix the food, Mary was sitting listening to Jesus.

Jesus loved both Mary and Martha. But in that moment, as the story records, Jesus was more delighted with Mary’s heart to be with Him than in Martha’s heart to serve Him.

I can be a fusser too. Too busy with the details, too worried about planning for what’s next, too preoccupied with my to-do list. Sometimes I even worry about other people’s to-do lists.

Yet, I want a heart that pursues God more than goals. I want to long to spend time in Jesus’ presence more than I long to spend time on my computer or phone.

It’s not that I don’t love Jesus. I do. I’ve devoted my life to serving Him. I’m aware of His presence and talk to Him throughout the day.

But so did Martha. She loved Jesus. And I’m sure she loved having Him as a houseguest, where she could hear Him talk as she went about her daily tasks. Maybe she asked Him questions and served Him lunch. Touched His shoulder as she walked by and picked up His plate.

But she didn’t stop to sit at His feet. She didn’t pause her preparations to give Him wholehearted attention.

Jesus so gently and lovingly corrected Martha and gave her advice on the right way to go about her work:

“Martha, Martha,’ the LORD answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed — or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’ ” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

Jesus loved Martha’s heart of service, but He wanted her wholehearted devotion first.

This was a message Jesus consistently taught in His ministry. Get your heart right first; that’s the most important place to start.

I wonder if Martha changed her habits. Did she check her heart and consider where Jesus fit? Did she review her priorities and put Jesus before cleaning up?

We don’t know the answer. The only thing we can know is what we decide to do with this story.

It’s so compelling to jump into our days — whether it’s carpooling children or leading a meeting at work — without ever pausing to sit at Jesus’ feet. It’s so much easier to whisper a prayer while driving or listen to the Christian radio station and consider that time with God.

And we can be sure that God loves to hear our prayers and songs of worship. But Martha’s story challenges me to do a heart check. Why haven’t I carved out time every day to just enjoy the presence of the Lord?

It’s a challenging question, and one I’m determined to answer. But more than that, I’m committed to putting God before my goals in a very practical way … to stop being worried about my “many things” and choose what is “better.”

Hurray! Hurray! A Giveaway!!
Today, Glynnis is offering TWO copies of Doing Busy Better!

Congratulations to our giveaway winners! Tracy Philen and Julie Sunne


To qualify for the drawing, you need to do TWO things:


#2. SHARE THIS POST on social media.

That’s it! Once you do both, your name will be entered into the random drawing. Be sure to tell your friends so they can sign up too. The drawing will take place on Monday, August 1st, so don’t delay! {Contest is limited to US and Canada readers only.}


Glynnis Whitwer is Executive Director of Communications for Proverbs 31 Ministries, and contributor to their Encouragement for Today devotional, reaching over a million women each day. She’s the author of nine other books, including Taming the To-Do List and I Used to Be So Organized. She and her husband, Tod, live in Arizona and have five young-adult children. Connect with Glynnis at where she encourages women to live with margin and room to breathe while still getting things done.

Free Downloads

Glynnis has five mobile lockscreens you can download to be reminded of what God’s Word says about rest by subscribing here. You can also download a sample chapter of Doing Busy Better, and if you purchase a copy, be sure to redeem your receipt to receive a FREE companion Study Guide. Get the details here.

About Doing Busy Better

In Doing Busy Better, Glynnis helps you examine your heart and your schedule in order to seek a healthy, holy, and enjoyable balance between work and rest. Most importantly, she shows you that your worth is found not in your accomplishments but in the love of the One who made you for work and for rest.

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Comments 114

  1. Just found this group / site and I love it. Thank you for all you do. I want to have a heart that pursues God more as well.

  2. WoW Awesome words to think on. I am so much of a “list person” I really enjoyed this devotion & I know the book will be amazing!

  3. Oh, yes! I keep feeling if I could just get a bit more done & caught up, then I could be more like Mary, but how does one just stop when there’s so many deadlines to meet? There seems to be so much constantly required. I hope this has answers!

  4. Story of my life. I get so passionate about goals I need to meet that I forget that the one who will help me carry it out is Jesus. I can’t do it alone but why do I even try???? Ugh. Rest is def needed.

  5. This excerpt sounds just like me! Our family is taking a leap next year, one year in Alabama for my husband’s PhD field work, I have taken a leave of absence from my 12 years of full time public school teaching, and I get to be a stay-at-home mom for a year. I am so looking forward to a new setting, resetting and balancing Mary and Martha in my life!

  6. I absolutely want to change my priorities; I say He’s my everything – Lord help me, enable me to make you my first thing!!!

  7. Glynnis’ latest book Doing Busy Better completely wrecked me in the BEST possible way. God’s timing is perfect and He knew I needed to read this book. I’d love to win another copy to give away! Thank you Glynnis’ for obeying God and leveraging the Holy Spirit to deliver this message so many of us desperately need to hear!

  8. Thank you so much for your amazing words today..They really spoke to me in regards to my spiritual journey of life..Would love a copy of your book…

  9. This sounds so much like me for the past few years. I used to spend a lot of time reading the Bible and in quiet time, and now I am always “doing” something more important and can’t seem to settle long enough to spend the time I need to with God. This book would be a blessing for me. Thank you ❤️

  10. working nights, I find it hard to give God His time when my husband wants his time with me and I need to fix dinner for him and me. I have spent quality time with God and will continue for a few months, then a schedule change or hours change ( I work 6 nights a week) I get off course and find it hard to start again. I need this book

  11. Oh God is good! Your book is here just at the perfect time as I am so stressed at work it is harder and harder to find my God time. I am not finishing all my paperwork at work and I am carrying the guilt and stress with me home every night. I want to please my Supervisor so I stay late and come in early to try and keep up but I feel like a robot instead of a person. I want to show them I am a child of God by putting Him first and still be able to be a good employee without sacrificing by family life and my prayer time. Thank you! 🙂 Love: Laurie

    1. That is my desire too, Laurie. Doing Busy Better is full of encouragement and personal stories from Glynnis as she can totally relate to our wanting to please our bosses but knowing we should be putting God first. Thanks for stopping by!
      Kim Stewart
      Glynnis Whitwer Ministry Team

  12. This really spoke to me. I have been concerned with tasks for work and my health that it has been taken the place of God. I have been saying the prayer while driving to work while listening to Christian music. It is always great to receive a reminder to slow down and be present with the Lord. Thank you for sharing!

  13. I would love to have a copy…I think I definitely put my goals ahead of God sometimes and it makes me sad! Thank you 😊

  14. I must be a Martha because I love my to-do lists. I really do! But I love Jesus more, and I want to please Him. I might get caught up in the daily things and sometimes I need a heart check. But there is beauty in serving a loving Savior who knows my heart and accepts me for who I am. Thank you for a wonderful post.

  15. As a Mom and Wife I am being pulled in many directions daily with my to do list and find that my soul is not being fed and that I feel tired and drained physically and spiritually. I want to see how others are allowing themselves to give time to God/Christ in Prayer and bible reading and meditation and still do what is needed to function in the family unit as a Mom and wife. “Doing Busy Better”sounds like a good read to help.

    1. Andrea, I can relate as a mom who never seems to get my schedule down and to do list in order. I’m so thankful Glynnis shares lots of her own “mom” stories in the book.

  16. I too am a Martha and find myself constantly busy and like you said saying prayers throughout the day and thinking that is all I can fit into my day. How wrong are we? God loves us unconditionally and we ought to want to spend time with Him just like He wants to spend time time with us.

  17. I would love to read Glynnis’ reading “Doing Busy Better”! Seems EVERYBODY is SO busy these days! Would love to learn how to be busy “better”!

  18. I love the story of Mary and Martha. I am a Martha. Since my retirement I have tried to start each day with devotions first, then begin the rest of my day. I don’t hit the mark every day but, I have to say I hit it more than I miss it lately. Since I was already retired for 10 years, before last August, I was in this habit. Last August I went back to work but, I still got up early, just so I could do my devotions before I began my day of teaching. I found it went better that way. God will bless anyone who takes on this challenge and sticks to it.

  19. Hi, my name is Martha and my parents named me correctly as I am so like the Martha in the Bible. I would love to read the book to help me learn how to take the time out to fellowship with the Lord. God bless you for writing this book.
    Thank you.

  20. Ok so I think God is trying too tell me something. This is the third message I have heard and or read just this week alone reminding me to slow down and spend more time with him.

  21. Thank you, Glynnis for sharing your thoughts on Martha. Oh boy, can I relate to this BIG TIME! I have worked as a secretary for numerous ministers for 33 years and it seemed I never had enough time. Now that I am retired I have tried to make it a priority to start my day with reading my devotions and spending time with my Lord. I still struggle with spending quiet time…there seems to always be someone or something that gets in the way. My goal for each day for the last 17 years (retirement) has been to start my days and end my days with reading my devotions, reading His word, spending quiet time with my Lord and then filling in during the day with my “to-do-list” . It has been difficult (with quite a few failures). It would be a great “boost” to be able to read your book and receive some wonderful insight and encouragements. May God continue to bless you, Glynnis and Gwen!

  22. I definitely struggle with being busying and not spending that quality time with the Lord. Like you said, saying a prayer while listening to Christian music isn’t quality time. I’m very guilty of that. I’m a very goal oriented individual and I too struggle with reading just to check it off of my to-do list. If I made him a priority, everything else would fall into place.

  23. I am SO a Martha. I do try to rise early and start my day with a GIG devotional and a cup of Joe. Consistency is a struggle.

  24. I do relate to Martha in many ways. I am a quiet introvert that loves people and serving others ( these days as much as my health allows). I do subscribe to Glyniss’ emails. In America we have adopted proudly busy vs time spent meaningfully. We wear it like a badge of honor. My inlaws often berate my daughter when she visits in the summer for taking it easy while her dad and I are so grateful she does because she barely gets her 1 day of rest a week the rest of the year. My inlaws are in their late 80s. I pondered a lot as to the reasons why and for me it relates to our need to be more, have more that busy is honored and cherished. In the end I have been convicted to enjoy my life living it fully but prioritizing God, family, fellow man over more stuff, more accolades. Thank you for the opportunity to win the book. I think every woman in America ought to read it…

  25. Why do we allow the lists of things to do supersede our time with Jesus! I am guilty and love this reminder!!!

  26. This is so needed even though I no longer work! My mind still has this struggle with so much going on in life

  27. It’s so easy to become distracted with the busyness of life and leave the most important thing so little time. I long to seek God with all my heart, soul and strength and rest in peace of knowing he loves me beyond measure and he paid it all through Christ! Thank you for this devotion!

  28. What a great story! I liked the part about we don’t know if Martha changed her habits, but what can we do to learn from the story and maybe “do different” ourselves. My bible, too, sits on the table/by my bed with a silent invitation. I’ve been participating in a challenge to read through Paul’s writings – a chapter a day – from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I fell off the wagon early on, then spent a week catching up, and am back on track. Even if it’s the end of the day, it seems to quiet my spirit. Here’s to hoping I can keep it going!

  29. I was spiraling out of control over the worry and hurt that I have caused my adult sons due to my leaving their father. It was an emotionally unhealthy relationship but we were extremely blessed financially. My family Has chosen not to be a part of my life and has encouraged my sons not to associate with me because I left for someone much less financially well off. I am remarried to a wonderful supportive man but my family has chosen not to be a part of my life. My friend gave me Broken Into Beautiful and it completely changed my life. I have handed the burdens to God and I am happier and healthier than ever before in my life. The only thing missing are my sons and their wives. But I know God has a plan. Thank you for sharing your life with others.

  30. I’m very guilty of this !! I get up and think of all what I have to do that day!! I get busy doing my stuff and don’t spend time with God first thing in the morning.

  31. My daughter and I really appreciated this wake up call after reading this very familiar story from the bible. We too or like Martha but would rather be like Mary. We need this book!

  32. I sure could use this since I stress over everything. From work to home. I find it hard to balance. I sure hope I’m picked

  33. I too “want a heart that pursues God more than goals. I want to long to spend time in Jesus’ presence more than I” want to get started on the endless “to do” list. I know that Jesus has promised that He will never leave, so I know that Jesus is running with me when my feet hit the floor in the morning. I also know that when I take the time to keep my feet still while I sit at His feet first thing in the morning, that He give me that time back during the day. I want to crave that time with Him. It makes such a difference in my day, but I fail to sit with Him more than I should. I’m so thankful that He loves me anyway. Your book sounds awesome!

  34. Two of the very best things I’ve ever done have been beginning my day with the Lord, in the Word and prayer, and recently, thanks to Glynnis’ encouragement, setting aside one day a week for Sabbath rest! Life changing!

  35. I love Gwen Smith’s Ministry and the messages she shares! This is something to make you think, what is actually better and are your “busies” throughout the day really what your priorities should be on… Thank you for this!

  36. I am feeling convicted! Too often, time with God studying his word or praying are fitted around my “to-do” list rather than the other way around. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book. Based on all the comments, it seems to be something many of us could use.

  37. I’m not sure which one I am like. Maybe a combination of both. A little bit Martha & a little bit Mary. I try to be like Mary but sometimes life gets in the way.

    God bless you!

    1. I love Jesus; the desire of my heart is to be in His presence. Like Paul, I don’t always do what I know to be right; all the while longing to.
      My heart’s desire is to be in love with Jesus more than the day before.
      Thank you for sharing.

  38. I am such a Martha, Martha, Martha! I have a morning time with God but so many times my ‘to do’ list invades! I want to enjoy His presence every day! Thanks for the encouragement this morning! Can’t wait to read the rest of the book! 💖

  39. Wonderful read for a pastor’s wife. We strive to be more like Mary but unfortunately, we live in a Martha world. Would live to have this book!

  40. I loved reading the excerpt from Doing Business Better! It reminds me of the scripture that says: “Seek FIRST the kingdom of God….” If the rest of the book is as interesting and enticing, I can’t wait to read it.

  41. I loved the devotion, so many times I am Martha. I really want to be more like Mary. Would love to read this book!

  42. Each morning I read a devotion before heading into work a dci feel my day is more calm and at peace compared to the days I miss. It makes a huge difference to take those moments with Jesus.

  43. I start almost every day with reading scripture – it’s my one non negotiable part of my morning ritual. It starts each day in such a wonderful way.

  44. I am so desperately trying to figure out how to make time for scripture! I know that I need it in my life, but it seems that I let everything else take precedence over my time with God! I am trying to relinquish control to Him, but it is so hard!!

  45. Wow….Hit the nail on the head. this indeed did speak to me and I would love to read the rest of the book!

  46. This goes straight to the heart of who so many of us are as women. Do-ers. It can be so hard to simply “be still” and know that He is God! But so imperative! I’d love to read your book ☺ Thanks for sharing!

  47. My heart is full of joy. It seems like life gets so busy that our schedules take first place. I have been reading the devotionals from your team now for a little over a year. Every morning is a time that I start my day with time to seek , read and pray with God. It has made my day go easier. I get filled with strength and love from the almighty. Thank you for being women of God.

  48. I really do want to make God the #1 priority in my life, and distractions always seem to pop up. The Lord even convicted me that I put my 20 year old son’s wishes ahead of His. We need more than good intentions, we need deliberate applications of God’s Word!!

  49. This is so true. I have found that on the days that I don’t take time to spend with God in the morning, read my Bible and ponder….it doesn’t matter how busy I am, things do not go well. Take time to do what’s important first, listen to God, and there is a peace in my heart even when the to do list looms ahead.

  50. Constant struggle! I am working on listening and hearing the prompts of the Lord rather than work in my own priorities.

  51. Upon examining my heart, I too have been told by God to choose the better part, I’m a work in progress, I fail but don’t give up. I press on to have a heart that knows my Savior more intimately. To know, like Martha did when Lazarus died…that even though Jesus may tarry…ALL things will work out and God will get the glory.

  52. Why is it so busy for me (us) to just take a few minutes to just sit at the feet of Jesus and listen to his heart beat? I do take time each day to read my bible, have devotions, listen to worship music and pray as the Holy Spirit to do so ~ but just to take that precious time to sit at His feet and bask in His presence is so easy, but so difficult at the same time. Thank you for challenging me to carve out intentional time to be with the One who knows me best and has called me to come to him! He promises to give us rest when we do.

  53. This is the very thing I’ve been praying to get rid of in my life lately. I am guilty of being a slave to the to do list and I want to get back to the true priority in my life – Jesus.

  54. Running a small business in your home it is easy to get side tracked everyday! So needed this. Thank you!

  55. I appreciate the title and theme of this book. I can easily get busy and bustle around, but truly need to realign my priorities.

  56. This is definitely convicting and addresses just where I am. I’m praying that The Lord will help me to focus more on him than on things I need to do. Thanks for sharing this.

  57. I so need to read this book. I find myself getting caught up in my to do list of the day. I live and run a farm. Bottle feed several baby goats. Lots of other tasks to do. So yes, I get caught up in my day. It’s on my mind to read my bible but it doesn’t always happen. I would love to read your book to see how I can apply it to my life.
    Thank you.

    1. Oh goodness, feeding those sweet babies is a great thing on your to-do list. This city girl can only imagine the busy days of managing a farm. Thanks for stopping by!
      Kim Stewart
      Glynnis Whitwer Ministry Team

  58. I want a life to pursue God, more of Him and less of me. I let the business of my chores take focus of my day and have backslided in reading my Bible and devotion. the slumber spirit I rebuke this day in Jesus’ name. thank youfor the reminder or Mary and Martha encounter with Jesus. I pray for more of Martha spirit of attentiveness and obedience. Amen!

  59. I am such a “Martha”….and long to be a “Mary”.
    It’s so easy to get caught up in the stuff and forget about “Him”.
    Long to be a committed Jesus girl who focuses on Him FIRST!

  60. I really need to read this book. So many times I catch myself being so caught up in helping others and trying to meet their needs, that I neglect my own. Spending time in prayer and in the Word should be my number one priority. When I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing I feel I’m closer to God and I trust Him to meet my needs and feel like I can let all the other things go, knowing that God has all those things already taken care of. I can’t wait to read more of this book!!! Thank you for sharing it and giving me the opportunity to win a copy! God bless

  61. This is so needed! This is the area I’m worst about. I’m going to have to find a way to apply the material & change!

    1. I love the study guide Glynnis wrote as a free companion to the book. I’m looking forward to applying it this fall when my boys are back in school. 🙂

  62. With today’s pressures at work and home, it is so easy to be a Martha! I love Jesus so much and truly want to be more like Mary, spending more time at His feet, slowing down to hear His loving voice versus all my time trying to serve. This exert from the book was wonderful and point on!

    1. Wow she’s definitely in a busy season, I have a sister-in-law and niece who are both nurses. Certainly God’s calling! What a gift it would be to read Glynnis’ book and work through the study guide together. Thanks for stopping by!
      Kim Stewart
      Glynnis Whitwer Ministry Team

  63. As I turned out the light on my sofa table last night I glanced at my Bible sitting there and felt guilty because I hadn’t touched it all day. I love reading and studying the word, but let life interfere. Thanks for the wake up post here!

  64. I need to read this I am so busy with all the needs of others that I have put GOD on the back burner. I try to get back on track but there is always something demanding my time. I look forward to reading your book.

  65. This post struck a nerve. How often do we hustle to get things done and rush through our quiet time or think we will get to it later but later doesn’t happen. This sounds like a great book that will inspire me to manage my time better. Look forward to reading it!

    1. That’s me, Ellen, so often I try to put my time with God off until later in the day, but then my list just grows and I don’t get to it. I’m so inspired by Glynnis’ message in Doing Busy Better!
      Thanks for stopping by!
      Kim Stewart
      Glynnis Whitwer Ministry Team


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