How to Recover From “Butijust” Syndrome


Knock, knock. “Mom?”

Hand goes up. “I’m working.”

But I just wanted to see if it’s OK for the neighbors to come over and swim.”

Knock, knock. “Mom?”

Hand goes up. “I’m working.”

But I just need you to transfer some money into my account for…”

Knock, knock. “Mom?”

Hand goes up, as does my volume. “I’m working!”

But I just needed to tell you the puppy threw up on the living room floor. And I’m hungry.”

From across the desk in our home office, “Honey?”

Glaring, “I’m kind of in the middle of something.”

But I just wanted to ask what we have going on tonight.”

It’s only the first week of summer, and my frustration level is already high. I’m so grateful to have the flexibility of working virtually from my home office, but I just have so many interruptions, it’s difficult to focus. My family’s excuses for needing me are relevant and even urgent. I easily have excuses for not accomplishing my work every day. (Clearly, we need to have a family meeting.)

These “Butijusts” got me thinking about the excuses we busy women have for not doing important things we know we are supposed to do. What do I most often neglect and make excuses for avoiding? My own relaxation and peace. We women are so busy taking care of our teams at work, our families, and all the other creatures who need us, we neglect taking time for ourselves.

3 Cures for “Butijust” Syndrome

1. Obey God’s design for Sabbath rest.

For six years you may plant your fields and prune your vineyards and harvest your crops, but during the seventh year the land must have a Sabbath year of complete rest. It is the Lord’s Sabbath. Do not plant your fields or prune your vineyards during that year,” (Leviticus 25:3-4, NLT).

We probably all know we are supposed to take at least one day off a week. “But I just have to get my assignment done for my online class,” I say. Whatever it takes, we need to arrange to get all other work done ahead of time in order to have a chunk of time to rest and re-charge, to relax with people who love us.

This verse from Leviticus gives me the idea that we should occasionally take the Sabbath concept deeper. That means carving out time in the calendar for a longer time of uninterrupted relaxation. (It doesn’t have to be an entire year every seventh year like they did in the Old Testament, but that would be cool, wouldn’t it?) Our extended Sabbath could be a weekend getaway, just not a week on the beach with the extended family and all their preschoolers and babies. That doesn’t count as rest. It might be a vacation, but it is definitely NOT rest. Get away alone or with a loved one. The idea is to be removed from the usual routine.

2. Worship regularly.

With all the demands of camps, activities, and vacations, it’s easy to neglect worshipping regularly. “But I just haven’t had time for church in a few weeks. I’ll get back in the groove in the fall,” we say to ourselves. However, missing out on corporate worship is missing out on the blessings God has in store for us through the local church. God wants us to feel connected to His family, to refill us with His peace as we sing and praise Him, and to re-focus our perspectives as we see the needs of others around us. Furthermore, God wants other people to love on us.

3. Plan (and go on) a spiritual retreat

We should stop saying we’ll take a spiritual break “when we have time.” We will never have time. There will always be something urgent or important to do. Of course, daily connection with God is essential, but it doesn’t replace our need to bask in His presence. It takes me half a day to unwind enough to even begin to be still. God waits for us to quiet ourselves and invite Him to fill us with His presence and speak into our hearts.

But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer,” (Luke 5:16).

Let’s get some time on the calendar to remove ourselves from the demands around us and let our Father tend to us while we pour out our hearts in prayer and reflect on His word.

No more “Butijust” Syndrome! Stop making excuses and start following God’s plans for your peace.


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