I'm on a quest to inspire young women to live lives of radical faith. I want their faith in Jesus to make a difference in the way they live. I want it to change how they see the world. I want them to be willing to take risks for the Kingdom.
But I've encountered a bit of a roadblock.
Our girls are drowning in busyness.
Is it the culture? Nope. (Greater is He that is in them, than he that is in the world, after all). Are they uninterested in radical faith? No. They want to live radical lives for Christ. So, what's the problem?
It's their day planners. Young women have so much to do; they don’t even have time to pray or read their Bibles, much less do something radical. Our girls are drowning in busyness. We need to throw them a life raft!
In many ways life for the average middle school and high school girl has started to resemble a pressure cooker. Here's a bird's eye view of the problem:
- Because of the pressure to get into a good college, many girls opt to take Advanced Placement (AP) classes. Experts say each AP class will likely result in forty-five minutes of homework every single school night. If your girl is in three AP classes—say, AP English, AP Biology, and AP Math—she's spending almost two and a half hours doing homework after each eight-hour school day.
- 23% of young women spend two to five hours per day practicing a sport or musical instrument.
- 21% of young women spend at least ten hours per week working for pay.
- Most of them are spending two to ten hours per week hanging out with friends.
Let me do the math for you.
We all get 168 hours each week. Between school, sports, and friends, girls are spending eighty hours of that time. Add in some time for sleep, and 133 hours are gone. Now factor in family time, involvement in church, and time for fun, and we're well past 168 hours.
Ale wrote us about it on the Lies Young Women Believe blog,
“I so desperately need a rest. I'm too busy. My relationship with the Lord is getting weak. I have no time for anything, not even for myself—doing college homework, helping people who need me—I wanna accomplish everything!!!! Most of the time, I'm at church which is a good thing, but being involved in so many things is driving me nuts!”
How can we raise up the next generation of true women if they don’t have time to know God’s Word? How can we pass the baton to a group of girls who are too tired to finish the race?
We can't hope for our girls to value silence, stillness, and Sabbath if they never see us doing the same.
The specifics of how to create margin will vary from person to person and family to family, but I know one thing for sure. We can’t expect young women to resist the pull of busyness if we don't do it first. We can't hope for them to value silence, stillness, and Sabbath if they never see us doing the same.
My mission to raise up a generation of radical young women starts here, with those of us who are a little further down the road. As we model balance, we are teaching an invaluable lesson to those who will run the race next.
So, how about you? Is busyness a roadblock to radical faith in your life? How can you encourage the young women in your world to say no to busyness in order to chase hard after a radical faith?
Note: Portions of this post are taken from my new book, My Name Is Erin: One Girl’s Plan For Radical Faith.