Anyone who knows Cody and I can attest – we’ve been busy and we’ve loved it. One of the things that initially attracted us was this constant hustle. We were always going. Until recently, when we’ve together decided to say To Hell with the Hustle.
That’s the title of a book I recently read that got me thinking about the relationship between Cody and I. Don’t let the title turn you away. It’s in your face, but the author, Jeff Bethke, intends it two ways:
To hell with it, meaning I’m done. . . and two, I also truly me to hell with it. Jesus was never in a hurry. . . Hustle isn’t him.Jefferson Bethke, “To Hell with the Hustle”
We loved the hustle
In college, both of us were in multiple music groups, led various groups on campus, had overly-packed class loads, and worked 3+ jobs at any given time. And honestly, we loved it.
We believed we were pursuing MORE in life by constantly doing more and saying YES to everything we could. We saw other people wasting time partying each weekend, while we were growing and doing.
That attitude continued until about four years into our marriage. We would hustle and push and ACHIEVE until one of us stressed ourselves out to the point of sickness or tears. Then we’d regroup, pick a day to work a ton, and get back to hustling until the next wave of overwhelm rolled in.
Even though it was destroying us, we thought we were doing what was best. We would make the most of this life in order to be who God created us to be.
Our dreams were about BEING but our actions were about DOING.
That’s when it all started to change, one step at a time.
The first step was having an open, honest conversation together. We started talking more about who wanted to be. Who are the Osegards? The first things that came to mind revolved around working and hustling, but that wasn’t what we wanted.
After a LOT of discussion and back and forth, we created our Family Mission.
“We exist to Glorify God. The Osegards fulfill this by being intentional and generous with our time, talents, and treasures, and by being authentic to ourselves and others.”
When this came together, we felt a sense of peace that was pretty quickly followed by a gut punch.
Is working three jobs a piece – that are helping our financial hopes, but are not necessary – being intentional with our time? Does it allow us to be generous with our time in ways like serving others, hosting people, or meeting in community with others?
We loved saying yes. If we said no, what might we miss out on? But constantly saying yes wasn’t being intentional with our time, talent or treasure.
The burned out versions of ourselves we were seeing on a regular basis were anything but authentic.
Nothing in this seemed to Glorify God.
Next, we learned to say no.
This was HARD. Saying yes was something we took pride in, but it was taking over our lives. We started saying no to basically EVERYTHING.
It was like a detox for the soul. We stopped saying yes altogether for a time, and were able to figure out what things were still important, and what things we were simply doing because we felt that we should.
I don’t recommend saying no to everything forever, but like Jefferson Bethke says, “If you’re not saying no to dang good things, you’re probably not saying no enough.” Every yes seems to lead to more yeses. Saying no helps you have margin in your life.
Finding that margin began to change how we relate with time, with Jesus, and with each other.
We started to rest.
We immediately started 24 hour rest periods where we, “cease from what is necessary and embrace that which gives life.” (Mark Buchanan, The Rest of God).
It was hard. It invited a lot of silence and discomfort for a while. The hustle was so engrained in us that we didn’t know any other speed beyond HUSTLE.
We still have those moments, but this time of rest has become a weekly rhythm in our life.
You can read more about our Sabbath Journey here.
Living In God’s Gift
Part of me wishes that I had understood my whole life about the gift of rest that God has given us. But I’d guess that without hitting these breaking points, we wouldn’t have realized the gift it truly is. We had to experience hustle culture in order to “resist the noise and speed of the air and instead embrace the slowness of Jesus.” (Jefferson Bethke, To Hell with the Hustle).
I think our work ethic was one of the things that drew Cody and I together. It was part of our identity. Slowing down and learning that we are loved for more than what we do has been a growing process and has changed our relationship.
We’ve had to learn who we are outside of what we DO. It’s a hard journey, but has been so worth it.
The more we embrace God’s rest – and we are FAR from perfect in this area – the more we say “To Hell with the Hustle”.