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Before I Say Yes

Guys, I’ve fallen off the bandwagon. Totally. In fact, the wagon is so far ahead of me that I’m now running behind trying to catch up, gasping for breath. What wagon, you ask? The NO wagon.

I don’t know about you but opportunities to serve and help out are like flies on a hot day. They are swarming around me. And by nature I’m very much a YES! person. That word jumps into my mouth before I can choke it down. But over the past couple of years, I’ve had to watch it. My body and brain have been through a lot and I’ve had to step away from a lot of commitments. I learned to say NO.

Until recently, that is. Christmas came around and suddenly I found myself doing all these things. New Year and my schedule is packed. How did this happen? I ask myself. Ah, I fell off the NO bandwagon. Let me be clear that all of these are GOOD things! All of them! Some of them were asked of me, some I volunteered for, and some nobody volunteered for so I…ummm… volunteered for.

An idea that’s pretty popular in my church (and I think a lot of others too) right now is to “say YES before God asks you.” I first heard this phrase in relation to missions. And I get it- really, I do. I understand the heart attitude it’s driving at. The attitude that gives up what you desire in order to obey the Lord. The attitude that made Isaiah say, “Here I am! Send me.”

But sometimes, the RIGHT answer is NO. This is a rarely taught concept in the church. I was telling my schedule to someone the other day and he said to me, “You know you don’t have to save the world every month, right?” That really stuck with me. It is okay and sometimes RIGHT to say NO to good things. I would rather do a few things excellently than all things half way. Or more accurately, I would rather do a few things excellently and not have to take a week to recover every month because I’ve drained myself of everything I have.

The more I thought about this, the more I thought it would be wise to have a plan. A decision-making plan. So I literally wrote one up the other morning. It’s pretty simple:

Before saying YES:

  1. Have I prayed about it?
  2. Does this honor and glorify God?
  3. Does this move me towards my life goals for this year?
  4. Does this conflict with any previous commitments and/or work schedule?
  5. Is the THOUGHT of this already stressing me out?

This has been SO helpful for me already! Freeing really! The first two are musts, the third is almost a must. That fourth is negotiable. My schedule is flexible but I want to stay committed to the things I’ve said YES to first. The Bible actually has a lot to say on following through on your word. (Eccl. 5:5, Matt. 5:33-37, Num. 30:1-2) So that’s important to me. That last one is a big one for me. Stress is a huge thing for someone with epilepsy and constant headaches. If just thinking about committing to something is giving me more stress, it’s probably not a good idea to do it. I’ve found the stress doesn’t go away, but usually increases. 🙂

I want to be wise with the time and energy that’s been given to me. It’s not endless (believe me, I KNOW.) So if I say NO to something you ask me to do, you can know that I’ve thought it through and prayed about it and it’s almost NEVER because I don’t want to do it. I just can’t always say YES.

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2019 in growing

 

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Jumbled Thoughts from a Jumbled Mind

I’ve been wanting to post for the last week or so but every time I start to think about what I should say every cohesive thought I’ve ever had leaves my brain, so I would like to apologize in advance for what may follow here.

Hmmm…what to say…well let’s get you up to speed here. I’m done working now and I’m visiting my parents and younger siblings for a couple weeks before I move into my apartment around Labor Day.

Thought 1: Do you know what I have discovered that is different this time compared to other times I’ve come to visit my parents? I have discovered that Ohio has become my home. Of course PA will always be my home and hold a special place in my heart but I have a certain sense of belonging in Ohio that I don’t feel as much in PA anymore.

For instance, I have always called my parents’ church my church for the last four years (even though I didn’t live here lol) because I felt most at home here. I didn’t know that had changed until I walked through the door of it on Sunday and realized how much I missed my church in Ohio and all the people there. And suddenly I realized that it had sneakily become my church without me even knowing it!

Thought 2: My family loves me a lot. My Mom and Dad go out of their way to do things for me, even if it means playing Candyland when that’s the game I pick to play. 🙂 Also, I can barely move the next room without David asking me where I’m going because he’s afraid that I’m going somewhere without him.

Thought 3: Sometimes I don’t want to learn God’s lessons. It’s so much easier to say that your purpose shouldn’t be wrapped up in your job than it is to live that. Sometimes it’s hard to even tell until your job is gone. It’s a lesson that I need to learn but God’s school isn’t always fun.

BUT I am SO thankful he knows me better than I know me! I am thankful that he can look into my heart and show me how to be more Christ-like!

 
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Posted by on August 24, 2017 in growing

 

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