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Thoughts About Late People

I am a punctual person by nature. To. A. Fault. Seriously the best way to put me in a bad mood is to make me late for something. But I also don’t like rushing to get places. I’m one of those weird people that picks out her clothes for work the night before and lays them out, puts coffee in the pot so all I have to do is push the button in the morning, and leaves my house 5 minutes before I know the time it will take to drive to work just in case of…anything…

God really had to grow me in this area when I couldn’t drive and was dependent on others to get around. Suddenly, my schedule was at the mercy of other peoples’ schedules! It was a big adjustment and I have to say I’m very thankful to be able to drive again.

All that being said, I don’t understand late people. The person you can always count on to be late, who is always held up by something or other, who you tell a different starting time to help them get there earlier, etc. If I’m honest, I can get really prideful and judgmental about it. “Why can’t you ever be on time??” “Can’t you just PLAN to leave ten minutes earlier for church and then you will get here when we start?”

But I read something a few weeks ago that totally changed my perspective on this. And I truly don’t remember what book it was in so sorry, no credit is given but this certainly wasn’t my thinking.

The illustration was about a person who is an alcoholic and attends Alcoholics Anonymous meetings. This person also attends church. He says that whenever he is late for church, he always gets disapproving looks from people already there. But if he is late for an AA meeting, the meeting stops and people jump up to welcome him because they realize that him being late might mean that he almost didn’t make it at all.

I have studied and thought on this story for weeks. And it has really changed me. I don’t want to be that person teasing others for being late anymore and I apologize if I’ve done that to you before! I want to be the one that sees someone come in late and realize that it’s a blessing they are here at all! Especially at church of all places! Praise God for whoever wrote that story and for bringing it to me- I needed to hear it!

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2019 in growing

 

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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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