Saying No so I Can Say Yes..
We have come to love the slower pace of life here but there are certain months where life speeds up and before you know it you are exhausted and worn out. December is often one of those months that is extra busy between finishing up a semester at school, Christmas, and then normal life. At the beginning of the month my husband and I decided to say no a lot more than we usually do. When life is too busy to have family time and you dread one more thing to do, it is time to say no. Many of the things we said no to were good things like my school’s staff Christmas party and a youth group event for the kids. By saying no, we were able to say yes to more family time, time to rest so we don’t all get sick, and some time to reflect and prepare our hearts for Christmas. For me, the season has been more enjoyable and meaningful. Even though our balance between yes’s and no’s has not been perfect, it has helped us maintain our sanity. Here are some guidelines or questions, we asked.
1. Have we had time together as a family?
2. Are we tired or getting irritable at each other and need to step back and rest? For example, Big D had a drama performance one night and Winter a dance recital the next night. So we had decided to not let the kids go to YG. Later we let them choose whether to go. My oldest needed to be at home and stayed with the no whereas my social younger child went.
3. Do we dread going? If so, why? Is it a valid reason to stay no?
4. Does it include serving? If the answer is yes, we are more likely to be on the busier side. For example, I wasn’t sure about going to a Ladies’ Christmas luncheon until I heard that some young ladies I had helped with their English this summer would be there. It was good to get to talk to them and reconnect. If it would have been just for me to have fun, I would have said no.
5. Am I responsible for something at this event that if I don’t go I will be shirking my responsibility?
6. Have we had margin in our lives? Have I had time to do laundry or even fix something decent for supper?
7. Does it fit with who we are as a family?
8. Does it help us connect with others we are close to or would like to get to know better? One of our favorite things this December was having my local friend and her family over for pizza. They enjoyed the Christmas tree and lights and just sitting around and talking after eating lots of pizza.
9. Are we doing it just because we always do or because we want to?
10. Lastly, how is my heart? Have I taken time to make sure it is full of the love and joy that only Christ can bring? Will this yes, help or hurt that?
Here is a great link from Simple Mom on advice in saying no. What guidelines do you use for your yes and no’s?
Dear God, May our focus be on you this Christmas. Give us wisdom on when to say yes and when to say no. May our yes bring glory to you. May we seek to serve and give as an outflow of the love you so lavishly give us. In Jesus name, Amen