I tend to be a "yes" girl. If at all possible I want to say "yes" to people. To step in to help. To carry more of the load. To do more. More. More. My subconscious thought is always If I can then I should. I got to the point where I was saying "yes" to everything but doing everything poorly. Maybe the drive comes from the need to prove myself. I'm a stay-at-home mom and I don't want to give anyone reason to think I sit around with my feet up all day. So I let the busyness push any sense of peace out of my life until all that was left was a looming sense of failure at the end of each day.
I'm not exactly sure what the turning point was. Maybe I was fed up with not being able to give any one thing my full attention (including my kids.) Maybe I stopped caring so much what other people thought of me (amen!) Or maybe I was just tired of being tired all the time. Something had to give. So I learned a new word.
No, I can't help with planning that women's ministry event at church. No, I can't write the kids worship liturgies. No, we can't have a play date this week.
Don't get me wrong, women's events, writing, and playdates are all good things. But I've had to learn to say "no" to good things so I can say "yes" to what is better. And what is better sometimes looks like playing trucks with my two boys. Sometimes it looks like giving myself more time to truly invest in a writing project. Sometimes it just looks like having a bit more margin in my life so I don't constantly feel like a crazy person.
I want my "yes" to mean something. I want to be intentional about the things I add to my schedule so I can feel like I'm doing something well. When I say "no" to a playdate with a friend, my hope is that I can give myself space this week to breathe a little so next week when I say "yes" to that friend I can be more fully present with her and connect with her in a way I couldn't had I been so frantic the week before.
If we're not careful we'll let our busyness get the better of us. We can get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle that we forget what's important. What is life-giving. So let's give ourselves permission to say "no" more often. Let's give ourselves more space in our lives, space for peace to enter in. Let's learn to say a better "yes."