Written by: Haley Provost
I cannot tell you how many times I have muttered the phrase out loud or thought in my head, “If I just had a few more hours in the day!” One of my favorite things to do each month is get out my colored sharpies and organize my color-coordinated calendar. Yes, I live dangerously on the edge here in Berne, Indiana…
But in all seriousness, it helps me feel like I have our hectic life and schedules somewhat in order. But it is also convicting. When I did this at the end of April, my family had a total of four days open on our calendar until July. Four. Every single event that occupied those dates on the calendar was a GOOD thing. Meetings, church, baseball games, coaching, bible study, exercise class, work…the list goes on and on. But lately I have been questioning if it’s the right decision to pack our schedules so full that we have limited time to just breathe, let alone spend any time together as a family. But if they are all “good” things, isn’t that what we should do? Aren’t we called to have purposeful lives, helping others and raising our kids to be involved? How do we balance those good things without spreading ourselves too thin?
My bible study group recently just finished the book “The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst. What I took away from this study is that our “yes’s” will be different for each season of life. And I think we have to ask ourselves why we are adding another event to our schedules: Are we saying yes because we want to or because we feel like we should? Are we saying yes because it’s something we feel passionate about or because we want to please the people asking us? Or maybe we would love to say yes, but the truth is, if we agree to one more commitment, it will leave zero time for the most important job of our lives…being a parent. I am learning that sometimes the “right” answer may be to politely decline with a “no.”
Spending most of my life always saying yes and thriving on being involved in absolutely everything, this has been an interesting and sometimes difficult season to have to say no at times. I never want to disappoint anyone, especially those I care so much about. But the truth is, I have said yes to things that I should not have. It has caused stress and then regret. The older I become, the more I realize that time is so incredibly precious, and I want to ensure I am spending it wisely. It is not selfish to say no, even when it is a good thing. I have come to realize that saying no can actually be the most selfless choice I can make. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” I love this. There are days when I feel like I am letting my family down by saying yes, and there are days when I feel like I am letting my friends down when I say no. This verse gives me comfort and is a subtle reminder that there is a time for everything. And that will look differently for each person, throughout different seasons of their lives.
Now to clarify, please don’t mistake this as a free pass to not help others or to not be involved; I think the important point to remember is we have to seek God in everything we do, with every decision we make. He alone will be able to help us discern what should be taking up space on our monthly calendars.
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