Ever say “no” to something before?
Something good, I mean?
Like to cleaning your house like a crazy person for your best friend who’s coming into town? Or to the 4th birthday party of the weekend? Or to making the last gourmet dessert out of 20 you made for Christmas brunch?
I have an aversion to saying no. To passing up things I enjoy or passing up good opportunities. A.K.A. we could barely breathe all fall and spring due to opening the shop, and other blog projects, but I decided the Vintage Market must be held in May…period.
I’m a masochist, what can I say?
Case in point: we had been married for a year and a half. I had just graduated with my undergrad degree in 3 and 1/2 years because, well, you’ll see why. Anyway, I was teaching part time at a private school from 11-3, and assistant coaching two basketball teams. We also were involved in youth ministry, so every Wednesday night, I cooked for 25-ish teenagers (after both basketball practices & teaching). Early nights ended around 7 pm, late ones around 11-12 a.m., and for some reason unknown to God and man, I decided it was time to start my Master’s degree in Education.
So I started taking night classes.
And I chose one of the hardest professors at the university…
Oh. my. word.
I think it was somewhere around mid-terms when my husband was lazing in the bed on his Saturday off, and I was stuck at the library for 2 days surrounded by mountains of research that it occurred to me that this was maybe unnecessary.
Maybe I was enjoying some of it–maybe I did want the end result, but I had a career I loved, worked 12 hours a day most days, a husband I adored, a ministry to focus on–maybe it was okay if I put off getting my Masters degree.
I finished the first semester, and started the second, and Professor Happy informed me I would not be able to miss class for work (what?!), and I, in a moment of clarity, promptly dropped the class.
Finishing my Masters would have been a good thing, but there were lots of good opportunities to focus on already.
While I’m still learning how to say no to good opportunities and ideas, I can think of a handful of times I’ve turned one down…and those few times I have, I can’t describe how freeing and uplifting it was. In fact, I just had to pass up something this week, and there was a fleeting moment of guilt, but mostly relief and renewal.
Because of my goal-oriented nature, I have a million ideas regarding the blog, the shop, our online store…homeschooling, parenting, chore doing, house organizing…
And the list goes on.
But there’s time. There is time to tackle new goals and ideas, and sometimes, saying no gives us the freedom to rest in His hands, and see where they take us. Passing up some good opportunities may give us the time to enjoy the ones we already have. At the end of my days, I know the questions I’ll live with.
It will have very little to do with what career goals were checked off. It will have very little to do with the projects done, bill organizing, efficient snack systems I decide to implement. It will probably have very little to do with the kids’ schooling, too. My thoughts will be on the Eternal, and reflecting on how we lived this life for Him and with Him.
Am I the only chronic-yes-sayer out there? What about y’all? Said no to any “good things” lately to focus on the great things?
Please, Lord, tell me you have.
If not, I encourage you to give yourself permission to pass sometimes…you’ll be so glad you did.
P.S. You guys are one of things I don’t ever “pass” on, so thanks for reading and sticking around!