Saying no can be really hard for me. There are two main reasons. Number one is that I don’t want to miss something fun or miss seeing someone I’d like to hang out with at an event I don’t really have time to go to. Number two is that I hate to disappoint people. What if they think I’m a slacker for not being willing to help. Or, what if they never ask me again? I may miss out and there I am back at number one reason.
But you see there’s this 24 hour thing God did when He created a day. He thought it would be a good thing to put a limit on the time cycle between dark and light. I used to not like that plan of His, but I’ve learned that He is really smart. This girl’s gotta sleep ’cause she gets cranky when she doesn’t do that enough. So if days have 24 hours and I need to shut my eyes during 8 of them, then I only have 16 leftover to take care of my family, carpool, exercise, eat, work, have fun, relax and serve at my church or in my community. (Notice I listed time to relax and have fun -novel idea for us busy women, huh?)
I’ve been thinking about how hard it is to say no because I’ve needed to say it more these days. Every time I turn around there are opportunities to help with something or get involved in different activities at church, at the kids schools, at work, etc.And with the holidays coming, I need a plan so I don’t over commit. I need a reason to say those two little letters N-O and then attach them to two little words, thank – you.
In her book, Only Angels Can Wing It, Liz Curtis Higgs suggests a few questions that I can ask myself before taking on something new.
- Will this activity really matter one week from today? How about a month from now?
- Does it satisfy a heart need for me or someone I love?
- Is this something only I can do or is there someone to whom I can delegate this activity?
- Is there someone who does it better than I do that would be excited to have this opportunity?
- What are the ramifications if I don’t do this and the outcomes if I do?
Now I don’t go through these questions every time I make a decision. But, when something requires extra time, money, energy or emotions, asking these questions helps me make the most of my 24 hours so I can focus on what matters most!
When I do ask these questions, I also ask God to show me the answers from His perspective because He can see things that I can’t see. He’s got my days numbered and knows what each one holds.
before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:16