Yesterday, I wrote about saying that hard “No”. The idea that saying “No” to one thing was really me saying “Yes” to something else, something better, was a novel idea to me. It was also very freeing.
I’ve had to make several yes and no decisions since then. Each time it’s gotten a little easier. It is still challenging for me; but I use a few tools to help.
Tool #1 Remember the 5 questions from yesterday? If not read them here.
Tool #2 I consider a few more areas of my life (pg. 121 in The Best Yes) before making decisions.
- My Time: Is the schedule required to meet all the demands of this opportunity in line with The Time I have to invest?
- My Ability: Am I equipped with the necessary skills to carry out the functions of this opportunity?
- My Money: Can I afford the financial responsibility?
- My Passion: Do the responsibilities of this opportunity evoke dread instead of fulfillment in my heart?
- My Season: Is there something that must take a higher priority during this season of my life?
Tool #3 I’ve become more in tune with what my passion is (are) and what God is calling me to do. It helps when answering the questions in number 2.
I had committed to teach a class for my daughter’s home school Co-op program. I was teaching about North American Explorers. I committed to the whole year. I used the Wednesday night before class to prep (plus some extra time throughout the week) while both the kids were at Awanas. The next morning The Hubs woke up just in time for me to leave Little H with him so I could teach.
For the most part our schedules worked out great. I really enjoyed the class and scratching that teaching itch I had from being out of the classroom for a few years. I’m a bit of a history nerd and I really enjoyed learning something new.
Yet, as I drew to the end of the year, I knew something had to change. Nothing was bad about the class or the time I was giving it. My plate was just getting too full.
The times I used for prepping and teaching were times I felt I should really be spending with Henry and my Husband. One of the only times during the week my husband and I had to be alone and spend some quality time together was always being spent with me getting ready for my class. That would go under “The Season” category.
I helped lead a small monthly co-op for Lily and had started a preschool co-op with friends for Henry. With the time I was devoting to those co-ops, I just didn’t have the time anymore to devote to a whole other class. That would go under “The Time” category.
I fulfilled my year commitment and kindly said “No” to the next year. It doesn’t mean I’ll never use those teaching gifts for our co-op. That is just not a best yes for me or my family right now.
I said, “No.” And it felt really good.
I love this thought that Lysa gives in her book about saying “no”. Because for me, many times I fear disappointing people. That fear could have kept me from saying “no” to teaching and instead, giving a guilty “yes”.
If we are talking it out with God and He’s given us peace about our decisions, then we can “…… graciously push past awkward.” (pg.148) “Best Yes answers are strong and courageous. Strength and courage come from keeping God’s Word close.”
Wow!! How convicting and at the same time empowering!
(pg. 50) “Christians are expected to do nice things. I am a Christian. Therefore I should say yes.”
But is your yes a stressed yes? Is whatever “thing” you are doing being done void of any love or joy because you are so stressed out? Sweet friend, take the pressure off yourself.
As much as it is a challenge to you, it’s a challenge to me to be in God’s Word daily and to keep making those courageous Best Yes choices.
Catch up on my other 31 Days posts here.