No matter how many ways you try to sugar coat it....saying "no" is never easy. Well, maybe it is to you, but I find it difficult. As I get older I am realizing more and more that the problem with saying "no" lies totally with me and no one else. Let me explain.
If people know that from 6:00-7:00 pm on a given day you are not otherwise committed to another activity or responsibility, they automatically assume you are "available" and ready to fill that hour you "just so happen to have vacant". People don't take time to understand that maybe...just maybe... you intended or planned that hour to be open. In a sense you have planned and committed that hour to something. Maybe it's NOTHING, but it's still SOMETHING. Am I making any sense at all?
Life has gotten so crazy that when we have "free time" it is because we have had to bend over backwards (after cartwheels, round-offs, splits and a hurkey or two) in order to find some time that we save for ourselves and even our families.
This summer God grabbed me as I whizzed by to another event and shook a little sense into me.
I had to finally admit that I am not Wonder Woman/Super Mom. See, it's hard to even write it, much less say it. But, after getting that reality out in the open, I felt much better. But...then I actually had to do something about it.
You see, God never intended me to be a super woman. This is not news to most. I'm just slow. I had the "Sure!"..."Yes"....."I guess"......"That's fine"...disease. Well no more.
God showed me that my home was a wild and chaotic place. God wants it to be a place of peace and rest. Not only was it the opposite of peaceful, we weren't even there very much. After I finally admitted this to myself, I set out on a path to undo what I had created.
In order to "make the change", I had to learn a new word...."NO". Some people have NO problem saying NO. If you had asked me if I had issues with that word before this summer, I would have told you "NO". I quickly realized that I was wrong and began making the necessary adjustments.
I gave up some things that I had been involved in and decided to give that time to my family. Now, this doesn't mean I'm sitting at home doing nothing. In truth, I'm still stretched pretty thin. It just means I'm spending the time on my family....not on everyone else. As soon as I began implementing my "plan"....my plan was put to the test.
"We really need you."
"We can't find anyone else."
"You are SO GOOD AT THIS!"
"You're not doing anything during this time."
"Everyone else is so busy during this time and we can't find anyone who is free that can do it."
"We need EVERYONE committed to this."
"Can you help me out?"
Difficult is an understatement.
I was given a taste of my own medicine through guilt-trips. I got so tired of saying "no", but eventually it got a little easier. I began to go through a time of questioning my decision to back off some things. I started to think that maybe I was wrong. I had to get back on my knees and recommit! It is a daily task. But it's working.
I feel myself slipping into guilty mode every now and then, but I know it's Satan.
I'm sticking to my guns. I'm not giving in. I look into the faces of my husband and children and know that I'm making the best decision. I am reminded by God that many times I thought I was saying "yes" to others, but in reality I was saying "no" to my family. Life is better. Peace has come back into our lives.
EVERY DAY I am faced with my decisions. People question my lack of participation at times or sudden disappearance in certain areas, but my children and husband haven't complained.
I dug my own hole, and I am now filling it back up with what I hope is good and fertile soil.