Your yes and your no

Decisions. Decisions. Decisions. All of us are faced with the decision-making process daily. Questions that need answers.

Work, school, church, family, friends, sports, health issues, hobbies and many other extracurricular activities demand our attention. Some of us, depending on our season of life or choices we have made, feel like we are answering questions and choosing options all day long. Not just on the hour, but minute by minute.

Responsibilities, commitments and our direct involvement in outside activities often lead us into overdrive. Maybe even hyper-overdrive, possibly on auto-pilot. We find ourselves running from one activity to another. Stressed and overwhelmed. The more we do and the more our involvement, the more responsibility we feel to step up to the plate. Put our yes on the table. Volunteer for this one little project, just bake cookies for a cause or two, coach just this one season, sit on a committee at church and the next thing you know the calendar is highlighted with so many names and numbers that we can’t even tell its original paper color was white.

It’s not even that we don’t enjoy what we are doing. We are saying yes to “good things.” We are being a productive member of society. We are doing our share. But are we? Are we really taking on someone else’s task? Are we so busy running and doing that we don’t stop to take inventory? Do we feel like we just don’t have a choice?

But you know what? We really do have a choice.

My dear friend Anne once told me that before you say yes to something, what are you saying no to? If you say yes to one more committee, one more volunteer position, one more night out of the house, another day for a playdate, what has essentially been given a no? Reading to the children at bedtime, having a cup of tea and conversation with your spouse, not getting the laundry done until midnight, one more night of take-out for dinner, no homeschool accomplished, not even one moment of time to sit and be still?

Many of our situations and decisions are similar. We can all relate to the pressures and demands of daily life, inside and outside of our homes. Even if the questions are the same, we each have to weigh our own answers. We have to stop, think and take the time to process the balances of our yes in regards to our no.

So I encourage you, as questions for your time, energy, commitment – your life – are inquired of you, think about your yes and your no.

As many of you know and as my “About Me” shares, I am a run-through-the-field-of-flowers kind of gal, but I still need to stop and make sure I am in the right field and smelling the flowers that were meant to be on my path.



We all need a little grace sometimes

Grace. We all need to give one another a little more grace. I attended a Christmas party this past December for a local home school group. I was feeling a little under the weather from the lingering effects of a bad cold…just the sinus fluid stuff that makes you feel like your head is a big marble rolling around on top of your shoulders. Truthfully, my ears felt full and throbbing. I had made the mistake earlier in the week of taking my blood pressure while I was feeling anxious, and naturally it was slightly elevated. So with every throb of my ear I sat secretly wondering if I was going to keel over from a stroke or some malady. Getting older, not old mind you, is not for the faint of heart. I am learning to not be a sissy, one breath at a time, one prayer at a time.

Anyway, I was placed in the 0-2-year-old room as a helper and very quickly realized I was not up to the challenge of the up and down, move around that goes with caring for little people. I asked to be moved. I was told to stick with my assignment and they would try to find a different place for me to complete my volunteer requirement. Fifteen minutes passed and I decided I would be fine playing with the little rug rats, but alas, it was too late – they were moving me to the teen room. As the other mom in charge of coordinating something walked me to the teen room, she walked at least 10 paces in front of me. My murmurs of where are we going and apologizing for the inconvenience were met with no response.

I walked into the teen room feeling like a little kid who was being taken to the principal’s office. I sat in my newly assigned room, dejected and internally grumbling. She could have shown a little grace. She could have said some pleasantries to put my mind at ease. Doesn’t she know how awkward I was feeling? Couldn’t she tell what an effort it was for me to even come? Pitiful thoughts about poor ME were swirling around in my mind.

Then it hit me. What about the kindness, the courtesy I could have shown her? What about how she was feeling about rearranging classes on her feet? After all, I was one of at least forty home school moms in attendance. It wasn’t her job to know I was struggling with being forty-five years old, thirty pounds overweight and not coping well with a sinus infection, which was really just a symptom of not coping well with not feeling as young as I would like!

So with my shift over and moving on to the next event in the party’s schedule, I was grateful I bumped into her in the hallway. I thanked her again for bailing me out earlier. She smiled warmly and said she was processing the situation when I first approached her, juggling a million thoughts in her brain, but that it all worked out in the end. I was glad we had another encounter. Not because I left the party feeling like I had made a bosom friend or even a friend. But it encouraged me to make that deeper connection, even if only for a moment, past either of our quick and hasty judgments of one another.

Grace for me, grace for her, grace from above. How many moments of precious grace do we miss because we don’t take the time to look past ourselves, our own internal struggles, thoughts and fears? Grace, grace, God’s grace, grace that is greater than all our fears.