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It's Okay to Say No.

October 5, 2018

 

Ever bitten off more than you can chew? 

 

My puppy sure has. That puppy I said I wanted that would make my family complete. The puppy that has decided sheetrock in the corner of my kitchen isn't important. That puppy that thinks a window sill is a good chew toy. The puppy that is, one by one, taking the paint of the chair legs my husband so painstakingly just finished. The puppy that enjoys anything she shouldn't have ... including my son's socks. (In case you are wondering, it takes a golden doodle almost a full week to "work" two pairs of socks through its body.)

 

But, I digress. This post isn't about my puppy. This post is about me.

 

Life is very busy for me these days. Teaching preschool, writing curriculum, leading a weekly small group in our home, working with kids on Sunday mornings at church, trying to be a good wife and mother. Making sure laundry is done, teeth are brushed, lunches are packed, the floor is swept, the dog has gone out, the grass is mowed (I admit, this is something I take on because I want to, not because I have to), fall clothes are out and ready for the day fall weather finally approaches ...

 

Yet, I still want to have meaningful quiet times. I still want to spend quality time in prayer. I want to exercise (right now, my exercise is literally chasing preschoolers all morning ... and typing burns calories, right?). I want to deepen my relationship with my husband. I want to teach my kids the Bible and what it means to be like Christ. I want to continue to invest in friendships I treasure. 

 

So, how do I do all of that? 

 

I have had to learn that it's okay to say no. When my life is filled with too many "yeses," I suffer. My family suffers. When I commit to the things that are most important, I am satisfied. Busy, yes. Overwhelmed, sometimes. But satisfied, absolutely.

 

It's hard to say no. However, I am learning that in order to be my best self, I have to do that. It may mean missing out on something fun; it may mean others question why I'm not participating. It may very well mean that I even deal with feelings of self-doubt or guilt for not being involved. 

 

All of those things pale in comparison to having a happy home, a satisfied life, and the reality of listening to and heeding what God is asking me to say yes to.

 

Saying no is hard; I don't always succeed. But, I'm learning. One answer at a time.

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