I swear, my daily schedule ends up so packed that if I don’t take the early morning time for myself then I wouldn’t get any quiet time. I know how to start my morning off right but how do I allow my daily schedule to get packed with obligations that I could have said no to? The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst is the personal development book that I am reading right now and it couldn’t be a better fit for figuring this whole schedule issue out. It really hit me hard when only three pages in, Lysa says:
I struggle with decisions too. I don’t want to miss out on opportunities, mess up relationships by disappointing people, or misstep right out of God’s will. I struggle with keeping some sense of balance in my life. I struggle with worrying about what others think of my decisions. I struggle with wondering if my inability to do it all will make my kids wind up on a therapist’s couch one day. I struggle with feeling like I can’t quite figure out how other women seem to do it all. I struggle with feeling like I’m going to let God down. Descriptions ping in my head: I’m tired. I’m distracted. I’m disappointed in myself. I feel slightly used and more than slightly used up. I’m a little overwhelmed and a lot worn down.
Now tell me that doesn’t hit home for you?! Summer time is supposed to be fun, relaxing and when you spend time as a family. Can someone please tell me when summer break turned into months full of obligations and hardly any free time? There are camps for kids, of course BBQ’s to attend since the weather is nice and vacations to plan and execute (don’t even get me started on the vacation process and packing).
Then when school starts back it’s gymnastics, soccer, baseball…or whatever practice your child needs to attend. Of course that’s when most people feel like you are back on a schedule and are capable of volunteering more. Plus attending school activities and volunteering there too. Before you know it, your entire day is packed every single minute!
Don’t get me wrong, this is not me complaining about any of it. I am saying that sometimes we do TOO MUCH and are missing the best opportunities because we have already packed our calendars full. We need to learn to find a balance so that we aren’t over extending ourselves and won’t miss out on the opportunities that God places in our paths. When was the last time you did something for yourself? Seriously though….is there something that you have always wanted to do or enjoy doing but never have time for it? For me, that has always been writing. I never made time for it and never had enough confidence in myself to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard LOL). I started reading “The Best Yes” and realized that I will never have time unless I MAKE time for it. I don’t have to be perfect at it either (which is a struggle for me all on it’s own). All I need to do is set time aside each day or week that is dedicated to what my soul needs.
Lets chat about this for a minute. Now if you have a desire to do something but always put it off then you aren’t making yourself happy. When you aren’t happy deep in your soul then you are not being the best version of yourself for your kids or your spouse. When you make time for what you desire then your soul is happy and you are a happier person. Your kids and spouse reap the benefits from that. They see that you can be a mom and still follow your dreams and what your soul desires. You in turn don’t feel so disappointed, used up or worn down. You feel excited, proud of yourself and have a renewed energy. As Lysa puts it, “Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul.” I couldn’t say it better myself!
God wants us to achieve our dreams. He made us and he knows what our talents are and what our soul desires to do. He can’t help us flourish if we are cluttering our schedules with other stuff. I’m not saying you shouldn’t volunteer or let your kids play a sport. I am saying you need to start paying attention to your schedule. There is a suggestion in the book to limit what you say yes to. For example, “I could only say ‘Yes’ to one thing in each area of my life. One position of service at church, one volunteer activity at the kids’ school, one project at home…everything else was a No. It helped me really look at the things I wanted to do, set priorities and only do the things I was truly called to do.” Now you by no means have to adapt that process; however, you should consider what you can handle that won’t overwhelm your soul and take time away from your BEST YES.
I know how difficult this process can be. I have always been that person that does not want to say no to anyone. I have always felt like saying no was mean and that the person would think that I didn’t like or care about them. That’s just not the case though. What if you say yes to something, let’s say a volunteer opportunity, and once you start the work you realize just how much time it’s going to take up and you don’t have that time available. Now you can either at that point back out (which is worse than just saying no in the beginning) or you can keep trying and end up not devoting enough time and ultimately the where/what you are volunteering suffers. Neither one of those is a great situation when you could initially say no, what Lysa calls a “small no”, in the beginning and allow the organization to find someone who can devote the time needed. You can kindly say thank you for the opportunity but your schedule does not allow the focus needed at this time. That’s not so hard is it?!
Listen, there are so many things you can learn from Lysa’s book “The Best Yes” and you REALLY should read it if you are struggling with an overwhelmed schedule and feel like you are missing your best yes opportunities. If you have read this book then please share your thoughts and how you have implemented the suggestions that Lysa gives. If you haven’t read it then PLEASE go pick it up today and start. You will thank me later, I promise it’s a good one!
“If I want to choose a Best Yes, it’s crucial I make room for it first. Otherwise, a Best Yes can quickly become a stressed yes. And a stressed yes is like snow on a tree that refuses to release its leaves. It causes cracks and breaks at our core.” – Lysa Terkeurst
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