Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Saying No to Over-Commitments

Growing up I heard, say no to drugs, drinking and driving, and remember, no means no. Yet I grew up and started saying yes. "Yes, I'll host this event."  "Yes, I can volunteer to teach." "Yes, I can bake the cookies." Yes, yes, yes! Commitment after commitment was leading me down the road of exhaustion.

I tend to be one of those people that bites off more than I can chew. One commitment after the other leads to long sleepless nights, trying to accomplish too much. After one season of being sick at least once a month and trying to be everywhere and do everything, I decided it was time for things to change.

I informed Carl that I couldn't keep going like this. He totally understood. The problem was that my husband is the same way! So if I wasn't committing to something, then he was! And you know how that goes... 

One day I started to listen to my conversations with others and I realized I was part of my problem. I heard myself volunteering and offering to commit to things that at the time I knew would be too much. "Yes, I'd love to bake three dozen cookies (even though I don't like to bake)."  I know this doesn't need further explanation because you know what I mean. 

You might be one of those people. We bite off more than we can chew. Then we're miserable about it. Why do we do this to ourselves? Well, I've spent quite some time analyzing myself and my husband and this is what I've come up with.  

I'm a people pleaser. There I said it! Are you? I always default to what the other person wants instead of thinking what will work best in my situation.  

I want to make sure I fulfill my obligation. I never want to do less than my part which leads me to take on more so that I consciously know I'm doing enough.

I operate too much on my emotions. This one gets me into trouble too many times! I love the idea and dive in without praying about it!  

Carl, my husband, on the other hand takes on too much for totally different reasons than I do. If you don't fall into my category, you might fall into his. It's important to know the reasons behind why we do things, especially if we want to change the outcome. 

He likes building things from the ground up. He likes to reinvent the wheel, at least this is what I tell him. Taking on a project that involves creating something from practically nothing draws his attention.

He doesn't want to miss a good opportunity. We have a term for this around here.  FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out. Lots of great opportunities come our way but we're learning that we don't need to be part of it all. 

Provides a sense of accomplishment. If Carl takes something on he is going to give it 110%. He will dive in deep and put a lot time and effort into accomplishing the task.

It's important to know the reasons behind why we do things, especially if we want to change the outcome. In this case, we are learning to say no. Its taken many years for us to decide letting go and saying no is what we need to do. Finally after years of over-committing we are taking a step back and saying no to good things to make way for greater things because there's more to life than being busy. Remember what we learned in our younger years and "just say no."

Want to join us? Go ahead and make a list of reasons why you say yes and then pray about the things you need to say no to. 

Do you have a hard time saying no to over-commitments? What are your reasons? 

Linking up to:
A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Less is More

Happy Resurrection Sunday! 
What a joy it is to celebrate today and recognize that God is always at work even when we don't see it. 

Can you imagine Mary Magdalene, who went to the tomb expecting to see Jesus's wrapped lifeless body lying in there and instead saw that the tomb was empty?

After days of mourning His death and probably trying to make sense of all He had told them, the empty tomb would seem to add to her confusion.

But Jesus confronts the poor woman and asks her, "Woman, why are you crying?"

I feel like Jesus was saying to her, "Your mourning over my dead body, but I'm here to give you more." 

You see, less is sometimes more..
It is when we are empty that we are ready for God to fill us up.
When we are weak that His strength is made perfect.
When we let go of what we are holding on to that he gives us what we really need.

Then, we could go running to others, like Mary did, exclaiming, "I have seen The Lord!"

Today we celebrate less being more, an empty tomb and a Risen Savior!

Have a blessed day!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Good Friday Reflection

It was probably a day a lot like today. The normalcy of the day had begun with a special interest in current events. Everyone was talking about it, and like with any controversery, it drew a crowd. But that was a day like no other.  It was the day an innocent man would pay the price of the guilty...the man between two thieves... our Savior.

Today, I wanted to reflect on this truth with more than just knowledge. More like a visual reminder of what Jesus did.  With kids ranging from 15 to 3 in age, I was trying to find something that would capture all of their attention... And I did!!!
Well, not so much the 3 year old, but she did partake in it, briefly. Hey, 4 out of 5 ain't bad and I've learned not to expect perfection. 

We have this cross hanging in our kitchen.  

We got paper and folded it to make little rectangles to write different sins on it.
We thought of sins that we struggle with, and that our society struggles with. We opened our bibles to the book of Proverbs and wrote sins we found in there. It led to other scriptures and a great discussion on sins that we probably take for granted.

 When we were finished, we cut out the pieces of paper and taped them to the cross.

And this is what we ended up with! I love it!! I can't help but stare at it and thank Jesus for what he did.
That little red piece of paper in the center was Eliana's piece in it. Mostly I involved her later, explaining that these are the bad things we've done that Jesus died for. 

And to think, this is probably just the beginning of it...

He bore all our sins and now we await Sunday!!

What did you do to reflect the crucifixion on Good Friday?