I am in the midst of reading a book I was sent to review. I've greatly scaled back book reviewing in the last 2 years because it turns out the library lends them free and I can read whatever I want. But one particular publicist has sent me several great ones over e past year so I continue to consider everything she sends my way. Actually, I would kind of like to be her friend in real life since she didn't even judge me when I turned down Beth Moore books with an honest, ' I just can't read her'.
You'll have to hang tight for me to reveal the book and the review but one chapter if the book hit particularly close to home. The author, Vicki Courtney talks about yesaholics. This is when I stopped and looked for her on twitter so we could be friends. Those of you who have known me for a while won't be surprised when I say this was me! I am a yes girl. I love to say yes so much I use to commit to things and immediately think - wait, what?
Let me give you an example. A few years after I started going to my church which would later also become my employer, they asked me to work with middle schoolers. Our middle school youth pastor is amazing and so are the gals who work with him, as I've learned since being on staff. But God bless people who love middle schoolers because as it turns out - I do not. I mean, from a distance sure but not in a way that requires me to interact with them. See where I'm going with this?
I said yes and a month later I had to come back and say a very firm no to continuing. I love people but it turns out that excludes most people between the ages of 12-14. Later I plugged into women's ministry and it was a much better fit. But I not before saying yes to several other ministries that weren't! I just didn't want to say no.
Saying no continues to be a battle for me even though I now consider myself a recovered Yesaholic. Two-ish years ago our pastor did a series called 'creating space' that rocked the way I see my time. See, I was so busy working two jobs (to get debt free), buying a house, leading a bible study, reading 2 books a week, working out, making friends, traveling, and saying yes to every single opportunity to do anything that I was missing out on everything. Track with me here. I wasn't doing anything great, I was sliding by doing just enough at everything.
After that series about creating space for a heathy relationship with The Lord and with other people I caught the vision and decided to buckle down. I swung far onto the other side at first. I said no, no,no, no, no like a two year old first learning to talk. But I refused to be a crappy Christian and a lazy friend because I was saying yes to a bunch of junk I really didn't even want to do!
It leveled off after a while. I didn't keep saying no forever. Eventually the space I created allowed me to say yes to the right things. To the things I'm passionate about. Most importantly it gave me time to listen. Listen to my Savior. Time listening to my friends. And to really be there for my family. I finally started to do the right things well.
I still catch myself from time to time. Even this week as I was preparing to be one of the point people on a 1,000 person event I caught myself saying I would do everything instead if recruiting volunteers or delegating. 'Oh I'll just do that myself'. They do say once an addict always an addict right? I guess I'll always be a Yesaholic it's just a matter of staying recovered. Vicki Courtney shared this verse and I am going to be placing is all over the plCe (probably starting with my color coded planner I take everywhere with me):
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of hard worm and striving after the wind' - Ecclesiastes 4:6
Create space for a handful of quietness friends. Great things happen in those quiet moments but it turns out they don't happen by accident. For me it's first thing in the morning. And I know y'all are already making excuses in your heads as to why your couldn't possibly get up 30 minutes earlier than you do but I don't want to hear Em! Few things if value come easy kids. I don't love the crack of dawn either but it turns out that time is like money - if you plan to save what's leftover there never is any.