Awhile back I discerned something quite tragic. My husband and my children were not getting enough of me.
Let me rephrase…
My husband and children were not getting enough of the undistracted, full-hearted, un-hurried, calm and rational – me.
I’m one of those people who have a tendency to over commit myself; to give my yes too easily.
And there I was again. Over-committed, over-engaged, and over-whelmed.
All my commitments were good. Absolutely nothing wrong with any one thing I was giving my time to.
But the problem emerged when I start stacking one thing after another, after another, and another. Eventually, all those good things grew to become a Goliath of obligation; threatening to steal my peace and passion and replace them with exhaustion and anxiety.
Then, one day I found myself saying no too often.
“no” to extra time lingering in their favorite book…
“no” to building block towers and singing lullabies…
“no” to packing lunches for my husband because I’m too rushed to get out the door…
“no” to letting my kids help me make dinner because it’s easier, and faster, to just do it myself.
I realized that I was not devoting the attention to them that they wanted from me, and that I desired to give to them.
I realized that, by saying “yes” to other things, I was actually saying “no” to them.
The tank that carries my time and energy was being poured out in so many places that I didn’t have any left to pour on the people that I love the most.
Then it hit me.
This concept applies in every situation.
Saying yes ALWAYS means that I am saying no – to something or someone.
If I commit to teach a Sunday school class, that means I will not be serving in another area at my church during that time.
If I commit to meet with a younger woman or a friend once a week, that may be time I’m taking away from educating my children.
If I sleep in that extra half hour (which sometimes is totally necessary), I may not get time by myself before the kids wake up.
So, the question I need to filter my commitments and decisions through is:
By saying yes, what do I have to say no to?