Can You Say No?

I am learning...

This past summer was bookended by weddings for me. My Son Alex married Evelyn on May 28th and my daughter Kathryn married Dewey on September 9th. I have said, “no” possibly more than ever before in my life. I put other things aside to focus on and be available to get us all through the weddings. It worked. I was not overly stretched going in to the events.

Now that the weddings are over I still have to find out if I can continue to say, “no.” Sadly, I did not have a good start. I thought I cleared my calendar for the week after Kathryn’s big day. But I came home to a week of meetings and commitments. Why did I schedule my dentist the week I got back? (Can you see my hands in the air?)

How do you use your time?          Free internet image.

On top of meetings every day after I got home, I put off an important decision about doing a workshop in early October until after the wedding. Once I accepted, there were a lot more opportunities to say, “no.” Now some commitments I thought would start in September are on hold until at least mid-October so I can complete the workshop well.

So how will I do when I meet mid-October? That is a good question. And why do I make this a blog topic?

Learning to hear from God to focus on the things Abba wants us to do is important. Being distracted by less important options is a big challenge in this age of options.

I am still learning to narrow my focus and strengthen my ability to say no. When we can hear Abba’s word clearly, there is more fruit in the finished product. As we move into this new school year and Jewish new year, I am consciously examining my time use in light of Abba’s call on my life.

I hope and pray I can continue to say no in order to follow the new season and the timing of my calling. At the same time I seek to say, “yes” to Abba’s best. Not all people have the challenging relationship with the word no that I do.

How about you? Does Abba want you to say no to something so you can say yes to a more fruitful life?

Andrea Van Boven (Madden): I like to think I am a radical lover of Jesus, but I live in a house and pay bills and look like I fit in with respectable society, like most people. What goes on in my head and heart are hopefully the things that betray the look of "normal" that comes at first glance. I hope those things inside of me seep out to actions as well as words of hope and encouragement. I pray that these in turn will lead others to know the loving creator who knows us so intimately that he has a number for every hair on every head.

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