Yes, No, Maybe So

8:00 AM

From our 'childhood memories' date over the weekend. 
Cemeteries are the best places for thinking, talking and solving problems. SO QUIET.
 
You ever have a revelation about yourself and it smacks you like a brick in the head?
Yeah, I'm starting to feel that way. Recently, I realized that, a) I often care alot more about people's opinions than I should, b) I often say yes when I should say no, and c) I often do things for the wrong reasons.

I have internal struggles that go something like this:

"If I don't say yes, people will think I'm uncaring...."
Will they? Are you? Or is it that you just know you are supposed to be caring to your husband first, and everybody else gets to drop in the priorities... and that's what the Bible says.

"If I don't say yes, people will think I'm unspiritual..."
Brandon's responses: Sounds like their problem, not yours.
"Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."
Matthew 6:1

"f I don't say yes, our friendship will die!"
Wow. Way to be over-dramatic, Naomi. Friendship does not rise and fall by one invitation, one coffee date, one party, one event. Reality says that we all have different schedules and commitments and if you can't do something, you can't. If friendship doesn't survive that, then it probably wasn't friendship. Real friendship is enduring and not limited by distance/schedules and always believes the best.

"If I don't say yes, I won't be a success."
A success at what? Being an awesome photographer? Not my ultimate goal. Being an awesome blogger? Not my ultimate goal. Being an awesome anti-cult writer? Not my ultimate goal. Being an awesome worship leader? Not my ultimate goal. I can try to be 'good' at stuff without having to be the best and without it being what defines who I am.

"If I don't say yes, I must be selfish."
Know yourself and ask honest questions. Am I really selfish?
Selfishness is often disguised. In my life, I tend towards saying "yes" to everything and sometimes for selfish reasons. I do spiritual or nice things that look unselfish, but are actually unselfish because it's so I don't have to feel the pain or rejection of telling someone no. Completely self-motivated. Isn't that silly?

Saying no is healthy.
Saying no is setting proper and appropriate boundaries in your life.
Saying no is a good thing.

Things that I'm learning about setting healthy boundaries:
* This season in life (married college life while working full-time) has limits. It has financial limits, time limits, energy limits.
* I am only one person.
* I cannot do it all.
* I cannot do as much as when I was single.
* Or rather, I have to focus on different things than when I was single.
* I do not have to be the best at anything... except the best servant of God I can be and the best-possible-wife-and-adoring-lover to my husband.
* I am not indispensable.
* People don't have to understand my/our decisions.
* Just because someone has a need does not mean that I have to fill it. In truth, usually what they 'need' from me is actually a 'want.' They will not die if I do not "help" them.
* Just because I "feel bad" for saying no, doesn't mean it was the wrong decision.
* Self-imposed guilt is NEVER a good reason to say yes to anything.
* Crying often because of 'busyness' is a good sign that the word "no" has been not exercised enough.

Just say NO.
Sometimes saying NO to one thing is actually saying YES to the best things.

"But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith."
1 Timothy 1:5

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