You just have to be willing to say YES to receive a blessing. The challenge here is having  the discernment to know what things you have to say NO to in order to be able to say YES to what God may be leading or prompting you to do. A full calendar may look good to your ego, but when it comes to being available for what is really important, less is more.

Ask me how I know? I have learned the hard way, actually. Recently, I said “yes” to something I truly don’t like or enjoy doing. Why? I felt a prompting in my spirit to move forward with it and said “yes” to this thing I ordinarily would not have done otherwise. The great news is that I was blessed but better yet, I was able to bless someone else in return. A true win/win. Honestly, as someone just recently shared with me: ‘when you are able to do or help someone in a way that blesses them, you are the one who receives the bigger blessing.’ I have to say, it felt really good!

Remember, I said just a few sentences ago that I had to learn the hard way? Here’s how….for years and I do mean y.e.a.r.s, I have been really naughty (I have a 3 year old, remember?) about saying “yes” when, in all honesty I should have said “no,” plain and simple. Oftentimes, these things I’ve said a wholehearted “yes” to were in fact things I truly wanted and was excited to do AND they were good things, even God-honoring. The problem arrived when later that same day, or even a couple days later, I panicked. I know that may seem dramatic, but it’s true all the same. I know myself pretty well and I don’t operate on all 4 cylinders when I’m over-c0mmitted. I just don’t. Quite frankly, my anxiety takes over and sometimes, I even feel sick in my gut. (I know some of you are rolling your eyes thinking ‘this girl is off her emotional rocker!‘) All I can say, is this is 100% truth; I should know, I’m talking about me for heavens’ sake!

This is how I came to the point of learning to say NO. It has taken me awhile and I mean a long while to learn the fine art of saying no without feeling that I’m hurting someone’s feelings or letting someone down. I have to give credit where credit is due….it was my husband (leave it to him!) who put scripture to it.

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it?” (Luke 14:28)
Honestly, this brought it all together for me. It made sense of my crazy emotional state. So now, whenever I’m faced with a decision of whether/not to take part in something (good or not, isn’t the question), he reminds me of this scripture and it truly helps me to think through whatever I’m considering. I don’t want to commit to something and not be able to see it through to completion but at the same time, I don’t want to become sick over it either, trying to please others.
These days, I find myself taking a brief pause when someone asks me (in person) to do this or that. It gives me a minute to gather my thoughts and recall this scripture. If I’m really caring for myself as I should, I will ask them if I may get back to them. This is best because then I can not only pause and think but most importantly, I can take some time to pray over my decision. What is most important to me, however, is that God is pleased with whatever commitments I make. Isn’t that what really matters?
This, in essence, is how I go about “sitting down to estimate the cost.” If we say “yes” to everything and everyone, we will be absolutely no good for ourselves or to those who matter most to us. Over-commitment, in my estimation, is not a good character trait. It just isn’t. We have to be able to analyze what is the best use of the time we have with the resources and prior commitments we already have. I have also learned that I must keep the main thing the main thing: the Lord, my spouse, my son, extended family & friends, church, work, etc., etc.
The takeaway: pray over every decision and commitment before you find yourself in over your head. I’ve been there many times and it’s Choose to live in the state of freedom and be blessed all at the same time. You won’t regret it!





One response »

  1. Excellent, Aimee! If you haven’t already read it, I would encourage you to pick up Lysa TerKeurst’s book THE BEST YES which speaks to this very issue of “living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.”


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