Are you often overwhelmed? Overcommitted? Do you have a hard time saying no? Then hang around this week. We’re going to start off the new year by learning to say “no” to filling our days with busyness and say “yes” to the things God wants in our lives.
Cut the ClutterI have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with. He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man. Ecclesiastes 3:10-13, ESV
I don’t watch a lot of television, but one of the shows I have seen from time to time is called “Clean House.” A team of people go into a very cluttered home, help the residents clear out the clutter, and then redecorate the home. The results are usually amazing, and when they revisit the residents later, they always talk about how much easier their life is—how much more peaceful they feel not having all that clutter around.
I admit —I’m guilty of this to an extent. My home may not look like an episode of “Hoarders,” but I know I could live without a lot. As I’ve told my husband—it’s not that our house isn’t big enough. We just have too much stuff in it. We’re working on decluttering, but it’s a long process. (See the photo above. Yes, that’s my office, before and after. It became the dumping ground in our house. Please don’t judge me. )
Life is like that, too. Your life can become so “cluttered” with demands and commitments that you feel as if you’re suffocating under the weight of it all. When your “to do” list exceeds the number of hours in the day every single day, you never feel as if you accomplished anything. It’s not a very peaceful way to live, and certainly not the way God wants us to feel day in and day out.
If you feel completely overwhelmed, take some time to look at your schedule. Then look for ways to free up a little time. Is there someone you can carpool with, taking the kids to school, even if it’s only a couple of afternoons a week? Is there someone else who can take charge of the Girl Scout cookie sale this year? Do you really have to serve on five different committees? Remember, saying no isn’t rejecting an obligation. It’s giving someone else the opportunity to be blessed by serving!
Don’t let your control-freak streak take away the peace God wants you to have. You can let go of some things. You might even find that (gasp!) someone is better at something than you were, but they never had the chance to step up! So pray about your commitments and let go of the ones God tells you to let go of. I promise, the world will not collapse. Give others a chance to serve!
In His Love,