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What To Do When You’re Doing Too Much: Choose Commitments Carefully

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.

 

Choose Commitments Carefully

Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.
Psalm 143:7-8, ESV

Basic RGBHello, my name is Amy Greene, and I’m a commitment-aholic.

If you’re like me, your mind is spinning from one task to another from the time your feet hit the floor in the morning (sometimes before) until you collapse in an exhausted heap on the bed at night. Or early the next morning, because you’re up til after midnight getting things done. I get it. I really do.

Admitting you’re overwhelmed is the first step. We have to learn to be honest with ourselves about how much we can really handle, and how much time we will have to commit to any particular project. There are always going to be demands on our time. You probably know from experience that once you’ve proven to be someone who will step up, the requests seem to increase exponentially. The trick is learning which to accept and which to politely decline.

So how do you know? How do you decide, especially when all the choices are good choices?

Honestly, I’m still learning this myself. But here are a few things I’ve begun doing.

1.  PRAY FIRST. This is probably the most important point. Don’t say “yes” or “no” right away. If someone is pressing for an immediate decision and won’t let you take the time to pray about it, politely decline. Don’t be rushed into a decision that may not be right for you. If you’re not being rushed, then take the time to bring the request to Jesus, listen carefully when you pray, and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

2. Remember your other commitments. This may seem obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “yes” to something only to look at my calendar later and remember I already had something planned on that date or at that time. Keep track of appointments and such on a smart phone or computer calendar. A quick glance could save you a world of headache.

3. Don’t be afraid to say no. This one is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to learn. Because I am a people pleaser by nature, and I really want to help everyone who crosses my path, saying “no” is hard! I guess I’ve always been afraid someone would be upset with me if I turned them down, or that there would be no one else to help if I was unavailable. What I’ve learned is that saying “no” often gives someone else the opportunity to step up, someone who might not even have been asked if I hadn’t declined.

Pray. Remember prior commitments. Don’t be afraid to say no. Three simple things that I’m learning to do that will (hopefully) make my life a bit less stressful this year. Perhaps they’ll help you, too.

In His Love,

Amy

What To Do When You’re Doing Too Much: Admit You’re Overwhelmed

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.

 

Admit You’re Overwhelmed

The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty.
Proverbs 21:5, ESV

o-STRESSED-WOMAN-facebookI sat in the car, staring down at my phone. Once again, I’d said “yes” to something for which I really didn’t have time. Why hadn’t I just said no? Why had I agreed to add one more thing to my already burgeoning calendar?

My schedule is crazy on a good day, yet once again I had agreed to something without a thought. I hadn’t considered the rest of my commitments. I hadn’t thought of how little time I already had. I hadn’t even taken two minutes to pray about it and seek God’s will. And I knew, as soon as I hung up, that I did not have time to do what I’d just agreed to do!

I know I can’t be the only one. Why do we do this to ourselves? Sometimes it’s because I think I can do a better job of whatever it is than anyone else. Maybe I want to make sure people know I care about whatever the project or issue is.  I think more often than not, I just want to help. I want to tackle every task or serve on every committee or be on every team because I truly DO care and want to help.

However, too many spinning plates usually result in at least one, if not all of them, crashing down around us. Instead of a sense of accomplishment, we end up frustrated and stressed. Why is that, when all the things we’re trying to do are good things?

While God wants us to serve others, He does not want us living a life of frustration. That means learning to discern what He really wants us to do, and that can be hard when all the choices are good choices. Author Lysa Terkeurst calls it finding God’s “best yes”– the things He really wants for us. This week let’s explore some ways we can prioritize commitments not only to help others and please God but to avoid stressing ourselves out!

In His Love,

Amy

Five Years of Truth: 2013/2014 He Knows Our Hearts

I committed my life to Jesus five and one half years ago. Each year He has given me new and wonderful things to learn, to feel, and to do.

Join me in reminiscing.

 

2013/2014 He Knows Our Hearts

Search me, God, and know my heart;    
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,    
and lead me in the way everlasting.
Psalm 139:23-24

fridayTime goes by and if we are true to God He continues to teach us. I still have so much to learn, but oh, what a joy it is. Nothing can compare to gaining knowledge through prayer and the reading of God’s Word.

In 2013 God began to teach me about relationships. I learned a lot about being a good and loving wife. I learned better ways to love my daughter and pray for her family. I learned about friendships. On these things I’m still learning.

He began to teach me about myself. We began a journey together that traveled inward. Only God knows our true hearts, and when He shows us what’s there, it can be surprising, even painful. For me, and probably for most of us, it is a crazy mixed up place. Some parts good. Some parts not so good. God doesn’t like dark places so all must and will come to light.

This year, 2014, I began to pray today’s verse of Scripture. My prayers have been sincere, but I didn’t quite realize what I was asking for.

You see I have a dark place in my heart. I was a victim of child abuse. I rose above it and moved forward in life. I told myself I would never confront it. Never look at it. Some things are better left in the darkness. I wonder … could I be wrong about that?

In August I started seeing a counselor. I promised myself I would never do that, but God had a different plan. For me He chose light over darkness, a choice I could not make on my own.

It’s a hard and scary road and it’s just begun. I don’t know how long this road is or where it will lead, but I do know with certainty, God, my Father, is with me. He is holding my hand. And when the road ends, He assures me, there will be a beautiful light in my heart where the dark place used to be.

Oh how I love that about God!!

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