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,


Devoted to Prayer: “In Secret Places”

“Devote yourselves to prayer … .”
Colossians 4:2, NASB 
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you … .”
James 4:8 

Amazingly God doesn’t need to hear from us—He wants to. Privileged to pour out our hearts, we receive His comfort in exchange. Prayer intimately and powerfully connects us to God in every place.


“Devoted to Prayer: In Secret Places”


“But you when you pray, go into your inner room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will repay you.”
Matthew 6:6, NASB

medium_3206459897-214x144Preparing for my son’s high school graduation required colossal effort.  Steadily busy two weeks out, I transitioned into an intense pace the week prior. My biggest challenge involved scanning photos into the computer, sorting them by year, and preparing two slideshow presentations. Though I genuinely desired to create these digital albums—especially for my son’s sake—the fun evaporated after countless hours at my desk. Glitches in formatting certainly didn’t help either. I also had food to purchase, desserts to bake, cakes to decorate, company to clean and cook for, etc. Truly at times I didn’t know how I would accomplish everything.

But I survived! The Lord incredibly carried me. Lovingly, comfortingly, powerfully, He met with me daily in my prayer closet. Time with Him in that special place absolutely made ALL THE DIFFERENCE. Normally I would have fretted about every detail, to the point that inner turmoil would have spilled into family relationships. You know how it is: sometimes we diligently labor for such ideal future results that the present is less than pleasant. Though I didn’t behave perfectly, the Lord undoubtedly provided peace within. As I began each day in prayer and active trust, He led me by His Spirit—even regarding average responsibilities. He cradled me in His arms and supplied all my needs. He encouraged my with His Word. He evidenced Himself in the form of loved ones who graciously helped. Recognizing my stress on graduation night, I prayed again. The Lord gently answered, “I am with you.” Yes, He most assuredly was.

All can access God’s throne of grace through Jesus Christ. When we experience extreme demands or everyday life rigors, let’s take them to Him. Unquestionably He makes ALL THE DIFFERENCE! “His understanding is inscrutable. He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power … those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength” (Is. 40: 28-29, 31). Oh, SO true! God accomplished this for me … surely He will do the same for you.

Loving Father, thank You for the privilege of prayer. Draw me often to Your “throne of grace … that I may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:16). In Jesus’ powerful name, Amen.

Drawing Near,


Image courtesy of Flood G.