In case you didn’t notice, that whole 31 Days to Slow Down & Savour thing and I didn’t work out so well.
Ya see, it turned into chains, and the point was to enjoy life more, not be enslaved by an arbitrary self-imposed commitment. So I stopped, and I’m choosing to not even feel bad about it.
But, related to the slowing down and savouring, I’m learning something, and am about to do an experiment.
I need to say no more often.
And so, I’ve labelled November “Say NOvember.”
For the whole month – NOthing extra. NOthing that isn’t already on the calendar and part of my regular weekly commitments. Even the get together with some of my favourite women (and chocolate!) that I was just invited to today.
‘Cause here’s why:
I think (for the first time EVER!), I have a sense of call. I think the Spirit whispered to me tonight, and I think I need to listen.
I was pacing back and forth in the darkened kitchen, bouncing that teething baby and hoping for him to sleep, and talking with a friend in my mind – that same friend who invited me for time with women and chocolate. As I was excusing myself in the internal conversation, I said to her “Right now, I just need to care for these kids and pray and write.” And for some reason, something inside of me said “YES! That’s IT! Pay attention!”
And so, for the month of NOvember (and maybe even beyond…) I am saying no, so that I can fully press into those things I’m feeling called to.
The more I can name my callings, I am free to say “no” to things that are not mine to do. I can trust God to provide someone else.
Already, there are challenges. It feels selfish, to focus all of my time on my family, and on prayer and writing, which are such singular pursuits. There are voices within me saying “but what about doing IMPORTANT things, like the flyer asking for volunteers in the school’s nutrition program?! What about participating in causes that meet real needs related to poverty and injustice???” And I don’t really feel like I have the answers for those questions – just a simple, gentle reminder that this is who God has made me, and this is what God has placed before me, and that in being faithful I am honouring him.
And so, I will begin saying “no.”
And in doing so, what I’m really saying, is “Yes.”