Monday, January 14, 2008

My Tray Can Get Too Heavy

I've mentioned The Power of a Positive Woman before. It is the book that my Bible Study group is doing this year.

This week's chapter is on joy. Specifically, the joy that comes when our lives are in balance. I'm not sure that I know what a life in balance looks like, but I'm quite familiar with what a life out of balance looks like.

The author makes a reference to how we can get too much on our trays, much like a visit to Luby's. That so took me down memory lane...

When I was about 6, my mom, grandmother and I would often go to Wyatt's Cafeteria for lunch on Fridays. One day after our meal, my mom asked why I always got so much food that I never touched. I responded that I thought you had to take something from everyone that offered.

That statement is pretty much a characterization of my entire life.

I cannot tell you the number of times I've said "yes" to things that I have no desire, calling, experience or business doing. I never even stop to think about it...I just say yes.

I've read the book Boundaries (because someone told me to and I wasn't able to say no). I know that I should pray and talk to The King before I agree to anything. But so often (always) I don't. I just say yes.

I know that I am setting a bad example for The Princess. I know that I wear myself out and add stress to our home. But still...I just say yes.

Actually, I do say "no" on occasion. It is to my husband and daughter because I've said "yes" to so many other things for people that don't mean nearly as much to me.

Just as the Wyatt's Cafeteria people would ring the bell for someone to come and carry the really hungry 6-year-old's tray, I end up calling out, too.

Unfortunately, it's usually through gritted teeth at my family for something completely unrelated.

God has really been working in this area of my life.

My issue is that I don't like to disappoint people (at least, the ones that don't live in my home).

Wouldn't it be a shame if I let that rule my life forever? My family would most certainly suffer for it. I would be miserable, not to mention, really busy.

I am going to bet that many of you have this same issue. Or maybe y'all have already figured it out and can pass on your words of wisdom.

I'm going to go finish the chapter.

And think about Jello and big rolls and chicken fried steak and macaroni and cheese and fried okra and chocolate pie...


Kelly @ Love Well said...

This line made me laugh out loud (and almost wake the baby):

I've read the book Boundaries (because someone told me to and I wasn't able to say no).

And really, as a recovering, Yes-A-Holic, I can only tell you: There is great freedom and blessing in the NO! I can't tell you the damage I did to my marriage because I hadn't learned to put my husband before strangers. It took tragedy and heartbreak to make this one sink it. But now that I'm starting to get it? It's so worth it.

ames said...

I hear ya! I too have a really hard time saying no to anyone outside my home (though the dogs hear it quite frequently and don't love me any less for it). In my efforts to keep people liking me and not disappointed in me, I end up getting walked on by my clients and disappointing myself for being a doormat.

I think the real challenge is learning how to say no gracefully and then to not give in when the recipient of the no whines or complains. Broken records and perfectly valid excuses are good for this, so I hear ;)

Jeni said...

I've added the Power of a Positive Woman to my wish list, because it's all to easy to hold on to the bitterness and hurt that the world hands out, and not fully immerse yourself in the joy and love of a wonderful Savior.

Misslisslee said...

Thanks for this post -- it inspired me to think about it myself, and I've responded at my blog.

Amy said...

This so hit home with today. From responsibilities at every end of the spectrum, thank you for reminding me that I SHOULD be doing things and saying "yes" to those I love so dearly.

Headless Mom said...

I started saying 'no' more last spring-to volunteer positions that I didn't like, to church ministries thet weren't 'me', etc, and to focus on my family for a year or so. (God had put it on my heart for a while..) Anyway, God was way ahead of me because the first week of school 2 things happened (one of which was Headless Dad's back injury!) that required LOTS of my attention. He knows what we and our families need. It's hard at first, but you can do it!!