Crazy Schedules or How To Say "NO"

This blog was originally posted in May, 2009. The thoughts expressed remain true today!

It has been very challenging of late to post blogs. I’m not gifted with being able to sit down and write about anything within just a few minutes. I have to think about it, ponder over it, pray about it, meditate – in other words – for me, a blog’s formation usually takes several days.

Today is different because I’m writing about being busy and the need to slow down – which seems to be God’s theme for me this year. But I don’t think that lesson has reached my brain or heart yet.

I don’t know of anyone who is not busy these days. Even my friends who are not employed outside the home are busy with their kids’ schedules, their husbands, their homes and their interests. It’s almost impossible to imagine them working outside the home.

For those of us who do have a 9-5 job, and a husband/kids, house, etc., anything extra can feel like a burden if we allow it. Currently, I am in a writer’s group that I dearly love (see most recent post), I belong to a critique group where each member submits a chapter twice a week to be critiqued, I’m judging two writers contests and am scheduled to begin judging books (entire length) for the most prestigious book award given to fiction writers. Not to mention the fact that I need to be working on MY OWN writing! 🙂 When I list it like that, it may not sound like much to do – especially compared to some of your schedules. But I put a lot of time into reading/reviewing entries for writing contests. These contests are extremely important to those who enter. In some cases, writers enter their work for the feedback: what can they learn from the judges’ comments. There are writers who enter for the hope of winning the prize money; other writers enter hoping for that elusive publishing contract. It takes me 2-3 hours to judge the first two chapters of books that are entered by the authors. I can’t imagine how long it will take me to judge an entire book! And, by the way, I’m not complaining here. I love being a judge for writing contests, Many times, I learn (or re-learn) something – or I’m able to share writing information with the author that will hopefully help then improve their writing skills.

So, why all the whining, you ask? I’m not whining. Here’s the point I want to make: I (and I suspect many of you) have to learn to say NO. But there’s a step before that: Pray and ask God what does He want me/you to do. Will this work in His plans for me/you for this day/week/month? Will we have time to do these extra things and do an excellent job, as unto the Lord? If the answer is “Yes” then go for it. If the answer is “No” then force yourself to say “No.” There will be other times you can participate in the activities you want to.

COMING UP IN THE NEXT BLOG: What happens when you don’t say “No?”

4 thoughts on “Crazy Schedules or How To Say "NO"”

  1. Cecile,It is so easy to get involved in church work and Christian work. I think we get so busy doing these good works that we do tend to wonder if we are really doing what Godwants us to do.I pray that God will heal both you and your husband from arthritis.Blessings,Edwina

  2. Edwina: I am not as busy as you, but I find myself wondering if I am doing what God wants me to do. I am involved in the drama ministry at church. I have written a few skits for the productions. I write two newsletters for a faith-based nonprofit ministry-I sit on its board. Husband and I both have the aches and pains of different forms of arthritis.

  3. It's been my primary objective this year to say no more often. We can get so busy with the "good" things that we don't have time for God's BEST for us. It's been said – we're human BEINGS, not human DOINGS. We need to slow down and enjoy the life God's given us and the work He has for us to do and nothing more. Keep blogging and reminding us of these things, E!

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