Monday, July 7, 2008

I'm Back! The wave is over!

It feels so good to be back to regular blogging again. I took last week off as I had some very big deadlines at work, and had to put my energy into completing those projects. I am proud to say, I met them all and have gotten my workload under control.

Have you ever noticed how our workload in life is very cyclical, like a wave. It seems that when we are very slow, with not a lot to do we love to take on new things...sure I can help in that ministry...sure, I can help with that party...sure, I can help...sure, I can serve on that team...sure, I can lead that project....sure...sure...sure.

The next thing you know, you are overwhelmed with things, and you are trying to figure out what you can get out of. I know this first hand, as I have done this on more than one occassion.

However, I have found a solution. It has worked very well, and I encourage you to consider it if this is still something that you find yourself doing.

The solution: learn to say no.

It sounds simple, but yet it can be so hard to do, especially in the "Christian" circles. We don't want to offend, we don't want to create striff, etc. Granted, at work or at home there are going to be things we can't say no to...but there are a lot of things in life that you can say no to.

Now, that I have let out my secret...let me tell you something else. I haven't mastered it yet! I have a servants heart and so my tendency is to serve people. So, I created a part two to my masterful plan: Ask my spouse for permission to commit to something BEFORE I say yes.

Autumn has permission to ask me the tough questions, such as, do I want to be away from my family another night? How long will it REALLY take? and many more.

Lastly, lots and lots of prayer! I have never been a strong prayer warrior. It is something that I have always struggled with. As I have made an effort to reduce my commitments and focus on that 1 or 2 things that God has truly gifted me with, I have found that prayer has helped me to stay focused on those things.

It isn't easy, and it is something that requires daily self evaluation. The best advice I can give you:
  • Maintain a set of task lists (get organized)
  • Determine your gifting (serve in 1 or 2 areas at most that you are truly passionate about)
  • Maintain your priorities no matter what (God, Spouse, Family, Church/Friends, Work)
  • Stay prayed up (the hardest of the four for me!)
I learned through a few close friends this year that saying "No" won't ruin a friendship...if anything they will respect you more because of the boundaries you have set. (Besides, maybe they are jealous because they didn't have the strength to say "No" as well).

Let's try and remove the wave and search for calm steady streams!

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