When There Are So Many Good Things, and Only Some That are the Best

It’s hard to say no. Our friend, Lysa Terkeurst, reminds us of this in her book, “The Best Yes.”

It’s that time of the year. In many ways fall is a beginning of the year in my mind, much more than January 1. I’m sure that partly stems from being a teacher so many years.

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Many good things present themselves. None of us want to hurt people’s feelings.

At church there are opportunities to teach or lead all ages, be in bands, committees, or teams.

In the community there’s coaching, mentoring, snacks for athletic teams, room parents for your child’s classroom-the list could be endless. And how about being a great neighbor who brings over pies or begins a bible study?

In the family, a mom’s heart wants to try again on the traditional dinner together.  The “Norman Rockwell” magazine cover hangs in her mind.

Guilt tries to set in and take residence if we don’t set up our calendar just right.

I came close to teaching a Sunday school class for this fall…which would be a wonderful thing…although the timing is not right. I said no. I felt bad, because I really would love to build relationships with those kids. If I said yes, I feel I’d be disobeying God.

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In the body of Christ, if everyone is doing their part, everything gets done. I have a different part right now. There has to be a good balance of priorities, obligations, and responsibilities.

I need to do a few things well, and not spread myself too thin and do a mediocre job on many things.

Oh, so many good things to say no to!

In this season of my life, the Holy Spirit is speaking to me very clearly about writing. I’ts one of those things that is not very visible to most people right now, but it’s my mission and the way I can do my part.

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Much prayer has gone into my secondary list for this year. It’s a short but time-consuming list of singing in the praise band, being on a prayer team, B.S.F., and Hospice. Two things for my church, one thing for growth, and one thing for the community. That’s just enough and not too much. I feel good about it now, and it’s re-evaluated with prayer often.

With a wide margin of reason, I’m even careful with appointments, lunch dates, extra meetings, and errands. Those things can suction the life out of a day like a vacuum. The strong pull towards a seminary class, and learning an instrument still lurk; keeping my house clean and having a few meals on the table would be a plus.

First and foremost, I desire to be a Christ follower, a wife who’s not like a dripping faucet, and an encouraging, available mother to grown kids.

As difficult as it is, I’ve had to say no to many things in the last couple years and set limits. If I don’t, the busyness of life overtakes me. Days just drift away with no real accomplishments.

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What decisions have been tough to make recently? Do you think you’re going with your true callings or are you feeling pulled in many directions? Do you think you have said yes and no to the right things?

I would love to hear if you struggle with this too. How do you handle it?

About Myrna Folkert

Myrna is an author who desires to use her gifts to glorify God. She's created this blog to tell stories of her childhood, musings about life, motherless daughters, grief and loss, faith in God, her family history, and facts about the Long QT syndrome. She also has a hearing condition called Tinnitus. Doing interviews with motherless daughters like herself are of great interest. Join in discussions by following this blog and commenting. She would love to hear your stories about life. Myrna is a Christ follower, wife, mother, sister, friend, aunt, and cousin. She was an elementary school teacher for 27 years; now works in her church, and a few other volunteer activities such as Hospice doing "Life Reviews" and Vigils. Myrna loves to read, write, listen to music, go to concerts, and take pictures. Her favorite pastime is boating with her husband near the beautiful shores of West Michigan.
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11 Responses to When There Are So Many Good Things, and Only Some That are the Best

  1. Duane Joostberns says:

    Myrna- Great article!! I also suffer from the same guilt feelings when I have to decline some opportunities, especially if they are church-related. As you mentioned, the keys are “balance” and “prayer”. God Bless, DJ

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Kate Hamlet says:

    I fear that I’m too good at saying no. As an introvert I’m very protective of my time. If I take on too much I feel drained and usually get migraines. So, I often have a reason almost right away why I can’t be a part of whatever people are asking of me. I really have to push myself to say yes and be available! Always a challenge but I think my faith helps in that regard because I do have a desire to serve and I make sure I find ways to do that within my limitations as an introvert.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for sharing that Kate, I’m sure that will help others who feel like you do. It’s awesome that your faith is strong and it helps you to serve in various ways, even though it’s not your natural bent. Thank you for giving me the opposite perspective! I appreciate that. They say that most authors are introverts. I feel that I’m an extrovert in most areas, except for a few, and one of them is in sharing my personal stories. I’m often worried what someone is going to think. I do dislike being too busy though, and can spend hours or days alone writing and it doesn’t bother me a bit. But you get me out in gatherings and I’m usually pretty good at talking to just about anyone! So saying no to things is a bit harder for me.

      Like

  3. tabitha59reachingout says:

    “Two things for church, one for growth and another for community”. Great advice. Thanks. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for commenting! I didn’t realize it was advice, just what I am doing right now. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

      • tabitha59reachingout says:

        You are right. I guess it wasn’t “advice”, but I am always looking to learn and grow and I appreciated your sharing that little tidbit. Thanks for the wisdom. Having had severe burn-out in the past, I am eager to not repeat that difficult time. Your sharing is a great guideline for me. Blessings on you, Myrna. 🙂

        Like

  4. Lois Blanchard says:

    Thank you for this. It helped me bring together some of my thoughts on volunteering, and being involved in so many ways to serve. At this point in my life (almost 90) life consists of “caring” for myself much of the time. We are much slower now. I would like to stay out of Assisted Living as long as possible. Life becomes pretty busy–just trying to “keep up”. This is a new experience–but inevitable. God is GREAT, especially now.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Dearest Aunt Lois, you have, and continue to help people in countless ways! Just the fact that I have heard you’re quite an “encourager” at your residence is a wonderful thing that so many need! I think at 90, you deserve to go a little slower, and you have always moved very fast! I don’t think I could begin to keep up with you! I’m glad this helped you to sort some thoughts out though. Looks like you’re doing great at keeping the “assisted living cops” away! haha! Have a wonderful week!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ebforeman says:

    Great reminder for me, Myrna. Thank you for your reflections. I too liked the way you identified the areas of your life — church, growth, community.

    Liked by 1 person

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