My least favorite word is no.
My parents will be quick to tell you that was probably the word I heard most as a child. I asked a lot of questions, and I mean a lot. I was always on the go, whether is was for school, sports, or social, I didn’t sit still. If I wasn’t at school or practice, you can bet I was with a friend. My weekends were filled with tournaments and movie nights, and when I was home, most of the time I had friends over. My life was never quiet.
Even after college, I didn’t do well with “free time”. I’m a little odd in that I’m kind of a social introvert. I’m terrified of big groups or meeting new people, but I love my circle of friends. My mom tells me quite often that I “like to be busy”, and it’s true, but I’m learning that I can push myself off the deep end.
I’m a “yes” person. If you ask me to do something, as long as there’s nothing already on my calendar I will most likely tell you yes. The thing is, this habit has stolen joy from me more and more. It’s also stealing time from Camden, which breaks my heart. I’ve said yes to so much that my personal life is hearing “no”. Dinners at home, cooking, taking care of my little family has been put on the back burner because I’m saying yes to outside things – and I’m not saying it’s all bad. We’re called to go out in to the world and be the light of Jesus, but you can’t do that if you’re burned out. I’m realizing I need that time at home to recharge. If I’m drowning before I set foot out the door, how do I ever stay afloat? I’ve struggled so much these past few months with stress and just plain unhappiness, and I honestly think it’s because I haven’t been focusing on what brings me joy, which is my little family and our little home.
I also haven’t been taking time to work on me. I think it’s so hard to feel like it’s okay to focus on yourself sometimes. We’re called to pray for others and help those in need. For the longest time I thought it felt so selfish to need “me time”, but the older I’ve gotten I’ve realized how necessary it is. Just a small amount of time spent taking care of myself can change my outlook on the rest of my day. Whether that’s a devotional, a list of goals, or even just a cup of coffee and some peace and quiet, these few moments with God can prepare your soul for the day ahead.
There’s no doubt that this season of life is busy. I’m 26 years old, married, with a 4 month old baby, a full time job, two part time jobs, and a hobby. Just reading that sentence makes me exhausted. And I’m not sitting here saying I need to start saying no to everything, but I do need to start saying no to being constantly busy with outside things, and start saying yes to time with God.
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
2 Corinthians 1:3-4