Learning to say no…so I can mean it when I say yes.

I wouldn’t exactly call myself “a people pleaser.” In fact, probably just the opposite. Well, not really “a people displeaser” although now that I think of it that might be more the truth.

But I do have trouble saying no when someone asks me to do something. As evidenced by the number of times I have been Room Mom, Team Mom, Bible Study Teacher, Sunday School Teacher, Driver of Many Children to Many Events, Party Attender that Stands in the Corner, Hostess for Friend Selling *Insert Product Here,* etc. Let me just clarify and state for the record: there is nothing wrong with doing any of these things and I am glad that I did them. Well, most of them.

I also had trouble saying no as a teenager and let me tell you what…that led to Nothing Good. But that’s for another time.

I have really felt God leading me to focus on two words this year: redeemed and radical.

Let’s start with redeemed. According to Websters, redeem can mean: to buy back; repurchase; to get or win back; to free from what distresses or harms: as to free from captivity by payment of ransom; to extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental; to release from blame or debt; clear; to free from the consequences of sin; to change for the better; reform; repair, restore; to free from a lien by payment of an amount secured thereby; to remove the obligation of by payment; to exchange for something of value; to make good; fulfill; to atone for; expiate <redeem an error>; to offset the bad effect of; to make worthwhile retrieve.

Oh man, I could take each and every one of these definitions and apply them directly to my life and to me. But I’ll save you THAT, and move on to the definition of radical according to Websters: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root; growing from the base of a stem, from a rootlike stem, or from a stem that does not rise above the ground; designed to remove the root of a disease or all diseased and potentially diseased tissue; of or relating to the origin; fundamental; very different from the usual or traditional; extreme; favoring extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions; associated with political views, practices, and policies of extreme change; advocating extreme measures to retain or restore a political state of affairs; slang: excellent, cool.

Again, seriously able to apply these to my life.

So how do these two words relate to the Title and therefore supposed Subject of this blog post? Here’s how:

If I am really going to live as if I am redeemed by God (and I am according to my SSMT #1 Isaiah 44:22) then I have got to say no to the things I feel He does not want me to do, in order to say yes to living as one redeemed; changed for the better, atoned for, repurchased, and freed from captivity.

If I am really going to embrace some radical in 2011, I have got to start saying yes to only those things that will lead to radical living, extreme change, very different from the usual or traditional, and removed from the root.

So in 2011, I am currently saying yes to being the Online Chair for the Springfield-Burke Relay for Life; being on the Board of Directors for The Beth Bryan Foundation; leading a small group of 9th and 10th graders (all of whom I adore); and being a Team Parent along with My Man for Brett’s Freshman Basketball Team. Of course I also said yes a long time ago to being Russell’s wife and mom to Shawn, Sarah and Brett.

Now…to turn these yeses toward the radical and the redeemed

As always…I love you guys and I’m so happy I said yes to each of you in my life.

5 thoughts on “Learning to say no…so I can mean it when I say yes.

  1. I love this post, and I love the careful thought and searching and listening that obviously went into it. While you're saying, “No”, I'm pretty sure I need to say, “Yes!” more, and do it with my whole heart. (Especially where my kids are concerned. It really bothers me when I notice how much I tell them “no” for things that don't even really matter.)

    I wish I had some time away to ponder what my words for this year should be. I'll try to seek out some quiet, uninterrupted time this week.

    Love you.


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