As I sit and stare out of my window looking at the snow, I reflect on a passage found in Matthew 4:1-11. This passage happens to be my devotion for the week so I am thinking of how I can apply it to my everyday life and how it relates to my readers. Then it hit me, “Say No”.  In the passage, Jesus is in the wilderness alone and fasting. He had been fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. That’s some real fasting, so He was extremely hungry. The devil comes in and tries to tempt Him.  First, to turn the stones into bread. Second, by encouraging Him to jump and ask God to save Him. Thirdly, to get Him to worship Satan himself.

All temptations do not look the same. You see, when people hear the word temptation they automatically assume that you mean something overtly sinful. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes, in fact most times, it’s the little foxes that come in and lead to the big foxes.  A little leaven will destroy the entire loaf.

For the sake of this particular post, the temptation I’m speaking of here is the temptation of overcommitment. The temptation of saying yes, when we should be saying no. In general, we live in a highly overstimulated, over-scheduled society and culture ;where how much you involve your children in determines how good of a mom you are. How many committees, clubs, etc. you are involved with determines your worth or relevance as a woman. This is simply not true, and quite frankly a lie from the pit of hell.

It’s no wonder that a few doctors, namely, Dr. Oz calls out anxiety as the plague of the 21st century. I’m not surprised…our kids get home from school and we have to hop right in the car to shuffle them here, there, and every where. Barely eating, certainly nothing healthy, because we are eating on the run. By the time we get home from being a taxi driver, we are exhausted; the kids have to do their homework even though they are tired, and we’ve still not had any family time to connect with those we love. Not to mention, having time with God. In fact, our relationship with God becomes an afterthought. Then on Sunday we expect our pastor to do what we’ve neglected to do because we simply didn’t have the time. Day after day and week after week , we live like this, reaping very little reward.

It all goes back to the original point of “saying no” to those things extra things that make our plates too full. Time with God is non-negotiable. It is in His presence and communication with Him that we gain clarity and insight. He is the one who gives us direction of what things we need to be doing. So, thats first on the list.

Husbands and children are next on the list. They are also non-negotiable. We made vows to our husbands and a lifetime commitment to our child(ren). After those things are taken care of, then we can move onto other things. It’s definitely a balancing act, but will be well worth it if we learn to manage our schedules better. Our homes and lives will be more peaceful.

It’s ok to be bored sometimes. It’s ok to not have anything to do. Not being busy doesn’t mean you are unproductive, it just means your mind is resting so you can give birth to your next creative idea.

We are human beings, not human doings. I’m not speaking of anything other than what I’ve lived. I’ve had to let some things go and tell some people no, whether they liked it or not. That created space for other things that were necessary. More than anything it gave me focus and clarity of purpose. I now live a more intentional life. Learn to just be and “say no”.

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