Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 18: Fear of Saying No: Feeling Free to Just Be

"We can go to God with bold confidence through faith in Christ."
Ephesians 3:12

Day 18:  Fear of Saying No

If only I could say "No" as quickly as my three year old daughter says "No" when I ask her if she has to go pee pee, then my life would actually be a little easier. 

Why is that?  Why does she say "No" when she clearly has to go?  She is wiggling and squirming and breathing uncomfortably.  She waits until the very last minute...until her body cannot hold it in any longer and she barely makes it up on the toilet.  And sometimes she waits so long, that she doesn't make it and out it comes all over the floor!  Sigh... 

Abby definitely doesn't struggle with the fear of saying "No."  Part of me admires her honesty and boldness.  She knows what she likes...she knows what she doesn't like (and oh boy does she tell me!)...and she knows when she's going to do something and she knows when she's not.  She's not afraid that I won't like her if she says "No."  She's not afraid of hurting my feelings-- although I need to keep reminding her to be assertive and to express her feelings in a respectful way while still keeping her confidence and decision-making skills.

I am a people pleaser.  Saying "No" doesn't come as easily to me.  I like to help others, do what I can to serve, make others feel loved and cared for...I like saying yes.  Before having kids, I had the time and energy to say yes to anything I wanted.  I had time to "do it all."

But since becoming a mom, I barely have the time or energy to just "do" let alone "do it all."  As I've said "Yes" to having more kids, I've had to learn to say "No" to other things in my life. 

To a people pleaser, saying "No" used to bring me a great deal of fear and anxiety.  I don't like to say "No".  I don't like to disappoint people.  I don't like to let anyone down.  I don't want to miss out on serving or helping out, but I had to add that word to my vocabulary.  So very reluctantly, I did.

I'll admit, it was very difficult at first, but soon, I began to actually enjoy it.  And once I started saying "No" to things (very politely and prayerfully though), I began to feel no fear or anxiety whatsoever.  I began to feel so much freedom.  I began to feel less pressure on myself to "do, do, do" and allow myself time to just be!

Just be in the moment.  Just be with my kids.  Just be present.  Just be ok with having less to do.  Just be quiet.  Just be home.  Just be together.  Just be a mom.  Just be a wife.  Just be a friend.  Just be with God.

Are you ready to let go of your fears of saying "No"?  Are you ready to experience the freedom that saying "No" can bring?  Are you wanting more time to just be?

Father, I give my fears of saying "No" to You today.  Take away my need to please need to do more, and allow me to just be!  Father, I want to be present with where You have me right now.  I want to enjoy each moment, and not allow my life to get cluttered up with things that don't serve You or please You.  Continue to help me be bold and confident to prayerfully say "No" and allow some space in my life to breathe.  Lord, shine Your light into my fear of saying "No", and fill me with faith to know that You will guide me, direct me, and give me discernment to know when You are calling me to say "Yes" and when You need me to say "No."  No matter what I say, Lord, may it serve You.  In Jesus name.  Amen.

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