My "no" game strong.
“Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don’t act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action.”
- James 1:22-25 (The Message)
Five minutes before a masterclass I hosted the other day, I was still working on some of the backend parts of the presentation. Once again, it was crunch time and here I was working up until the last. second. Even in the midst of this frantic state of mind, I was completely coherent about one thing: This is the last time I’m putting myself in this situation.
I can distinctly recall the decisions that led me to this moment. Specific things I said “yes” to, that, little by little, ate up the time I had to finish everything for my class ahead of schedule. And unfortunately this has been a pattern for me for far too long. From developing the habit of procrastinating in high school to having a culture of working around the clock ingrained in me during college and (and into my career), I now realize something about myself:
I’ve been conditioned to think about time as something I don’t have a lot of.
If there’s a free minute in my schedule, I've been spending it. Because I’m not used to having it. Instead of saving my time and investing it strategically in things that are important to me, I’ve been spending it all willy nilly before it even comes. I'm in time debt! And what’s worse is that this mentality has governed the way I steward my finances as well 🙈
People told me becoming a full time entrepreneur would reveal things to me about myself I didn’t know and now I’m a witness! And the crazy part about all of it is that up until now, I’ve thought of myself as an excellent steward of my time and money. Ha! Nope! That’s why this week’s scripture reads my whole entire life. Just because you think something about yourself does not make it true! If your actual facts & behaviors don’t line up with your thoughts, you my dear are deceived.
But I thank God for giving me the clarity of mind to see my actual truth so that now I can do something about it.
I’m still figuring out how to tackle this stronghold in my life but, for starters, I put myself on a scheduling fast 😂 I’m not allowing myself to schedule anything else before I’ve set my “time vision” for the rest of 2019 and into 2020. And to set that vision, I’m going to identify the types of things I desire to say “yes” to and leave space for them. So if I don’t have anything going on for a period of time, that’s ok because I’m leaving room for what I desire to come to me. As my friend posted in her stories the other day, the highest form of faith is preparation. I have to prepare my schedule to receive the things I’m actually believing for instead of cluttering it up with off-vision distractions.
The last, and probably most important, thing I’m going to do is exercise my use of the word “no” more than ever. Again, if I’m going to operate as the woman I am becoming today, I have to make decisions like she would. That requires me to say no to things I feel guilty about saying no to. That requires me to defend my peace and my energy from toxic “friends” or situations that are no longer serving me in this season. That means I have to do the math up front on how much every “yes” will cost me. And if it’s too expensive, I’ve gotta pass on it.
If you’ve been struggling in this area as well, I want you to know it’s not about you not having enough time, it’s about how you’re stewarding the time you have. Especially if you’re still working a 9-5 and think that going full-time in entrepreneurship will alleviate your time issues. No, your habits will. The demands on your time are only going to increase as you climb higher into the calling God has for you. Now is the time to get diligent & disciplined about what you’re putting on your plate so that you have room for more of the right things to come your way.
Still hungry? Eat some more //
Luke 14:25-33 → Take the time to count up the cost of your "yes" before giving it.