Sunday, February 19, 2017

Too Busy to Say No: The Secret to Thriving in a Yes World

by Andy Lee @WordsByAndyLee

I’ve never been good at saying the “no” word.

I’m your typical “yes” gal.

I find it’s easy to say because the corners of my mouth turn up when the word is formed.

Just try it. Say it with me out loud, “Yes!” See? A smile naturally forms on your face when this word is spoken. (It’s possible to say it with a straight face, but I contend that it’s work to do so; therefore, not natural. But I digress.)

I’m your typical “yes” gal, and I’m also a full-time writer.

To some people, it appears I don’t have a real job. They conclude I can hold multiple volunteer positions, because I have so much “free time” in my day. I must seem competent enough, so they ask for me to fill the position. And I say, “Yes!” adding to my repertoire of skills. Like many of you, I wear many hats. And those hats do not pay monetarily, and they squeeze my time.

But here’s the thing:

I’m also a faith junky.

That means that I love to live my life by faith, and I believe most opportunities that come my way are venues to help me minister to a hurting world.  And most of the time those open doors are conducive to building my platform for my books to sell, lending more opportunity to minister through the words I wrote in faith in the first place, and I cannot say “no” to that.

So, I have issues. And I have a feeling that many of you have the same issues.

How do we manage our time fulfilling extracurricular volunteer opportunities and the demands in this industry to build our platform and write our manuscripts, prepare for writers conferences, and develop and idea for the next best-seller?

I’ve found one solution that helps me.

I live by grace.

Most days I don’t do it all perfectly. Some days I just don’t have the energy to read five other bloggers much less share their posts on Twitter, or join the blog-link party, and leave twelve comments, or write a fresh blog piece of my own.

But Grace.

Grace helps me know that on the days that I do have the energy to read and share other blogger’s nuggets, and write fresh prose, and work on the project I plan to pitch in two weeks at a writers conference, God is with me in all my yeses.

But Grace reminds me that I need rest. I must always take a Sabbath day to recharge my spirit, soul, mind, and body. It’s wisdom from a loving God.

Grace is always there for me when I’m disheartened because my work doesn’t seem to be gaining ground—especially when the comments are null and followers unsubscribe. It just takes one to take me down a forlorn path. I bet you know about that too.

But grace.

By His grace, He always seems to send me someone to cheer me on, or a new subscriber, or a comment or two. And so, I keep on. By His grace all the projects and volunteer side-jobs get done.

And it is His grace that I trust when the question arises . . . “Will you do this for us?”

I will pray about it, but often I’ll answer, Yes! By His grace.

And I feel His smile.

Your turn: What helps you do all you have signed on to do? Are you a yes person or is it easy to say no?


Andy Lee is the author of A Mary Like Me: Flawed Yet Called (Leafwood 2016) and The Book of Ruth Key Word Bible Study (AMG 2015). She is a Bible teacher, blogger, event speaker, and mom to three grown children and her kitty named Hank. Andy loves to teach people how to dig deep to live fully on her website, and her daily Facebook broadcast, Bite of Bread. Follow her on Facebook and watch at 8:20 each morning EST for soul nourishment.

1 comment:

  1. It is hard to say no. It is even harder when is something you enjoy. Sometimes you have to prioritize. Thank you Andy for reminding us that the Lord is with us in all our projects. They always advice to say no, but is hard when you know it is for a good cause. My answer is: "if my schedule opens up, then yes!" Usually, by the Will of God,it does.