If you’re a female in this world, you can relate to emails and voicemails like the ones I’ve gotten recently:
“Mrs. Wallin? Hi, this is Marion from the school. We need some things for the holiday party in our kids’ class tomorrow. Will you bring…?”
“Hi Laurie, this is Andie. Someone stepped down from this task at church. Can you fill in for a few
“Hi there! Can you watch my younger kids for a few hours while I head to the doctor with my oldest?”
“Hey, honey. Can
youwe make that new really labor intensiverecipe for dinner tonight?”
“Mom” and “woman” are synonyms for “need-filler.” Sometimes I love meeting those needs and helping people around me. But if I’m not careful – if I say yes to too much, for the wrong reasons – my “help” comes off more like:
God (and everyone else!) loves a “cheerful giver.” So how can we be that kind of need-meeter, especially during the holidays with their added tasks and roles?
Choose YES if the need fits one or more of these:
- It brings you joy. Not happiness, which ends with circumstances, but deep joy.
- It fulfills your calling. It makes sense based on the calling you sense God’s designed in you for this season.*
- It honors God. Which doesn’t mean trying to be perfect!
- It honors your strengths and talents. The task or decision fits in with what you’re good at. It gives you energy, rather than sapping it.
- It’s life-giving to others. It helps, comforts, supports or refuels others, rather than feeding into the culture of unrealistic expectations.
- It opens the door to a dream. It’s the first step of faith toward doing something you’ve longed to do for a while. It takes guts, but energizes you at the same time.
- It builds relationship. It deepens and supports a friendship or family bond. It provides opportunity for conversation and connection.
- It helps you grow. Like the “dream following” idea above, it stretches you in ways you know you need it. (Again, not trying to be perfect… whatever that is!)
- It stretches your faith. It’s maybe a little out of your comfort zone, but it’s in line with what you believe – Who you believe – and it feels like it’s worth the risk.
- It redeems a loss. It rebuilds bridges that burned before or gives you a chance to heal from a loss and step in to a new season.
When we’re intentional and give in the context of our larger vision for life and people, we can say YES wholeheartedly and enjoy the ride! If a need that comes doesn’t fit one of these criteria… maybe it’s time to say the hardest word ever: NO.
With a warm smile, of course.
Have fun with all you give this holiday – of your time, your treasure… yourself.
“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” – 2 Corinthians 9:7
* If you hear “calling” and cringe, or don’t have any idea what yours is, it doesn’t have to be that way! Would you trust someone to come alongside you to discover it?