keep-calm-and-just-say-no-13Hey Friends —

How are you today…really?

I recently mentioned this Spring I hit a wall. Big time.

Call it “the blues,” Spring sadness, May madness, burnout, or whatever — my circumstances brought me to a hard, weary place.

Thankfully I’m slowly recovering, but I am learning my lesson. Really.

As I’ve shared, I’ve spent the past few weeks in much quiet and solitude, reevaluating my pace, my purpose, my priorities. And most importantly? I’m making hard decisions and changes so, Lord willing, I don’t get to this place again.

I always try to be intentional about living in a non-crazy and chaos-free way, but this summer I’m putting some very specific boundaries in place to live at a pace of purpose.

Now please know as a recovering people-pleasing, over-achiever, this is not easy.

Not one bit.

But here are some changes I’m making, as painful as they are —

    • I gave up caffeine. Not that coffee is a bad thing (can I get an Amen?), but I realized when I hit my weary “wall” how much I depend on coffee to keep me going. So two weeks ago, I said “no more.” After three days of intense headaches, I’m happy to share I FEEL GREAT. Yippee! (And thank goodness, for decaf. I still love my lattees. 🙂 Baby steps, right?!)
    • I said “no” to self-care sabotage and bought a new personal fitness training package. Yay for birthday money. The “old me” would have skipped my workouts and used my gift money to pay bills. The “new me” knows if I’m too busy to take care of my health, I’m too busy. My health matters.
    • I planned an “impromptu” date night with my guy John. Even with a not-so-tidy house and a sink full of dirty dishes, I put housework aside and arranged for my kids to have a sitter. (Thanks, Autee) My marriage matters.
    • I put my new writing project on the back burner this summer. You may remember, I submitted a proposal for a new writing project this past February. The publisher said “yes” (insert confetti launch — woo hoo!) and John and I had been looking for office spaces for me to rent this summer so I could write this book (which I am super-duper excited about, by the way). In my quiet time, I sensed God was calling me to take a break. A real break. Like no more creating all summer long break. After much prayer and discussion with my family, I contacted the acquisitions editor from this publishing house and shared I would not be able to start writing again until the fall.

Side note: you have to know this was so not easy. Would this editor think I was wacko? Would the publishing team see this as me being not disciplined, lazy, not committed? Would this impact the project, my reputation as a writer, our working relationship? All these thoughts ran through my head—and more—as I contemplated this significant decision.

But I did it, friends. I contacted my editor and sheepishly shared my hard decision.

And guess what? The sky didn’t fall, he didn’t call me names and/or tell me how disappointed he was in me, and he didn’t tell me to get lost.

In fact, the acquisition editor’s response was,

“…We want to work with you to get the best writing out of you, not meet a deadline….I think if you prioritize your family you’ll feel much, much better about your writing in general, and will probably write better content as a result. I have a sense that anyone in Christian ministry will do better in their work if their family life is prioritized above the work itself (it a shame we so often forget that, though). So, definitely set your schedule around the family. :)….”

Insert happy dance! Yippee!

What a wonderful, gracious gift from God for this amazing editor to respond with such kindness. It affirms all the more the importance of listening to God, following His lead, and paying attention to our pace, our purpose, and our priorities.

There are seasons to say yes.  (I’ll share in my next post the best YES I’m saying this summer! Hint: it includes a special birthday, plane tickets, and hiking shoes. Any guesses?)

There are seasons to wait.

And there are seasons to just say no.

How about for you, friend? What season of life are you in now? What tips and strategies have you found help keep you sane in the very full spring and summer months? In what areas of your life are you finding it helpful to just say no?

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! Have a joy-filled, warm, amazing week!

Cindy sig-01

P.S. Remember when you prayed me through my taping for 100 Huntley Street? My segment aired in May. Yay, God! You can watch it below. Thanks for praying me through, sweet friend!

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