{Site currently under construction. Grace for my mess?}

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

What I'm Saying No To Now

A few weeks ago, I declared a year of no.

It was necessary, and so far, it has served me well.

Sometimes, no feels like freedom.  

Sometimes, the ability to say no allows some amazing yeses into your life.

Part of no is letting go.  And so, in the interest of disclosure, there are a few things I need to tell you, a little bloggy business to get out of the way so I can clean my plate.

-- in{RL}
I love {in}courage.  Like, really really love them.  If there is anywhere in the world that I feel at home, in words and in flesh, it's there.  I love the women, I love the heart, I love that Jesus is all over that place in the ways I recognize Him best.  And I'm excited about what they're doing this year for in{RL}, the un-conference -- the conference that comes to you and opens doors and opens homes and builds relationships.  It's beautiful and the idea is necessary and wonderful and I jumped the gun and signed up to host a local gathering right out of the starting gate.  I had big visions for this, friends, big dreams related to how I would use in{RL} to connect locally, to reach out and reach in and my head got carried away and my heart got lost in the midst of it and now a scheduling conflict and… well, it's time to exercise that "no" button… time to lay it down, this time.  Will you fill me in on what a lovely time you have at in{RL} this April?

-- Definition
Once upon a time, I started this blog as a crafty place, a home décor blog to showcase DIY projects and decorating.  (What?  Who knew?)  Yeah.  Obviously, I haven't done much of this lately.  This place became something more, something different, a place to bleed my heart all over and process all these daily journeys.  It bugs me that the name of my blog is so ill-fitting, and I've fussed and toyed with the idea of splitting off, of leaving this place for home décor and the like, and starting a new place for the overflow of the heart, but this seems to be the substance of this place and I don't want to mess with what works.  A break-off might come, still.  Home décor might come, still.  For now, though, I'm just letting this wonky place be whatever it is and I hope you find bits and pieces of whatever brings you over this way.

-- Control
Or, the illusion of control of my health.  It's been a weird road the last few months with fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions I'm struggling with.  I've been sick and sicker and spiraling downhill quickly.  Because I'm a control freak, I've tried to head this off at the pass, convincing myself that I could alter my experience with a certain exercise program, with dietary restrictions, with this or with that because it feels a lot like weakness to admit that I have to rely on prescription medication to get me through the day.  But… I'm weak.  And in the interest of strengthening my life as well as my health, I'm going to take it day by day and swallow down whatever it is that gets me through without making this my fault… acknowledging that perhaps, I don't have much control over this aspect of my life and it's time to lay it down and learn the lessons that come along with the unexpected gift of chronic illness, not the least of which is that we are not ultimately in control of these bodies, this life.

-- Spiritual Should-Do's
Do you have spiritual should-do's in your life?  Things you think you should do because as a Christian, it's what's expected of you or puts some kind of check mark on some cosmic checklist of goodness?  I do.  This is not holy, it's not biblical, and it's not necessary, but it's one of the lies I believe about the ways in which I do not measure up.  I struggle with it and sometime I'll get around to working out all of how my year in Texas fit into that and what I learned in that regard.  Coming to Oregon meant leaving full-time ministry and there's a big checklist hovering over my head lately… a guilt about where my ministry is now that I'm just a regular working mom getting through the week and not pouring every minute of my life into "the least of these".  I feel just a little spiritually less than lately, and this is only a lie that I believe.  I am coming to learn that this place is a ministry, that being here for my children is a ministry and that, while I will be asked to do other things for the sake of the Kingdom, I cannot give what I haven't received, and part of being a disciple is experiencing rest and grace and learning when you need to be filled.  So my spiritual should-do's are on hold while I learn to be filled that I can someday spill over with what I've been given, not out of duty but because I simply cannot contain it.

-- Technology
I admit, like the rest of the world, I am getting more and more attached to the technology that I am ever tethered to.  My phone at my hip while my hands are on the keyboard at work and I've got Facebook and Twitter and Blogger and Netflix and Audible all streaming information to me at the speed of light.  I have a stack of books I'm dying to read, and ones I've committed to read and review, but can't manage to find the time to read them.  I'm trading tech time for page time and hoping to reconnect with my love of books, time outside and away from the screen, and the concreteness that comes with reading books in print (and sorry, I just haven't been able to get on the Kindle/Nook/eReader bandwagon yet.  I need the touch and the smell of real books!).  

That's all I've got the energy for today, friends, but thanks for sticking with me through these brain-dead and disconnected thoughts.  

What are you saying no to, today? 


  1. I just love (and relate to) your heart so much!  My grandmother always said "No is a complete sentence" and over the years (particularly with chronic illness) I, too, have had to learn to use it liberally.  Not easy, but oh so necessary.  Praying for you!

  2. Thank you, Melissa.  I think I need to put "No is a complete sentence" somewhere that I can see it regularly.  Thanks for reading, friend! 

  3. Hey friend. :) 

    We're sisters in spirit. Truly. Though I don't know your life and can't even begin to imagine, words you've written remind me of my own heart. I've said "no" to an initiative of a place that means so much to me, too--and resting into peace that this just isn't for me is so freeing. Saying "no" is necessary. It cleans out the clutter and helps us to See so much more. Praying for you as He leads you...


  4. My brave friend.
    Thank you for putting this "out there." It gives me courage too.

    I am glad you are finding ways to "give place" to this crazy chronic illness thing that we deal with. I have been thinking about you LOTS in this area!

    Love you VERY MUCH!

  5. ahh, i'm so proud of you friend. me too. i'm saying no... well, to imperfect prose on thursdays, even though it was so, so hard... and saying yes to love. bless you.

  6. Thanks, Amy, and hugs right back atcha.  I love to hear "we're sisters in spirit."  That's exactly what this place is about, for me... the kindred spirits that it brings from far and wide.  :)

  7. Oh Lindsey, your support gives me courage.  You teach me every day what it really looks like to be a friend.  Thanks for being there for me with wise words when it looked like the world was collapsing the last few days.  Love you!

  8. And I'm so proud of you.  For saying yes to love, for honoring your art and the words He has given you and all the ways it blesses SO many people.  I want to be you when I grow up, Emily.  Thanks for your encouragement. 


Your comments are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your valuable words.