The start of a new school year is a new beginning. It’s a time to open up my calendar and look at the football schedule, the preschool calendar, the church calendar, the Junior League calendar, and Todd’s work calendar and start planning out our fall. Everyone gives us a jam-packed calendar and before we know it, we’ve filled in our calendars all the way to Christmas.
A few of these calendars come with opportunities to sign up to volunteer. Bake sales, t-shirt sales, concerts, class parties, room mom, organizing a class party, bringing dinner, decorating for an event… The need for help follows us around. And my usual tendency has been to look at all of these opportunities and sign myself right up.
Why do I do this?
1. I like to help make things easier for people. If someone tells me they need my help, then I want to help them. Which leads me to number two.
2. I want people to like me. Will they still like me if I say no? Probably. Most definitely. Right? Maybe not. Maybe someone will be disappointed and maybe someone will *gasp* talk about me behind my back. (I need to re-read So Long Insecurity.)
3. In many cases, I actually do better with a full schedule. I’m more productive when I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off. I was this way in my job and I’m this way when I’m at home.
But not this year. Not. This. Year.
I’m giving myself a grace year. I’m saying no.
I’m still going to do the Holiday Market decorations because I love it. And we’ll still be really involved with our Sunday school class. And I’ll still participate in our Christmas music at church.
But the extra stuff isn’t for me. Not right now. Any extra time is reserved for my family and my friends and relationships. I don’t want to tell anyone this year that I can’t get together for dinner because of an obligation.
I don’t want to miss putting my babies to bed because I’m setting up for an event.
I don’t want to miss opportunities for girls’ nights and I don’t want my laundry to pile up all because I’ve over-extended myself.
Here’s what I need to remember.
1. If I’m disappointing someone, it’s not going to be my family members. No, sir. Not this year.
2. I can’t do it all, and I shouldn’t want to do it all.
3. My value and worth is not determined by the amount of projects I attempt to tackle. My worth is find in Christ Jesus alone. His grace is enough for me. And I don’t need to search for approval from others or create a full calendar to find that worth. He loves me. Unconditionally. What else do I need to know? What else could I possibly need to fill me up?
I want to serve. I want to help people. I want to pull my weight and contribute where there is a need. But my kids are only little once. I have a lifetime ahead of me to do all of these things.
And I know that I can make even more of a difference if I take that previously “booked” time and devote it to the relationships in my life.
2 Corinthians 12:9
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. ” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.