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Yes (in Disguise)

My busy-mom act of resistance
Yes (in Disguise)

No.

I’ve had to say that word a lot lately—and I’m not just talking about cautions to my four-year-old daughter with a recent penchant for staging covert, elaborate tea parties in her bedroom (complete with sneakily pilfered snacks and overflowing cups of water).

I’ve said no to very good things. I’ve said no when part of me has wanted to say yes. I’ve said nos that hurt.

I’ve said these nos as an act of resistance—resistance against the ever-looming threat of over-busyness. With countless demands clamoring for my yes, I’m learning the practice of saying a discerning no. And I’m learning that a discerning no is actually a spiritual yes in disguise.

See, as a working mom of three, busyness is simply my reality. I have limited time and energy, so what will I say my yeses to? I turn, time and again, to these thoughts from theologian M. Shawn Copeland: “Tough decisions and persistent effort are required by those who seek lives that are whole and holy. If we are to grow in faithful living, we need to renounce the things that choke off the fullness of life that God intended for us . . . . We must learn the practice of saying no to that which crowds God out and yes to a way of life that makes space for God.”

This kind of persistent effort is what each of us need as, day in and day out, we battle the tyranny of busyness. This issue of Today’s Christian Woman offers insights to help you (and me) navigate the jumble of demands placed upon us. While we ought not surrender to life-sapping busyness, the reality is that we also can’t simply hole away in a serene retreat for all of our days. As wives, moms, employees, leaders, family members, or volunteers, there are good things God calls us to be busy doing! In “Beyond 24/7,” Nancy Sleeth offers aid for saying the right kind of discerning no and wisdom for the yeses we can say to carve out not just a sane, but a spiritually-rich life.

Kevin DeYoung builds upon these themes, holding up a mirror for us in “Crazy-Busy Christians.” He takes a brutally honest look at the pressure to over-commit that can often be spiritualized within the church. Do we really need to do more for God? Kevin asks. Or might there be a better way? Kevin points us toward a balanced response that’s much better than guilt-induced, crazy-busy levels of commitment.

The dangers of overbusyness don’t just cost us—in a world full of shuttle-bus moms, ferrying kids from one activity to the next, we must honestly confront the price of hyperbusyness in the lives of our kids. In “Countercultural Scheduling,” SortaCrunchy blogger Megan Tietz describes her own family’s choices that protect a slower pace of life, highlighting how we can make parenting choices that intentionally leave space for creativity, for relationship, and most importantly, for God.

In “Is Busyness Really the Problem?” Nicole Unice zeroes in on a critical deception we can all easily fall prey to: equating busyness with fulfillment. But does a full schedule really equal a ? Nicole draws upon wisdom from Scripture to help us align our perspective with God’s.

To wrap up this issue, we’ve got a Q & A with best-selling Bible study author Cynthia Heald. Amy Simpson connected with Cynthia to garner her insights on what a God-paced life can look like amidst the pressures and demands of our busy world.

So when the demands of loved ones, of work, of your ministry, of your neighbors, and of a world in need all clamor for your attention this week, will you join me in an act of resistance? Pray, seek the Lord’s leading, and invite him to help you discern when and where you might need to say no in order to fortify space for a rooted, joyful, God-centered life.

Grace,

Kelli B. Trujillo, Editor

Follow me @kbtrujillo and @TCWomancom

Read more articles that highlight writing by Christian women at ChristianityToday.com/Women

Kelli B. Trujillo

Kelli B. Trujillo is editor of Today’s Christian Woman. Follow her on Twitter at @kbtrujillo or @TCWomancom.

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Busyness; Challenges, Parenting; Choices; Motherhood
Today's Christian Woman, October Week 2, 2014
Posted October 8, 2014

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