I am thankful for the training I got from my parents while I was growing up. Especially this one valuable truth: I can do anything. Knowing that, believing that, and acting like that has taken me a long way in life. And once I mixed that truth with the understanding that it was Jesus Christ in me that enabled me to do anything, well, that was a breakthrough.
But I picked up a misconception along the way. While I knew that I could do anything, I failed to see that I couldn’t do everything.
I realized a few years back that people take advantage of people like me. You know, the ones who are always busy and have a hundred things on the go and seem to accomplish so much. They are the ones who always get asked to do more. And often, those “do-er” people are the very same ones who can’t say no. The result is a whole lot of frustration, a pile of stress, and zero time left over for family and other important things.
I know this. It happened to me.
Then, experience and a bit of maturity opened my eyes to something. Just because I can do anything doesn’t mean I have to do everything. And I started to say no.
I will say that this decision of mine did not go over well with my boss at work, since he was quite accustomed to dumping all kinds of projects on my desk that required me to put in ridiculously long hours. I continued to do my job and even took on extras, but not to the extent I had been. I started to say no to Tupperware parties and baby showers and lunch dates with people I hardly knew. I even started saying no to my kids. Some of them looked at me in astonishment, as if an alien had suddenly inhabited their mother’s body.
The hardest part of it all is that I am still tempted to volunteer my services for all kinds of things. I still want to jump in and do stuff. But I thank God for a very wise husband who keeps me grounded and reminds me that I can’t do everything. So, I weigh my options before I open my mouth. Most of the time. And I pray, allowing time for the Holy Spirit to speak to me about whether or not I should be involved.
Yes, I CAN do anything.
But I am not going to do everything!
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13 (NKJV)