The value of no

I’ve always been a person that made time for other people, moved things around to help out or cancelled social plans to make time.I’ve been a person that found a way of saying yes to things instead of saying no. I was brought up to be this way – it’s the example I witnessed from my parents; they taught me that the best gift I could give was time. And that’s what I’ve done. I’ve given my time in whatever capacity I could and things have somehow always worked out.

Sure, there’s been times where I’ve been absolutely ridiculous and totally overdone it. An example of this:

– taking three weeks holiday from work to follow Lulu around for a week, go to General Assembly for a week and then follow Lulu around for another week. I ended up horrendously ill, not totally recovering for a few months.

Today I find myself in a new cycle of saying yes all of the time (thankfully the no’s have been organic – otherwise this post could have been a whole other mess!) but now I have knowledge and experience of what it’s like when it all goes wrong.
And, there’s only so many hours in the day. There’s only so much energy that can be dispensed at one time. There’s only so much that a brain, and diary, can handle at any time.

And within that time, energy and diary, I’ve not been thinking about me – my needs, what I want and what I dream of achieving. 
So, here it comes.

I work within Priority Areas 25 hours a week, over 4 days. That’s where I’m finding energy at the moment. That’s where I walk away at the end of the day knowing I can do more and being excited to do more. It’s where I want to grow – flourish even. I want to be part of the vehicle that shares the extraordinary stories I get to hear everyday. I want to be able to do what I did today and create reflective, creative worship spaces for people to engage with. 

These are the things I need. I just need to find a way of making them much more everyday permanent than random. I need to be intentional about working towards this and realising the potential I actually have instead of penning myself into a box. 
So, where is the value in saying no to this?! 

I have a lot on my plate, and I’m letting stuff slip. Usually, I know I run a fine line between being on top of things and letting them get out of control, but lately I feel like I don’t have that control anymore. 

And, a very wise person once tried to encourage me to realise the value my time has – not only for me, but for those around me and the things I’m involved in. Ignoring what they said was easy because I could justify everything with “I love it so much”, but do I? Or do I do it because I feel like I need to? Or is it due to my desire to be involved – to make a difference? 

But where I am now, I’m realising that I might have a bit more value than I’ve previously given myself. I might just deserve a wee bit more, and with that, deserve the chance to explore it. 
So, I’m starting to say no. Some things will naturally come to an end in the next few months – NYA involvement for example, and then I get to claim my identity as a fully fledged adult within the Church of Scotland – and I don’t want it to be disorganised. 

I’m placing value on my time. I’m choosing to not be the person that can always be turned to when stuck. 
I’m choosing to become the person that people ask to do things in the first instance because I’d do a good job – not because someone else wasn’t available. I’m choosing to put my friends and family before other commitments – I missed my mum’s birthday last week because I was too busy. I’m not that person. I didn’t put a person that means everything to me first – instead I wrote reports, did research and felt like shit for realising that I was a bad person. 

I’m choosing to find my place within the world – maybe then, and only then, I’ll find the eventual place within the church I so dearly love. I’m choosing to find something to work towards – everybody needs a dream.

I have worth. I have purpose. I have talents. I have time. 

Please, God, guide me to use them wisely, realistically and in a direction that does what You need me to do. Help me to become a bit more selfish about being selfless – to give but not be afraid to take, to love recklessly and allow myself to be loved, to hope and dream – to live out the path You have set before me…. one day at a time.

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One thought on “The value of no”

  1. Naomi we spent Sunday together didn’t we and we had a fantastic lunch then you went with me to see Ghost in the Shell when no one else would go , just so that I could see it. Is it’s not your thing – you came home with me and we gabbed- you stayed the night and we had breakfast together – you gave me your time Naomi which is more precious xxx

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