Living a Rhythmed Life: Having to Say No

Glimpses of light.

Today we’re turning a corner in this rhythmed life series that allows the reality of a rhythmed life to show up in our daily world. 

We’re going to talk about having to say no. 

Ouch! So hard. (At least, it is for me.) 

And yet, as I share in the video below, saying no helps us be able to say yes to what really matters. 

If you can’t see the video in your e-mail or RSS feed, click here.

As I mentioned in the above video, I’ve gotten some practice at saying no of late. It started back in 2009, with my original decision-making tree of discernment that I shared with you early on in this series, and in the 3 years that have elapsed since that time, I’ve continued to learn how to better flex that “no” muscle. 

I’m not fond of flexing that “no” muscle at all, but I’ve learned something important about this: 

The more intentionally I live my life, the easier it is to say no. 

Because I’ve created a rhythm for my life that’s based on my values, my way of being, my sense of calling, and the realities of finite time and personal limits, it’s become easier and easier to tell when something does or does not fit into the life that Kirk and I share together and that I feel called to live.

Do you want some examples? Here are things that have gotten my “no” recently: 

  • Maintaining three separate blogs
  • Offering spiritual direction by phone
  • Making plans on Sundays
  • Being the coordinator of a spiritual formation blog
  • Freelance projects that aren’t purely editorial
  • Grocery shopping on the weekends
  • Making appointments before 1PM
  • Creating a new online course

Some of these have to do with my sense of calling. Some of them have to do with values Kirk and I have for our home life together. Some have to do with the reality of my limits. Others are purely practical and made in the interest of my sanity (hello, crazy shopping world on Saturday afternoons!).

Where do you have to say no right now?