05 August 2008

a, b, c or none? of the above

It was excruciating. And it didn't get any better. At the same time, I knew it was the right thing to do. The option was presented to hang out with my sisters and my nieces, and my BiL. But I declined. The previous weeks had been busy. I had made earlier choices that influenced this decision.
I said no! to something good. And I missed out.
Yet I embraced something different.

I remember talking to my now friend, Kati, about the spiritual formation MA program. Specifically I asked about her life, her social life, work, and her church involvement. She responded by saying that she had basically said No! to everything because of school.

Truly, the options exist. Ten years ago I may have said Yes! to everything.
But it is not the pace I choose to live today.

As Marjo likes to say, "sometimes you need to say No! to the good, to say Yes! to the best."

Or as friend Betty once described, God invites us to a smorgasbord. We cannot possibly say yes to everything. And so we must choose.

But the choosing is not easy. It still is saying no! to good and fun and fabulous things, or people. For instance, this past weekend, I turned down the opportunity to be with family. Even though I struggled with it, I knew I needed downtime. I needed to be home. The extrovert died a thousand deaths. But my soul regained necessary ground.

As school approaches again I will retreat again. I'll (hopefully) choose the quiet moments necessary to read and reflect and write for my classes, regretfully refusing possible opportunities to be social or even to serve.

It is for a season.
Perhaps in a tiny way comparable to the new mother who forfeits sleep because of a newborn. Or perhaps it is the wife who sacrifices income and her career to attend to her unexpectedly ill husband. It might be the option of engaging friends when we'd rather retreat and be alone with our depression or sadness. You know what you wrestle with. We all face the choices.

My sister challenged me with those words recently, "it's about choices, Di."
And she is right.

It still doesn't make things easy.
I'm not sure I always make the right choice.
Sometimes, though, good does not equal best.
Hopefully, however, it is something that strengthens our soul and enables us to love well, for when we face engagement again.


Sabrina said...

This was my quote of the day today:

"He who trims himself to suit everyone will soon whittle himself away."
— Raymond Hull

Lana Baker said...

Good grief! That balance thing again-OY! I struggle with it, too. So much to do, limited time and resources, and you want to have SOME social life-even while doing school. So, I try to at least do a little variety of things so I don't get stuck on one thing exclusively(like working!)-I strictly adhere to the ONE FUN RULE. I do at least one fun thing EVERY weekend and that way, the other not fun but necessary stuff seems less of a pain. Make sense? That's how i ro...

cindy w said...

thanks for your "a,b,c or none?
I've been struggling with that b/c of going back to school.
Cindy W.