no

I have a problem. No surprise to many, but for others…it’s confession time.

Hi, my name is Stephanie, and I have a problem saying ‘No.’

It’s simple really because I view everything through the lens of God’s Kingdom work. And most everything easily falls under that umbrella. Not counting how many loop holes it took to get it there, of course.

But for some of the time it also gets filed under…I don’t like to disappoint people. I like to be liked. Who doesn’t? I put so much value on relationships that when I disappoint others…or get hurt by damaging relationships…I try to fix everything by saying ‘Yes.’ See the cycle I get stuck in here?

But when I get stuck in the never ending cycle of ‘Yes.’ I lose too much God, no matter how many well meaning things get shuffled under the Kingdom work umbrella. It’s still just me saying ‘Yes’ to not disappoint others, instead of saying ‘Yes’ for my own God reasons.

Example…I work at a church, and there are a lot of amazing, valuable and Kingdom things to say ‘Yes’ to around there.

But I get lost, unfocused, hopeless and snarky when I don’t have time stop my brain, rest and chill out with my Savior. And sometimes just a day off doesn’t cut it, because I need to HEAR God and FEEL his presence.

God has created this beautiful thing that some folks call margin. Think of the white space on the sides of a written page. Top, bottom, and both sides all free of text. What if our lives had that excess? Space that is created to intentionally make room for random, restful and spontaneous God moments that refill you. And it is only found when you start to use ‘No’ more often.

God speaks in your margin. Through quiet, through rest and through those around you.

We cannot expect our Savior to only meet us at scheduled times. Read that again…it sounds ridiculous, right? But that is exactly what we all do.

‘Ok, God…I expect to hear you at church service…I’ll be there at 10:10 Sunday morning.’

Or.

‘God, I will be at Bible Study with 40 other women at 9 am on Wednesday morning…see ya then.’

I am not discounting how God speaks through church or community Bible Study, because those are great tools of discipleship. What I am pointing out is how we ‘schedule’ our time with God.

When we make room for God to work in our margins…incredible Holy moments happen. A random conversation with a neighbor that is struggling. You feel nudges during prayer to go on that mission trip you’ve been thinking about. You discover you have things in common with a barista, and a new friendship blossoms.

What if…just what if our ‘no’ was a way for God to pave the way to a ‘yes’ for his Kingdom cause?

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