Check, please.

Check “Yes” or “No”
by JAK’s guest mom blogger from Racine, Jenni Monteblanco

Four months ago, I said “yes.”
No, it wasn’t to anything fancy like saying “yes to the dress”. I did that twelve years ago. I said yes to a slew of things to add to my already busy life. It was the beginning of a new year and somehow each item fit into my “goal” for 2012. I had this great idea (ok, so I stole it from a post on Facebook) in late December/early January to choose a word for 2012.
This word was going to be the focus of everything I did. My husband and I discussed it and decided we would make this goal together. Our words (yeah, we couldn’t just choose one) for 2012 are…Read More…
“discipline” and “balance.” You would think that this would have helped me as I started to say yes, but somehow I found a way to fit all my yeses around my goals.

Four months ago I said yes to becoming an Uppercase Living Demonstrator (shameless plug: Okay, so it was more like six months ago, but around the first of the year, I decided that I would really put some time and effort into it because it would help provide me with new girlfriends (something I desperately craved) and would thus bring about balance in my life. Remember, that’s one of my goals for 2012, so YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to writing for this blog. When Paula from Just Add Kids asked me to write, I was giddy. What a great opportunity for me to get to know others and share all of the ideas bouncing around in my head. I would write one entry a month and that would provide discipline, right? Another goal for 2012, check! YES! YES! YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to taking two online classes. You see, I’ve been on track to be ordained in the Church of the Nazarene and I only had three more classes to take. When I found out that these classes would be offered beginning in mid-January, I couldn’t resist. I knew it might be difficult to fit them in, but I had to do it sometime. And really, doesn’t finishing my education fit into the 2012 goal of discipline and balance? If I get these classes done, I can check them off my list. That definitely fits into discipline. YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to taking back my work-from-home job. I had quit this job just 12 months earlier in order to focus on my family and our ministry here in Racine. We were new to Racine and I really felt like I needed to focus on getting to know our new life. But, they needed me and let’s be honest, I love the job and won’t argue with the extra money. Sure, that fits into my goals for 2012 . . . um, extra money means paying off some bills and um, yeah, that’s discipline. YES!

Four months ago, I said yes to Pinterest. Gasp! Ok, that one doesn’t fit into discipline or balance. Well, maybe it does. If I find great ideas then I can implement them into our lives and provide . . . yeah, ok, no good reason for that one. But it sure is fun!

Somehow I made them all make sense and fit into my goals. But did I mention that I didn’t say “no” to any of the things that were already on my plate? I’m still a mom. I’m still a wife. I’m still a daughter, and a sister, and a friend. I’m still a couponer. I’m still a pastor. I’m still a leader of one of our church’s district ministries.

Now I’m not saying that any of these “yeses” were wrong in and of themselves. They all bring me fulfillment. They are all things that I desperately want to do. They are things that (if I can get them all in order) will bring benefit to my family. But, honestly, I’m not feeling much fulfillment right now because I don’t feel I’m doing any of them well. Take this blog, for instance. Back in January I was going to write once a month. Now, here we are in late March (probably April before this is posted) and I’m just now writing my first entry. Sure, I’ve had lots of ideas floating around to share with you, but I haven’t had the time to even think about getting them down on paper.

Do you have a problem, like me, of saying “yes” too much or maybe without really thinking it through? I wish I could magically grant us all a few extra hours in the day or maybe another day in the week, but let’s be honest with ourselves . . . who really wants that anyway?!?! But what I can provide you with is a few things to think about the next time you’re tempted to say “yes.”

  1. I won’t hide that I’m a Christian and that the first thing I should do when tempted to say yes, is to go to God. I hope that this is something you can do, too, but I’m not going to push that on you. Suffice it to say, though, the first place I go is to God. Is this something that He is calling me to do? Check yes or no.
  2. Is this something that I would enjoy? Would this bring me fulfillment? Check yes or no.
  3. Does this fit into my life goals? Will this benefit me in the long run? Check yes or no.
  4. How does this affect my family?  Will it help us: financially, relationally, and developmentally? Check yes or no.
  5. Does this benefit someone else? If I’m honest, life isn’t all about me and I sometimes have to make sacrifices in order to serve others. Is this one of those situations? Check yes or no.
  6. Do I have the time to do this? If not, is there something I can give up in order to do this? Check yes or no.

I don’t promise you anything with this checklist. But I do hope and pray that this will reach at least one of you fellow over-busy moms (or dads) out there. If it does, let me know and maybe I’ll have to start my own counseling business . . . hmmm, surely that fits into discipline and balance somehow!

Jenni is married and is mom to Olivia, who is 5 and Eli, who is 4.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Helen said,

    There has to be a word for the constant ‘yes-er’. I think I too ‘suffer’ from that! There’s so much to do and see and places to be that I don’t want to miss any of it! There are many choices of families actitivities, at the library, museums, with lessons, etc. it was becoming such a challenge. This is in addition to the regular volunteering at church or school. (Why do they call it a ‘stay-at-home” home mom??) Funny thing is I also came up with a questionnaire to really find out if something was neccessary to attend! One of my questions was, Will this be available to do at another time? If yes, then I gave myself permission to opt out for now. Or Will I still care in the future if miss this? If no, then I realized it’s not that important and I could ‘pass’. Decisions, decisions!

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