I’ve collected a wide variety of things over the years. My early collections were begun for the sake of collecting, because I thought everyone who was cool had a collection.
I looked around me and saw the stickers on the bananas we were having for breakfast, and decided to collect banana stickers. Cool.
In the 90’s I collected Snapple bottle caps, because the corny jokes made me a laugh (and bottle caps were infinitely cooler than banana stickers).
When I matured (a bit) I collected Delft china because that’s what a good daughter of Dutch immigrants does, right?
Finally, I realized I didn’t like clutter, wasn’t really a collector. I cleared my shelves and put my collections in storage. (Yes, I still own the china, the caps and the banana stickers. What can I say. I’m sentimental.)
I thought I’d quit collecting things, until I looked around at what 2015 was looking like and realized I’d begun collecting no’s.
Near the end of last year I had some big ideas, and some great directions I could I could go with my time and energies in the new year. I was excited about opportunities to serve outside my home, and even a speaking engagement (I just love talking!).
2015 promised to be a big year.
Then I figured out I was pregnant (it always takes me a while) and I caught another vision for 2015.
This will be the year I will welcome the long-awaited 5 child into our family. (I know there’s less than 2 years between this one and the last one, but I’ve always dreamed of having at least 5 children, and this will be the year that dream finally comes true.) This is the year my motherhood will experience yet another epic shift, and I will have huge opportunities for growth and impact–in my own home and heart.
This will be a year focused on Motherhood.
So I started saying “No” to things. I said “no, not now” to some big, time consuming ideas I’d had for my blog, and found instead some smaller (still amazing, but less exhausting) ways to serve my readers in the coming months. I said “No, but thank you so much” to the speaking engagement. I said no to some volunteering I loved, and other commitments I just didn’t have the energy for. I was a bit wistful, but I knew it was the right thing.
And that’s when I noticed that I’d begun a new collection. I’d begun collecting “no’s”. Not no’s like rejection, like when other people say no to you. (Those are no fun.) Nope, these were “no’s” God was nudging me toward, and every time I said one, I felt life got more peaceful. Less cluttered.
A NO isn’t ugly when it means you’re saying YES to something better. And collecting that kind of NO makes space and gives you room to breath.
Some dreams don’t fit in the same season. As we get to know 2015 in person, instead of a list of goals on paper, is it time to do a little tiny bit of reevaluating? Do you have some NO’s you need to say to lighten your load this year?