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We are in the midst of days where there are a lot of volunteers asks. Fall may seem like a long time away - we haven't even really gotten into spring yet! - and yet, now is the time when we are asked for summer and fall commitments.

In the last two weeks I have written about planning and what is coming soon, so I just thought I'd round that out with talking about our YESES. In Matthew 5:33-37 (MSG), Jesus reminds us, “And don’t say anything you don’t mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, ‘I’ll pray for you,’ and never doing it, or saying, ‘God be with you,’ and not meaning it. You don’t make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong."

Furthermore, in 1 Corinthians 1:17-18, Paul says, Was I vacillating when I wanted to do this? Do I make my plans according to ordinary human standards, ready to say ‘Yes, yes’ and ‘No, no’ at the same time? As surely as God is faithful, our word to you has not been ‘Yes and No.’

And, although not biblical, I saw a great social media post the other day. It said in big black letters on a white background, Stop saying yes to things you hate.

Don't say yes to what will be a long term resentment. Saying no under these circumstances is a much more gracious gift, even though it might feel awkward in the moment. Let your yes be a full yes - and in order to do this, you'll have to also say no.

My new friend Ashley remarked the other day that she calls is YES HELL when you've said yes to too many things and have a sense of dread. I loved this so much, it made me laugh out loud. I told her I was going to have to share this and give her credit - and so I am. Don't create YES HELL for yourself. So, how do we decide? As I continued to think about Ashley's wisdom here, I thought I'd add something to that, "If your answer to a question isn't HELL YES, it may end up being YES HELL." Think about it, take a pause before you commit to the wrong things. Let your yes be a full yes - and in order to do this, you'll have to also say no.

Clarity in your answers can still be kind. In fact - it is most kind when you know what you want and communicate clearly. If you are going to hate helping in some capacity, isn't it a gift to say no from the start? Saying no opens spaces to Good Yeses - where you are needed, where your gifts fit, where you feel filled instead of depleted, where you serve from desire and not from obligation.

“Happiness comes from living as you need to, as you want to. As your inner voice tells you to. Happiness comes from being who you actually are instead of who you think you are supposed to be.”

― Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

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