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View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/abby-1-year-collectionThis moment. I keep returning to it. Gazing. Embracing. Reveling. It embodies so much joy and sorrow and rejoicing and accepting. Truly, “my cup runneth over with goodness and mercy…”

With joy that God’s miraculous gift of Abigail Nichelle is alive and well and laughing and giggling.

With sorrow over griefs new and old that sting despite the arms that wrap themselves around mine.

With rejoicing that God has opened doors for me to live my dream as a mama and doula.

With acceptance of certain aspects of my life that don’t co-exist with this season of new motherhood.

And there’s the punch line: some GOOD aspects of my previous routine and expectations create the friction that I still work to resolve. With no small difficulty, I weigh the “yesses” and the “nos” to protect and defend the focus of the here and the now.

It’s not that I don’t want to commit my time to serving in various ministries. It’s not that I don’t want to attend that play group every week. It’s not that I don’t want to join a gym and spend some lovely hours burning off steam.

It’s that I shouldn’t.

No ifs, ands, or buts.

Are you with me on this one?

My entire life in Christian circles and ministry and education there seems to run an undercurrent of unhealthy self-sacrifice to which many dear friends and colleagues can also attest. An attitude of “keep giving and serving and going and committing and you WILL be refilled with more energy and grace and joy.” There is a lot of truth to that attitude, as well as a whole lot of guilt and lies intertwined.

We shouldn’t always say “yes” in every season to every need no matter how great the need unless the Holy Spirit specifically calls us to say “yes.” In like manner, we shouldn’t say “no” to every commitment just to remain “uncommitted and relaxed.” Matter of fact, one amazing lady in my life just reminded me recently that “my ‘no’ to a request was going to open the door for someone else to say ‘yes’ and be blessed in an unexpected way.”

Well, that’s a new perspective.

We are entering summer, Sweet Friends, and with it the beginning of picnics, barbecues, soccer camps, science camps, hikes, parties, heat, play dates, pool dates, and general craziness if we allow our schedules to become swamped. Many of us are still working as usual AND trying to balance new demands. Some of us have kids home for a LONG couple of months of trying to stay cool and entertained in homes with minimal A/C (a new phenomenon in Colorado for me). Some of us are just plain exhausted from the months that are behind.

Join me fighting the friction of all the good “yesses” that compete with all of the best “yesses.” The yes answers that breathe life. The yes answers that give our spirits the space to rest and recharge. The yes answers that sometimes leave others disappointed, but that help us remain focused on our most important callings – whatever those things might be.

I’ve been reading “The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands” by Lysa Terkeurst, and I strongly recommend it, especially if you tend to be a people pleaser like I do. There are a few more similar books on my mental reading list as well: I may or may not get to them.

I don’t know what this quite looks like yet, but I’m clearing my schedule as much as possible to make room for my callings as a wife, mother, doula, and friend…

I’m making room to be still.

(And, if you can’t tell, I’m still salivating over Abby’s one-year photos by the amazing Rachael Hope Photography. Definitely check her out if you need family or birth photography!) View More: http://rachaelhopephotography.pass.us/abby-1-year-collection

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