I did a good thing today. I said I was going to help our community group with a service project (picking up trash along the roadside), and I did it.
Now, that may seem kind of obvious, because, don't most of us do what we say we will? Um, I must confess that I frequently do not.
I did "back in the day". Back when I was a new believer and full of fire, I spent a lot of time volunteering for stuff and following through. I sang on the worship team, led the children in worship at least every other Sunday with my guitar, led a Bible study...all while going to school full time, working full time, and raising two children on my own.
How did I do this, you ask? I have no idea. It makes me tired just writing it. But, I seemed to have the energy, and really loved the work. I think I felt I was making a difference.
Along the way, my familial responsibilities got much bigger. I bought a huge house in Colorado Springs out in the country and started doing therapeutic foster care. At one point, I had fifteen children and two staff members.
Kelsey was in competitive gymnastics, which required membership in the parent booster club - basically time each month working the Bingo Parlor for $$, in addition to three times a week practices, meets all over the state, parent and team meetings, etc. Kris played football and basketball - some in Jr. High, but all the time in Sr. High. And in Colorado, the public transportation system was non-existent.
I am not sorry about these things - I totally loved going to meets and games and screaming my heart out. By the way, they tend to frown on yelling at gymnastics meets. It's kind of a "refined" sport, like tennis or golf. My bad.
During all this increased activity on the home front, I still felt pressure - probably just from me - to do my work for the church. Like attending the big events the church put on, practicing and singing in the worship team, having my kids as involved as they could be in the children's things...I think I got fried.
My expectations of myself didn't change with my increased family responsibilities. I think I decided that my value as a Christian and as a person were wrapped up in what I could do. And so I did, and I did, and I did. Way too many things. That's when my grip started slipping. I made promises, committed to be on committees, said I be at an event...and not show. Oh, usually I'd call, usually. After all, I have a house full of excuses.
But, James said, "Let your 'yes' be yes, and your 'no' be no" (James 5:12). I've wandered a long way from that.
Mary Poppins called them, "Pie crust promises. Easily made, easily broken".
I'm really just becoming aware of how bad this has gotten. How easily the excuses come, and how hard it is for me to simply figure out if I can or can't say yes. Actually, sometimes I know I shouldn't say yes, and still don't. I think they call that co-dependent. I call it being a chicken.
At any rate, if you are one of the people that I've let down - I sincerely apologize. My intentions are usually good. I just don't know my own weakness. My responsibilities are huge, and I'm trying to get myself back in order ('cause I'm kind of a basket case right now). According to Therapist Lisa, I am NOT to commit to more projects. So, please, if you can, forgive me.
And if I have to say, "no" to you. . . please be kind.