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"Just say NO" isn't simply a political campaign introduced by former First Lady Nancy Reagan in the 80s and 90s to prevent illegal drug addiction with our youth. It is also a choice. "No" is a complete sentence as a response to a question that does not require any further explanation or justification unless you choose to offer those unnecessary elaborations to your answer. Personally, I do believe it is generally more polite and courteous as a rule to respond with "No, thank you" whenever appropriate.

And believe it or not, sometimes it is even helpful to say "NO" to ourselves. This is a concept I have often struggled with because obviously it is usually more fun and pleasurable to tell myself "YES!" "You can eat that!" "You can buy that!" "You need that!" "You deserve that." etc. Naturally those are all examples of short-term instant gratification thinking, as opposed to long-range objective seeking which requires self-discipline and sacrifice to achieve goals such as becoming debt-free, attaining and maintaining a particular level of fitness, or leveling up a career step to reach more job satisfaction, or help more people, or be able to hopefully retire someday.

Lately, I've been practicing saying "No" to time robbers and joy thiefs which had previously felt like the "right things to do," but now leave me feeling empty and tired.

This NOvember I am focusing on doing more active listening and less unneccesary talking. Expressing more awe, wonder, praise, worship, and gratitude modestly and eternally content with my Maker privately; while performing less circus monkey "All About Me Show" seeking attention, profit, or ego boosting.

This morning as I listened to praise music quietly in the background on my drive, I also intentionally listened for what God has in store for me in this season. Knowing me full well and the utter exhaustion I am currently experiencing as a result of life on life's terms, my God generously provided these 3 gifts:

  • Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God"

  • Matthew 11:28 "Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

  • Psalm 23:1The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, 3 he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name's sake. 4 Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You annoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

So I Give Up. Yes, you "heard" me correctly. I give up. I surrender. I am laying it all down at the feet of Jesus.

Whenever, I try to manage my own life, I end up drained and emotionally bankrupt.

It's not the good kind of exhaustion one feels after finishing a marathan or summiting a challenging mountain on a difficult hike.

No, it is more of a "what am I even doing here?" kind of fatigue.

Perhaps you can relate.

Or maybe not.

Either way, I find that when I operate in Proverbs 3:5-6 or Isaiah 55:8-9 higher ways, my life becomes more manageable... dare I say even enjoyable... and definitely more Philippians 4 Peaceful.

Life is full of choices. Choose wisely my friends and family. And know that I love you.


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