Learning When to Say No

In the publishing world, January is the month of New Year resolution stories and weight loss programs. It’s the introduction to a season of slimming and exercise that begins with zeal, but so often ends with resignation.

This year, instead of a focus on weight and body image, the publishing focus seems to have shifted to finding financial peace and emotional balance. Everywhere we look people are hunkering down to weather the storm of a recession that has “officially” arrived. Magazine and newspaper articles are exploring what it means to live simply, be thrifty, cut back and make changes.

I’ve always been a thrifty Boomer Babe. I was raised in the projects of Cleveland, and I learned the value of shopping at the Goodwill store at a very early age. Consignment shops are so much a part of my life that I’ve set my next boomer babe novel inside of one. But I digress. We were talking about the shift in focus. Even Oprah has had an “ah ha moment” about reassessing this recurring theme of weight in her own life.

 “If you’re looking for an excuse to fall off the wagon, the universe will provide one. That’s what I’ve learned. It’s not enough to simply claim to care about yourself, when you believe that you are worthy of the space you occupy on the planet, you demonstrate that by insisting that every last one of your choices—from the food you put in your mouth to the commitments you place on your calendar—moves you toward the life you want. This past year, I completely took myself off my own priority list. I wasn’t just low on the list, I wasn’t even on the list. What I’ve realized is that no self-care means no self-love. We all need to make 2009 the year we give ourselves as much love and support as we give others.”

While some may think this is incredibly selfish, the simple fact of the matter is that we won’t be worth a hill of beans if we kill ourselves by always saying yes to others and putting our own needs last. We must gain SANITY and learn the difference between helping and enabling. Like Oprah says, we need to give ourselves love and support as well as others. 

Yes, Scripture tells us it is better to give than to receive. But it also tells us that we must take the time to recover our own life, to rest. In essence, a healthy dose of self love.

In her newest book, Rest – Living in Sabbath Simplicity (Zondervan Publishing), author and fellow Boomer Babe Keri Wyatt Kent opens with Scripture from Matthew 11:28.

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. (The Message Version)

Let 2009 be the year we not only get in shape physically, but spiritually and emotionally as well. The year we gain SANITY by understanding that giving love and support is not always saying “yes,” it’s not always “coming to the rescue.” It’s time we learn how to rest…to be still and know God in a more intimate way.

The 6 Steps to SANITY as outlined in my newest book start with the most important step when we decide to make any change in our life. We must “S = STOP.” Stop the negative behavior that keeps us running like gerbils on a wheel.
It’s not about how many times we try and fail. It’s about having the willpower to stop what isn’t working and try something new. Bob Greene, Oprah’s trainer, says, “Each new effort brings us closer to the one that might really work.” Joel Osteen, Pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston says that we can’t ever give up trying to be the best we can be, because we just don’t know if we “might be on the edge of a breakthrough blessing that will change our life.”

Let 2009 be the year we set healthy boundaries in all areas of our life. The year we claim our breakthrough blessing! The year we take responsibility for the choices we make. The year we really make a U-Turn toward God, and start the journey that will bring us closer to actually being a new creation in God. The year we learn how to say no to choices that keep us in bondage and yes to the things that truly bring us SANITY.

Join me next month as we continue our new 12-month series on Setting Boundaries and Gaining SANITY. We’ll explore what it means to make choices that will change the story of our life. I’d also like to invite you to visit our new revised web site and come see me LIVE as I tour the country and offer online LIVE webcasts. It’s time for us Boomer Babes to live the sane life God wants us to live.

Until next month, dear Boomer Babes who Rock, may the good Lord bless and keep you all!

Allison Bottke

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