When "No" Means "Yes" In Marriage

We've all been there. We've been caught up in the contest, and the pride, and ridden the high horse of it.

The "it" I'm speaking of, is busyness.

Our culture triumphs in words that tout about sleepless nights, hours spent immersed in projects, schedules that overflow, and how even amidst all that, we can still handle more... "of course, I'll be there" we say.

Children are riddled with lessons and practices, spouses maintain office hours beyond what's expected, and little time is left beyond a short meal together or a kiss goodnight.

Until one day it hits you. Like a ton of bricks.

"Why am I letting it rule me? Is it impressive to be this busy? Is it God-pleasing? Or has it become my god?"

Sometimes, it does become our own little-g god. Busyness has become a disease of a culture that constantly grapples for more. A culture that needs to prove something. But what exactly does it prove? In the midst of those days and weeks, or even months, when you're so busy you barely find the time to breathe, have you asked yourself that question and answered it rationally?

Maybe you think it proves determination and stamina.

To who?

To your husband who just wants to hold you for longer than ten minutes before hitting the hay? To your children who didn't get a chance to tell you about their day? To your wife who is drowning in piles of chores and schedules?

Sometimes the busyness is unavoidable, and to those days or weeks or months, I'm sending you a virtual high five and some encouragement to bear it with grace and patience.

What I'm really getting at, is a wake-up call.

It's okay to say no.

Sometimes saying "no" means saying "yes" to the people who matter most. It means saying "yes" to a one-on-one date with one of your children. It means "yes" to snuggling up with your spouse and watching your favorite show with your favorite snacks and laughing off a day's troubles.

We live in a culture where if we say "no" simply to make room for nothing, we're ripping everyone off. We're being selfish.

I'm writing this to say to you, FIGHT IT.

Fight against busyness and all its worthless pride. Who's busier is not a contest. And if it is one, it's one I'd rather lose.

I'd rather lose so that I can catch dinner out with my husband, instead of being the last one to leave the office to prove to no one in particular how dedicated I am. I'd rather "prove" my dedication to my husband.
I'd rather lose, because it does my soul more good to protect my time.
I'd rather lose, because it creates balance, stability, and room to be present instead of distracted.

There is a time and place for busyness, and it's not all bad - don't get me wrong. Busyness can be healthy, even. All I'm getting at in this wake-up call, is to remind you that you can lose the pride in it, and you instead gain the present ability to just. be. To just live in those quiet moments of uninterrupted togetherness.

Say no, my friends, because saying yes to your spouse and family will always be worth losing the busy contest.