I've been pondering this concept lately - saying no in order to say yes. Personally, I hate disappointing people, so "no" isn't something I take lightly. However, sometimes saying no now means more yes-saying later. This is how it has been looking for us lately.
1. Saying no to more involvement with projects/service/programs at church.
I realized this with clarity at the end of last summer - one particular incident made me realize that I was so busy doing that I wasn't seeing needs when I was at church or with church family - and that is not what I wanted at ALL. I want to see and meet needs, so that might mean keeping my schedule somewhat open so that I can be available when I'm needed. This might not apply to everyone - I'm sure tons of you can multitask and still be human, with fully functioning brains. That's awesome. My brain tends to be task-oriented. So, we've found a good level of involvement for us and while we do say yes to occasional one-time things, we've decided this year to say no to new ongoing commitments. God has really allowed us to see the benefits of this plan.
2. Saying no to spending now even if the finances are there.
We've been looking for 8 passenger minivans so that we can have 3 kids in easily accessible car seats plus 2 comfortable adults as passengers. (our current rear bench seat will not accommodate 3 car seats) We have a good chunk in our savings set aside for that purpose. However, we don't actually need a new minivan right now - ours is old and sort of decrepit, but it's running fine for the time being. And instead of clearing out that portion of savings immediately, we are able to wait until either the current vehicle gives up the ghost or we find the perfect used van for the best price. Who knows? Maybe God has a different plan for those funds? Maybe His provision of a vehicle is going to look different than we think!? We want to be free to say yes at the right time.
3. Say no to comparing and guilt trips.
This one is hard for me - on the outside, I want to appear as if I don't care at all what people think of me, but that is simply untrue. Every time I think about comparing myself - "oh I'm not as thin, as organized, as creative, as energetic, as good of a mom, wife, housekeeper, as nice, as talented, etc" I've been really trying to make an effort to remind myself of what I know to be true about God and the fact that He made me just the way He wanted me to be. And I don't have to be someone else. So instead of focusing on others, I'm really working at focusing on God and meditating on the woman He wants me to be. That's a big enough job without comparison to others and guilt trips. God's grace is sufficient for my struggles and my failures, and He is gracious to give me days of successes too.
Anything you've been saying no to lately in order to say yes?