By Lyndsey Piccolino
“But above all, my brothers, do not swear, either by heaven or by earth or by any other oath, but let your “yes” be yes and your “no” be no, so that you may not fall under condemnation.” James 5:12
Intention and margin are two words that can easily escape the minds and calendars of busy families. With kids activities, work, and other obligations, life can quickly and easily become a cluttered mess of tasks to check off of a list and things to just get done. When we rush through life and our main goal is to “make it through the day,” we are missing the big picture, and a huge part of what God’s intent is for our lives. God wants us to be blessed and to be a blessing, but we cannot do these things without margin in our calendar, intention in what we commit to, and the grace to know that it’s OK to not to do it all, and that it likely all won’t get done.
I truly believe that God does not expect us to go to bed at night with a checked off to-do list. He doesn’t expect us to wear all hats, and He doesn’t expect us to do it all. His overwhelming grace extends even to the fact that we left dirty in the sink, had to re-wash our clothes we left wet in the washer three times, or forgot to bring in a baked good for the bake sale. Our challenge as Christians is not just extend that grace to others, but to also extend it to ourselves.
Building that margin into our calendar and having the intention of what we are saying yes to can help us to be more intentional to what we are committing to. When we are being intentional with our commitments, we can actually be present in what we are doing, instead of rushing through it to get to the next item on the task list.
As Lysa Terkheurst said in her book, the Best Yes, “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.” One of my goals for 2018 is to prayerfully consider each opportunity to really discern and be the best “yes” I can be. I pray that we all can do this and then have the courage, faith and grace to go where God is calling us.