Learning to Say “No”

Women are called to wear a lot of hats. Wife, mother, housekeeper, launderer, doctor, lover, chef, CFO, CEO, COO. Ugh, the list goes on! Although I am not a wife or mommy yet, I still feel the pressures of wearing a lot of hats: daughter, sister, parishioner, teacher, fried. All these hats come with their own set of activities. I tend to say “yes” to everything and let my plate get too full. This, of course, leads to decreased productivity: stress! So we have to learn how to say “no”. Here are a few tips:

  1. Think it over: Most of the time, an answers isn’t needed right away. Just let people know you will get back to them tomorrow. Take a night to think things over and determining whether or not you can add something else to your plate.
  2. Ask for a second option: Consult with your husband or parents to determine whether they think you have the capacity for something else. Chances are, whatever you are doing is going to take away time with them. They may think you should cut back something you aren’t devoting enough time to them while you think everything is fine. Before you take on anther assignment, consult with them and find out what their needs are.
  3. Prioritize: God needs you first, your family needs you second, you need you third. I have fallen into the temptation of thinking I can do three bible studies at the same time for Christ. This is loony and bummed me out. It also prevented me from connecting my heart to Jesus because I was so worried about doing my homework when I went to chapel. It also took me away from my family three nights per week. That is a lot of time away. Set your priorities wisely and stick to them.

My final thought on this is don’t worry about other’s feelings when you say no to the second book club. If they ask why, tell them your plate is full and most people will understand. It is okay to say “no,” let’s start saying it more often.

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Genesis 50

50

50:12 Obedience and honoring father.
50:20 Praise God in good times and bad.
50:19 God alone forgives sins and our job is to love each other through times of trouble.

Even after death we should still be obedient and respectful of our parents. The fourth commandment doesn’t end at death, it is always. Joseph shows that by taking Israel back to the land of Canaan to be buried. I also think that God doesn’t show us his full plan so that we can be repentant and look on the bright side. Yes, we go through struggles but we can take comfort knowing that it is all for a purpose as Joseph mentions to his brother. Finally, I like that Joseph says that only God can forgive their sins and it’s his job to just love his brothers. we cannot take the place of God no matter how hard we try.

Lord, I pray that I always give you due reverence. Amen. 

The Original Men in Black

I saw a picture similar to this on Pinterst once and thought it was funny. It also made me think quite a bit about priests and their vocations. The Men in Black search out aliens and help them assimilate into the rest of society. Priests search out lost souls and help them assimilate into God’s heavenly society. Both jobs (one more than the other) are important to the individual as well as the larger culture the benefits from their presence.

I also think priests are superheroes. I really love Marvel, in case you couldn’t tell. But I think priests should be the superheroes of we look up to. One day during Lent I went to Confession and Mass. As expected, it was packed. Father Smiles was hearing Confessions along with Father Toes. A few minutes before mass was supposed to start, the light above Father Smiles’ confessional went off (off=no confession, red=someone’s confessing, green=your turn!) Thought that was peculiar and I thought it was even more strange when he left the confessional. I’d never seen that before, but I assumed he had to go to the little priest’s room or something. But suddenly Mass started and guess who was presiding over liturgy. Father Smiles! After Mass there was still a line for Reconciliation and before I had time for my post Mass thanksgiving prayer, he was back to hearing confessions.

In this moment I decided priests were superheroes. They completely sacrifice themselves for the love of God’s people. Captain America let the Winter Soldier beat him up because they were best friends. Father let us beat up on them in the confessional because we are all God’s best friends.

I praise God for the original Men in Black and I pray they continue to feel the support of laity. It is far from an easy job, but someone has to do it!

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Genesis 48

48

48:11 God’s plans don’t follow our expectations.
48:15 God has been with me since I came into the world and he will stay with me until I leave it.
48:21 God is with us always even when our loved ones and spiritual guides are not. And he always keeps his promises.

Israel gives thanks to God and blesses his grandchildren. All good things come from the Lord, and I don’t praise him nearly enough. He has never left me, and been with me since the beginning of time, yet I don’t give him what he deserves.

Lord, you are my creator, my God, my friend, my Father, my brother, my provider, my lover, my strength, and my refuge. Thank you for all you do. Even when I don’t seem thankful, I am. Amen.

Prayerful or Gossip

One of the things I have noticed with my brothers and sisters is that we tend to gossip under the guise of prayer. I’ve heard people say things like, “Pray for jane because John lost his job.” sounds like a nice sentiment but maybe Jane and John don’t want the entire parish to know that. Perhaps they confided in one or two people that don’t need to share with everyone that they have fallen on hard times. I’ve also seen people hold information over another’s head. Someone said they were going on a retreat but the rumor that went around certain circles in our parish was that this person had a medical procedure. Whatever the case may be, if that person wanted their business known, they would have put it in the bulletin.

Some of us think we have to know all the details of a situation to pray for someone. This isn’t the case! When we don’t know what is going on but we know something isn’t right, we can pray for their intentions. I do this all the time in Mass. I like to watch my brothers and sisters receive Holy Communion and some people look defeated. I praise God that they have come to him for help rather than the horrible alternatives the world offers>. I obviously don’t know the details of what is going on in that person’s life. Jesus knows what is going on in that person’s life so I can pray for whatever they are praying for and that His will be done in their life. This helps me to love my brothers and sisters without falling into the temptation of gossip.

Tip: Pray, “Lord my brother or sister is in need of your grace. I ask that you please listen to their prayers and answer them in accord with your will. I pray that you shine your mercy and grace upon them as they travel this difficult path. Thank you for your blessings. Amen.”

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