“You can’t please everyone, you are not Nutella”
People love it when you say yes, and when they know you are a yes sort of person they get used to it-they know those people are who will always say yes, are consistently faithful, can make it happen, and carry out a task to completion. But if you’re not careful with your yeses, you just might possibly end up in an exhausted, disconnected, and frantic lifestyle that actually has little resemblance to more deep meaningful purposes that lead you to your calling.
Saying no is unpopular. Undoubtedly when you say no you will disappoint someone, not meet someone’s needs or expectations, and you just might have to leave something undone. If you’re anything like me, hard wired to please and to be known as someone to count on, that thought is enough to make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
You can’t have yes without no, and if we are not deliberate with our yeses, we start saying no to other very important things without even realizing it. Without intending to we can start saying no to rest, contentment, to listening, to deep and intentional connection, built over years instead moments.
We have the agency and authority and freedom over the size of our lives-to make them smaller or larger, heavier or lighter. We’ve been fed the lie that we need to build, build, build. Bigger is better, more is better, faster is better. Saying Yes can be exciting, like adrenaline running through our veins, a drug. Yes is fun and covered in glitter, printed on T-shirts and tote bags. It certainly takes a brave soul to say no, that would intentionally keep something small, or deliberately do something slow.
I’ve been needing to remind myself that just because someone expects something from me doesn’t mean that’s what I’m called to do. I think that if we can have a sense of God’s deep unconditional love and a strong understanding of our objective we will stay faithful to fulfilling our larger purpose, giving up on the smaller purposes or other people’s purposes.
I’ve found that when I’m saying yes to things that fuel performance, lead to immediate gratification, or give in to someone’s approval it often derails from real love, relationship and connectedness.
Some of the most important things we should be saying yes to don’t clamor for our attention. They wait in the background, just wondering when we’ll slow down long enough to notice. For me it’s quiet moments with the Lord, when I’m not rushing through my list of concerns, but just resting at His feet enjoying His presence. It’s taking time to think of others and to look for ways to show acts of kindness. It’s making time to connect deeply with those in my life and to look them square in the eye and find out how they are doing, slowing down enough to just listen, and care.
This past week my sweet husband made a passing comment about a dessert he likes. He didn’t ask me to make it, but I knew it was something I could do that would show love. So deciding to say no to something that was on my agenda I carved out a little time to say yes to making this blueberry crumble. It was a small investment of time that reaped a greater reward of gratitude and appreciation.
We decide where time goes. There is so much freedom in that, and so much responsibility. So what are you going to do? What are you going to say yes to? -s
Blueberries under an oat and almond crust
1 lb. blueberries, rinsed and picked over
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
Zest and juice of a lemon
8 Tbsp. of unsalted butter, cut into small dice, chilled
1 cup flour
½ cup almond meal
1/3 cup brown sugar
Pinch of salt
¼ cup sliced almonds
1 cup rolled oats
2-3 Tbsp. ice water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a pie dish pour the blueberries along with the granulated sugar, zest and juice of the lemon. Toss gently.
In the bowl of a food processor put the flour, almond meal, brown sugar and pinch of salt. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the chilled butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Toss in the sliced almonds and oats. Pulse briefly to combine. Then with the machine running, add the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the mixture just begins to come together.
Tip the crumble over the sugared fruit. Loosely scatter it over without pressing down, this lends itself to a looser texture crumb. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the purple juices bubble up and the crumb is a lovely golden color.