By Dennis and Thammie Sy
Q: I always say, “So little time, so much to do.” Help me!
A: THAMMIE: I think most of us have said this at some point, especially once we started having kids. Housework never gets done; the kids always manage to find a way to warrant your immediate attention; work outside of home often starts to pile up, deadlines are just around the corner…and so much more!
Recently, I felt that I have been trying to explain myself to more and more people as to why I cannot just meet them unless scheduled way beforehand, or why I am unable to commit to certain things just yet. It really makes me feel guilty at times (many times, actually) since I really want to be able to say yes to helping out more people. But I also know that something’s got to give. In this season of raising very young children who are at their formative stages, there will always be something that has to give. I know I wouldn’t want it to be my family.
We have learned the power of using these five not-sosecret words— not really so I could explain myself better, but more so I could choose and decide better.
“No for now, not forever.” DENNIS: These words remind me that there is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1). They remind me to celebrate seasons because they won’t last forever. Our kids, for example, will soon be all be grown up. Eventually, they would not be needing me as much anymore. Before I know it, they would be starting their own families, too. I want to enjoy my time with them as much as I can, while I still can.
As a pastor, the ministry will always be there. Work will always be there. Tomorrow, work will never disappear. Other plans and dreams may or may not be there years from now, but it really doesn’t matter that much. It is being aware of the season where we are, as a family. It is also about knowing our priorities and our values. Once this is in place, it is easier to say no for now, not forever. Remember saying no is not forever, it just means not now.
THAMMIE: We want to enjoy our kids and our family as much as we can, while we still can. We want to see them play. We want to hear them laugh. We want to feel them cringe (but deep inside we know they love it) each time we invade their personal space and give them really tight hugs. They are kids NOW, but not forever. In fact, our eldest daughter is now in her teenage years. So while they are still very young, I’m pretty sure you would be hearing these words quite a lot from me– with no guilty feelings whatsoever: “No for now, not forever.”
About the authors: Dennis is a the senior pastor of Victory Greenhills and is a best-selling author of three books. Thammie is a homeschooling mom and a certified childbirth educator and labor coach. They have been married for thirteen years and have four kids.