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Summer Rerun #1 – 3 Summer Questions to Ask Before Saying “Yes”

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Hey TeamConfessioners, since I’m an 80’s kid, I’m gonna kick it old school over the next few weeks and come at you with some summer reruns. Our first summer rerun is from 2017 and is entitled “3 Summer Questions to Ask before Saying ‘Yes.’”

I’ll end the suspense by telling you that those three questions are:

ONE, Will the activity fill us up or empty us out?

TWO, Will it create serenity or complexity?

And THREE, the most important question—Have we earned it?

Sit tight, and enjoy the show!


Summer is officially in full swing. While we have a nice mix of downtime, travel opportunities and camps planned, the challenge is to avoid filling our open days with things that we end up regretting.

We’re blessed to have a lot of invitations in the summer. In past summers, I’ve had trouble navigating which to accept and which to decline. Inspired by the questions, Does it have to be done? Does it have to be done by me? Does it have to be done by me now? I came up with a set of questions to ask before committing to any plan or invite:

1. Will it fill us up or empty us out?

This can be applied to experiences but we also use it when making choices about the people we spend time with. We have some extraordinary people in our lives. They support us, love us, inspire us, challenge us and make us laugh. When we spend time with them, our hearts pour over with love and contentment. We also, however, have people in our lives who can drain our energy. People who make strong demands on our time are generally of the ‘half empty’ persuasion, and often use passive aggression and guilt the way others might use butter. These people are a challenge to put into our schedule when all of my patience is already allocated to the children. It’s not that we never spend time with these people, we just proceed with caution.

2. Will it create serenity or complexity?

-Having one person scheduled for something that keeps everyone else at the mercy of that one person’s plan, not good. “Sorry. Nope. My kid cannot come to your house for a 90-minute play date ay 3 pm.”

-Having plans that are contingent upon a strict time schedule, not good. “We hope to be there sometime between two and four o’clock.”

-Trying to be the servant to too many masters, not good. “Sorry, we only have time for the theme park today. We can’t also visit with fourth cousins and make our own pottery.”

-Attempting to schedule things too close together without any breathing room or downtime, not good. “We’re going to head home for a few hours and we’ll head out again after everyone’s regrouped.”

-Failing to consult the team to get everyone’s input before planning the day, not good. “I’ll talk it over with the team and get back to you.”

-We’re also at this magical age when not everyone has to come with us. “If it’s not your cup of tea, by all means—keep your crabby self at home.”

3. Have we earned it?

Pretty self-explanatory—are all (a.k.a most of) the chores and work done for the day? Have we contributed to the household? Have we been kind and caring to one another? Blah, blah, you get the point.

These just give me a framework, and I love framework. It doesn’t require any extra time and often fends off some unneeded resentment and stress. Of course, we become emptied out, things can get complex and we often jet out of a messy house, but it makes me feel better to put some thought into this precious time and at least attempt to make (almost) every moment count.


Next week we’ll be back with another summer favorite: The Rhythm of Healing – Pump Up Your Jam. See you next week! 

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    Welcome to my blog! Here you can read about what’s on my mind as I try my best to recover from screaming at my kids and nagging the bejesus out my husband.

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