Weekend Giveaway :-)

NOTE: Be sure to read to the end. Can you can say “giveaway’? I knew you could!


If you have not been with us this past week, we’ve been looking at circles and plates and and juggling relationships & responsibilities.

In a word?


Everywhere I meander, I encounter worn out women.

We just don’t seem to have enough day left at the end of our activities and responsibilities; we voice our priorities one way, then turn around and live our lives as if they were actually in reverse order sometimes.

I suggested doing the little “circle” activity to give yourself a picture of who and what is getting the biggest chunks of your precious time. I know my finished product made me stressed just looking at it!!

And I know better!!! I have entire talks and chapters devoted to avoiding over-committment. So what is the dealio?

Why do I (and many of you) over-commit and spin too many plates or run in too many circles?

I can think of  5 reasons: (I know there are more!)

~ We women have what I call “the curse of capability”.

We are capable. We are resourceful. We are able to multi-task. We are creative. We can trouble shoot. So, when asked to take on another outside responsibility, we think, “Why I’m capable of that!”

Then, we say yes. Pretty soon, our piles of “yeses” threaten to bury us down deeper than the Chilean miners.

~Next, we don’t want to say no out of fear.

Fear of not being liked. Fear of hurting someone’s feelings. Fear of behind-the-back chit chat, “I don’t know why she won’t do this. After all, she has way more time on her hands than me!” Fear of adding stress to the person asking you to do the job, ’cause if you say “no”, they need to find someone else. Fear of rejection.

Fear stinks!

~ Then there is this reason:we under-estimate the time and BRAIN SPACE it will take to do the task!

Tasks like “Be in charge of ABC” or “Organize XYZ” are the ones that get me most! While a task with a specific time frame is measurable (work the concession stand at baseball on Tuesday night from 6:30-8:00) these “be in chrage of” and “organize” ones are not. When we under-estimate the time involved AND the brain space it will take up knowing we now wear another ‘hat’, we take on waaaaaaaay too much!

~We are filling too much of our time with tasks in our “red” or “yellow” light areas.

Twenty-four years ago when Todd & I married and began in ministry (he was a youth pastor then) he took a FABULOUS in-depth assessment test that measured his effectiveness by discovering what were his “green light” areas–those areas you are most effective in due to your personality wiring. It also showed the “yellow” areas. These were tasks you could do, but they weren’t your strongest suit. The “red” areas were those duties that just plumb stressed you out because they were in direct conflict with the way God wired you. They cause you grief and dread because they are , in essence, “just not your thing”!

Guess where MANY of us operate? Yep. We are filling our time with yellow and red light areas. These areas sap us. Green areas energize us! (If you want to know more, I was THRILLED to see that Richard Hagstrom, the man who developed this over 30 years ago is still around. I found him here.)

~ And, the final reason? We speak before we check.

We don’t check our calendars. We don’t check our other commitments scheduled for the same time. We don’t check with our spouses or check with our kids. And, here’s the kicker, we don’t consult our Creator asking Him if we are called to the task. Not CAPABLE of the task, but called!

So, what’s a gal to do? Well, we’ll chat about that next week.

For now, I thought I’d offer a fun little giveaway crafted around some of the topics we’ve been discussing here. So, here is what is included:

~A copy of God’s Purpose for Every Woman. Our compilation book of devotions from Proverbs 31. This will help you in your relationship with God.

~A note pad with the verse “I can do all things through Him” Philippians 4:13 for you to jot your tasks down.

Then, for a little “me” (or as I call it “re”) time:

~Two Land O’ Lakes flavored hot cocoas, one in French Vanilla and one in Tiramasu.

~A large Godiva dark chocolate with orange candy bar.

~A box of Calgon English Garden bubble bath. (Take me away!)

~Finally, for the reality of life, a set of thin cotton dish towels for Thanksgiving embellished with a Cornucopia. You’ll be drying those dishes in style!

Okay—so, to be entered in the drawing for this giveaway, leave a comment on today’s topic. Which of these reasons do you think reflect you? What other reasons are there for letting your plate get too full? Or, if time is tight, just say “I’m in!”

Winner will be announced Monday!



  1. I’m in and way to busy to properly comment, but I’m so blessed by haven taken the time to read this. (As I always am with your writing. I am more convicted than ever to bring God into my ‘yes’ or no’ answers. Thank you Karen!

  2. I think I mostly take on too much because of not checking my calendar first and because of not realizing the amount of time and energy a task will take. Last summer I was asked to teach a dance class for a week at an art camp. It was for 2-5th grade girls and we had to perform at the end of the week. At first I thought it would be no big deal but the closer it came, the more stressed I became. It took a ton of time to prepare and it was on my mind constantly. By the time the first class was over, I was exhausted and we still had the rest of the week to go. By the way, I’m a music teacher, not a dance teacher and the only dance experience I have had was a summer ballet class as a 3rd grader and some dance in gymnastics. So it probably was a yellow/red light thing too! The kids did a super job and one of the most important things I learned that week was that it’s not about me! I was worried about what people would think of me instead of focusing on making sure the kids in my class had a positive experience. So I guess even in stressful situations, we can learn something positive!

    Rebecca Ann

  3. I recently took a “stay at home” job that would pay good for a measly 5 hours/week work. Sounds heavenly right? A way to bring in extra income without ever leaving the house. Then I realized that 5 hours became more like 40! I was mentally spending more time focusing on doing the job perfect, juggling everyones schedule around this “measly 5 hours” and dealing with the guilt of not being able to put my family first anymore. Needless to say, I quit. I learned that things I say “yes” to have to be carefully weighed as to how much mental stress I will be under. Mental “attendance” is just as important as Physical “attendance” to both my family and myself!

  4. I often operate in my yellow and red zones and wonder why I don’t bless others or feel blessed. Still wonder why I feel so odd saying I’ll pray about committing to do something, even at church!

  5. You could put me down for all of the above :) I do it because I’m capable and because I love to help people out. That makes me feel good, like I’m worth something. Then it makes me feel bad to say no to someone. Sooo glad you included a link to that test you were talking about — I was fixing to email you to ask about it :)

  6. I think I under-estimate the time of something. But, really a lot of it is centering life around our kids…sports, practice, games, church, confirmation, homework, friends… After that, there’s just not much time except for meals, laundry, cleaning, if that. It’s what we choose, but sometimes it’s crazy.

  7. I overcommit because I enjoy being productive,helping others and just loving……but sometimesioverstretch myself and end up frustrated and in tears…..

  8. For too long, I let fear compel me to say, “Yes!” when my heart was screaming, “No!” Fear of upsetting someone, inconveniencing someone, letting someone down, fear of the task not getting done without me… All of these motivated me into good works for all the wrong reasons and propelled me into many stressful times. Lately, I have become focused on listening to the Holy Spirit’s prompting on issues and activities. I have found that He usually speaks pretty quickly, and, when I do commit to things, I have confidence that I can accomplish them in the Lord’s strength because they were a part of His will.

  9. Fear of–so many things. I am really working on this. But have been hurt many times by someone who talks behind my back when I don’t do things the way they think I should be doing them. They get upset if you say you want to pray about it before you give an answer.
    So many fears but things are getting better, since I have realized the only one I have to please is the Lord Himself.

  10. These past two years I have been on the cancer journey, so I have had to “sit on the couch” alot and miss the juggling of the circles…now as I plan my reentry into the race of life, I am praying purpose and trying to let God draw the circles He wants me to spin with…

  11. Mine is definitely not evaluating the “brain space” a task will take. I am a planner to a fault and so when I “organize” something it doesn’t just take the task time but also the planning time which ends up being double or triple what I imagined it would be. I also don’t evaluate my red & yellow areas very well. Since I took my year long sabbatical I have been doing better in both areas. I have been very careful to look at the time involved (realistically) and to check if it is where my gifts lie. I want to be energized by what I am doing not depleted!!

  12. I say “yes” to too much because I see the good in the activity and want to be a part of it – oftentimes, forgetting that I’m to focus on what is MOST EXCELLENT and not just what is good.

  13. I think for me it’s peer pressure and not listening to God. I take on too much even church activities for fear of what others might think instead of taking it to God first (checking in with Him and what He wants to fill up my calendar with). Just when I think I’m good at setting those boundaries, I’m side-swiped and amazed at myself that there I go again, getting caught off-guard. Then, I stop, regroup and start again, saying God help. Thanks for such a great reminder that God needs to be in control of our calendar not me, not my friends, not my church, no one but the Master time maker.

  14. I have fear of not being liked when I speak my mind I am a counselor and my patients don’t like what I make a suggestion. I can take it very personally and it hurts my feelings. I am so senitive and then I get told by someone wiser then me is that it is not about me at all, usually it is about them.

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