Decide. {Five Minute Friday}

CHOOSE!  My daughter likes to firmly assert this command when, in typical “me” style, I hesitate on whether to pull out into traffic, turn at a given intersection, or I’m trying to decide on one flavor of tea over another.  She’s teasing me, making a movie-reference, and at the same time often gently challenging me out of analysis paralysis, into moving on with life.


I’m at my worst in a fabric store; I want every. single. one.  Still, after years of not sewing consistently, I can’t walk into one and not long for the patterns and textures – it could be granny-flowers or hipster corduroy –  I’m sure I could make into something lovely for my home.


Sometimes, when there’s too much of a good thing, it isn’t a good thing.  One year my mom thought it would be a great idea to put a ten dollar dollar-store gift card into each kid’s stocking.  Ten dollars.  At the dollar store.  Even after multiple attempts to encourage them that they could save their balance for later, I nearly dragged my children from the aisles of mostly-meaningless STUFF they would not want past the day we took it home.  There was too much; too much choice.  My second nearly had a breakdown from the overwhelm.




Last night, some sweet friends and I gathered to study the book of Esther together and pray for each other.  As we shared our personal needs, a pattern emerged.  For the most part, each of us had at least one request for help in “balancing our time,” choosing between several good opportunities to serve our families, our churches, or our workplace.  As go-getter-women, we each struggle in some way with having to decide which opportunities are ones worthy of our investment.  And there’s this thing that’s difficult for my mind to process: that there isn’t always necessary one choice that has to be the one.


Esther is a story of how God’s people have once again turned from their faithful, gracious, giving God.  When He has lavished them with provision and love, protected them from attack, and given them His attention and love, they have chosen lesser things.  We do this, don’t we?  We go for the cupcake when we really need an apple and maybe a glass of water with lemon.  We plunk down in front of a movie instead of losing ourselves in a work of great literature.  We spend an hour gabbing with a girlfriend over our woes instead of writing a note to a friend in need of encouragement (ouch, pointing back at me again).


Esther, this chosen-by-God Hebrew girl, finds herself in a beauty pageant in which the prize is to wind up in a harem.  By all accounts, she makes a choice to honor the wishes of her adoptive dad, when he asks her as she enters this new life, to keep her heritage a secret.  In a harem.  A woman’s worst nightmare.  What’s incredible, though, is that in Esther, and throughout time, God doesn’t act solely in response to our decisions or even the decisions of those around us, be they wise or ridiculous.  Of course, there are often-to-always consequences for our choices.  But because of the very nature of who He is, this not-like-us God works through even the stupid choices, to get things done according to His agenda… the one in which He works all things for good, for His children, and for His glory.


So yes, I have to choose.  Daily, especially in this privileged land, I must decide between a myriad of options for everything from what I eat to what I wear, what I listen to, to where I go.  And really, I need to choose, as the proverb says, wisely.  I need to seek His heart and ask Him exactly what He wants me to do next.  But His word tells me if I’m His girl, I’ll hear the whisper of my Papa’s heart, over my shoulder, telling me what His will is.  And more, His history tells me that even when I don’t listen, when I decide to go for the lesser, He is gracious beyond what my short-sighted eyes can see.


What choices are in front of you that give you opportunity to choose the higher road, the most soul-nourishing, the most honoring, the most loving way?  Have you experienced grace when you made the lesser choice?


Thankful for grace…

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{On Fridays I try to keep up with a wonderful group of writers who challenge themselves to free-write for five minutes on a shared topic. Click to Kate’s page Five Minute Friday to see what others are saying!}

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6 Comment

  1. Reply
    April 2, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Visiting from FMF. I also find decisions hard but I love the story of Esther and the reassurance that God is ultimately in charge whatever choices we make and that he can work even bad choices into his plan for good.
    Carly recently posted…Just Give Me A Coffee!My Profile

    1. Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      YES, Carly! We can be motivated by His love, His intentionality toward us and for His glory, rather than driven by fear of what may happen as a result of ours or another’s choices. He is good… so good.

  2. Reply
    April 3, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Yes! We must be intentional with our time. Though I try to remind myself that sometimes the choices that don’t, at first glance, seem to be the most productive ones end up being the best. Spending an hour chatting with a girlfriend might be exactly what that girlfriend needs. Letting my kids play in puddles in the back yard until dusk isn’t the most productive time, but I know it feeds our souls to enjoy nature and each other. Then again, someone has to make dinner! I’m trying to find that balance, but for me, one thing that helps is creating margins in my schedule, so that I have time to linger with a friend. I know that God has blessed me immensely through conversations with other women, and I would want to be able to be a blessing to others in that way.

    Lastly, if God can take time in a harem and turn it for good, any silly thing I do can be reforged as well!

    1. Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 4:20 pm

      YES, YES, YES! Renee, I love the point you make that any choice can have both positive and negative impact. It’s the listening, the relating, the getting closer to Jesus that is the point of it all, whether that’s for ourselves or encouraging those we love, and whether it’s through “Just God time” or through life experiences. Love, love your thoughts on margin, too… more vital with every “yes,” are the “no’s” we say, to make those good things possible.

  3. Reply
    April 3, 2016 at 6:30 pm

    And the older we get (can’t BELIEVE I’m 63, until I look in the mirror…that never lies!), the harder it gets to “choose” among competing options, even when it’s something as mundane as the server asking whether I want the soup or the salad. But even more daunting is when the “choosing” involves something with severe consequences for a wrong choice as the time for my “heavenly recall” grows ever nearer.

    1. Reply
      April 5, 2016 at 4:18 pm

      Such honesty, Poppy. It’s so true – the older we get, the more life we have experienced, the more we realize that every choice we make affects us and those around us. So thankful for your example in regrouping and listening to what God wants to do through your choices.

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