Q-U-I-T-T-E-R

I am a QUITTER and I am proud of it. I know that sounds odd because quitting is typically shameful. But I am not ashamed, not now.

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You see quitting is unnatural to me. I have always stuck with things to the very end, always felt too responsible to bail out of commitments, always worn myself out with impracticable commitments.

But not anymore, because today I proudly said, “I QUIT” to a volunteer commitment that had been hanging over my head and exhausting me.

I finally came to the conclusion that my time is valuable. That it is MY TIME to be spent how I CHOOSE. (I know, you are probably thinking, “Duh Lindsey.”)

And just because I sign up for something, that doesn’t mean that I always have to follow-through it through to completion. Because I shouldn’t invest my precious hours in things that are draining, dissatisfying, and irritating, when I can be dothings that are energizing, rewarding, and fulfilling.

Today I am a QUITTER. And in quitting, I realized how empowering it is to reclaim my time.

Do you have any obligations that you stick with just because you feel obligated? What would it feel like to quit? Is quitting something you should/could consider?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Good for you! This takes bravery and for me lots of deliberation too.

    I'm trying to think more in advance. When someone asks something of me, I'm trying to say more "Let me get back to you with an answer" Then I think about 3-4 months forward and ask myself "Am I going to wish I could get out of this at this point?" If that gut feeling is there, then I know better to say no on the front end. Oh, but I feel you, its not easy!

    • @Marysol,
      I have been trying to do that too. Be more thoughtful before I jump into commitments that grow like weeds.

  • I am really encouraged by your post! I have a thing or two I need to quit, but I just don't think I can. If I quit, no one else will do it. But, I am looking forward to saying NO when the year is over!!!

    • @sarah,
      glad you are encouraged! hope you can figure out the balance.

  • I am working on quiting smoking. Quiting is a challenge…but an interesting journey.

    • Good luck.

      (Whisper) Confession – I love the social cigarette and have been trying to completely cut it out. Not physically addicted but I know that it is crutch of sorts and I need to lose it.

    • @jeremiah,

      Good luck.

      (Whisper) Confession – I love the social cigarette and have been trying to completely cut it out. Not physically addicted but I know that it is crutch of sorts and I need to lose it.

  • Great insight! It's hard to say no sometimes, but I think, we have to every now and then to maintain some level of sanity. If it's not fulfilling or rewarding, why do it at all? Volunteering should be something we do willingly. If it becomes a burden, the joy in giving your time is lost. I know this is something I grapple with too. Good for you for saying no!

  • You're right… it's not easy. I wonder if this is a gender-specific problem? Life has been teaching me about things I need to let go of lately, and it isn't always by choice but it's such a relief when I wasn't even missed! Makes me re-evaluate all of the things that seemed so critically important a few months ago!

    • @India,
      I do think it is more of a problem for women for some reason. Guess we are more inclined to try to do everything, please everyone!

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  • I carefully consider what I am volunteering before I sign up because I know from past ministry experiences how exhausting and draining a ministry can be if there is not enough help and everything falls on your shoulders. Good for you for quitting! Plan your time so it is balanced between work and play. This way you won't get drained and burnt out. Too often to do when you volunteer. Have a wonderful day and see you around twitter!

    • @Nikole,
      Learning to be more thoughtful before I commit.

  • Breathe, girl. That is an awesome post.

    We need more quitters in the church! Quit doing so much. Quit spending so much time in the church building and more time at home!

    Keep quitting.

  • Working for a book publisher, you know that editing is the process of leaving in and taking out and rearranging- and that process works just as well in life as in writing. We have to constantly be editing our lives to maximize them- and maximize means better, not more.

  • Some of the best things we do is learn to know our limits and say NO when necessary! So proud of you! And it was SO FUN to see you in Nashville on Saturday!

    • @colleen,
      I loved seeing you. Wish you lived closer so we could do it more often.

  • This is something that I am learning a lot about lately. I am finally okay with quitting things that drain me! I was volunteering or was volunteered to do anything and everything at the last church I attended and it left me drained… I know now more than ever that it is okay to say "no" and "I quit"!

  • I often find parenting "draining, dissatisfying, and irritating"… I'm guessing you're not giving me permission to quit that?

    🙂

    Seriously though, quitting can be very healthy sometimes… just as long as we don't make a habit of it.

    • @Peter,
      You should probably stick with that. And I doubt parenting is always "draining, dissatisfying, and irritating." If it is, maybe it is because something else is wearing you down.

  • I know your pain. I become loyal even when not treated right. Although recently I applied for another job elsewhere and felt a sense of freedom in doing it. I feel the same way about volunteering. I feel if I said I would do something that I should follow through.

  • Good job!!!

  • I found that quitting church actually enhanced my relationship with God, my family and friends. Those that quit along with me discovered the same. We actually have time for one another and our neighbors. Of course, we only quit the institution that's been misnamed "church". But church life outside of the four walls is, for us, much more flexible and fruitful.

    • @David,
      Very intersting. I have some good friends who are in a similar situation. I've loved hearing about what they are learning in the process.

      • If you would like a complimentary copy of my book, When The Church Leaves The Building, send your mailing address and I'll get one to you.

  • I tend to feel responsible for everything, whether or not I should. I jokingly say that I am the "General Manager of the Universe". Quitting is not my strong point, but it is something I should consider more often. To be perfectly honest, if I gave up all my obligations and just did what I wanted to do…I would possibly move somewhere new. That would feel freeing.

    • @redhead.kate,
      One of my Strenghts is "Responsibility." Candidly it is one that I wish I could get rid of. Feeling responsible for everything usually leaves me feeling guilty and exhausted.

  • Betsy

    Guess I’m going to have to go against the tide on this one. While I think we should quit things the Lord shows us are not His best, I didn’t get that attitude from your post. It came off a bit more selfish. (sorry, not trying to ruffle feathers)

    Our time, like our money, isn’t really ours. God gave it to us to be used for His glory. So yes, we should quit things that aren’t giving Him glory, but I think we all realize that just because something is hard doesn’t mean we aren’t called to be there (much like being a parent, as suggested above).

    Perhaps we are looking at this from the wrong side of the issue. Back up and be more proactive (prayerful) before committing to things. If we know God led us to the commitment, then when the going gets tough, we know we have to stick it out because we were called.

    The Bible calls us to honor our commitments, but when we have committed to the wrong things, I think quitting also calls for asking for forgiveness for committing to something we weren’t called to.

    • @Betsy,
      I completely get where you are coming from. In this particular situation, it was a civic volunteer opportunity that consisted of a lot of wasted time and silly meetings. I could never have none prior to committing what exactly I was getting into. I do think God calls us to honor commitments, the right commitments. Even with prayerful consideration, I seem find myself getting many relationships, opportunities, etc. that I don't think God would want me to stick with. Yes, I can learn to be more cautious and deliberate prior to beginning things but I also think I will have things in life I need to "quit." I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

    • @Betsy,
      I completely get where you are coming from. In this particular situation, it was a civic volunteer opportunity that consisted of a lot of wasted time and silly meetings. I could never have known prior to committing what exactly I was getting into. I do think God calls us to honor commitments, the right commitments. Even with prayerful consideration, I seem find myself getting caught in many relationships, opportunities, etc. that I don't think God would want me to stick with. Yes, I can learn to be more cautious and deliberate prior to beginning things but I also think I will always have things in life I need to "quit." I appreciate your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.

  • I quit a board position not because the cause was not a good cause, but I was not passionate about it. I only have so much time and I choose to spend where my heart is.

  • StephanieinLex

    Ah, I love the editing metaphor of one of your commenters!

    As one who has been overly involved in my 32 years, I've been learning in the last few to enact better, healthier boundaries. I'm still definitely a work in progress. Something that I heard about a year ago also helped, something to the effect of "Your hanging on to a position for which you were not intended could be keeping someone else from fulfilling God's intended role for them in the church (or whatever XYZ organization)."

  • Today I'm quitting two of my old commitments and it's really hard to tell two of my best friends I wouldn't be working on their projects anymore as we used to for so many years, but I've moved on, have some great projects on my own and just can't find the time nor the energy to continue with the old projects…

    Thanks, you're an inspiration, your post came just in time for me to make me brave enough to say, ENOUGH!

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