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I'm stuck in a moment and can't get out of it. Which happens to be the working title of a friend's written thoughts on getting unstuck and figuring out what to do with your life. So I approached said friend a couple weeks ago to beg for a preview, a nugget, anything culled form his years of living stuck and unstuck that might help pry me loose from this spot before it becomes home.

"I can do a lot of things at a passing level," I confessed. "I know a little about a lot of things. And I have opportunities in every direction. I'm frozen by too many options. I don't know what to be when I grow up. I'm nineteen again."

His advice was his story. His story took a turn toward what I perceive as the right direction when he asked himself what he was NOT going to do next. Randy suggested that when it's paralyzing for some of us to figure out what we WILL do next we need to ask ourselves the opposite question.

So I've been pondering what I will NOT do next and here's some of what I've decided - though none of this is dry yet:

1) I won't work in an office eight hours a day.

2) I won't travel more than I do now (8 days/month max) until my kids are out of school.

3) I won't take a job because of the pay.

4) I won't take a job that doesn't have a tangible impact on other people for the better.

5) I won't be a music minister at a church.

6) I will not audition for American Idol.

7) I will not wear shorts, spandex, a suit and tie or a chicken costume.

8) I will not live in Michigan, Minnesota, North Dakota, Maine or Alaska...or Louisiana, Florida, Arizona or California...or Guam...or Canada or France.

And that's about as far as I've gotten. But I'm still thinking. How about you? What WON'T you do with your life.


Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

I won't leave this world without a family legacy rooted in the fame of Christ.

Blogger Shaun Groves said...

What does that mean exactly?

Blogger Rachel said...

Those are some interesting "I will not's" Shaun. Bummer that you won't live in Michigan. It's a fantastic state (with the Unity music festival in my hometown!) Anyhow...here's my list:

1) I will not lose touch with my family, no matter what state (or country) I end up in

2) I will not turn into a negative person because of hardship or missed opportunities

3) I will not be on the road for extended periods of time if I get married and especially when I have children

4) I will not live alone (though that is flexible...I really don't want to)

5) I will not move around from church to church, but will keep one as my "home base"

6) I will not assume that I know where I'm going next. It hasn't worked yet. :) I just know I'm going somewhere. With Him.

And I have to agree with you Shaun...

7) I will not try out for American Idol. Ever.


Blogger Jeffrey J. Stables said...

Mine is corollary to one of yours, Shaun (#4). What I mean is that I refuse to have just a regular middle-class American family that just gets by. I don't want to have a "good" family. In an unselfish way, I don't want to leave and not leave behind a family known to be disciples who make disciples. Or, I don't want to raise a low-impact family.

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

American Idol is Karaoke on Crack!!! *slaps hands over mouth* Did I just say that out loud?!

Hmmmm What will I not do?...

1. I will not move out of state no matter how badly I want to.

2. I will not get a vacation this summer.

3. I will not embarass myself by doing my chicken imitation...or by playing my nose for my friends...or by wiggling my eyeballs sporadically just to hear someone say "How do you do that?" or "Ahhhewwww!!"

4. I will not get bored with my new Summer job.

5. I will not miss the Shaun Groves concert on the 18th of August.

6. I will not gain any more weight this Summer I refuse! Diet anyone yeah ...uh...me!!

7. I will not get entire funding for my college education this coming up fall.

8. I will not get my ears, navil, nose, or anyother part of me pierced when I leave home.

9. I will not tell my parents that I learned how to Salsa Dance (or any other type of dancing for that matter)...when I learn how to Salsa Dance that is.

10. I will not leave this world without loving and being loved by my other half (whoever he is)

11. I will not quit thinking about what I will not do for the rest of my life for the rest of the day...Gee thank Shaun dang skippy *rolls eyes*

12. I will not never (heeheehee double negative) figure out who skipppy is and why they go with dang.

Blogger supersimbo said...

shaun great thoughts...

1: i will not be without some form of facial hair!
2: i will not get stressed about our house, our wedding, our future!
3: i will not be rude to the "king james only" punters!
4: i will not continue this list here, instead il think about some more of these and post them on my blog!!

i like how this opens up your thoughts so much more than deciding what you "will" do.......mmm interesting

Blogger Mustard Packet Pelter said...

#1,000,576,392: I will not gloat about finally remaking my old dead blog.


Blogger Seth Ward said...

Sometimes these kind of assertions scare the crud out of me. It almost feels like it is a dare to God (some of them)

I mean, I put your No. 2 up there with "I will not cheat on my wife" So you can count on the ones concerned with family being sound decisions. It just seems like EVERY time I have ever said "i will not", I end up doing that very thing. "I will NOT work in a Church" for instance. Has been the creed of my entire life, but somehow I am working part-time in one.

Sorry if I am being too serious here but this is a real place for me right now as well. An unhealthy fear of God and of doing the wrong thing can be paralyzing and numbs your faith. So maybe it IS better to set some concrete I wills, and won'ts. Maybe if you are seeking first the Kingdom then He gives you a blank check and says go for it...


1. I won't be a hormone injector at a chicken plant.

2. I won't be a male stipper at a comedy club.

3. I won't teach middle school band

4. I won't be a wedding singer

5. I won't live in Waco again (sorry Kat! and other Wacoites)

6. see Shuan's no. 1 and imagine me screaming it while beating my chest like Kong.

Blogger Amy said...

thank you. this hits home, as I am currently frozen as well.

1) i will not live terrified of missing God's will.

2) I will not live in the States for another two years.

Blogger Chaotic Hammer said...

Seth - That's funny. I know what you mean about telling God "I won't...".

I wonder if Paul once said "I won't ever be a tent-maker again!"

Blogger jag said...

I had very well-defined will-nots when looking for jobs in high school. I grew up in Franklin and decided that I would not work at:
Pizza Hut (Williamson Square Pizza Hut, to be exact)
Cool Springs Mall
Any clothing retail store

Anyone that went to FHS in the early 90's can probably back me up that EVERYBODY worked those places.

You have a much more entertaining and well thought out list. :)

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like this idea... for me:

1. I won't stay in a job again where a boss treats me like dirt, no matter how much I like everyone else I work with.

2. I won't live my life conforming to meet other people's expectations.

3. I won't let my family run my life.

4. I won't give up my dreams.

5. I won't quite my job for a 9 to 5 punch the clock job, just to be home in time for dinner. (I'm a workaholic and I admit it0

6. I won't take a job that limits my creativity.

7. I won't stay inside all summer because it is to hot.

8. I won't drive with my windows up just because it messes up my hair.

9. I won't keep my opinions to myself when someone asks me for them just to make others happy.

and that's all I have time for at the moment, got to get back to work.

Blogger Kathryn said...

and what's wrong with Canada?!

*i say half jokingly and half sadly!*

Blogger Kathy said...

I will not judge others no matter how easy I think it would be or how right I think I am. Everyone has a heart.

Blogger FancyPants said...

I will never buy a boring pair of pants.

Blogger The Cachinnator said...

I will not throw up more than necessary.

I will not voluntarily surrender any of my limbs as ante in a game of extreme poker.

I will not direct the sequel to Titanic.

I will not be caught in a compromising position with a garden gnome.

I will not give up my boxer briefs for duct tape.

I will not attempt to unseat the Naked Cowboy as the top street performer in NYC.

I will not audition for American Idol by singing a Rick Astley medley.

Blogger Seth Ward said...

"Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you dooown never gonna run around and desert you..." come on brother, you could storm Idol with that melody.

Blogger Kat said...

Um, Seth, it's "Wacoans." I'd get used to saying it if I were you, because I also said I'd never live in Waco again, and I've been back for 4 years.

Frankly, I've grown to love this much maligned little city.

I only have one thing on my list right now:
1. I will NOT trade in The Gap for denim applique jumpers just because I'm a suburban mom.


Anonymous Amy said...

I like that Kat. Anonymous summed it up for me. I think my big one right now is:

I will not be terrified of being pregnant. (about to go take a test)

Also, I will not ever stay in a job that is boring and unsatisfying again like I am now.

Anonymous keith said...

I will not work as an assassin.

Blogger Mark said...

1. I will not take offense when someone declares they will not live in the best state of the union.

Native Californian

Blogger Nancy Tyler said...

Except for #1, my list isn't job or location-related. There are jobs and places I like more than others but if God can used me as a DC bureaucrat, He must be able to use me anywhere. LOL

But even bureucrats have their limits...

1. I will not work in the government for 35 years like my bosses have.

2. I will not take on ministry responsibilites that:

--others call me to but God is NOT calling me to.

--most other people can readily do. I know I'm wired to be a ministry starter and serve best in areas others can't, won't or haven't thought yet to do.

3. I will not go looking for somebody to get married to just because family and friends "really want to see me happy." I'm happy as I am. For now at least... LOL

4. I will not wear denim jumpers. I will not wear white after Labor Day or socks with sandals.

5. I will not go back to being a "church lady."

6. I will not stop trying to keep up with the latest music trends, technology or slang.

7. I will not sing solo for any reason in front of anyone.

8. I will not become a brunette or a blonde. Red til I'm dead. Of course, if I live to be 95, that would be kind of freakish...

9. I will not hire a lawn service to mow my raggedy yard.

10. By God's grace, I will not stop growing spiritually, or as a friend.

Blogger Kristen said...

1. I will not be a slave to others opinions.

2. I will not pretend to be someone I'm not.

3. I will not give up on living my dreams.

4. I will not waste my time here on this earth.

5. I will not live any further North than I currently do!

Blogger Seth Ward said...

Sorry Kat, I couldn't remeber if it was Wacoans, Wacoites or Wacilistines.

Waco is not that bad. It does have a Best Buy and a pretty Lake.

When Big Daddy's went south I lost my drive to visit.

Blogger marianne said...

1. I will not wear a cutesy Christmas Sweater ever again.

2. I will not obsess...so much.

4. I will not go another summer without taking my kids to the beach.

5. I will not procrastinate getting the oil changed in my car again.

6. I will not be afraid of turning on the gas tank on a gas grill any longer.

7. I will not put off going to Lowes to buy a gas grill.

8. I will not overlook the beauty of being able to feed my family chicken strips, grilled cheese or cereal for dinner with no complaints.

:-) That was fun.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with Canada?*grin*

Blogger Juliana Lovespy said...

1. I will not go to work and leave my baby with a sitter.

2. I will not let my baby 'cry it out' just so I can get more sleep.

3. I will not take my husband who works so hard for granted.

4. I will not put a television in my child's room ever.

5. I will not consider myself an old person even though I am a 37-year-old first time mommy of a baby girl.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm ..............
1) I will not make lists which will keep me in a box of what i think is right for me.


Anonymous mj said...

saying what you won't do is often the fastest way for God to put that in your path, so I try not to rule things out. Although it looks like you've got some pretty good boundaries established for yourself and your family.


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