Have You Been Should On?


I walked back along the beach from some quiet time with the Lord, reading and praying and listening. I couldn’t shake a negative feeling that I had. I couldn’t put my finger on it but it felt heavy. As I walked back to Matt and the kids I was processing with him. I had just spent 40 minutes alone, with God, I should be feeling refreshed. I should be feeling joyful. I should be feeling thankful. So what was my problem?

And then it hit me; I was being should on. Being refreshed, joyful, thankful, etc are things that flow out of a life of freedom. But I wasn’t walking in that freedom. Instead I had a long list of things that I should have been doing and thinking and feeling as a result of my own and others expectations. For example:

-We were going on a trip to visit people and ministry partners. There are always other peoples ideas of those we should visit while there or things we should do.

– I should be busy all the time or it looks lazy and like I’m wasting time.

-I should be doing more with my church, my kids, my friends, etc.

-I should have my meal plan done and ready for the week by Sunday night (although this is helpful).

-I should do ministry, discipleship, etc. just like that other woman.

The list goes on and on. And although there are a list of things that need to be done each day, and there are things that I need to do to cultivate joy, I have to take heed to the shoulds. There are certainly things that I should be doing but what is motivating them?

If I am going to walk through my day in freedom and joy I have to do one thing; There is one thing that has to be true. I have to ask myself, “Am I doing this because God has asked me to?” Am I loving God and allowing myself to love and serve others out of that? I have to ask God everyday, “What do you want me to do today and will I rely on His strength to do them?” If I’m not doing that I’m going to be should on. It’s a given for me.

I just read another insightful post on this similar topic by Beth Moore. It was called What Would You Look Like? For more thoughts from an incredibly gifted woman and teacher I encourage you to go read it.

What about you? Do you walk in freedom or are you being should on?

4 thoughts on “Have You Been Should On?”

  1. Jody! Ok, a few things: First–I love your site! I’m so sorry it has taken me so long to get over here. I get should on all the time! (And that is hilarious.) Second, I didn’t know you were published in Don Jacobson’s book! You humble girl, you never even told me. I had to pick it up and see your name there! 🙂 Anyway, it was so great to see you this weekend; and I hope the conference was encouraging. You’re such a beautiful woman, inside and out. I hope we can stay in touch? Maybe you’d guest post for me sometime?
    Love you!

    • Thanks Kari! I would LOVE to stay in touch and I should have thought of having you guest post for me a long time ago. And I would be honored to guest post for you sometime. Seriously, honored. So thankful for you and your friendship and all that you share through your writing. Love and blessings to you!

  2. Thank you for this post Jody. I’ve been battling the “shoulds” all week as well as “to do lists”. When I allow myself to get to this point (overwhelmed by the doing) all I want to do is sleep and eat and eat some more (chocolate). So, thank you for the reminder that I don’t have to “Do”!


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