Friday, December 28, 2012

The Joy of Saying No

As this Christmas season ends and the new year quickly approaches, I find myself both reflecting and looking forward.

When I reflect on this past year, I find myself thinking about how I spent my time. Some of the things that I spent my time on felt "worth" my time. (Like my decision to stay home with Nicholas, attend the Influence Conference, or host a weekly prayer meeting in our home.) I am glad I spend my time on these things, though at times they were stretching.

I also see some things that I did, albiet with good intentions, that weren't life-giving for me or my family. (Like spending too much time on social media, or saying "yes" to a few projects when I should have said "no"). 

I am grateful that God has a lot of grace for me as I look ahead to 2013. The life-giving ways that I spent my time this last year - how can I continue to involve myself in these kinds of things? How can I live out the passions God has given me? On the other hand, how can I graciously, yet boldly say no to the things that aren't right for this season of my life? With no shame or fear of regret?

The joy of saying no to the wrong things is this - what if God has something else amazing for me? What if, by saying no to one thing, I am making room for an opportunity for God to use me? What if He wants to stretch me, bless me, and give me more than I could ever ask or imagine?

I'm reminded of a few years ago when I so badly wanted to attend a specific Bible school, which would have meant postponing trying to have a baby. This school would have been a GOOD thing for me to do, but I knew in my heart that my motivation for doing this school was wrong. So I withdrew my application. And I am so grateful that I did! Because very shortly after saying no, I found out that I was expecting Nicholas. God was making room in my life for an incredible blessing.

I don't want to lean on my own understanding. I don't want to say yes to things just because everyone else is doing them successfully. I don't want to cram my days full of things that I feel obligated to do. I want to fill my days with His ways - as a wife, a mom, a friend, an online writer, and a follower of Christ. Whether they are stretching, easy, humbling, or seemingly impossible. Saying yes to Him is what gets you through. Saying yes is what makes you look back and say, "that was so worth it."

I pray that next year in December  I can look back on 2013 and say, "wow, it was all worth it."


  1. I am with you praying for the same thing! I've said yes to too many of the wrong things this year. I am hoping for a much simpler 2013- though 2012 was not bad, I know there is a need for more "white space", room for God to move me.

  2. Thank you for the gentle reminder that saying "no" is not only acceptable, but glorifying sometimes. I love the idea that saying no to one thing opens up room for you to say yes to that which God really intends for you. Once again, I am convicted to slow down.

  3. I just want to echo Erin's comment, because she put it so eloquently. I'm learning this lesson too, that saying "no" is hard, but sometimes it is beyond a doubt the best answer.

    Love you, friend!

  4. Isn't grace just the best??? Love your thoughts on the new year! Found you through Casey! :-)

  5. I love your focus on grace in this post. God is so good and I am so frequently reminded of that when I read your blog! I know this is a topic that so, so many people struggle with (including me). You put it so well! Thank you! And I had never thought of saying no as having joy. Wow! What a beautiful thing!
    Alesha <3


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