That dirty, ugly, beautiful word.

You know the one. The one we, as women, just can’t bare to say. For some reason we treat it like a swear word and gasp at the idea of it ever coming out of our mouths.

NO.

Woah, I know. It’s a bombshell for sure. And it’s one that I am in a season of learning how to use.

So, by nature, my knee jerk reaction to anything I’m asked to do is “absolutely!”. I do, after all, have a servant’s heart and a servant NEVER dares to say no, do they? Growing up in the church, especially as a woman, I believe we are taught this principle. You do what’s asked of you and you always look for opportunities to serve more. Need more volunteers for nursery? Sign me up! Need someone to help stay to clean up after an event? Of course I will. Need another small group leader? Well, you’ve found your girl. This is who I am, right? I’m a servant, so I can’t possibly say no.

Oh, but you can, my friend. And this is what I am learning. You are 100 percent in control of the choices you make. If you are bogged down, worn out, and just plain tired, that is ENTIRELY your fault! Now, I know that sounds incredibly harsh, but we’re all grown ups here and frankly, we need harsh sometimes. We need to know that submitting ourselves to the hustle and bustle and the go, go, go has landed us in this place! So, what do we do?

Well, we take a look at our lives. We take a look at all our “yes’s” and we figure out what’s truly important to us and a real necessity, and what we could respectfully step down from or cancel. Because here’s the thing. All those well-intentioned yes’s have also lead you to unintentionally say a whole lot of “no’s” too. Yes to leading another small group? No to the kids needing one on one time with their mom. Yes to a girls night out with friends? No to your husband wanting some quality time. And those no’s? Those are going to impact your life a heck of a lot more than all those yes’s you’re busy handing out. And here’s the thing, I’m not saying say no to everything! I believe leading small group is great, I believe girls nights out are necessary, I believe these are innately good things! But, what I encourage you to do, is begin to actually think and weigh your answers before blurting them out. Think what saying yes to something else will mean for your family, your kids, your husband, your time with God, your “you” time. If the yes is going to suck the energy out of the things that really matter in your life, maybe a polite pass is a good idea. One day, down the road, you’ll look back on your life, and do you want to say “I did a lot of stuff” or do you want to say “I did what was important and what I was passionate about”. It’s just that simple.

So, I give you permission. Say no. It’s really ok. You are giving someone else an opportunity to step up and shine. And that’s great! And you’re giving yourself some freedom and peace. And that’s AMAZING. You can do it. NO.

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