Boundaries - saying "yes" when you want to say "no"

Just say “No.” 

Sounds so simple. 

It’s a short, one syllable, two letter word. It should be easy to say. But it isn’t. It’s the hardest word to say. 

When I was in my 20’s and 30’s, I was an energetic new mom and eager to be part of the groups and activities at my church. I said “yes” to everything. 
Every piece of advice.
Every request.
Every group.
Every chore.
Every everything! 

Does this resonate with you?

I found myself out of the house more than being home. I found myself saying “yes” to things that were not in my area of strengths. My husband never said anything, but I could tell he was feeling pretty low on my list of priorities. He was always supportive, but his eyes told me more. THEN I heard someone say, “when you say yes to something that is not in your area of strength, you are stealing a blessing from someone who could do it better because it is in their area of strength.” So, by saying yes to everything, I was stealing someone else’s blessing. 


To top it off, I was burnt out. I was tired and I was not enjoying any of the things I had said “yes” to doing. About the same time, a book came to me. “Boundaries” by Dr. Henry Cloud & Dr. John Townsend. (I highly recommend reading this book.) I took a step back. I stepped away from all of my volunteering. I spent time defining my priorities and exploring my strengths. I decided on my boundaries. Healthy boundaries. THEN when the next opportunity came my way, I measured it against my priorities and strengths. If it fit, I said “yes.” If it didn’t, I said “no”. With healthy boundaries in place, I was able to choose how I spent my time knowing I was blessing others. 

If you're finding yourself exhausted, overextended and not loving how you're spending your time:
1. Write down your priorities in order of importance. (Mine are God, Husband, Children, Occupation.)
2. Write down your gifts, talents and areas of expertise.
3. Measure each request of your time into these two lists. Then say "yes" or "no" with confidence.