For All the “Yes Girls” Who Need to Find Their No

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Today, I was talking with a friend, and she was telling me about some recent changes in her life. I listened as she explained how she had chosen to cut back on some things and remove some things completely — to make more space in her life for the things she wanted to prioritize. She talked about how she had slowly but surely over the years become a “yes girl” and how all of those commitments were beginning to make her tired. So very tired.

Can you relate?

I know I can.

There are so many good opportunities that come our way. We can join gyms, Bible studies, the PTO. We are invited to volunteer for various organizations, coach sports teams, be troop leaders and room parents, take classes, start a business — and so much more. The number of good things we have the ability to sign up for can slowly overwhelm our schedules if we aren’t careful.

A yes here. And a yes there. And suddenly? We are booked every weekday and barely have a moment to rest on the weekends.

There is something I find incredibly refreshing about someone saying no and pausing for a season. It makes me want to take inventory of my calendar and see if there may be some things that have reached their point of expiration. I believe it is important to encourage each other in our moments of rest.

  • If a family decides to take a break from sports? That’s okay.
  • If a parent doesn’t join a single committee, attend a PTO meeting, or sign up for a single Signup Genius all year long? That’s okay!
  • If a friend says she can’t hang out, but doesn’t give you a single explanation, and you later discover she sat in her pajamas all night binging on pizza and Netflix? That’s okay.
  • If you attend a Bible study, or a fitness class, a book club, or whatever awesome thing you do — and you ask someone to join you, but they say not this time? That’s okay!

We all experience different seasons. Some are hectic. Some are calm. And some are a beautiful mixture of both. I love the book The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa TerKeurst. In her book, she reminds readers that there are a lot of great opportunities that come our way and good things to say yes to, but that we each should consider — what is the best yes for you? For your family? For your season of life?

When I hear someone intentionally making space and saying no, it encourages me. It reminds me to think carefully before responding. It reminds me to let my yes be yes — and my no be no. And it also reminds me it’s okay and good and necessary to take regular inventory of the calendar — and to make adjustments when needed.

Rest is good. It’s important. It’s necessary.

In this moment, I am sitting out back, enjoying some fresh air and taking a moment to reflect. On my yeses and on my nos. For all of you “yes girls” out there who are feeling weary, I hope you can find your no. In doing so, you may unintentionally be encouraging others to find theirs too.

Just like a friend did for me.

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Jennifer Thompson is a stay-at-home mom of four spunky, sweet (and sometimes a bit wild) children. Like most parents, her life is spent managing the chaos to the best of her ability – some days are more successful than others. Recently relocated from Indianapolis to Nashville, she and her family are on the hunt for the best hot chicken and Bar-B-Que joints in town. Life is full of ups and downs and she hopes the words she writes will be a source of encouragement to others, wherever they may find themselves in their parenting journey. Jennifer enjoys writing about her parenting experience and life observations as a freelance writer and keeps a personal blog at www.trulyyoursjen.com, where she has fun writing when time permits. You can find her on Twitter and follow her on Facebook at Truly Yours Jen, Jennifer Thompson - writer.

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