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With God's help, I Provide hope and encouragement to women of faith through practical advice and tools. I blog about my personal experiences in overcoming trials, and I use my background in counseling to give tips and techniques to live a victorious life.
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It’s Okay to Say, “No”
Most people have an insecurity about saying, “No” to people
and their requests. We do not want to let people down, or we do not want people
think badly of us; which is another way to say we are people pleasers.
Sometimes, we can, “Yes” to things that are not spirit-led. Doing things to
please others can lead to burn-out, exhaustion, and frustration.
Be free to say, "No."
As Christians, we often think a good request or act of
service should be performed by us. 85% of what we do can be done by somebody else
that means we often take more of a load than we should. That does not mean we
do nothing, but often we “follow the crowd,” and are swayed by what others want
from us. We look to other people to see what we should be doing. How about
instead of following the crowd and being swayed by other people that you follow
the guidance of the Holy Spirit and do and go where He wants. You will be
surprised what God will take off your plate to lighten your load. But too
often, we never ask God what He wants us to do, we instead listen to what
others want from us or follow what others are doing. When you follow Christ,
your activities and schedules may not look like everyone else’s. You have to
get comfortable that you may be different because you are not following what
people want. So many times, people are involved in numerous activities,
committees, and services because they have a need to be validated, get recognition,
and prove their worth. In a lot of cases, these people end-up too busy to spend
needed time being refreshed and renewed in the Father’s presence, and their
cups run empty and they are doing from an “empty cup.” It is wise that we do
not let our cups run empty going and doing “good works” that we forget our
relationship with Jesus, our families, and taking care of ourselves. Yes, it may
seem selfish to prioritize this way when others are in need and we have the
answers and the time to help, but everything should be in balance. If your
priorities are out of balance, you will be out of balance. It is never wise to
serve and extend yourself if you are empty and depleted.
Learning to tell others “No” is a step to finding your worth
in Christ alone, and not based on what others think of you. Be aware that other
people may not like you to saying “No,” some may get offended, but your true
friends will understand without pressure, guilt, coercion, or manipulation. We
should all give each other the freedom to make choices that are best for us.
Everyone has boundaries but not everyone implements them.
Some people have a need to always be doing and going, and expect everyone else
to do the same. However, we are not built like one another, and some cannot go
at the pace and speed of others. In our Western culture we have more heart
disease and stress as a country as a whole compared to others, because we are
always striving to keep up, get more, and we do not know how to rest and be
still. Resting brings peace and with rest and stillness it opens you more to
hearing the voice of God. So many people say they cannot hear God, and it is
because they cannot get still enough. Most of the time their cell phones, iPads,
or other electronic device keeps them distracted. Let’s not follow everyone else
and what they are doing, but let us take time to step away from the crowds and
distractions to hear the voice of the Lord.
you say, “Yes” to other’s request for fear of letting them down? Fear of losing
their approval? Or fear they will be upset with you?
you a God-pleaser or a people-pleaser? Do you pray before giving someone an
answer to their request? (It is okay to say, “I need to pray about that; let me
get back to you.”)
you follow what everybody else is doing or do you follow the leading of the
Holy Spirit? (An example would be, everyone at your church just signed up for a
class, you don’t pray about whether God wants you there, you sign up because
you feel like you should do what everyone else is doing).
you lack boundaries? Do you have insecurity/lack of confidence? (These questions
will give you insight why you may have difficulty saying “No.”). Ask the Holy
Spirit to show you why you may have difficulty saying “No.”
Let’s look at some truths:
do and be what everybody else wants. Your confidence comes from Christ, not
what you do or who you can please. Always pray and seek God before committing yourself
to something, even if it seems good. You do not have to give somebody an answer
immediately, they can wait!
okay to say “No, “and not feel bad. We are all created differently and have different
needs. Some good responses are: “ Now is not a good time, I need to pray about
that and get back with you, I need to pray first, No, thank you, or maybe
another time.” In doing this, you are setting boundaries with others. If you do
not set boundaries with others, you could end up exhausted, overwhelmed, and
taken advantage of.
okay to not sign-up, join, or attend every activity at church, with friends, or
with family. The key is not copy what others are doing, and be God-led.
also okay to say “No” to company and surprise visits by others. It is okay to
say “No” to company that wants to drop in unexpectedly or without much notice.
Do not feel bad if you need to say “No.” You may need rest, time alone with God
and your family, or you may need extra time to prepare, and all is okay. Do not
compare yourself to someone who could at the “drop of a hat” be ready for
unexpected company. If God gives you the grace, strength and peace for company
then you know and you will have it, if not it is not going to be fun for you or
If you feel pressure, guilt, condemnation, or manipulation from others
to conform to what they want from you, then it is time to set some clear
boundaries, and possibly some consequences if that type of behavior continues.
A consequence could be separating yourself for a time or not engaging frequently
with ones who would invade your boundaries. People who lack boundaries do not
care if they take your time and energy, so you must protect your boundaries and
able to tell others “No,” and be okay with that.
If you have been married for any length of time you
know that marriage is hard work. As with anything successful in your life
putting time and effort are keys to how fruitful those things will be.
you did not have the proper role models growing up to show you how to have a
successful marriage, but you desire to have a healthy marriage.
God has brought you together with your spouse the greatest investment that you
can make besides your relationship with God is your marriage.
Anyone can have a dull, lifeless marriage, but a marriage
that is thriving takes certain elements to help it succeed. If you planted some
flowers but forgot to fertilize and water those plants they would eventually
become lifeless and die. Healthy marriages take the time to nurture and weed
out anything hindering their relationship.
Couples striving for a healthy marriage should first
ask God to cleanse their hearts of any unforgiveness, anger, resentment or
offenses of their spouse. Staying angry or rese…
you focus on the most will grow. The enemy will try to get
you to focus on what is wrong, what is not working, and what is worrisome to
you. When you lose your focus on what is
true, what is right, what is lovely and what is a good report (Philippians
4:6), you will begin to focus on the opposite of these.
to focus on the good will be a daily decision. When the enemy shows
you something that is causing fear, worry or frustration, turn away and CHOOSE to focus on the good.
→If your focus has been more on the negative lately
check to see who you have been hanging out with, what you have been reading or
watching on TV, and giving your attention to the most.
→An unthankful heart can cause you to focus on your
wants, but a heart of gratitude will cause you to focus on your blessings.
Distractions come to sidetrack you and get you to
focus on what the enemy has brought in front of you. Keeping focus on Jesus means deliberately
fading out everything that pulls you away from the…