Lysa TerKeurst
About the Author

Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has lead thousands over the past 15 years to help make their walk with God an invigorating journey. Not...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
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Reader Interactions


  1. Lysa, I so recognize this situation, more readily than I recognize the anthills! Lord, let me see the anthill for what it is, a temptation to climb a miniscule and temporary podium, to raise myself rather than bowing low to you and your plans. Lord let me truly see. Amen
    My experience is that so often the extra time is squeezed from time set aside for The Lover of my soul. No one will notice that, I can appear more amazing than ever! Yet I know, and I miss Him, He knows and He waits, waits for the painful grace of ant bites to bring this prodigal daughter to her senses and back into the loving, forgiving arms of her Father
    Bless you Lysa

  2. Lysa,

    “Just because I can do something, doesn’t mean I should do it.” It’s only taken me 52 years, but I think that I have finally gotten better at gracefully saying “no”. One key thing I’ve learned is to not answer immediately until I have had some time to pray about it and take it to my Heavenly Father and ask Him if this is Kingdom work that I need to be doing or if it is a job better suited to someone else’s talents. I smile because I did have to learn by kicking many anthills in my day. Thanks for a great reminder this morning!

  3. Perfect, perfect, perfect! I’ve kicked a lot of anthills in my day and I definitely need to start learning the word ‘no.’ Thanks for this!

  4. Yup. I’ve made so many mistakes as well in my life and it all went terribly wrong for me.

    Good advise.


  5. I think in the saying “yes” it is usually well intentioned and from the right place. However, a little more pondering and double checking the schedule will help a ton, in my case….

  6. Oh I just loved this post! First off it reminded me of when I was young. My mom and I spent many happy hours with nature. One day we noticed that ants were moving their eggs. We back tracked to see where they had started from and then ‘picked’ one ant to follow. I think it was like 15 minutes for it to reach the new ant hill. They worked all day. By the next day I had forgot all about them and was off to do something else. I often wondered how many days it took them to move and thanked God I had that day with my mom. Thank you for reminding me of that happy memory.

    The message of your post hit right at home too. I over do it ALL the time and cause myself headaches and heartaches. I am disabled and my time is my own. When I say that I have so much to do (online) people look at me as if I am nuts. LOL! I must be!

    I stop and sit back and try to straighten myself out but a couple of weeks later? Same bundle of nerves not knowing where to turn or what to do first to catch up. I should find a picture of an ant and put it on the side of my monitor. Help me to stop and think before I kick!

    Thank you honey!

  7. Probably full of fire ants, right? This is a good reminder though to really consider something before jumping in feet first and then wondering, why did I do that?

  8. Of yes. I remember in my 40’s (20 years ago) my husband asked this question as we sat at a restaurant catching up with ourselves; “what are your goals these days?” Well it was “just survive”. He thought that was sad. So did I. I looked at what I had said yes too. It took me 2months to work myself off committees etc. and have done better since then with occasional wake up calls. Great post

  9. I will know with my mind I should say no. I will know with my heart I should say no. I will know deep down in my soul I should say no.

    I think I have an eating problem….because when I read the above sentence I completely thought of my relationship with food, binging, being a closet eater, and an introvert. I do say “No” to many things for many reasons and I should probably say “yes” more often.

    I do say “Yes” to another bite, another cookie, another bowl of ……(fill in the blank) when I should be saying “No, I am not hungry, it will not satisfy the void I am trying to fill, and simply why??? do I continue the roller coaster of food?”

    thanks for the reflective thoughts….

  10. Thank you for this reminder with such a great word picture to remember. How often I have said “yes” to things, and my motive is almost always to prove to myself or someone else that I really can do it.

  11. My tendency to say “yes” too often comes from the desire to please people. But as I’ve gotten older, saying “no” has become easier. Most of the time, if I say, “I cannot say yes to another thing,” the other person understands. She’s experienced over-commitment, too.

    Thank you, Lysa, for the wise advice (especially for the Christmas season!), and the great story to make it memorable.

  12. Lysa, you know me so well…!! I used to have a book on my shelf- “I feel guilty when I say no”. It was the title of my life story.

    “Hi, my name is Jim. I’m a compulsive people pleaser. What can I do for you that will help me think you like me?” I became a Master at knowing very quickly what I thought YOU needed me to be. “Yes, You! and You, and You.”

    In the process of pleasing (tryingto) everybody, “I” got lost. All of a sudden, I was 63 years old and had NO IDEA who “I” was. Then, 5 years ago, my Mom passed away and I became desperate to find out who “I” was. I’m discovering I like me. God Loves me. I still want “You” to like me, but most days it’s no longer a compulsion. If “You” don’t like me, we can talk about it, but if for some reason we can’t work it out, I can live with that. …Maybe, …just Maybe, it’s YOUR problem, not mine! WOW, what a concept!

    I began to see that by saying “YES” to “YOU”, I had to say “NO” to something or somebody else. Too often, that was my wife.

    As I have learned that “NO” is a complete sentence and needs no explanation, I find I am beginning to say “YES” with more enthusiasm and commitmt. Even, or perhaps especially, when “YES” leads to more involvement than I thought at the time.

    My wife is very pleased when I tell somebody: “No, I can’t help you, I have a date with my wife a that time.” …Life is good.

  13. This fall I was forced to take what I refer to as “Sabbath Rest” ; that includes saying ‘no’ to pretty much every request that came my way. It has been a very freeing time to say ‘no’ with zero guilt. (Pretty unheard of, in my world!) But I have found that saying ‘no’ has given me more time to spend with Jesus. This has been the most amazing gift of all.

  14. What a great thought provoking post! It is soo very important to value time as money. As I age I find myself wanting to do things, then ending up saying no due to drive time, cooking time & just wanting time alone or with my hubby!

    Don’t get me wrong, I love doing thins with people. It’s usually been a long work week, to tired of driving (most places are 10+ miles from home), or the weather. I don’t feel guilty saying no to certain things. I tell people work has been busy or like yesterday I had a stupid cold and didn’t want to give it to others.

    People, especially women, need to learn to balance time with family, self, work & others. It can be hard, but saying no is a start.

    Bless you!