About the Author

Jennifer Dukes Lee is the author of several books, including Growing Slow. She and her husband live on the family farm, raising crops, pigs, and two humans. She’s a fan of dark chocolate, emojis, eighties music, bright lipstick, and Netflix binges. She wants to live life in such a way...

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  1. Jennifer,
    It took me a long time to learn this lesson…I think the point you made about my “no” being someone else’s “yes” finally struck me. In a sense if I gave a half hearted “yes” to something I may actually be robbing someone else of their passionate “yes”. We all have certain gifts and talents and if we spread ourselves too thin, we really aren’t much good to God or others. Great points, you gave, to consider!
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • I love that point, as well. I learned that lesson a few years back when I had to say “no” to leading our church’s Christmas program. A wiser, older woman gave me that bit of advice, and it released me from the guilt. Of course, she was right — a new woman in our church took the program over the first time, and did an incredible job.

  2. I did that very same DUMB thing at the very same point in my life. What a breath of fresh air it seemed to be invited to attend meetings in my big-girl clothes and to give my opinion on something other than breast feeding and nap schedules.
    But what a mistake it was to over-extend myself. Not all wonderful invitations need to receive a no, and yeses are so wonderful when we can say them, but I’ll never forget the sinking feeling that I had in my heart over that misplaced yes.

  3. Thank you for this. I turned down a job offer a few weeks agothat looked good on paper , but not with my prorities. I am so glad you said it takes courage to say no as well as yes. And that is exactly what I told my supervisor…my no would mean the perfect yes was going to come for her from someone else. Perfect advice and timing….thank you.

  4. Good affirmation for me this morning Jennifer ~ in learning to say “no” to something (for me) where its season of “yes” is drawing to a close, which is equally hard. As you say, if I continue to stay, I may be taking someone else’s “yes” away. I need to trust that my “no” isn’t a bad thing and has nothing to do with my value or worth. <3

  5. Love this! #1 is such an important point. It used to be much too easy for me to scream “YES!” at every little opportunity, because I was trying to prove (to whom? to myself, perhaps?) that I was someone. I longed to be desired/desirable. I’m slowly learning that I’m already desired, I’m already desirable–“pre-approved,” to use your apt term. So I can allow opportunities to go to others with a glad heart even though I may still struggle. Thanks for the encouragement!

  6. Learning to say ‘no’ has been a journey and one that I still am learning, but even when it’s hard to ‘no’ I remember that saying no is saying yes to something else–like hugs and time spent with my lovelies or saying no is saying yes to more margin in our days to enjoy the sunshine streaming in the room while sipping and enjoying a cup of coffee just because I can. I need to remember that when those yeses fly out of my mouth!

    • Ah, Jessica … A joy to see you here. And with a little more margin, you can keep taking those beautiful photos I’ve been seeing over on your Instagram.

  7. I completely agree with this and appreciate the encouragement! I have a hard time walking away from potentially good things. After my first year of law school, I had a mini meltdown from the stress and wanted to say no to a leadership position in a student group the following year. But I felt I had committed and like you, went right ahead with it. I also wonder whether my inability to say no kept someone else from stepping up as a leader. Very good points!!

  8. “A yes to one thing means no to another.” So true! I used to think, if I was asked to do something, especially in church, that it had to be a yes. No more! God has helped me learn my limits and continues to guide me in all things requiring a yes or no. And yes, Jennifer, let them be just that!

  9. Sometimes I have a hard time with the guilt that comes with saying no. It’s tough to stay firm in my decision AFTER the decision has been made. Sometimes I struggle with whether that means that I made the wrong decision in the first place…we become double-minded and unstable when we doubt God’s wisdom and grace even in the midst of wrong decisions.

  10. Jennifer,
    It can be enticing to say yes when asked to do something. A half hearted yes isn’t worth it. They need & want your all in the project. I don’t say yes easily. Each project should receive 110% effort on my part. Overextending myself will do no one any good. We should allow others to have a shot at a yes. I know God will bring other opportunities. Now might just be a time of rest for you!
    Blessings 🙂

  11. So good Jennifer! I have been getting better at NO ..and found just this week I said a big No to something that would shake the balance of our family. My NO was based on values..so much of what you share is so wise and sometimes it is takes hard knocks to learn NO is part of God’s plan. So good to visit again!!