Saying No to Say Yes

by Jennifer A. Janes

Saying No to say yes

Summer rolls into fall, and I’m overwhelmed. The routine and accompanying peace I longed for during the busyness of the heat of summer hasn’t materialized like I imagined. The activities have changed, but the pace is still too fast, and it’s all too much. I feel like I’m not doing anything well, although I work from sun up until way past sundown, and I’m tired. And what about writing those books God has laid on my heart? It’s not happening. There’s not enough of me to go around.


This is how I felt for weeks this summer, and especially after we started our new school year at the end of July, as we entered fall. I kept praying for God to show me what to do, and although I felt His nudges, I wasn’t convinced they were really Him. I was having trouble hearing Him and knowing what was Him and what was just me—overwhelmed and ready to quit.


Then I attended a blogging conference a few weeks ago. Being at a church camp in the Ozarks required hiking up and down the hill between meeting rooms, and in the quiet of those walks, God met me. He let me wrestle with Him as I tried to figure everything out, and then He gave me some confirmation about the things I was feeling led to do.


The first session I attended at that conference was with Tricia Goyer, and when she asked us to look at the goals we have for our families and our writing and cut everything out of our schedules that doesn’t help us to meet those goals, it took my breath away. Then I came home and read Rebecca Brandt’s The Homeschool Mother’s Journal: A New School Year and started working through my family’s mission statement and taking yet another look at my weekly calendar. I knew that I had allowed many activities to creep into my daily routines that were not helping me serve God and my family better, homeschool my children with excellence, and fulfill God’s call on my life.


After some serious talks with God and very difficult decisions, I am slowly bringing my weekly schedule back into line with the God-inspired goals for my family and me. And you know what? I’m not as busy. I’m not as overwhelmed. I’m not as tired. Life is fun again. Homeschooling is fun again. Writing is fun again.


Sometimes we forget that certain activities are not ours to take on. Other times we forget that some activities are ours, but only for a season. Ask God to help you discern what’s yours to keep, and what it’s time to let go of. Sometimes we have to say no to say yes.


What do you struggle with the most? Saying no to volunteer opportunities, kids’ activities, or something else? What can you say no to so you can say yes to your family and your calling?


Jennifer A. Janes


Jennifer lives in Arkansas with her husband Jeremy and their two children. She spends her days in the Word, homeschooling her children, reading, writing, and getting her younger daughter to and from specialist and therapy appointments. She loves the cooler temperatures of fall, iced tea, and writing in blue ink. She shares about faith, family, homeschooling, and parenting a child with special needs on her blog.