No is an answer too

no!

No!

NO!

I have a hard time with this word–even though I can scream it in my head forever.

Instead I say:

Sure.

I can work that in.

Let me think about it.

Why is it so hard to say no?

For me, it goes back to rejection. The word “no” means that someone might not like you.

But not saying no also means that I often do things I don’t want to do.

Being a Yes Man or a Yes Woman doesn’t make you the most awesome person on the planet. It makes you a pushover, a doormat.

No is an answer too.

In fact, part of setting healthy boundaries is learning the when, where, and how of no.

I say no when:

  • Something doesn’t align with my values.
  • I’m already stretched too thin.
  • I need to disappoint the right people–i.e. my third cousin’s husband’s uncle as opposed to my best friend.

And, in case you’re wondering, saying no does not make you selfish.

This is the biggest lie in the world when it comes to boundaries.

You’re not selfish for saying no!

There are times I’ve had to stick to my guns.

If it’s not moving me forward, the answer is no.

If it goes against my faith, the answer is no.

Some things cannot be negotiated.

The right to say “no” is being challenged in America.

We need to figure this out.

Yes and no applies to everyone. Period.

Just remember that your actions must line up with your answers.

Screaming no and living yes makes you two-faced.

I want to end by quoting my Savior, Jesus Christ (since He’s the one most of us claim to follow):

 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one” (Matthew 5:37).

Why I Choose Hope

If you’ve been alive for more than 5 minutes, you’ve been disappointed.  That’s just reality.

I’ve always considered myself an optimist. Well, that was until a few years ago. Everything was going wrong (or at least I thought so) and I wasn’t at a good place emotionally.

It was the first time I was struck by how many times I practice calculated disappointment.

Let me define what I mean: Whenever I’m thinking something through, I automatically add in a measure of disappointment–sometimes more, sometimes less.

Like I said earlier, disappointment is a normal part of life. I don’t want to have a plastic, everything’s perfect life. Nobody–and I mean nobody–likes those kind of people.
But as Christians, we are called and encouraged to hope. The God kind of hope never disappoints. That’s a guarantee.

This guarantee is also why I am allowing my mindset to be changed.

When hard times come, when people fail, that’s a bummer. But guess what? Those times go away. A stinky attitude and a bad worldview doesn’t.

Here’s my advice: Don’t let past circumstances dictate your standard of living or your standard of thinking. Life is already messy enough. 
Find a way to hope for the best. I promise you won’t be sorry.

Hard Truths

I’m a bit disappointed right now. Someone I love very dearly is suffering the consequences of poor decision making. They couldn’t see beyond their situation to the bright future ahead. All that was in sight was the fallout from others’ bad choices. So much so that my friend’s ability to choose a different outcome became blurred, lost in the smoke.

Do you know what the hardest part for me is? I couldn’t help my friend.

Talking did nothing. Tough love did nothing. A great number of family and friends reached out but none of us could make the final decision and bring about a positive outcome.

Can you relate?

Have you ever been so frustrated at a friend or loved one who refuses to change despite the obvious self-destruction taking place?

It’s hard to watch someone acquiesce to second best experiences.

I apologize for being a bit worked up. My heart is aching as I think about the brokenness in my friend. And this is not a singular incident. I’m tired of watching my friends and family strike out left and right.

How about you?

I realize I’m asking a lot of questions today but it’s only because I need some answers. Strike that. I know the answers but sometimes the truth’s hard to swallow.

Here’s the truth: Blame cannot easily be laid on others when the choice has always been ours. It’s hard to watch someone falsely believe that they can’t do any better. Or for someone to know they can do better but wonder what’s the point.

This is why I’m really struggling today. I watched someone make the wrong choice. And there was nothing I could do to stop it.

Maybe you guys can help me. I’ve come to grips with the reality that it’s out of my hands. But that doesn’t make it any easier.