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Learning to Say No (from a reformed people pleaser!)

If you read my word of the year post you may recall that my 2018 word of the year was JOY.

Both 2016 and 2017 were absolutely insane while we transitioned from military life to civilian life and navigated all the (many!) ups and downs of trying to figure out our next move as a family.

2016 was a year filled with a big push to finish renovations on the house we had purchased as an extended flip. We purchased the home where we were stationed at the time and we were doing most of the work ourselves - a big undertaking!

Then, my husband’s training program for his new career sent him away for four months, leaving me to wrap up all the unfinished projects at our house before getting it on the market. Simultaneously, I was coordinating a move to a different state.

And...I was juggling my other roles: being a work from home mama to our daughter, running my direct sales business, and serving as the creator/head leader of a moms group at our church.

I was stretched, to put it lightly. (And I’m exhausted just revisiting this season!)

My head loved each piece of life that I was investing my time in. But my heart was stretched really thin. There were moments it felt like I was running around like a chicken with its head cut off. There were moments it felt like too much. I was living in pure survival mode.

That was the year I learned that it wasn’t possible to be all things to all people. I had to start taking some things off my plate and figure out how to say no.

If you're a people pleaser (like I was!) you’ll especially resonate with this. A lot of things we commit to are with good intentions. Most of the things I originally said yes to, I really wanted to do. Some I said yes to because I was afraid of letting other people down.

I had to slowly start peeling back the layers to identify my highest priorities. And give my soul space to focus on surviving so that I didn’t break. I had to learn how to ask for help. (Eek!) This was a big and humbling lesson - more on that later. I had to learn to start delegating and also determine what I just couldn’t commit to at the time.

Through this process I realized that it’s ok to show up with an honest heart and let someone know that I can’t continue with a commitment when I’m overloaded. And you know what? I discovered that people respected me more because I was learning to set boundaries. There is nothing worse for a people pleaser than saying yes to something with a completely full plate, stretched to the limit, and realizing you’re not doing anything you committed to well. If you're like me, you may have even uttered this statement before…”I'm trying my best, I don’t understand why people are disappointed in me.”

When I learned to take some things off my plate to get us through that crazy season of life, I felt more free. The burden of having so much weight on my shoulders started to lift a little bit at a time. It was enough for me to focus on the really important things that had to get done during that time - that only I could do.

I scaled back my business a bit. I committed to maintaining where I was, but got really honest with myself that the season I was in just didn’t match up with a huge season of growth in my business.

Next, I passed the baton of moms’ group head leader. And I realized my willingness to create something and then pass the baton allowed others to step up and answer the call of leadership. It provided space for them to use their gifts and talents to serve and bless the community. There were so many lessons that came out of this - but that’s a story for another time!

After walking through the journey of slowly taking things off my plate (because, let’s be honest - I was a tad stubborn thinking I can do all things by myself), I realized there was so much freedom and peace on the other side.

By the end of 2017, I was physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted. I had walked through the fire and pushed myself beyond what I thought I was capable of. Even though my soul was in desperate need of rest, I will forever walk forward from that season of life with a sense of empowerment...knowing that I am stronger because of it. I don’t know that I’d wish to do it over again, but I own it and appreciate it for teaching me more about myself, my faith, my family, and life in general.

I entered 2018 with one rule for myself. I was going to take an entire year and not commit to anything! (Ah! Soooo hard for someone with the innate reaction to jump in and help whenever I can!)

But I stayed true to my intention for that year, knowing that my soul needed time to heal, reflect and find JOY. I recognized that I needed to rediscover who I was, prioritize what I valued, explore what really filled my soul, and determine how I could best use the gifts and talents that I have been given to serve others. It became clear that trying to serve everyone often meant that I was letting someone down or that I was giving less than 100% to all involved.

Here’s the truth: the people and projects that you decide are most important in your life and worth keeping deserve 100% of your efforts. I believe God created each of us with special gifts and talents. I believe those gifts and talents can be used to create waves of change in this world, *if* we harness them and give it our all.

Have you ever experienced a season like this? Or maybe you’re wading through these waters right now with virtual school, zoom calls galore and trying to keep the holiday magic alive for your family! Drop me a comment below - I’d love to hear how you’re navigating this season.

Make today a beautiful day,



Hi, thanks 

for stopping by!

I hope you’ll find something that lifts your spirit, sparks inspiration, and reminds you to seek beauty in this crazy world. I’m looking forward to sharing more, and hope you’ll be along for the journey with me. 



Thanks for

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