You Can’t Say Yes to Everything: a short lesson on breathing and boundaries

Dear exhausted and overworked friend, 

I know you mean well.  I know you have the best intentions.  I know you think that it’s just another “rough patch” and if you push through, there’ll be peace and rest on the other side. 

I hate to be the one to tell you this, but there probably won’t be.  Not unless you make time for it, anyway.  

Here’s the rub, dear heart.  You can’t say “yes” to everything. 

There will always be something else that needs to get done, and someone else that’s desperate for your help. 

There will always be another event, another dinner, another project, friend to text, or charitable cause.  There will always be someone who is hungry, someone whose situation isn’t fair, and someone whose life is being displaced. 

Guess what?  You can’t save the world. You can’t do it all, all by yourself.  No matter how much you might want to. 

Now, I’m not saying to be calloused or cruel.  And I’m not demanding you close your eyes and silence your heart, because a servant’s heart is a beautiful thing.  

A heart that breaks to make the world a better place is something to treasure.  But servanthood isn’t the same as thing as subservience, and self-care isn’t always selfish.  It’s really hard to empathize on empty. 

You don’t need to apologize for feeling overburdened, and you don’t need to feel guilty for not “doing more” than you are. The reason we need to establish boundaries is because boundaries are protective.  They keep you safe and well, in order that you may serve another day.

So, breathe a little.  And consider this your friendly reminder that saying “yes” to some things, means saying “no” to other things, and that’s okay.

3 responses to “You Can’t Say Yes to Everything: a short lesson on breathing and boundaries”

  1. i have a scheduled “church gig” on March 2nd on O’ahu, and I’m supposed to minister with the Praise Team. i’ve been asking God for a Word, I thought this might be my answer. Might be. I love to praise and lead others to the Throne Room, but $ometime$ that’$ impo$$ible (see what i did there 😉

    thank you sis!

    1. I completely understand! We want to do everything we can, and sometimes we forget that even fruit bearing trees have seasons of rest. 💕 May God give you wisdom in your decision makinh!

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