About the Author

Kristen Strong, author of Back Roads to Belonging and Girl Meets Change, writes as a friend offering meaningful encouragement for each season of life so you can see it with hope instead of worry. She and her US Air Force veteran husband, David, have three children and live in Colorado...

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& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. I am struggling being in the middle of too many yes commitments. Yet, again. Many thanks for the reminder that it is ok to say no. Now if I only will remember this. 🙂

  2. Thanks for your transparency. I struggle with saying no, having been on the other side of others saying no to me when I really needed their support and not getting it.

    It’s important to be truthful and kudos to you for being strong. You did the right thing.

  3. I really found this story extremely helpful and absolutely true to I am sure most of us. I have a friend that totally cannot say “No” and really has herself in a tight situation. She is in her 70’s, has a husband that has physical medical problems and has also had to kind of abandon her friends, as she never has time. I used to do this, but I finally knew just as you said, I was saying yes with my words, but really “No” in my heart. I have worked 45 years as a C/S Manager for a large insurance company, and people got used to me always saying yes. I finally had to do what you did and go back and say what you said. I felt bad about that, but my home life and health was being affected by never taking time for myself.
    Thank you Kristen for your sage advice. I prayed to Jesus that He could forgive me for doing this. I hope that He did, I am 76 years old and age itself slows you down from when you were 35 years old, my favorite age. (in)courage things are perfect and I love that the Lord had me find you…………….Betsy Basile

  4. Thank you Kristen. This was a good for me today. I’ve been letting others decide my schedule lately, and when I’m “not in the mood, don’t have the time, or simply just don’t want to” I take it out on everyone instead of remembering that….
    “I appreciate it when other people interact honestly with me regarding what they are and aren’t able to do, so why wouldn’t I do the same with myself, for myself?” Amen \0/

    • I certainly get this, Janet! Sometimes, our loved ones pay the price for the wrong yes. Here’s to you and I remembering to please the Lord with our “yes’s” over others! xo

  5. I recently had to look up the definition of “to disappoint” for myself. The dictionary defines it as “to fail to fulfill the hopes or expectations of (someone)”. I have been struggling a lot lately with what others expect of me and even what God expects of me. Growing up my Dad used to tell me, “I may be disappointed in something you do, but I will never not love you.” Out of his own brokenness he tried to tell me how much he loves me, regardless of what I do or didn’t do. But, in reality that put a lot of pressure on me when I may not have known what the expectations and hopes were … I can find myself in ruts where I think God says the same thing to me. I was lovingly reminded by my husband that God does not put expectations on me because he already knows what I am going to choose, and, therefore, I can never disappoint him.

    • I certainly get all of this, CJ! The fear of disappointing others is a deep and layered thing for me, too. May we be able to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance and direction so our yes’s are in line with pleasing God over people.

      So grateful for you, CJ!

      • this was so good! i sometimes struggle with disappointing people, but with therapy and gentle reminders (that can sometimes be hard to hear), i recognize more when i say yes just because or don’t speak up at all. no does hurt a little at the time, but the wrong yes hurts a lot more later. this was the perfect reinforcement and a great reminder that it’s okay to choose me

  6. I’m so alert at reading this article. I have some difficulty saying “no” almost all the time. I can see the problem with that but I made it a style of my demeanor. I don’t like to see people need help (if I can help) and then I say no. I don’t want to be rude or unkind.

    I’m learning to just apologize and say no without guilt or sadness. It might take a while to know how to listen better to the Holy Spirit.

    God Bless all the Mothers who have dealt with this challenge.


    • Yes, it might take a while, but Lord willing, it gets easier with practice.

      From one who struggles to say no to another, thank you for sharing here, Brenda! Grateful for you!

  7. Guilty as charge, my hubby and I are both “YES” people. We need to learn to say “No” to good things and save our “Yeses” for the best, we are not superman/superwomen even though we would like to be and I find it the hardest to say no when it comes to family members. I try to learn to live one day at a time and seek His guidance and wisdom for today. Father God, Give me the courage to say “no” when needed and “yes” to the things that have eternal value. May I be a blessings to others. Amen

  8. Kristen,

    My retired pastor’s wife had a hard time saying no, She would over commit herself all the time. Then during Bible study she would lament to us about it. We told her many times “it is alright to say no”. One time a while back she did it & told someone she couldn’t do it right now. I, on the other hand, have no problem saying no. There is only so much stress I can handle. After working 40+ hrs. in days I get worn out. God would rather have a happy unstressed woman with lots to give than a worn out woman with nothing left to give.

    Blessings 🙂

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