Do You Need To Say Yes to Less?

Almost everyone I know is busy and stressed. We are working harder than ever before and it’s taking it’s toll. God did not intend for us to live in a state of constant commotion.

How do you get your life and schedule back? Say yes to less. 

You ever eat at one of those swanky fondue restaurants? Mr. 4-Ever and I got to try one a while back. A $50.00 gift card had been tucked into a thank you card to us and thought we’d won the lottery. What a treat!

First, a bowl of melted cheese and a tray of bread cubes and small pieces of fruit was delivered along with those long pronged forks. We gobbled it all up. It was so good, I could have been done right then.

A salad bursting with flavor appeared next. You have to eat the greens to offset the barrel of cheese you just ate, right?

A pot of hot seasoned oil and a tray of raw meat and seafood followed the salad. One tiny bit at a time, we got full, but we didn’t stop because the bites were so small, we could easily fit one more tidbit in. And it was all SO GOOD! And we might never have this opportunity again!

When I was sure I could not eat one more thing …THERE WAS DESSERT!

It was a pot filled with melted chocolate, accompanied by a tray of fruit, flavored marshmallows and brownie cubes … Everything in me wanted to say NO NO!

I’d just have a taste. One bite. Oh, so GOOD! Mr. 4-Ever and I dipped every crumb and fruit cube into the chocolate and poked it into our groaning bellies till we were miserable.

Then, the bill came. Ouch! I could have bought groceries for 2 weeks!

Misery upon misery! One good bite at a time.

That’s what happens to our calendars, too.

We add one good thing after another until we are so overloaded and miserable.

Someone asks you to take on one more responsibility and you tuck it into your schedule, rationalizing that it won’t take much time. Then, you are invited to serve on a committee or board, and even though you know you should decline, the offer is so flattering, you say yes. You get invited to a party, and you say yes because you might never have this chance again.

Then the bill comes. There is a price to pay for all that good activity.

  • Sleep deprivation
  • Cruddy Attitude
  • Poor Health
  • Stress
  • Missed opportunities to do what you really want to do because you’re already booked.
  • No time to sit at Jesus’ feet.

I’ve learned the hard way to push the plate away before I feel full. And to say, “Thank you for thinking of me for (fill in the blank) but I just can’t take that on.”

No excuses. No regrets. Just an honest answer to make sure I only take on that which I am sure is God’s best for me. 

Take back your calendar!

To take back your schedule and create some margin for emergencies and personal time, you may have to: 

  • Turn down a coffee date.
  • Serve on one less ministry.
  • Take one less trip to shop for shoes, shirts and stuff.
  • Spend one less hour on FB, Twitter, or Instagram.
    Sign a child up for one less extra-curricular activity.
  • Volunteer for one less duty at work.
  • Say NO to ONE MORE episode on Netflix

Say YES to LESS!

To get control of your schedule, you may have to Say YES to LESS!

What is on your calendar that doesn’t belong there? How do you keep from being overloaded? Leave me a comment, I’d love to hear more great ideas to stay balanced. 

Scripture Refresher: “I am allowed to do anything”—but not everything is good for me. And even though “I am allowed to do anything,” I must not become a slave to anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12 NLT)

Prayer: Father, please give me the discernment to know what to take on and what to leave behind.  Give me the courage to carry out those decisions. I want to do it all, and I know I can’t. Help me to be satisfied with what really fits for my life and relationships.  Amen


  1. Sue on March 18, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    Thank you, Robyn-this really hit home for me. I have a tendency to overextend myself and then feel badly when I have to cancel. And I was just struggling with whether or not to accept another commitment when your email/post popped up. Talk about God’s timing!!!! Thank you for providing me the opportunity for reflection and discernment.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 18, 2019 at 9:26 pm

      God’s timing is remarkable, isn’t it, Sue? Permission granted to say no thanks. 🙂

  2. Sandy on March 19, 2019 at 5:11 pm

    Thank you Robyn for this. This is something I struggle with daily. I want to be there for everyone. My daughter is always saying Mom learn to say no. I have, but probably still not enough. I am working on it daily and the guilt I feel by saying no. Thanks for reminding me it is ok to say no.

    • Robyn Dykstra on March 19, 2019 at 6:21 pm

      I’m so glad this helped you to decline some offers. 🙂

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