i just emailed someone to excuse myself from a creative planning dreaming meeting on Wednesday.

i imagine it is going to be an amazing meeting. i believe i would have gotten a lot out of it and also hopefully been able to put a lot into it.

But i realised on the weekend, that i don’t have the capacity for that meeting and that going to it will not be healthy for me, in a time when i feel quite overwhelmed by life and activity and future transition.

One of the lessons i am trying to learn at the moment [again!] is to say “No!” to good things.

Not all good things are my good things.


i bumped into Terran Williams at the dvd shop on Friday with a few of his children [that dude had a LOT of children, of which the last two snuck up on him in twin form! Surprise!] and we chatted a little bit about life and busyness and his new blog, which is called The Dad Dude.

You should totally check it out if you’re a parent.

Seriously, this guy is legit, check it out:


Or  maybe it’s his wife Julie who is legit as evidenced here.

i had bumped into Terran a few months before he launched his blog and he told me about the idea. That he was going to be posting once a day and….WAIT, WHAT, HOLD THE PHONE! Let’s back up a little there. One blog post every day? You’re crazy, son.

Terran, for those who might not know, heads up a church and is married with five children and does a lot of other speaking gigs and so going from no blog posts ever to one a day felt like a bit much.

On Friday at the video shop he remembered that moment with me and laughed – others had told him the same thing and he had listened to reason and gone with one post a week and was still feeling it.

i have no doubt if Terran posted once a day it would be incredible and transform lives – i just jumped into his blog now to check it out and the three posts i read are all as much as i would expect from this passionate, crazily talented guy – but at the moment five good blog posts a week is probably not a good “Yes!” for Terran to give.



i remember learning to say “No!” when i was in teacher’s training college and it was one of the best lessons i ever learned. So how come 20 years later i am still trying to learn to say “No!”?

Because there are a lot of good things in the world. And a lot of things i would be good at. But i can’t do them all, i just can’t. And there are a number of reasons.

# Sometimes you don’t have a healthy capacity to do more things, either because it will affect you personally [healthwise, emotionally, spiritually] or because it will affect other people [rob you of time meant to be spent with your wife or husband or children or family or friends].

# Sometimes you saying “No!” to something means that someone else gets an opportunity they otherwise might not have had. If that person is younger or less experienced it might give them an opportunity to grow, learn, develop, be noticed. Sometimes your “No!” is a great “Yes!” for someone else.

# Sometimes you are saying “Yes!” out of guilt or a sense of compulsion or duty that may not be real or necessary or helpful.

# Sometimes saying “No!” to a second thing helps you do the first thing so much better. [And sometimes that might be 8th and 7th thing].


This is a lesson many of us need to learn and it can be helpful to invite your close people to help you learn it well. Because there are also times when some of us need to be saying “Yes!” to more things and so the “No!” can become an excuse or a place to hide or the go-to response and that is not helpful either.

Invite people in. Ask for opinions, thoughts, ideas on the kinds of things you might be better off saying “No!” to. Try and develop a system of maybe pausing and not giving an immediate “Yes!” when you are asked to do something, but take time to think and consider and pray and wait and make a decision outside of the moment [Yes, i’m talking to myself here!]

Learning to say “No!” well, will very likely increase the quality of every “Yes!” you say from now on. 

[For my most popular blog post this year about Terran and Julie, click here]