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Sometimes you need to say, “Yes,” and change a dirty diaper.

Sometimes you need to say yes.

Everyone is talking about boundaries. Okay, I don’t know who “everyone” is. And everyone is probably not talking about boundaries. Everyone is probably still sleeping or wondering what they will eat for breakfast.

I told you to say no sometimes. I asked you, “Do you need to practice saying , “No?” I was so concerned with saying no, I forgot the importance of saying , “Yes.”

Boundaries are healthy. We set up fences to protect our mental and our physical health. I want a fence with a gate. I want to learn when to say yes and when to say no.

I suggest reading Boundaries: When to Say Yes, How to Say No to Take Control of Your Life. The book gives practical advice on learning how to take care of yourself.

Did you read the title? Did you notice it says, “When to say yes?”  I completely missed it. I just read the second part, “How to say no.”  I thought I was only supposed to say no. No, No, No.  I stand in front of my mirror and role play people asking me questions at least once a month. I do both parts.

“Would you like to swim across the English Channel?”

“No thank you.”

“Would you like to sew costumes for a play?”

“No thank you.”

Would you like to work Friday night at church helping hang with kids.”

“No thank you.”

I never give a reason. I don’t want to debate my reasons. I just say no, or no thank you. A polite no, with a hint of a smile. I want to be firm and friendly.

Sometimes you need to say, “Yes.”

A healthy boundary needs a gate. If you lock your gate, no one can come in and hug you.

I think I need to stand in front of my mirror and practice saying yes. Yes, Yes, Yes.

A generous person will prosper;
whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proberbs 11:25

A request for volunteers was sent out last  Tuesday for an event on Friday night, last night at my church. The request was sent out to people who regularly volunteer on Sunday mornings in Children’s Ministry. Celebrate Recovery was offering childcare so parents could see the movie Home Run, which opened yesterday. (CR stands for Celebrate Recovery)

“I’m looking for four more adults to help hang with kids on Friday from 5:45-10:00 p.m.
This is 1) a way to partner with CR and bless parents who are going to see a powerful movie
2) a kids camp fundraiser as all families helping to hang with kids earn camp money via CR!!! —”

The Pastor didn’t ask me directly; it was a group message.  I ignored the message. Someone else will help. I can stay home and write. Then I received a private facebook message on Wednesday.

“Hey Pamela,
I don’t know if you are available or not, but we have a group of 12 2& unders for Friday night and I am looking for another adult to help in there. it is from 5:45-10:00 p.m. You will earn money toward your daughters camp.

Ah, the old personal ask trick. She asked me personally. I was needed. I opened my gate and allowed someone in.

I said, “Thanks for asking. I would love to help with the babies. May I bring my puppets and wear my jammies?

I went to church and held babies. I forgot my puppets by the front door and I didn’t wear my jammies. I did show up on time with a good attitude. I said yes with a hint of a smile.  Parents were able to see a movie and have a date night; my daughter earned money towards camp and I was able to help someone and get a hug.

I won’t swim across the English Channel and I won’t sew costumes for everyone in a play, but sometimes I will hold babies, and change dirty diapers. It is as important to know when to say yes as it is to know when to say no.

P.S. on Sunday mornings in the nursery, only the Nursery Coordinators change diapers. Volunteers get to play and hold babies, no dirty diapers for them.

Say yes and hold a baby.

Do you know when to say yes and when to say no? I am still learning.

Please let me know in the comments. I would love to chat.

P.S.S. The link to the book Boundaries is an affiliate link. It won’t cost you anymore to buy the book here. Your purchase helps me buy kitty litter for my four cats. 


About Pamela Hodges

My name is Pamela Hodges. I am a writer and an artist. I write to encourage and to bring laughter. I paint cats, draw cartoons and write books for children and grown ups.

You are an artist. Yes, you are. Really.

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Get the FREE illustrated, sort of a comic book, “You Are An Artist.” Believe in yourself and your ability to draw. xo Pamela

  • Another excellent post, Pamela.

    I am learning the value of both saying “yes” and saying “no.” Some requests are easy. They need l only a little bit of thinking.

    Bigger requests require more processing for me. I realize often I will first have a reaction to the request. If I react, that clues me in to process my thoughts with God, in prayer. Afterward, I ask my husband’s opinion, if it is a big decision.

    Submitting to him doesn’t mean he micromanages me. But I have learned the hard way that asking my husband for his thoughts, if the decision is a biggie, will save me stress, struggle, and lack of sleep.

    Based on my leading from God and often my hubby, then I’ll give my “no” or “yes!”

    Getting better at deciphering “no”s from “yes”es is a skill I want to let God continue to grow in me.

    • A good skill to grow Shannon. I am working on the same skill. Life is fun isn’t it?

  • I have a hard time saying no and that is probably why I end up hunkering down on my sofa, paralyzed, because when your mind gets too confused, it says “no” for you. Sometimes I say yes when I should say no and sometimes I say no when I should say yes.

    • Yes, the old yes or no dilemma. Would you like to practice saying no? Kathleen, would you like to swim across the English Channel?
      How did you do? Were you able to say no?

  • margaret simon

    I would definitely say yes to holding babies! There are times we need to say yes. I understand that the personal message works best, but I wish some people would say yes to my mass appeals, too.

    • Margaret, I agree with you. It would be nice if a mass appeal worked as well as a personal request. I think it is the old syndrome of expecting “Someone else to do it.” Someone else will respond and I don’t have to. There is no “Someone else.”
      I love to hold babies too. Even when they spit up on me and cry the whole time.