A hard “No”

For the last two summers, I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Kenya with ZOE. And I’ve considered it, believe me. Africa has been on my heart since I was a wee girl. Each time I’ve said no with a hint of regret, but I’ve also had peace in my decision. This is not the right time in our family’s life for me to leave the country for 9-10 days.

For every yes, there is a no; for every no, there is a yes. In this season of my life, a trip to visit our working group in Kenya isn’t a good yes, so what is? What can I say yes to right now?

  • praying for our group
  • financially supporting our group
  • telling others about ZOE
  • teaching Henry what the Bible has to say about orphans
  • serving people here, in Chapel Hill
  • preparing myself for a ready answer when Henry asks about our local homeless

These are just a few ideas I thought of in about 5 minutes. The possibilities are really endless.

No is hard. It’s also liberating and powerful and – I believe – holy. No opens doors to the most beautiful possibilities, because only in the no can we say the most important yes.

To what are you saying, “No, thank you,” right now? And why?

New here? Glad you made it! I write about my unique joys and challenges as Mom to Henry, a smart, tender, quick­-witted, train-loving, autistic 10-­year­-old with an infectious smile. I long to encourage autism parents and empower all to see inclusivity doesn’t have to be difficult - it can be beautiful. Like what you see? Sign up here to receive news and occasional freebies just for insiders.


  1. “For every yes, there is a no; for every no, there is a yes.”

    Well said. Every decision goes two ways. When we give our time to something we can’t give that same time to something or someone else. When we spend money on something we’re saying we’re not going to spend it on something else.

    Whenever we spend our time, money, resources, thoughts, energy on something ‘good’ we need to decide if we’re choosing not to spend on the best.

    1. Yes, exactly. This decision might be good, but is it BEST?
      Thanks for commenting, Rodney. I apologize for my tardiness. I’ve been without internet service for 3 days.

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