When the Bravest Answer is “No”

A few weeks ago this write from home, sell books from home mama, got offered a real life get up every morning and head to the office job. It wasn’t just any job. It was a dream job that would place me right smack dab in the middle of work I left when my daughter was born, work I loved, work that matters in the greatest sense of the term.

It left me with a HUGE decision to make and I swallowed hard at the notion of leaving my babies for most of the day AND at turning down such an amazing job. I told my husband I wished the whole opportunity would disappear so I didn’t have to make a decision. He laughed and shook his head at his wife known for her flight response to decision making.

It took me a solid week of wrestling, questioning and lisped prayers to come to a decision. I didn’t make the decision the world deems brave or boldly feminist. No, I decided the best thing was for me to keep faithfully doing what I have been doing for nearly five years by staying at home with my children and working the little plot of life within my four walls God has given me. I turned down an amazing job in ministry to continue focusing on the ministry which is my family.

But there is this fear…fear that the dreams I have in my heart won’t ever get the sun and light they need to grow. What if the opportunity never comes around again? Am I simply too weak to “do it all”?

Don’t get me wrong, I adore staying home with my children and watching them grow day in and day out without pause. I never miss the small or big moments and my heart swells knowing I get to be the one who marks those milestones with them each day. I don’t take that fact for granted nor do I want any of you working full-time mamas to hear condemnation in this bit of writing. No, all of us mamas, regardless of how we do this motherhood thing have got to stick together. Motherhood is hard no matter how you slice it and we don’t need to play the grass is greener game.

It’s only that a part of me wants to chase all these wild, fearless, bold and brave dreams where I get to build a ministry and make an impact on a large scale. Then I get up in the morning and I realize I like slow mornings with eggs in the cast iron skillet, reading to my children before rest time and squeezing in a workout between nursing times. My heart and stomach sink at the thought of missing these little years even though the ministry right before me is found in repetitively mundane and a whole lot of believing Jesus has called me to this season of life fully. I am the feet of Jesus when I’m washing dirty clothes and loving my family just as much as when I’m counseling a young woman about her worth and value to the God of the universe.

I said “no” to a good thing. I said “no” to ministry. I said “no” to the thing that looks more spiritual.

Sometimes the bravest thing we can do is to say “no” to the one thing that looks as if we should say “yes”. I wish I could say I did it without some wrestling or wondering if I would disappoint people. I worried about admitting I had turned the opportunity down. I was concerned it meant I wasn’t a strong woman. When I finally settled on “no” I felt peace invade my spirit. It was a confirmation that I could say “no” and still have the favor of God on my day to day. Because aren’t we all afraid of somehow falling short of where God is calling us? I am so quick to forget the Gospel relieves me of the pressure to be perfect. We need Jesus because truthfully the Gospel is proof that no one, not one person can “do it all”.

Here I am sitting in the middle of a Monday with this huge decision in the rearview mirror. I still get aggravated with the dust bunnies, four year old tantrums, babies who wake in the middle of the night and not enough of me to go around, but the hard choice of not pursuing a dream at this time has left me trusting the grace which is now. For now, I will crack the spine of God’s Word and dive deep believing I am called to now, and some tomorrow I will wake up to pursue other things God has placed in my heart. I will be no more called then than now, but maybe, just maybe I’ll be a bit braver to trust God with it all.

Have you ever been fearful of making a wrong choice? How has God met you in your fear and confirmed His calling for your life?


  1. Devi May 1, 2016

    I think so many of us can relate to what you’ve written here. One thing someone told me is that there is time – there is time for my dreams and desires, and there is time for the kids. Sometimes it’s not always when I want it, but my life isn’t going to be just small kids forever, and their season at home is short. That being said, I still find it necessary to take time out for myself daily and weekly to invest in my passions. I hope that my boys see that and learn that a woman isn’t merely an accessory to their lives, the one who makes their life happen if you will, and I hope it leads them deeper into living a purpose-driven life. Our yes’ and no’s are so tricky, but I’m thankful that we can work those things out with Jesus – he is so kind and faithful.

    1. Jessica Hoover May 3, 2016

      I actually wrote a post about this very thing on my blog (it includes the same story) just last week. Yes, there is time. It’s such a small snippet of life and there is life before, during and after these intense years of motherhood. It is tricky, but I want to try and navigate that trickiness with as much grace as possible. I think many of us want the same thing for our families.

  2. T May 2, 2016

    I like what Devi wrote here…my kids are in school part of the day (hardly ever at the same time, though; seriously it is at best 3 hrs per week!!), and after reading the Fringe Hours and watching some of her podcasts (Emily Freeman), I realized that I can take some minutes/hours in my day and use them to move towards what I am interested in (like how Devi said she takes time out to pursue her passions).  Jessica must already do this, as she is a pretty prolific writer?!?!  🙂  So, I’ve been listening to business podcasts and reading lots of articles and even doing a free accounting course online to prepare for my future.  As Emily explains in her book, it is helpful to do something that brings us some energy and can really change our lives!  I’m really feeling so much better about my life, just from this little tweak.

    1. Jessica Hoover May 3, 2016

      I couldn’t agree more! It’s not something I touched on in this post, but it’s so important to  do things that are life giving. Even if you can’t wholly pursue a passion you can still find ways to do the things that bring you joy and spark something inside. Writing is that for me. Serving in other capacities with things I am passionate about- such as Velvet Ashes, etc…

      1. Rachel May 4, 2016

        I love this string of comments about carving out time to do what brings us life, even in the midst of the busy years with young children.  I just recently (and also inspired by Emily Freeman!) began to “hide away” several times a week just to write.  It is a small change, but it is one of the best small changes I’ve ever made!  I believe it makes me a better wife, mom and friend!  So encouraged to hear others are finding this as well and that you are also encouraging it.

  3. Christina Davis May 2, 2016

    I applaud you. Saying no to something good, may in fact give you something better in the future. Like when those wonderful little lives you are investing in for the kingdom of God grow up to follow Christ and even your example.  When they say thaks mom for making our house a home full of love and kindness. Lives for accomplishment is a fair trade I think. I wish I was brave enough to say no to some  good honorable things sooner.  Hindsight, is good, wisdom and courage is better. 🙂 Somethings can be saved for later, somethings cannot. Blessings to you as you minister in your home to your family, instilling in them that they are deeply loved by the Father as you love them.

    1. Jessica Hoover May 3, 2016

      I adore what you said “Hindsight, is good, wisdom and courage is better.” Oh my, yes! I think we all have things that are “hindsight 20/20” kind of issues. God can redeem those things, no doubt, but it is wonderful to pursue in the present our calling with abandon. Thanks for your sweet encouragement and wisdom Christina!


What do you think?

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.