My Word of the Year is ‘No’

Life / Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

This past week, as one year ended and another began, all of my friends on social media were sharing their “Word of the Year”. It was so fun to read their choices; words like Dream, Trust, Dig In, and Embrace.

I decided I, too, wanted a word to live by this year, so during one of my morning times with God, I asked him what that word might be. As quick as a whip, the word I heard back was “NO”.

Not, “no” as in “No, you can’t have a word for this year”; but “no” as in “You need to start saying ‘no’…and you need to say it often.”

I am entering 2018 with a *very* full plate. Between ministry, writing, and motherhood I’ve essentially walked to the cupboard of life, pulled out the turkey platter and told the world, “LOAD ME UP”!!

[tweetshareinline tweet=”I’ve essentially walked to the cupboard of life, pulled out the turkey platter and told the world, “LOAD ME UP”!!” username=”MKTiller”]

And it’s loaded with all great things, things I love and feel called to. And technically I can do it all. I can. If I hustle.

But I am so, *so* sick of hustling.

Speaker and author, Michele Cushatt, talked about workload capacity one day on her podcast Communicator Academy. She told co-host, Kathi Lipp, that her workload capacity wasn’t even a dinner plate- it was a dessert plate: only big enough for the very best things.

PREACH IT, Michele Cushatt.

This year, I am chunking the turkey platter and am reaching for a dessert plate. And you can keep your dessert sampler, I’ll just have a slice of chocolate pie, thanks very much. Maybe with a touch of whip cream.

I briefly considered quitting everything on January 1st. Just calling everyone up and declaring emotional bankruptcy. But the Lord gently pointed out the word he gave me was “no”, not “quit”. I would have to let my yes be yes, and allow these activities to run their course. Most everything ends in May.

Until then, nothing else is added to this plate. Literally, nothing. And after May, when everything ends, nothing will replace them. And in the fall, when everything starts back, my answer will be, “No, thank you, not this time”.

Lord, give me the strength to actually say no!

So what about you? Are you feeling a little ragged around the edges? Is your all-you-can-eat lifestyle just about worn you out? I pray we can both find strength and space in this tiny little word. I pray we can both start wielding the power of ‘No’.


And share your word of the year in the comments, I’d love to hear what you’re aspiring to this year!

Know someone who could use these words? Share them:

5 Replies to “My Word of the Year is ‘No’”

  1. Been a long time since I have had chocolate pie. And it’s time! 🙂 I’ve gone through burn-out and learned some techniques to help prevent it again. The visual of a dessert buffet where all looks so good but you know that if you take it ALL you’ll only be sick afterwards is a great metaphor for when we say yes to all the good opportunities out there. It’s often a decision multiple good things, isn’t it? But God’s got His idea of what He really wants us to focus on too! I’m glad you heard His way for you!

    1. You’re right, burn out is definitely the risk we take when we over load ourselves. I think my sense of overwhelm is probably the first sign of burnout, i hadn’t considered that! Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment!

  2. This reminds me of when Lysa TerKeurst wrote about the power of the small ‘no’ in her book “The Best Yes!” You go girl!! Praying for God to completely renew you in 2018 as you yield to His leadings and are brave to say no to what is not from Him! Blessings sweet sister! xo

    1. Thank you so much, Donna! And Yes!! I read The Best Yes two years ago and I think it informed a lot of the thoughts behind this post. Praying your 2018 is a wonderful one for you and your ministry as well!

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