Real Life in a Pinterest World: Saying a Purposeful Yes


Breanne from This Vintage Moment and I are exploring what it means to live purposefully in a world that bombards us with a million good things.  Online, the message seems to be that we can do it all. The truth is we cannot do everything.

We’re two moms on a journey toward being ok with this and fully embracing the season of life that we’re in–with all of its joys and limitations.

Once a month, we’ll share about our crafting fails, what we’re currently saying “yes” and “no” to, and the beautiful reality of daily life. Will you grab a warm cup of something and join us?

e hear it all the time: the concept of balance, juggling the balls of life, the pursuit of simple living.  And yet on and off-line we are bombarded with a million good things–

Beautiful DIYs, handmade projects, play groups, Bible studies, 101 toddler activities, better ways to eat, gardening & homesteading, great books, ways to grow as a mom/wife/person.

If I’m going to live purposefully, there’s simply no way I can do it all.  And yet at times I catch myself trying, forgetting that saying yes to one thing is implicitly saying no to others.

Often, I don’t realize the impact of my many yeses until I find my priorities suffering: quality time with my kids/ husband/Jesus or even just basic self-care (showering, shaving, sleep—but not necessarily in that order).


Boundaries…and Boundaries Gone Bad

This past year I simply couldn’t afford too many yeses.  It has been an unusually full one; we moved across the country, welcomed a new baby, and Hubs started grad school.

So, to guard my most precious relationships (and sanity), I made a few loose rules for myself: no additional weekly commitments, no massive sewing projects, and no double dates on our limited date nights.

I’ve kept these boundaries over the last 18 months.  They’ve brought a sense of freedom to say “no” to good things. They’ve been helpful, even necessary.

Until my reflexive no began to take the place of thoughtful or prayerful consideration.  And I got a little more focused on the freedom of no than on the reason for no.

{Example: It’s all very well to decline extra commitments in order to be available to hang with the Hubs (who’s in grad school and has limited hang-time) if I’m actually using that time to hang with the Hubs–and not scouring Pinterest, doing random crafts, and neurotically cleaning my kitchen.}

And also? Life began to get a little less crazy.  The need for saying no decreased a little.

Then I remembered: the point of a boundary is to keep the good in and the unhelpful out, but what’s good and what’s unhelpful can change as seasons of life change.


A Purposeful Yes

My life, while still very full, has gained some margin lately.  And at the risk of losing all of that margin, I’ve begun to carefully consider some new yeses:

I may not generally take on big sewing projects, but maybe I could handle doing a small one for a friend who’s done so much for me.

It may not be best for my children (or me) to fill our weekly schedule with commitments, but maybe we’re now in a season where I can say yes to one that’s valuable for all of us.

I may prefer to spend my date nights alone with Hubs, but the occasional double date, with its lovely, uninterrupted adult conversation, could be a fun treat.

I’ve grown quite comfortable with saying a liberating no.

Now I’m realizing I need to exercise my purposeful yes.

What about you?  Is it harder for you to say yes or no lately? 

And, do hop over and check out Breanne’s “Real Life in a Pinterest World” lately. 🙂 

Further Resources:

  • On growing comfortable with “no”:: Boundaries by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend
  • For those of you who blog ::  How They Blog is incredibly helpful; through the various interviews with top bloggers, it becomes clear that no one is really “doing it all”– or at least doing it all by themselves.


About Jenn

Jenn is a mommy of three and wife to her best friend. She enjoys good books, dinner guests, elevenses, and proper apostrophe use.