My husband looked at me. “Do you have enough to carry?”

I stood in the kitchen laden with two plastic grocery bags weighing down my left arm. My purse strap hung like an anchor over my right shoulder. And my right hand clutched the car keys, mail, and dry cleaning.

He grabbed the hangers and mail while I plopped the bags on the counter. “Why didn’t you ask for help?”

Breathing hard, I rubbed the red marks on my arm where the bags had cut off circulation. “It never occurred to me.”

 Asking for help has never been my forte.  Even to my own detriment.

Twelve years ago, when we moved into our home, I refused offers of help. “No thanks, I can do this.”

And I did.

My husband was on a trip. And I had a week to unpack cartons, put my kitchen cabinets in order, and hang pictures before we traveled out of town for the kids’ spring vacation. I burned the candle at both ends, and guzzled caffeinated java to keep the candle burning. Then wondered why I ended up in the emergency room with heart palpitations.

Okay, so I learned to eat better. But give me a calendar and watch me fill in the empty squares. Ask for a volunteer, and see my hand go up.  One would think I’d never heard the word, “NO.”

YES, I’ve heard of it…..

Anyway, for the past month, I’ve been preparing for a writer’s conference. I’ve spent every free moment, writing and editing.

Then last week, I looked at my calendar and there were NO free moments. My sore wrists, stiff neck, and bloodshot eyes declared, “ENOUGH!”

Time with the Lord, and family responsibilities weren’t up for debate. I had to whittle down the volunteer duties and fun activities. I had to say NO.


It was difficult squeezing that four-letter word out of my mouth.  It seemed weak until I saw the POWER.

Not only did people agree to help, they encouraged me with prayers and notes. The jobs got done. I watched the evening news and the world did not fall apart because I was not there.

In fact, thankfully, my small world was there for me!  

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 NLT)

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

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