A Blessing When You Have to Learn to Say "No" - Kate Bowler

Complicated Grief and Complicated Love with

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A Blessing When You Have to Learn to Say “No”

Bless you, you big hearted one.
You who always show up or stay late or offer to bring dessert.
You who are the first to volunteer or drop off dinner or help them move.
(Really… when do we age out of helping people move? Asking for a friend.)

You offer a gift of love that doesn’t keep score
and time that doesn’t count down.

But things have changed.

The chronic pain or disease or grief or just life itself
leaves you with less.
Less to give. Less to offer. Less to pour out.
Dear one, hear me:
Acknowledging the less does not make you less.
It just makes you human.

Bless you as you ask for the help you so readily give.
May you be met with the same love that you’ve always poured out.
And may you find ways to give still
that fit the shape of today’s available spoons.
Not more, not less.
Just what’s right for now.

This blessing was inspired by my conversation with Melissa Urban on the Everything Happens Podcast. Listen to it here.

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Eva Popovich
4 months ago

This is so important. Being brought up byva mother who always told us that my purpose in being was to help, to give: nothing was more important.
But…God loves a cheerful giver. A happy heart.
Enter balance, stage right. Caring for yourself to bring you to that place where your heart is able to open and share with joy, that IS important. God wants us to care for His creations, even us!
Thank you again and again, Kate!

Monte Prater
4 months ago

I love this one today! As someone almost 80 whose husband died very recently, I am recalibrating my life. Your imagery frequently touches me, especially today’s spoon reference. Thanks–

4 months ago


Prg Marose
4 months ago

This reminds me of my aunt who died recently, 19 days shy of 100 years. Thank you, Kate!

Lynne Townend
4 months ago

I needed to read this today. Thank you.

Karen Nast-Kolb
4 months ago

Thank-you Kate for this beautiful blessing. I am 75 , a widow and find that saying yes keeps me strong and prevents me from wallowing in life’s hurts.

Lindsay Wieland Capel
4 months ago

This brought me right back to a season when I had postpartum depression. As a Social Worker, I’m used to being the helper. I was struggling to ask for help. A wise friend told me, “There are seasons where you are the helper, and seasons where you need help. You’ll be a helper again but right now you need help.” It made all the difference. Thank you for this beautiful blessing, Kate.

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