Being Able To Say, Sorry, but No, Not Now, Not This Time.

Jenni Ho-Huan
3 min readAug 7, 2023

ENOUGH to stuff, we say. We know this, and other common-sense bytes like: Buy only what you need. If something’s been in your cupboard/larder/freezer and hasn’t seen the light of day/night, you really can give it away….or in the case of the food, toss it.

But I found that to do any of these with resolve, I need to first solve something: what is it that I believe about life?

The question can also be framed thus: what do I really need to feel like a living, healthy, growing being?

It is a never-ending question too as our life goes through seasons and changes.

At this season of your life, with all you have to grapple with (typical!) —

What brings you Life?
What strengthens and keeps you healthy — physically, emotionally and all?
What helps you grow as a person - in wisdom, fortitude, faith?

I made a clear decision to stay home for my baby twenty-three years ago. Many said it wasn’t a good decision to pare down my flock from a few hundred to one. (I was a family church pastor). I wondered too about it. But my priority led me in that direction. But I discovered that my pastoral calling wasn’t sacrificed, it just took on a very different form.

More importantly, what began as a personal conviction had within it a larger Grace: God created space, time, and enough frustration (right moms?) for me to need much more of Him. A glance in the rearview surprised me with how my focus, which from the outside looked like a reduction, was an expansion. It expanded my capacity and creativity to connect with God.

No time to pray? There’s the breastfeeding moment (when it goes well).
No time to study? There’s her nap time.
No time to socialise? Too bad! {God gave this extrovert a special Grace here: it’s called next-door neighbours. I just made friends with all of them. Also, having a welcome mat and an agreeable child helps!}

I worshipped with children’s songs and lullabies and came alive with the colour, simplicity, and sheer power of children’s books.