I know that this problem of not being able to say "no" affects not only pastors wives but also so many of us, including stay-at-home mothers/wives. Maybe it is because some feel guilty for not "working" and feel that they should have the extra time to say yes. Even though every stay-at-home mom knows that we truly have a calling and that taking care of our children and household is our God given area of service, it is so easy to feel obligated to say yes to every person who asks something of us. "Yes, I'll bake a two dozen cupcakes for school snack." "Yes, I'll come to that event." "Yes, I'll..."
I am working on learning to say "no" and, since Sweetpea's birth especially, have had to decline several opportunities to help out around the church. This is hard for me since I was so involved with Jon in every part of ministry prior to having children. Our Heavenly Father is slowly working in my heart to help me realize that my first and foremost job is to raise Buddy and Sweetpea and then to accomplish certain tasks that He places in my life. It isn't my job to overwhelm myself with volunteer work so that Buddy and Sweetpea and my house are neglected. Someone once told me that every time I choose to say yes, when I should be saying no to a task, I could possibly be taking the opportunity for someone else (even the one Called) to say yes with complete enjoyment and fulfillment. There has to be a balance in life between working hard for the Lord in ministry tasks and balancing my home, husband and children. Sweetpea and Buddy will only be young for so long and if I miss opportunities to enjoy being home with them, I won't be able to get those days back.
You may think that I'm contradicting myself from my post My Children Are Not an Excuse but I don't see it as a contradiction. I think learning to say "no" to some things is saying "yes" to more important things. If my Lord is calling me to work in a ministry then I should by all means say yes, but if He is reminding me to protect the sanctity of my family time, then I need to say no guilt free. This is where the struggle lies, finding the balance and learning to listen with open ears to what the Holy Spirit is telling us to do.