Just say ‘When’

15 Sep
hanging with baby girl at Wrightsville beach....

hanging with baby girl at Wrightsville beach….

“An elderly lady enters a local diner and approaches the nearest table. She drops her heavy parcels onto the floor and eases herself into the booth. She is tired and hungry. She has been running errands all morning and has stopped to get a cup of coffee and a donut before continuing on with her chores.

 The diner is almost empty. A weary waitress shuffles over toward the woman’s booth. She carries a steaming pot of coffee and automatically begins to fill her cup. The piping hot coffee begins to fill the expectant, up-turned cup, and the rich aroma wafts into the air. Almost as if she was talking to herself, the waitress mumbles, “Just say when.” The coffee swirls wildly around the perimeter of the cup and quickly reaches the brim. It starts to overflow and splashes onto the table. The woman, who was only half-attentive, finally realizes that she had let it go too long before stopping the waitress. She smiles and says what should have been said a little sooner, “When.”


 The waitress had asked her to say when; she left the control of how much coffee was to be poured in the hands of the customer. But the woman was tired. She wasn’t paying attention, and she expected the waitress to notice that the cup was filled.

More often than not, many of us sit quietly through life relying on others to see when the cup is filled. Like the cup, we are vulnerable to what people pour into us, but we tend to hope that they will see what they are doing to us and stop when it is too much. The truth of the matter is most people will keep dumping and dumping into you if you do not speak up.

People who don’t speak up can find themselves in trouble because they didn’t take control of the situation and speak up when they had had enough. They let people keep pouring on more problems, more burdens, more responsibilities. They didn’t pay attention or else just kept their mouths shut, and before they know it, their life is overflowing with too much to do, too much heartache, and too much misery. They don’t say anything and they wind up with nothing but one big mess to clean up.

You need to tell people when to stop. If something is not working for you, if someone is doing something you don’t want them to do to you, you better take control of your life and be the one who says, “When”. Your life is too precious to leave in the hands of someone else. You cannot expect someone else to take care of you. You cannot expect someone to tell you when you have had enough. We cannot trust our lives to anyone. God is the only one we can trust to steer our lives. Other people can act as advisors but never allow someone’s opinion to outweigh your own. You have to speak up and be heard. Lift your head, raise your voice, and shout out loud, “When!”


Overloaded people fail. They always have and they always will. They fail at marriage, ministry, and management. They fail at parenting, partnership, and professional endeavors. Motivated by the desire to please, impress, or otherwise gain commendation, they take on too much and, in the end, fail to reach the heights of success or else crash because they ignored their limitations.

In order to maximize your life, you have to minimize your load. You must decide what you will and will not take on. Every situation that arises does not deserve your attention. Some things should be dismissed as just nuisances and distractions. Choosing which to respond to and which to ignore helps you to maximize your life.” ~ Maximize The Moment by T.D. Jakes.

This was the opening chapter of the book. I was sitting reading and waiting for the guys to give me the signal that my car was ready at Auto Bell and I felt a post brewing. Only the day before I had my Minister’s evaluation and one of my growth areas was BALANCE. Balancing family, ministry, work, friends and me. As I read the line ‘in order to maximize your life, you have to minimize your load’, it resonated in me. I am undertaking a specific assignment for God and to be successful I have to be laser focused to accomplish it! It is so easy to get caught up doing a bunch of things. Especially when you love to ‘help out’ and have a ‘fix it’ mentality. Something and someone is going to go neglected. Family is the first ministry God has given me and I have to make sure they don’t go neglected.

jet skiing in the Atlantic Ocean...

jet skiing in the Atlantic Ocean…

For some of us there are some people and emotions that we have to release in order to minimize our load. People who are draining or offer negative energy. This might be rough but it is part of the pruning process. Pruning never feels good, but it is best for the overall health of a plant. I guess it is all about learning to say ‘When’ because at the end of the day to be successful we have to maximize each and every moment. How do you keep balance?

I read this somewhere: Success is being where God wants you to be, doing what He wants you to do, when He wants you to do it 😉 🙂

Be Blessed



Posted by on September 15, 2013 in Daily Inspiration


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

12 responses to “Just say ‘When’

  1. journeyofjoy

    September 16, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    What a good admonition, with great words of wisdom JC. I love that quote “In order to maximize your life, you have to minimize your load” and this is precisely where we are right now. Simplifying yet again. It’s been a busy, busy summer and I know it’s time for us to say “when”. Thank you for good pointers/reminders and great admonition. God’s purest blessings to you!

    • JC

      September 16, 2013 at 3:53 pm

      Hi Marlene 😉
      You crossed my mind as I wrote this, especially when I thought of the upcoming book and where God is going to take it 🙂 Get ready!
      I like the same quote you like. I want to be focused like a laser…
      Thanks for the comment (by the way, I deleted the other comment)
      Blessings always my sister 😉

      • journeyofjoy

        September 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        I took a deep sigh –just to think you thought of me.., the book, the plate that needs to be totally downsized.. was truly heartwarming. Thank you SO much! I covet your prayers and I am humbled you would remember.

        • JC

          September 17, 2013 at 1:56 am

          But of course 😉 🙂

  2. Prodigal Daughter

    September 17, 2013 at 5:46 am

    I believe I agreed with myself to say when just couple of days ago. Learning to say stop to people who just dump and dump regains a little bit of ourselves that we freely give away. Thank you, under confirmation!.

  3. JC

    September 18, 2013 at 1:11 am

    Thanks for the comment. I love the ‘”freely give away” part.

  4. worshipandswag

    September 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Very simple yet powerful way of alerting us to the dangers of being too negligent with ourselves! The pressure is too much but with reminders like this, we’ll surely overcome. Thanks again! 🙂

    • JC

      September 21, 2013 at 2:54 am


  5. Mary C Wilson Andrews

    September 21, 2013 at 2:32 am

    I love how concise and precise you are in this post regarding boundaries in all aspects of life.

    Too often, even the church, puts pressure on everyone to feel that they must be “all things to all people”, but as the body of Christ, we are all different and it is okay to say No to things that are not our gifting (even things that we are gifted to do) because saying the NO’s, as hard as they can be, frees us up to say Yes to the better things that God would have us to do!

    You are a blessing to me and I always enjoy reading what you post, Mary

  6. JC

    September 21, 2013 at 2:56 am

    Thanks Mary,
    You are right No is liberating. My Pastor always says No is the most powerful word on earth and Yes is the most powerful word in heaven 😉

  7. nopew

    September 21, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    I’m glad the mosquitoes brought you to my blog. I have browsed a little and find what you write, and how you write it, inspiring. What you cover here is worth at least a week of feedback comments, but I can’t do that. The spiritual wisdom underneath these words provides solid footing for what you say. Life runs so fast right now I have been cutting back on the blogs I follow, but I feel drawn to make an exception here. I am blessed by your gift.
    Just to be clear, I discern that this time NO would NOT be the right answer 🙂

  8. JC

    September 21, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Ha 😉 Thank you for your encouraging words 🙂
    I love your humor and perspective. I look forwarding to following yours as well.


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