Amy Carroll » Releasing Freely » What to Do When Someone Hands You Their Trash

What to Do When Someone Hands You Their Trash

Make sure to enter to win a great giveaway today at the end of this post!

Have you ever been in a situation when someone hands you their plate of  trash? In other words, they try to make you responsible for their lack of planning, emotional baggage, or work load. I talk more about that in today’s devotion “I Believe This is Your Plate of Trash,” an excerpt from my new book Exhale, co-authored with Cheri Gregory.

“Plates of trash” = Inappropriate expectations

In the past, I’ve defaulted to two different but equally damaging reactions because of “plates of trash” being passed to me:

  1. Anger– An inappropriate expectation leveled at me by someone else makes my blood boil. Maybe I’m ok with it at first, but the longer I live with the consequences of trying to meet or deflect that inappropriate expectation the more frustrated and resentful I become. Not helpful. I can’t love my people well in that state.
  2. Aquiescence– In other words, I give in. I do what someone else expects me to do even though it was never mine to do, resulting in a cluttered schedule and a frenzied heart.

Thankfully, Jesus gives us a different response that allows us to stay focused on the mission He’s given us as well loving our people.

We gently but firmly hand back the plate of trash.

How do we do that practically?

  • With a loving but empowered “no” (the power comes from knowing God’s mission for us)
  • With a boundary
  • With a compromise ie. “I can’t do what you’ve asked me to do, but I can do ______________.”

There’s more about how to walk through those steps in Exhale: Lose Who You’re Not. Love Who You Are. Live Your One Life Well.  If you’re exhausted from trying to be All The Things for all the people all the time, Exhale is for you!

Here’s what some of our friends who are reading advanced copies of Exhale are saying:

“I think about how many plates of trash I have accepted in the past. I’m not your trashcan anymore!” ~Linda

“Exhale is phenomenal! The freedom to love who I am is amazing. Chapter 11 particularly made me smile and rush right in to find out how ‘what makes me weird makes me wonderful.'” ~Jenn

“As I’ve been reading, I feel the inner walls coming down that I’ve built up after years (really a whole lifetime) of rejection and perfectionism and internalizing every single critical comment as truth about who I really am. Parts of my old ways are breaking down and something new is being built up within me.” ~Anonymous

The book releases June 4th, but when you pre-order from your favorite book-seller, Cheri and I have some fabulous freebies that we’ll send to you.

(“The Expectation Evaluation” is the freebie that will walk you step-by-step through evaluating what’s your assignment versus what’s a “plate of trash.” It’s a super-practical tool that brings clarity in murky situations.)

You can claim your freebies in two easy steps:

  1. Order Exhale from your favorite book seller. (Click on the links below.)

Proverbs 31 Ministries              Amazon                     Barnes and Noble                 Christian Book.Com

       2. Submit a copy of your receipt to [email protected]. Voila! Your freebies will arrive automatically in your inbox.


In expectation and celebration of our book baby, Exhale, Cheri and I are giving away a fun package today that includes:

A pre-release copy of Exhale (You’ll be one of the few to have it right now!)

A beautiful Exhale stamped necklace

Yummy Chapel Hill Toffee

A Rae Dunn ceramic sign

Shea butter spa soap (smells amazing!)

Travel Tumbler

Plant not included 🙂

To enter, tell us how the “plate of trash” concept helps you with others’ expectations, or simply say, “I’m ready to exhale!”

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  1. Michelle Blackmer says:

    I swear I am a “trash-attracter”!! I am SO READY to EXHALE!!!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I hear you… hand that plate of trash right back to its owner, friend!

  2. I’m ready to exhale.

  3. Marissa C says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  4. I’m ready to exhale!

  5. Sondra Kaye Gregory says:

    I’m ready to Exhale. I’m tired of holding my breath. I need to learn how to breathe again. I would love to receive your book.

  6. Johnette Peck says:

    this book sounds exactly what I need right now. I’m ready to exhale!

  7. I am so ready to exhale! I just want to be who God created me to be! And not hide!

  8. I’m so ready to exhale!

  9. Teresa McGee says:

    I am ready to exhale!

  10. Brenda S Wolfe says:

    I am seriously impressed. The plate of trash is such a perfect description. I dreaded deeing your answer because every time i find this question in a study or class, it is either anwered tritely or not answered at all reenforcing the feeling that it must be tolerated and just do what everyone else feels I should do. Your answer is the first one to match what my thereapist has spent years helping me to do! Thank you so much!! I want to hear more of what you have to say!!!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Thank you for this encouragement, Brenda! I’ve experienced the same as you in the past, and I was stunned (and heartened!) to find that Jesus didn’t say “yes” to everything and everyone. He lovingly walked only the mission God gave Him. We can be freed to do the same!

  11. Jennifer White says:

    I am ready to exhale! I am giving back the plate of expectations that I take care of everybody all the time.

  12. I’m ready to exhale❣️

  13. Laura Juarez says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  14. I try to be too many things for too many people…..I am ready to exhale!

  15. I sooooooo ready to exhale!!!

  16. I have the gift of hospitality. I tend to start my days running. I need to exhale!

  17. Christina Morris says:

    I am soooo ready to exhale!!

  18. I would love to send seeds of healing, forgiveness and freedom to women … I am ready to exhale 🙂

  19. life… if we all would just exhale and breathe in the bread of life… Jesus! thank you ~ just thinking about this gives me peace thank you!

  20. I am ready to exhale!!

  21. Leslie Owttrim says:

    God bless you for sharing this. It has greatly touched my heart and given me peace about some things. You have sown seed for me.
    Love your Sister-In-Christ
    Leslie Owttrim

  22. Kathy Kelchner says:

    I am SO ready to exhale!

  23. I’m ready to exhale! Btw. I did that personality test. Turns out I an inspector. Surprisingly accurate!

  24. Denise Jordan says:

    At 63, I’ve done it all, daughter to a widowed mom with Alzheimer’s, sister, wife, help meet, college, miscarriages, mom, pre-school teacher, elementary school teacher, Sunday school teacher, speaker, counselor to many friends with so many problems, church secretary, AWANA secretary, Generations of Grace Secretary, VBS director, put a library together for two churches, youth group help meet to my husband, and weekly prayer partner with a wonderful older woman who mentored me,

    I’ve lived through countless panic attacks that sometimes last days, I have nearly debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, I’m substitute teaching students now who have been in trouble with the law or have hurt someone. I found was my niche, I just didn’t find it until I was 60 good thing I had to go back to work again, losing our home, selling and giving away almost half of our things, starting over with my husband at 60, one of our sons decided we were toxic two weeks after his wedding and didn’t speak to us for over two years, and so much more.

    I thought all of this would break me, but God sustained me through every bit of it, His Grace was more than sufficient for me. When we had no money to pay for food, it was supplied, when our phones were going to be cut off the money was there. Whatever need we had was met just in time. When I was afraid, I was calmed, when I doubted promises flooded my mind, and I knew I had a secure place in His kingdom forever.

    This lasted close to three years. I will always be amazed how the body of Christ, led by the Spirit, took care of us. My faith was strengthened by leaps and bounds, but not enough to breath yet, I still haven’t exhaled and I’m ready now!

    Thank you for writing what I’m sure will be a good book I will glean tidbits I didn’t know or understand before from both of you and learn more about our Heavenly Father, our Redeemer, and our Comforter. I am so looking forward to receiving it and jumping right in and. finally…exhaling!

  25. I’m a CONNECTOR and I would guess you are, too. Love this story of giving the trash back. Actually love the whole book! And yes…I, too, am ready to Exhale!

  26. Heather S says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  27. Carolyn Schwanz says:

    I am so ready to exhale. I actually have gotten better about not accepting other people’s “plates of trash” when they hand it to me, but I struggle immensely with actually taking plates of trash without anyone asking. I put enormous expectations on myself (from weight loss to work expectations). I usually don’t even realize I have the expectation of myself until I feel stressed, overwhelmed & irritable. I have been going to Celebrate Recovery for 8 years and have found freedom in many areas of my codependency, but unreasonable expectations has hung for its dear life. I would love to exhale!!

  28. Lisa Popovich says:

    Oh my, this plate of trash concept has really hit home for me. All my life, my brother has been handing me one plate of trash or another. It’s taken so many different forms through the years… from alcoholic/drug abuser, to violent physical abuser/cruel mental abuser… to abandoner during each of our parent’s long-suffering illnesses… to our present situation oh him losing his job 2 years ago, necessitating his total dependence financially on us, until his disability appeal was won in March. And I just keep grabbing plate after plate…. sure I am still carrying around the baggage from all the years of abuse – but I can balance that plate where I am your sole mode for transportation anywhere. The resentment just builds and builds – probably because I have never once put any of these plates down… let alone tell him to keep his plate. I am BEYOND ready to exhale!

  29. Mary Hodgin says:

    I am SO ready to…exhale! It may be a long, slow, grind to bring some changes about, but well worth the process. Thanks for the reminders, encouragement, and tools!

  30. Angela Campbell says:

    I can’t wait to exhale!

  31. I’m ready to exhale! I love the “plate of trash” comparison! That helps put those
    unrealistic expectations in perspective!

  32. Kylie Hinze says:

    Because I suffer from chronic illness but look well (go figure) I’ve had to say I’m unable to do that sorry and don’t explain why as the plate trasher will argue about the why’s. Then I try to be as Susie Larson says ‘content to be misunderstood’ or judged. It’s really hard but essential as I don’t want to please man more than God and God never has anything but the purest most elegant china plates for us. It’s a slow process here a win there a loss but praise God for this community to help us on the way.

  33. Thank you so much for this mental picture of others handing me their trash! Realizing how I need to speak up more when others have expectations of me that I cannot fulfill! Can’t wait to read the book! I’m going to pre-order one now!

  34. Andrea Virnau says:

    I really like the plate of trash concept. This is a practical way to think about what boundaries I should have in place before interacting with certain people. It also makes me mindful of not becoming the person handing over the trash!

  35. Cindy O. Moeckel says:

    “I believe this is your llate of trash.” Is very timely statement. I have watched my husband serve a family over many years that does this very thing. And I am responding like number 1. Anger. Hard to watch loved ones treated like trash as they are given inappropriate expectations.. Even harder to watch your husband frustrated every week after dealing with these people. Looking forward to reading more.

  36. I NEEDED TO READ THIS BLOG TODAY. Thank you! I’ve been leading a community group for 18-30 year olds and need more adult mentors to help. I invited some older women over Sunday night and it went horribly wrong. Too many strong opinions. Too many attitudes and different ideas wanting to change what I had already been called by God to do. I have been feeling discouraged and frustrated ever since. Because of your wisdom, I am not accepting their plate of trash. I will stay focused on hearing from Jesus what my next steps are.

  37. Yes, I need this! I’m working (volunteering) at my son’s nursery/floral shop. He is giving me more
    and more responsibilities to the point where it seems I’m the owner and running the business. I
    tend to stuff my resentments and keep working…6 days a week, and I do find myself holding my
    breath, lol!
    Thank you for tackling this topic. I know with the Lord’s guidance through prayer along with
    this resource I can organize my thoughts and set healthy boundaries.

  38. SHARON SHULL says:

    My probkemis that I’m the Pastors wife and whatever no one else does, I have to. Ministry is not a plate of trash, so I try very hard to accept whatever is given to me graciously and do t “ as unto the Lord”. With a sweet spirit and good attitude. But I have to say, I’m exhausted!

  39. This is something, I’ve come to realize I need to work on. I feel guilty having to tell people “No!”; especially if its my family.

  40. “I’m ready to exhale!” I have been a people pleaser all my life (I am 62 years young). Praise God, I am finally learning to set some boundaries – and it’s not easy, but it is a very good thing. Sometimes I still find myself reasoning it all out – am I thinking rightly about this? Have I backed off too much? Am I enabling this needy person? Whew! I want to hear clearly from God about steps to take and if they are honoring to Him. Thank you for what you have shared here. That word “trash” really makes one think. 🙂 May God continue to bless you richly!

  41. Eveline Hershberger says:

    I’m ready to EXHALE!

  42. I’m definitely ready to exhale and I should learn it to do regularly and kindly to myself and others.
    I think in this whole “plate of trash” concept what particularly helped to grasp the concept is the word “inappropriate “ expectations of others and that how God wants me to live should be my absolute priority instead of trying to meet and execute the requests and expectations of others. Now I just really need to learn to live it out!!
    I’d love to read the book and of course to be among the very first early bird specials who could gain access to it. ?? I definitely need to heal and mature in this area of my life!

    1. Thank you for sharing, Marin. I agree with what you have shared. Thanks for shedding more light on this important topic. 🙂 May God richly bless you.

  43. I am so ready to Exhale!! I am excited to realizea shift in my perspective.

  44. Jackie M. says:

    I’ve been exhaling! I really don’t have a gard time saying, “No.” when needed! Thanks!

  45. Therese Macfarlane says:

    I am SOO ready to exhale! I think the expectations that overwhelm me the most, however, are ones that I put on myself. I want to HELP everyone with ALL their problems … FIX everything. And continually realize I can’t, but keep jumping back in. Would absolutely love to read your book!

  46. Expectations are everywhere; home, work, church groups, I’m ready to exhale!!

    1. Kristan Wager says:

      Oh goodness! This idea so resonates with me. As a mom, friend, pastor’s wife, and ministry leader i have taken “plates of trash’ far too often! I cannot wait to read the whole book and practice my ‘no thank you’.

  47. In today’s Proverbs 31 devotion, I was totally blown away by the “plate of trash” analogy! I have wasted so much of my life accepting people’s plates of trash that I have missed out on the amazing plates of goodness I could have savored! Thank you for opening my eyes!

    1. I love this, I’ve missed out on the good stuff far to long too!

  48. Thank you for this teaching! For most of my life, I have accepted that plate of trash, but I have been slowly learning that others’ expectations don’t define who I am! Congratulations on your book baby. Love your podcast 🙂

  49. I’m ready to exhale! Love this concept and its definitely something I need to work on! Healthy boundaries and a gentle but firm no. Sounds like an amazing book and the giveaway sounds delightful!!

  50. Ellen Traum says:

    I am ready to exhale and spend my energy on what matters.

  51. I’m ready to exhale! Galatians 1:10 comes to mind

  52. I am ready to exhale!

  53. I routinely coach women on how to rid themselves of accepting other people’s trash, yet I continually do it myself. I look forward to being “coached” myself.

  54. Candice Hope says:

    Yes! I am ready to Exhale. As a woman who works in Human Resources as a profession, Serves in Ministry and as President of our Elementary PTO I am constantly handed “plates of Trash”. I love this analogy! I am a people pleaser at heart so its hard not to give in and then become bitter. I am really looking forward to this book Amy!

    1. Debra Pruss says:

      I am ready to Exhale!

  55. I’m very ready to exhale!! Serving God can be difficult, and it gets tricky trying to discern His projects for me, the people He wants me to serve… From trying to just serve everybody all the time.. 🙁 It gets frustrating and usually my own life and family suffer.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I agree, Dulce. To stay on course, we have to know our mission, but as you say, that can be difficult to discern. The best we can do is to walk close with Jesus, allowing Him to do course corrections along the way. The rest is grace!

  56. Felicia Manning says:

    I am ready to exhale!

  57. I’m ready to exhale! This message is a gentle reminder also to bus my own dirty dishes! Looking forward to reading the book!

  58. I absolutely love the concept of gently but firmly handing back the plate of trash! I’m ready to exhale and would love to receive a copy of this book to read. I believe every woman can use practical advice on how to gently, but firmly, say “No” and establish boundaries.

  59. Monica Archer says:

    I’m ready to exhale! I loved this story! I tend to get walked on by people and this was encouraging.

  60. Love this image of a paper plate loaded with trash and us not accepting it, but handing it back.

  61. Pam moseley says:

    Yes I am exhaling today!!! Thank you!!! Been doing 2 young ladies left over work they have 10 hours to do on night shift. Now we DAYSHIFT older women leaving some of it for them. Still not working!!! Then I remember my example is to be that of Jesus to pray for these young women who need Jesus. It’s rough but I’ll make it!!! This has went on for months even other things too. I am a firm believer going the extra mile wears you out sometimes I just pray and read more. Than you

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I love that you’re seeking to both create boundaries and love your people well. They’re not mutually exclusive, but sometimes it’s challenging to do both.

  62. Lillie Sommers says:

    “I’m ready to exhale!”

    This concept of a “plate of trash” initially made me chuckle, but it is a great work picture. I am a people-pleaser by nature so this definitely sounds like a book I need to read.

  63. Oh my!!! How timely a blessing this concept and message is!! I have struggled my whole life with willingly taking people’s trash! In fact I like to wear other people’s trash and drag it around with me lol! In most recent years I have I have become exhausted and exasperated with my parents and their lack of planning for their inevitable needs. They have preferred to ignore their health issues and to plan for these later years. Their motto has been “we will just drive this car at full speed until the wheels fall off and then have everyone else pick up the pieces of wreckage”. Oh how I have carried the baggage of their pain, expectations, anger, and bitterness! I have been relentless in prayer for God to show my the boundaries and how to honor His plan for me and also meet the needs of my very judgmental and entitled parents with love and grace without being swallowed. Your book Exhale and the message of taking other people’s plate of trash brought tears and relief to me! Thank you for being an answer to prayer!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Wow. Thank you for your vulnerability, Amy. I’m seeing new applications everyday to Jesus’ example for us in this area. Praying for you as you seek to both set boundaries and love your parents well.

      ps. This is a hard lesson to live because others often don’t like it when we refuse to aquiecse as we’ve always done. Just wanted to acknowledge the pain of that.

      1. Yes Amy!! You are so right, when you try to adjust to appropriate and reasonable expectations the “trash givers” do not take that well. It is also hard for us to realize and take responsibility for allowing the behavior and reinforcing it over the years. A work in progress for sure! Thank you for your response, and may God bless your work and life.

  64. Leslie Valencourt says:

    I am definitely ready to exhale!

  65. I’ll be 68 years old in less than one month and I subscribe to the idea that it’s never too late to learn, grow, and change. My grandniece (age 9) and I were talking yesterday about perfectionism and when is something “good enough”? I can already see her following in her papa’s footsteps (my brother) and mine of always working harder, doing more, and feeling like we can never meet the expectations of others! Perhaps this book will help me to exhale and as I do so, be able to influence others in my family to do the same! None of us need to accept another person’s “plate of trash”! It would be a marvelous legacy to help the upcoming generation to learn loving boundaries as Christians!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      I love that you want to pass on new lessons to the next generation, Helen! You share my passion for teaching young women the lessons I’m learning so that they don’t waste as much time as I did!

  66. I’m ready to exhale!

  67. I am so ready to learn how to exhale and hand back that trash!

  68. I’m ready to exhale as I’ve been holding my breath in hope that I’m following His Path designed for me and hearing His Words spoken to me. Breathe!

  69. Yes, I am ready to exhale, PLEASE and THANK YOU!

  70. This could not be more appropriate. I’m living w hoarders there are literally trash everywhere I know it’s a God metaphor because I lost my house my kids my ministry and almost my faith and freedom because I never learned to say no. My father was a raging alcoholic so I learned never to have a voice or cross anyone. People pleasing was how I learned to stay alive. But God is ready for that day to be over. I will no longer take the trash from my family I literally said to them I am not your trash can many years. So no one but God told you to say that He is confirmed to me I need to learn to stand. My relatives want me to not Gods calling My mom needs to go into a facility and I can not take care of her. they want me to “take care of them” but I have done what God has asked it is now their responsibility to face their own consequences. I will have mercy but I struggle with this so. Thank you

  71. I am ready to EXHALE!!!! Thank you ladies for writing this much needed wisdom! I am 24 and desperately needed to read this! 😀 I can’t wait to see how much more I can be used to make an impact on lost people for the Kingdom of God when I can actually focus on solely serving God’s mission and not my own or others. I can’t even count of how many times I’ve “tried” saying no to family and friends alike and gotten “you’re so selfish” “how can you claim to be christian when you won’t help others?” and other comments quite similar. I usually give in because I do love them and I can’t stand the guilt of living and enjoying my own life, or even taking me time. Usually the only way I can avoid it without giving an explanation to them or the argument is to cut off my phone and ignore everyone. Only problem with living in the small town (and same town as your family) is they will then sometimes show up at the house and dump their trash in my yard. Huge thank you! I am so excited to read the book!!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      It’s amazing that you’re grappling with this at your age. Wise woman! You’re exactly right. Some people won’t like it when we live with boundaries, but I’m finally learning to rest in God’s approval instead of constantly seeking others’. Praying for you as you search to show your family how much you love them AND set some boundaries. It’s possible but challenging!

  72. I am SOOOOO ready to exhale!! I need help with how to do so though!! PLEASE!!! (and Thank you!! ) 🙂

  73. Allison Sherle says:

    My husband says I’m always running around like my hair is on fire. My daughter says…”My mom never sits down.” I have difficulty with exhaling. I want to help others but in my effort to do so I fear I have turned into a door mat. If I don’t do something that someone asks me to do I “feel bad”. My daughter always tells me” Mom quit feeling bad!” I know The Lord wants me to be his hands and feet but I struggle with discernment. Thank you for this reminder. When I take on multiple peoples trash and feel covered up in a heap of paper plates it affects my relationship with my family and my Savior!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Cheri and I wrote Exhale about ourselves, but we wrote it for women like you who have the same struggles. I’m praying the lessons in it help you walk into a new-found freedom!

  74. For many years, I too, accepted that plate of trash. After reading your devotion today, I am ready to Exhale and I have a friend who needs to hear this message too. Thank you for listening to God and telling so many of us how to hand that plate back.

  75. If it doesn’t fit God’s plan for my life and the direction that He wants me to go, then the “plate of trash” isn’t mine!

  76. Susan Mullis says:

    Wow! I am blown away at God’s timing. For far too many years I have been made to accept too many “plates of trash”. It has worn on my heart and at many times left me utterly defeated. God has now brought two new young men into my family who were both raised in similar dysfunctional situations. These young men who have fallen in love with my daughters also struggle with “plates of trash”. I am praying that I will be able to share all that God has done for me and is continuing to do for me. I look forward to reading this book. I have had a very stressful year with health, work, and extended family. I could use a moment or two to “Exhale”. To simply let go and let God do what only He can do. Blessings my dear sister in Christ!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Praying for you and your sweet new sons! I’m gaining a daughter this weekend as my son gets married. 🙂

  77. Janice Kesterson says:

    I’m ready to exahale!!!!

  78. I’m ready to exhale!

  79. I’m ready to exhale!

  80. Shelly Davis says:

    I’m ready to exhale! It sounds like a great book! I loved the giving back the plate of trash word picture! I need the wisdom to hand back what wasn’t mine to accept.

  81. Dori Sheese says:

    I’m ready to exhale!!! I am in the middle of one of my busiest seasons right now – getting decorations ready for vacation bible school! And although I love doing this, and have done it for at least 20 years, I’m ready to EXHALE and let go of this responsibility, as it really wears me out physically and mentally. Thank you for this opportunity!!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      It’s so true that some things that we’re called to wear us out. God’s tasks aren’t always smooth and easy! That’s why Cheri and I say that Exhale is to help women move from running-on-empty to spent-and-content. We don’t promise a hammock on a beach in Exhale (although that would be great for a week post-VBS, right?!) but rather a life well-spent.

  82. Sarah Ziegler says:


  83. This is such a timely devotion/post this morning. I have recently had an experience with someone else’s ‘trash’ and reacted in a way never before. I rejected the notion that because it was said it belonged to me – that it actually did belong to me. I am feeling empowered!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Huge, hard step. Congratulations!

  84. Sandy DeVore says:

    I am ready to exhale.

  85. Erika Crawford says:

    I LOVE having a tool from Jesus Himself on how to set these boundaries and not allow others to dump on me.

  86. “I’m ready to Exhale!”

  87. Lynette MIller says:

    At age 55, I have accepted so many plates of trash that my personal space looks like a landfill or an episode of “Hoarders” ? Today’s devotional and Amy’s new book were answered prayer in the midst of my piles of trash. I eagerly look forward to reading the book and to beginning the process of cleaning out the years of accumulated trash!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Wow. That’s some powerful insight, Lynnette. Thanks for sharing!

  88. I love the “plate of trash” concept. When I think of it that way, it is easier for me to say no to expectations from others that are not mine to do. Applying that to my life could really help me from getting angry!

  89. I’m ready to exhale!

  90. Raised as a people pleaser. So ready to follow God’s plan for me!

  91. I love the tangible example of someone handing me a plate of their trash. I believe this will help me recognize the difference from coming along someone vs asked to carry their load.

  92. Mia Greenhill says:

    A close family member just tried to hand me a plate of trash last week! In the past, I would have fired off a snippy reply, but God gave me the grace to pause after writing a draft email. A few days later, I kindly replied with what I was willing to do to help the situation while clarifying that the “trash” didn’t belong to me. Not nearly as gracious as the Lord, but a huge improvement for me! It was very freeing b/c I didn’t just simmer in the slop of resentment and bitterness. I’m excited to learn more from Amy’s book on how to keep exhaling and walking out big truth in the peace of the Lord!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      So powerful, Mia. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s possible to respond with kindness and love, and you did!

  93. Carmen Wiley says:

    I’m ready to exhale! Busy life, just got married and got a promotion at my job, Exhale with the Lord is what I need!!

  94. I’m ready to exhale! This sounds like exactly what I need to read!

  95. Would love to have this! I’m learning to say no. How can I get what my Lord wants me to do when I’m picking up or receiving someone’s trash! It’s not healthy for me or the other person! And it’s so liberating!!! FREEDOM!! I actually was raised to be a people pleaser and I’m thankful that with The Lords help that he’s breaking me free from that bondage!! Oh so exciting and what perfect timing!!! God don’t make mistakes! He gives us the tools and resources when we need them! Thank you for the opportunity to win!! (Would love it) and for your ministry!

  96. So ready to Exhale. Long overdue!

  97. Betty Currie says:

    Exhale sounds like a perfect book for me. Since my mother’s death I have had such a heavy heart. I’m dealing with my spouses chronic illness and trying to cope with all the negativity. I really need to exhale before my walls tumble down through the cellar.!

  98. Love the visual- plate of trash!! Yes, many of us need to exhale!

  99. I am so ready to exhale!

  100. I am ready to exhale and looking forward to the book. : )

  101. Cherie Madzey says:

    I am ready to exhale.

  102. This speaks to exactly why I’m in Christian counseling for a relationship in my life! I would really benefit from this give away.

  103. Thank you for the clear word picture of dealing with the ”stuff” in our lives that consumes our time, energy and emotions. Your gifts of insight and writing help so many understand living in God’s love. truth and freedom. I’m ready to exhale!

  104. Congratulations Amy & Cheri on your new book!!!! Truthfully, I have “enough trash” and I do good to keep emptying my own and replacing it with healthy productive “yeses”. I learned many years ago not to overflow my trash can and try my best to balance my priorities. I am ready to exhale. ~Lisa~

  105. susan mikeska says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  106. I am ready to Exhale. My plates of trash stem from a family member. This person thinks I should be there at her beck and call no matter what.
    I want to be there for her but at the same time, I still need my life and room to breathe. I am trying to give back some of the plates of trash while still being there for her as much as I can. This book has really helped me see this.

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      It’s possible to do both, but you’re right… it’s challenging. Praying for you as you find the boundary lines AND serve with love!

  107. Laura Kindstedt says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  108. Mary sammel says:

    I am ready to exhale.

  109. I’m ready to exhale! Seeking God right now for direction as a volunteer Women’s Ministry leader. There are too many things handed to me & I am overwhelmed. I want to do what God has for me, instead of saying yes to more & more things just to people please.

    1. Please remove my last name, auto fill!!!

  110. I almost cried as I read your blog today. God prompted my husband and I to “adopt” a 23 year old single Mom and her 2 year old toddler son last year.. Let’s just say that handling her trash is not working well – AT ALL.. My This book makes my heart have hope and June 4th can’t get here soon enough. Thank you for letting us know about it!!!

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Praying for you and your adopted single mom. Finding the boundaries with love will be wonderful for both of you and will serve to preserve the relationship.

  111. JILL V WOODWARD says:

    I’ve been handling other people’s trash all my life, but I am beginning to learn… to exhale!

  112. I’m ready to exhale, and I’m taking out the trash — the trash of comparison of myself to others and not seeing myself as God sees me.

  113. Stephanie Castillo says:

    I am ready to exhale. My work/job I juggle lots of plates of trash to the point where my own work can not get done and daily I go home defeated and exhausted so unfulfilled and defeated.

  114. Connie Boles says:

    I too have experienced anger and resentment when someone hands me their trash. I have taken it personally and thought, “How dare they have so little respect for me and treat me this way. What I’ve come to understand is that many times when others “hand us their trash” they don’t even realize they are doing so. It’s up to me to help others understand what I can and cannot do, and this can be done without the emotional fit I’ve experienced in the past. We teach people how to treat us with the way we respond to their requests.

    1. I’m ready to exhale!

    2. Amy Carroll says:

      You are so right, Connie! We can think the best about the other person and respond with love.

  115. Patricia Ison says:

    I am ready to exhale!

  116. Beautifully timed is this lesson! I was just discussing with my sister how someone very close to us is not showcasing their best self and we both kept getting included in their group texts (a most hated creation). So I stated I want no part of that conversation or situation. I could not put it into words at the time, but I knew I do not belong to that scenario and I do not want to belong to the situation. It just was not for me. I began accessing myself as if to say, “maybe I’m being harsh” or shielding myself(being selfish), but it didn’t seem too wrong. I felt calm and sure…myriad of feelings that I shared out loud. Then I came to this lesson. I feel affirmed.

  117. cynthia cook says:

    i’m ready to exhale!! so excited about this book and can’t wait to devour it. i need it so badly right now.

  118. Sarah Troiano says:

    I’m ready to exhale! I love the analogy. It helps to me to see that the choice to accept or not is mine.

  119. I’m ready to exhale! For too long, I’ve tried to be a people pleaser and make the real “me” fit into the mold others dictated.

  120. Katie Pyle says:

    I’m ready to Exhale. Depending on whose asking I try to to help. Other times I say that all I can do is pray about for you. But when I am asked to do a task and know it’s not me; I sometimes need to better about saying no nicely.

  121. Unfortunately, I take others’ plates of trash all the time, leaving me bitter and resentful. This really is a great analogy. Why would I keep holding someone else’s plate of trash??? I should throw it away or hand it back! I’m ready to exhale!

  122. My need to “exhale” comes when my grown children “need” my help or rather my money because they do not work nor do they live a life of obedience to The Lord.
    Yes I can be quite a perfectionist and even judgmental at times and The Lord is definitely working on me in that area. But my issue is finding the ability to either say no and be ok with that and not guilt myself into a depression that I am a terrible mother, and saying yes but by doing so, going against what I KNOW to be true in that work is good for them! It’s biblical! It would be for their good, if they could just get up and start somewhere! And besides that, they are teaching my grandchildren that it’s ok to be lazy and manipulative and hustle their way through life and it drives me insane!!
    I just need to EXHALE!!
    Thank you for letting me share,

    1. Amy Carroll says:

      Praying for you and your adult children, Rhonda. I’m in new territory with adult sons now too, and it’s tough to discern the boundaries. I’m learning!

  123. Janetta Dobler says:

    I’m ready to exhale.
    I have realized that I can’t control or manipulate others and I don’t have to accept labels, opinions. Or actions as a fault of my own. It is freeing to lay the burdens at the cross and know that I do what I can do, and I step out of God’s way so He can do what only He can do. My ability is availability and obedience to my Lord and Savior.

  124. Patti Strain says:

    Wow! The focus Jesus has! This makes clearer when I wonder why Jesus doesn’t answer the way I expect Him to. What I often consider as, “His way are not our ways.”

  125. Paula F Mischler says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  126. Dawn Beaver says:

    I’m ready to exhale!

  127. The concept of “a plate of trash”…..I love it! You have managed to capture how I have been feeling lately. It seems like I manage to get served with the requests no one else wants to do, and many have the expectation that I will find a way to take care of it, so just do it, and oh by the way, keep smiling as you do. I need to learn why that is, and how to know what is for me to do versus someone else’s issue. Taking on others’ duties or “picking up their trash” leaves little time for the things that really are for me to do, and of course leaves me feeling tired and resentful. That is not how I want to feel…..I want people to see Jesus in me, not this bitter, haggard lady who just wishes they would all go away! Haha I am looking forward to reading this book!!

  128. Christianne McCall says:

    The books you author with Cheri are always so great. Thank you for the chance to win something!

  129. Phyllis Arnold says:

    I’m ready to exhale…

  130. The “Plate of Trash” concept helps me at work when others feel the need to slip some of their responsibilities on to me. I can kindly say “My plate is full at the moment, but I am happy to direct you to the place you need to go for the information you need to help you finish your task.”

  131. Congratulations on the release of your new book ladies.

    I’m ready to exhale.

    I believe your book will be an encouragement and blessing to me. while I’m waiting on God to provide a way and open the doors for me leave an abusive living arrangement with my twin sister.

  132. I’m ready to exhale!

  133. Great concept with the plate of trash. It helps me remember that I’m here to meet God’s expectations, not everyone else’s. Sometimes we must be firm so we can be free to spend out time and energy doing what He has called us to do!

  134. Rebekah Eddy says:

    I’m ready to exhale.

  135. I just love the “plate of trash” concept. I need to feel comfortable and confident to just say “no,” feel secure with my boundaries, and learn to compromise which I need to do a better job at. I think I can do this instead of always being a “carpet” and not being my true self. This has finally got to change. Thank you.

    helps you with others’ expectations,

    1. Melissa Kinney says:

      I’m ready to exhale…!