“No, you can’t eat that until you’ve eaten your dinner!”
“No, we don’t have time to play there today.”
“No, you’re going to get too dirty and we don’t have a change of clothes!”
“No, you don’t need to do that just because everyone else is.”
No. No. No. No.
Oftentimes, I feel like that’s my initial response to everything when my girls want to do something.
It doesn’t matter what it is, I almost ALWAYS view it as an inconvenience to MY plan.
You know – the plan to have them be perfect in all activities and sports they participate in, to get straight A’s, to desire to eat vegetables, to win a Grammy and of course, to find world peace.
No’s can be an easy way out. They can prevent us from stepping outside of our comfort zone or from trusting someone else’s plan.
I got to thinking today – isn’t that how we treat God, too?
“You want me to spend time with this person that is so different from me? No thanks…”
“You want my husband to take a new job and leave the comfort of our current one? No, I’m okay where we are.”
“You need me to give up extra time on the weekends to serve at church? No, I think there are enough volunteers already.”
No. No. No.
I say no to both my girls and to God when they want me to do something I don’t want to do. I want to have control!
I’ve been experimenting with being a YES mom lately and have learned a few things:
My child thinks donuts are bagels. I’ve been cautious in giving treats so she doesn’t inherit my crazy sweet tooth, but girlfriend can eat a donut every now and then
Our schedule doesn’t need to (and shouldn’t) be planned down to the last second. Things will come up, emergencies will happen, and friends will need our support at inconvenient times. If I can’t spend an extra fifteen minutes at a place when my kids are having fun every once in a while, our schedule is too busy!
When clothes get dirty and messy, we can wash them. When they are older and life gets challenging, it won’t be so easy to clean those messes. Aka a little dirt won’t hurt.
While “no’s” are certainly necessary in certain situations for safety reasons, and while I will still say no when needed, I want to be willing to say YES more to God, Brad and our girls.
YES, Lord – I’ll go out of my way to love on everyone I speak with today.
YES, I will extend grace to the grumpy person I deal with just as you give me grace.
YES, we can jump in the muddy puddles, play on the playground ten minutes more and grab a donut just because it’s Tuesday.
As an introvert, I often find myself avoiding situations where I have to be vulnerable and share about my life or even when I have to make small talk with others.
It makes me uncomfortable!
But if I said no to being a part of the small groups I’m in, I’d miss out on some of my closest friends.
I wouldn’t have the opportunities I have now to pray alongside people and be there for them in their most difficult times.
So while “NO” has become my default and my easy way out, I want to become more of a YES mom and woman.
It may be more difficult but the memories it creates will be more rewarding!