When my kids were little sometimes I was to quick to say no. I mean, I didn't even have to think about it. As the words "Mommy, may I....." were coming out of their mouths, the word "No" would be popping out of mine.
Why is that? I don't know. Maybe because I was busy and I didn't want to be interrupted. Maybe because I didn't want to have to make yet another decision. Maybe because it just seemed like to much work to say yes and it just seemed easier to say no.
It was too long ago, and my memory fails me.
But what the Lord began to show me was to listen. He encouraged me to hear them out and let them finish their sentence instead of frustrating them by interrupting. It would also give my brain time to think about their request instead of automatically answering "No!"
I determined to try and say "yes" whenever possible.
I couldn't say yes all the time, of course, but I tried to say yes when I could. Sometimes I said no to some things but yes to other things. It was just a matter of giving it some thought. "No, you may not have a cookie, but yes, you may have an apple."
"No, you can't wear that shirt outside to play. But yes, you can wear it to church on Sunday!"
I also learned that many times I said no for no good reason at all. Simply because it was just a habit. There was no thought process involved.
The kids would ask for something, I'd say "no," and then afterward I would think "Well, why CAN'T they do that?"
This was the beginning of the "YES" project.
The project where I made a plan to say "yes" more often; where I decided that I was too inflexible. The one where I convinced myself that sometimes, it was o.k. to make a mess.
The one where I decided that my children were only young once, and therefore I needed to make some changes in my carefully planned, organized day that, as of that moment, did NOT include finger painting, play dough, or making forts in the family room out of cushions and blankets.
That's one of the reasons, I think, that I said no so quickly without really thinking about it. Because it involved a mess. Because it involved supervision. Because it involved a decision or some time or action on my part. Because sometimes I was selfish and just said "no," not because what they wanted was wrong but because it was inconvenient for me.
So with God's grace, I learned a little bit about balance........and a lot about fun. I still said no sometimes, but I learned how much fun it could be to say yes.
Looking back, I don't remember all the times I said no, but I do have some wonderful memories (and pictures) of the times I said yes!
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