Yes is No

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seagull at park

My 8yo loves to go places with me. He’s at that stage where he loves to play with his friends and do big kid stuff, but he’s also got a little separation anxiety going, too. He loves to be with me. And hates to have me leave.

It’s very sweet, I must say.

So, this weekend when I was leaving for the grocery store, he wanted to come with. His brothers wanted him to stay. The neighbor kids all had big plans, so they hyped it up that he’d miss out. He was insistent to go.

We drove not four houses away when he got second thoughts. I stopped at the mailboxes and offered him a second chance. He chose me. [Awwwwwwwwwwwww…….]

It also was good food for discussion.

When you say yes to something, you often have to say no to something else.

There are lots of great choices in the world, but we can’t choose them all. If we choose tacos for dinner, we’re saying no to hamburgers. If we say yes to an ice cream shop sundae with extra whipped cream, we’re saying no to watching our $ or calories. If we say yes to caring for our children during the day, we’re saying no to a 9 to 5 career.

Sometimes we have to say no to good things so that we can say yes to better things.

This can be tricky. It will be a dance all our lives, wondering if we made the right choice. With prayer, wisdom, experience, and good counsel from friends, we get better at saying yes to the right things.

Consider these questions:

  • Does this bring glory and honor to God?
  • Does this bless my husband and children?
  • Do I have time for this in addition to all the other things I’ve already committed to?
  • Can I give my whole heart to this?

Let’s say yes to the right things this week.

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.

Psalm 25:12-13

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  1. Love this post! Such a good reminder. I’ve been trying to ask myself questions similar to the ones you put at the end of the post when I make certain choices. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I think I need to print this out & hang it in the kitchen! I really needed to read this today.
    This is seems so easy to talk about but yet so difficult to put into practice.

    I was away all day yesterday (out of state day trip, gone 17 hrs) & my 8 year old had a hard time with it. My husband & I both thought the separation anxiety would be over with by now; especially since he normally picks anything to do with friends or ‘being a big boy’ & I hear all the time that he doesn’t need me to do something or be somewhere because he’s a ‘big boy’.
    Think I need to start having a monthly date day with him or some other special time.

    1. I think mine is finally understanding mortality, so he worries something might happen to me while I’m away. It’s bittersweet, that’s for sure.

  3. i grew up hearing i can do EVERYTHING..and it took me to 36 yrs old to realize that i was doing everything half heartedly…and felt guilty all the time….you CAN do ANYTHING….but you can’t do it all at the same time….it goes for most things in my life…

    1. Thank you for sharing that. I too, hear young and not so young parents tell their children they can do ANYTHING/EVERYTHING in life. I have believed that to be setting them up for great disappointment and confusion. There are somethings we cannot do even if we spend every waking hour. All things in life have a trade-off. Honesty, with more clarity about the choices they make, while challenging them to reach higher, seems a better and more truthful guidance. Example….very few people become famous movie stars or famous anything. For some of us just learning to read and put two sentences together is a victory. One may be Beethoven, but without the majority of us who have the privilege of taking in the wonder of it all……much would be lost.

    2. I agree, you can do almost anything, but you can’t do it all at one time. You have to choose. And sometimes those choices prevent other ones from happening.

  4. Jessica, thank you for this wonderful reminder. As I’m in the midst of report cards and parent conferences, it’s so easy to say yes to things that aren’t healthy for me. I will think of you as I say no to these things so that I can say yes to a healthier me.
    It was a real pleasure meeting you and some of your family at your book signing yesterday. I got some helpful hints (especially, writing my inventory of meal on the freezer with dry erase marker) and look forward to taking them back to my frozen dinner club. Thanks again.
    Sincerely, a non-traditional mom ( 4 four-legged kids, 28 nine year olds for 7 hours a day, and favorite aunt). Jan

    1. Loved meeting you yesterday! Thanks for spending the time. I’m really appreciate that. I know you added a lot to the freezer discussion. Thank you for that as well.