Reeling from the busyness of the holidays, the lack of order that can come from too many activities and not enough routine, the excitement with baking and eating sweets, and the level of chaos that can so quickly build with a family of eight, I can sense that I am overwhelmed. As I sense that things feel more out of control, I realize I say “no” more often. It seems to be my attempt to regain a sense of order. However, I realize that in many ways this negative cycle creates more af an issue rather than offer the help I am hoping for. If I continue to say no to my children without grounds, there may be more arguing. Or, if I continue to say no, there are often more questions to answer. As my children are told no more and more, I see that they are feeling as though I am not as interested as I once was in the very thing they are wanting to share with me. I realize this is not the message I wish to convey.
In an effort to change things up and respond to the conviction I am sensing from the Holy Spirit, I have decided to say YES! That’s right – YES! When I shared this with a friend, she asked “You mean you are going to say yes to everything?” And I said, within reason, “YES!” And she continued to ask me the questions about “what if they want….?” and “what if they take this too far…? and what if, what if, what if…?” I reassured her that I was the one needing to make a change. My children were the same children they were last week, and I did not think their character would change when I started saying yes, nor did I think they were going to take advantage of me. It was truly my effort to make things different, less stressful, and for me to become more responsive in meeting their needs…even when it did not seem convenient. After all, if I am stuck in a rut, doing something different should pay off…right?
My son came into the kitchen and offered the perfect opportunity for me to try this out. As I was busily preparing a meal, he asked if he could show me something “really quick.” My general response is to say “not right now I am in the middle of making dinner. I will come later.” However his time I said, “YES!” He lit up. He showed me what he wanted me to see, I stopped what I was doing, showed him what he had to share was important to me. This moment went a long way. In fact, it offered dividends of cooperation that carried over into the next day. As I continued to say yes, in the coming days, I saw a shift in that chaos I was sensing. I felt better. Life seemed to mellow out a bit and regain a sense of order. Saying yes was a great way to get out of a rut. Now, if only I could implement this on a long-term basis…hmmm.