Life can deal out a lot of “no’s”: challenges that stretch us in many ways. In the midst of challenging times will you learn to say, “yes”?
Yes, an incredible word with simple, yet profound power: power to change the course of a moment, a day, a week, a year and even a lifetime; to change the direction of our hearts; to remove heavy weights so that we can skip again; and the ability to rest and rejoice in the God who says, “Yes!”, to each of us every day.
Sandwiched between no’s, I’m learning to say, “yes”: a treat for my soul. I have been wading nose deep in a long season of transition that has triggered a kind of “survival mode” style of living. I have become accustomed to slicing and dicing things out of my life – that I desperately have longed to say, “yes”, to – in order to juggle what life has brought my way. Circumstances have dictated many of the no’s and now I’m learning to say, “yes” again.
A lot of “no’s” in life can remove the joy of who God created us to be and the atmosphere he longs for us to thrive in. Learn to say, “yes”, even when life is piling on the no’s.
When life is stretching me beyond what I think I can take, I find it easier to say, “no” to the simple joys and push through challenging times with the mentality of “I’ve just got to make it through this and I don’t have time for that”. This is not LIVING.
I’m learning to say, “yes”, to “LIVING” life, not just “surviving” life.
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I’m learning to say, “Yes”, to trying out a new recipe for dinner; to carving out time for new friendships; to taking time just for me, so I can be a better version of me; to moments of inspiration with God; and “yes” to getting caught up in cleaning out and organizing my home: the place that I retreat to for rest. Do not lose your ability to say, “yes”, to what brings that spark of joy back into your life, in an effort to make it through a challenging season. The “yeses” that make us feel alive are unique for every woman, but we all have them in us.
What have you stopped saying, “yes”, to that leaves you breathing in deep, slow breaths of healing and comfort for your heart and soul?
After moving twice in the last six years I stopped trying to make close, long term friendships. I kept in touch with my dear friends from out of state, but I stopped trying to build “new” lifelong friendships. This takes time and effort. Exhaustion had settled in my bones. So in a depleted state, I stopped trying and yet, I was in great need.
Have you stopped trying? Have you stopped saying, “yes”, to the things that you long for in order to survive?
The new recipe I tried for dinner turned out amazing. With every bite my senses were delighted and my soul was taking a moment to inhale and exhale a spark of new life. This was a part of the “old me”, the me that delighted in trying new things, the me that I somehow pushed aside during this challenging season of my journey.
Take the time to “cook up” a new thing in your life; make room to create again. Make room to remember who you are and what you were created to do that brings that spark of inner joy.
Spending part of a day cleaning, tossing and re-organizing my home revived me. Do not get me wrong, I do not like to clean, but I like the results of cleaning up. My human battery is recharged when I seclude myself in the quietness of my own home – especially when it’s inviting, warm and at least appears to be cleaned up. In that kind of space my heart is free to relax, renew and create again before I must go out and face the “world”. I love people, but I need quiet time away from people in order to re-charge and that’s ok for me. You may be polar opposite and that’s okay too.
There are days I say no to “chores” so that I can invest in and say, “yes” to relationships. Then there are times I say, “yes” to chores or tasks, so that I can push everything else aside and find my true self once again. For me I needed to forget about all the piles of life squeezing in and renew myself through making my home what I desired it to be: a place where I can rejuvenate my heart and soul and learn to create once again.
What “space” needs to be cleaned out and updated in your life? Each of us recharge in different and unique ways, do not crowd out what causes you to feel fresh and new.
Listening to that podcast that spoke directly to my heart, even though it was intended for the masses, brought the intimacy that I long for with my creator. God used a podcast for this ONE woman when I said, “yes” to quiet time of inspiration with my Heavenly Father. What a reminder that God knows our desires, He sees our longings and He is saying, “yes” to a relationship with each of us daily – even when “no’s” pile up a mile high from every direction. Create time for an inspiring “yes” moment with God.
How do you hear your creator’s voice? Say, “yes” to making time for those moments with Him, whatever “that time” looks like in the season of life that you’re in. Whether it’s praying and listening for His voice in the shower, writing in a journal, communicating with God on your commute to work, getting a few moments in the bathroom – away from the kids – that you read a devotion on your phone or if it’s by taking a walk and listening to your favorite worship music. God’s there waiting, willing and saying, “yes” to you today.
Starting that daunting task that I put off; the thing I feel an inner pull towards, but do not even know where to begin? I Started “that”! Say, “Yes!”, to the inner tuggings of your heart and take the first step to making it happen. Maybe you’re a novice with no real experience; say yes to doing “that thing” over and over and over again until you have gained experience.
We do not “get good” at what we talk about doing; we have an opportunity to “get good” at what we practice doing. Take that first step, keep going, plow through the feelings of intimidation and lack of experience. Push forward, saying, “yes”, and keep saying, “yes”, even when life tries to crowd out the yeses.
While our yeses come and go, God always says, “yes” to His promises for our lives. The “yes” might come slowly through process, obedience and time, but we are guaranteed a “yes”. Out of all of our yeses that we may utter, the most important “yes” is to an on going relationship with our Heavenly Father. He’s always there waiting and willing and is saying, “Yes!” to each of us. He delights in you and I! “For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.” Zephaniah 3:17
Do not let fear capture your dreams in a holding cell; break free by saying, “yes”, today and acting on that “yes”!
In case you wondered – through much prayer, and a decision to not only say, “yes”, but act on that “yes” – God has graciously brought a sweet friend into my life. Today we met for lunch over a bowl of Phu. God will give you the desires of your heart if you can patiently endure through times of testing and temptation and NOT give up (James 1:12). You may walk through the desert to get there, but His promises are waiting for you. Be faithful, keep believing Him even when you see NOTHING happening. He is working!
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge–a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.” 2 Corinthians 1:20-22