Tuesday, October 6, 2015
After No...Say Yes!
When I had small children, I had to learn how to say "NO!" No to being over-involved in activities...especially church activities. I remember a woman who was older than me told me that it was OK to say "no." And she went on to say that I didn't even have to give a reason. No was enough. And if I couldn't do that, I should at least tell the person asking that I would pray about it. That would give me time to honestly pray and consider if I had time to give to the project and time to also pass the idea by my husband who knew my limits.
I learned that lesson well. It became easier and easier to say no to things which either weren't my gifting or that I didn't have time for. What's become harder is opening myself up to saying "YES!" again. I wish I could remember which book I read, video I watched, or exactly where I heard it recently (to give credit where credit is due)....to SAY YES! Quit saying no to things out of fear. Or because it's out of your comfort zone. Or because you're too old. Or because you've never done it before. Or because you may not like it. Or because you'd rather be in your easy chair.
Start saying yes. Say yes to that hike. Say yes to babysitting your grandchildren. Say yes to bungee-jumping. Say yes to keeping the church nursery. Say yes to new and exotic foods. Say yes to joining a different culture for an event. Say yes to a walk along the river holding hands. Say yes to a dessert.
I think we get so used to saying no that we become closed off to life. And I think the older we get, the easier it is to say no--which changes our attitude...for the worse.
We recently went to Minnesota to visit our kids and I purposed in my heart to say "yes" before we left. And what I discovered is that when I decided to say yes, my attitude was completely different. I'd already made up my mind to enjoy life, to explore, to experience new things. And I had a blast!
I encourage you to examine whether you're saying "no" way too often. Don't become stale, old, and unchangeable. Start saying yes and you will experience life with new eyes and a fresh attitude. I think it will keep you much younger for much longer.