“No” or just maybe “Yes!”

“Simply let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No'” (Matthew 5:37a NIV)

If I had to guess, I’d say this may be my 13-year-old daughter Rachel’s favorite verse. When asked whether she did something wrong (or right for that matter), she answers with an emphatic “Yes” or “No.” When asked if she wants to play computer, the answer is always and excitedly, “Yes!” However, when asked if she has to go “potty,” Rachel doesn’t hesitate to quip “No!” every time. In fact, her answer to this question comes automatically. She doesn’t want to go and doesn’t even want to be bothered with the question of whether she has to.

You see, Rachel has significant special needs and scores quite low in self-help skills, such as bathroom protocol, insisting that she never has to go and seemingly that she never wants to think about it.


At a doctor visit yesterday, it dawned on me that Rachel is not the only one who is quick to answer in a negative fashion to important matters. The answer to my children’s questions is often “no” when I am in a hurry and not wanting to be disturbed … or if I don’t know much about the situation … or if it makes me uncomfortable … or even just because it is easy to say.

With this ready answer, I don’t have to actually think through the request. I also find myself answering negatively to my husband far more than positively.

This tendency carries into my spiritual life as well. God hears my “no’s” far too often and easily. “No, I don’t have the money to give.” “No, I cannot speak in front of people.” “No, no one cares what I have to say.”

Although I talk a good talk, I don’t really want to think about what God wants from me. It will likely require sacrifice or be inconvenient. Sometimes I don’t even verbalize my dissent. I stay silent, hoping it will go away.

Procrastination has become my best friend, an easy cop-out. Sure, I say yes to many things in my life, but the hard things, the truly meaningful things, are far too often left undone.

Don’t get me wrong! In today’s hyper-busy culture, we must learn to say no often and without guilt. The trick to managing our “no’s” and “yes'” is to prioritize our lives.

However, I have to admit that I am not the best at this.

First, I like to be helpful and needed. It makes me feel good about myself, and so I say yes to many things that simply take up my time.

Second, some of the items on my “priority” list are difficult or out of my comfort zone. They are oh so easy to put aside until later (which never comes by the way).

However, we are to be “strong and courageous, not terrified or afraid” (Deuteronomy 31:6). Life can have so much more meaning when we are doing what we are being called to do and saying “no” to the distractions.

It is true that Rachel says “no” far too easily when it comes to certain aspects of her life, but then so do I. Perhaps it is time to work on changing that in both her life and mine! My beginning … this blog! Hers … well, we’ll just continue with “here’s some candy if you go potty!”

I pray that you find these messages I share to be encouraging and inspiring as you join me in this journey we call life.

Welcome to my blog!

By His grace ≈


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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

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