Every Yes Requires a No

Like many of you, I’m constantly juggling my goals, dreams, and endless to-dos.  It’s a challenge, but a worthy one.  And it occurs to me-once again- that every yes in my life requires a no. I’m sure I realized it sooner, but the first time it was very clear and very hard for me was when I married my sweet Jeff. I loved him, but I was afraid. (You can read more about my first marriage here or about my marriage to Jeff here.) I had built a very nice life without a husband. I had great friends. I traveled. I had hobbies I passionately pursued.  I had a satisfying career and a darling apartment, my very first home as a single adult. Life was good. Then came Jeff. I was crazy about him, but still I feared change. Saying yes to him, to our new home, to Team Clarke meant saying no to Self, to my apartment, to Team Me. Acknowledging the fact that every yes in my life involves a no was quite an eye opener. Sometimes my No is to time-sucks and selfishness. And sometimes my No is to other Good things. It’s all about choices isn’t it?

This isn’t something I’ve completely conquered. It’s a process.  Here are some of my current battles … I mean… choices.  I don’t choose the right Yes every time. In fact, if you listen carefully, you’ll hear me yelling, “Ouch!” as you read through this list. 

  • Yes to Quiet Time with God first thing  = No to iPad first thing
  • Yes to talking to my family= No to texting friends 
  • Yes to lunch with a friend = No to finishing the laundry today
  • Yes to exercise = No to watching TV
  • Yes to friends who lift me up = No to friends who bring me down
  • Yes to eating for fuel = No to mindless eating 
  • Yes to kindness and mercy = No to selfish, unforgiving behavior 
  • Yes to giving money = No to buying junk
  • Yes to being happy for others = No to petty jealousy
  • Yes to visiting with Hubby = No to watching Castle reruns
  • Yes to prayer = No to worry
  • Yes to prayer = No to gossip  
  • Yes to transparency = No to being fake
  • Yes to sleep = No to staring at my iPhone 
  • Yes to real food = No to processed food
  • Yes to compassion = No to judging 
  • Yes to real people = No to social media and TV
  • Yes to only buying things I need or absolutely love = No to wasting money 
  • Yes to silliness = No to taking everything so seriously

Oh my. I could go on and on, but that rather exhausted me. Did you hear the squealing? Dying to self and living in Christ isn’t easy, but it’s the best Yes God’s girls will ever choose. I’d love to hear your thoughts. As always, I wish you MUCH joy! 

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me.”  

Matthew 16:24 (NLT)

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