For many years I have been learning to say "No"
Many years ago after God worked on my heart, a lot, I finally learned to say "no".
I have always been a people-pleaser and somewhat adventurous, so saying "yes" was easy for me, actually almost impossible not to say "yes".
Well after some time of learning to have boundaries and learning that if I say "yes" to one thing then it may limit me from doing other things, I finally started to get the point that I sometimes needed to say "no".
For example, at church a LONG time ago, Jeromy and I were asked to teach a teens Sunday School class.
We prayed about it together and discussed it and neither of us felt it was what we should do.
Well, normally I would have said "yes" and made a way to fulfill the commitment.
This time we said "no". We took some flack and the person that asked "jokingly" said to me, "oh so you go on a mission trip and think you've done enough for God".
I was hurt and upset, but we held our ground and did not say "yes".
Later, I was asked to teach the 5th and 6th grade class. This time I said "yes". I felt very much like this was were God wanted me. Jeromy was asked to take the college age group and he said "yes" as well.
As time went on and we settled into our Sunday School classes we both felt a sense of contentment. We truly loved teaching our classes.
I enjoyed preparing for mine though it was very challenging.
I had a kid in there that knew everything there was to know when it came to facts. Living it though was a totally different story. He challenged me to always be WELL PREPARED.
I loved all of the kids in there, but there was this one sweet kid that was extremely quiet. He sat and soaked in every word. I often thought he thought I was nuts. Sometime during the time I was teaching the class he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. He totally committed his life to the Lord.
He was a boy that came from a home with a Christian mom and a dad that wasn't interested.
He became passionate about sharing his faith with his dad.
Eventually we moved to a new church and I said my sad goodbyes to the kids that were embarking on their teen years.
Later as we have kept in touch with our former church family I have seen the kids from my old class.
The boy that asked Jesus into his heart is one of the most on fire youth I have ever met. He is going to Moody Bible Institute. He has done international missions and ministers to those around him.
He is passionate about sharing the GOOD NEWS and has a huge heart for children around the world that are in desperate need.
He has big dreams and big plans and is willing to do whatever God calls him to.
(Don't worry I wont tell your secret :)
I am so thrilled that God gave me a front row seat into the life of this dear friend.
It would not have happened if I had said "Yes" for the wrong reasons. If I said "yes" to the youth class, I would have never had the chance to be his teacher and I would have never gotten to be part of this wonderful story if I had said "no" when God was nudging me.
I finally learned to say "no" and in so doing I was able to say "YES" to the very thing God had for me.
Now once again I feel like God is working in my heart. This time he is teaching me to say "Yes".
I have been reading a wonderful book called Kisses From Katie.
While in Uganda our group of 18 women went to her house for dinner.
I wish we had gone to minister to her and her neighbors instead of just eat dinner, but I know that had we not gone there I would not have known about her book or been so determined to read it. God used that visit to open my eyes to new things and I pray someday that God will spout the seeds that were planted that night at her home.
While we were there I had a brief visit with her.
She was just about ready for her book to get released, but they had not yet decided on a title.
She wanted the title "Saying Yes". I think it would have been very appropriate.
She has learned and continues to learn to say "Yes" to God, "yes" to helping those in need around her. She says "yes" to loving babies and sick people and she says "yes" to getting in the muck and mire and lending a hand even when she doesn't feel like it or even when it doesn't make sense.
Through reading this and through what I feel God has been laying on my heart I am learning I need to say "Yes".
Not "yes" to stuff and programs and busyness. Those things I am still practicing my "no's" on, but "yes" to people. "Yes" to relationships, "yes" to time with my kids, "yes" to whatever God has for us and "yes" to whomever he puts in our lives.
I want to quit putting limits on God, I want to quit trying to figure it out.
I want to, as the pastor preached on today, learn to deny ourselves and be willing to say "no" to the things of this world and "yes" to the things of God.
I have no idea what this is going to look like and I have no idea what God is doing, but I feel He is preparing our hearts to start saying "Yes"!