You know those parenting days where you feel like you end up saying NO way more than you get to say YES? Today was one of those days with my sweet 5 year old. He is such an amazing bundle of energy and enthusiasm but everything he decided to do today ended with me saying an emphatic, “NO!!”
Mommy had to say no to:
-cutting branches of flowers off the neighbors azalea bushes,
-running with big, sharp kitchen scissors,
-using the same scissors to cut down vines to make lassoes to set up traps across the kitchen door for burglars,
-climbing up high in the garage to examine Daddy’s bb gun,
-using broken pieces of a chair as a mallet for making traps,
-throwing a baby snake that was found in the grass into the fan of the air conditioning unit to watch it get chopped into tiny bits,
-uncovering bricks in the pine straw where the snake was found, while barefooted to be bug killers.
They were legitimate no’s because of safety issues and time issues, but as the hours passed and the answers continued to be no I could see his little spirit wilting.
I started searching for ways to say YES to my precious little man but was having a hard time finding opportunities. For some reason everything Eli wanted to do today was beyond the boundaries of safety and reason for a 5 year old. Somehow that didn’t matter to his little brain and body though and he was so disappointed in the day and in Mommy.
I was really struggling. I wanted to make him smile and lift his sweet little downcast spirit. We made a special trip to Lucas Park to find trees he could climb, but then he had to go to the bathroom…no REALLY go to the bathroom (yes, I let him pee on the tree but then we had other issues). So we had to leave the park after 5 minutes which added to his majorly disappointing day.
I know tomorrow will be better, but in his childlike perception and grasp of time, he doesn’t. He is fine, but went to bed hoping for a better day tomorrow. It is hard for him to truly see past right now though. It still makes me sad even putting it down here. But if I had today to do over I still would choose to tell him no to those things he wanted to do. They were dangerous and would not have ended well!!! Out of my great love for him I COULD NOT let those things happen. He doesn’t understand, but my no’s were truly for his best. In the short term, but definitely in the long-term as well.
Again, the Lord has been using parenting to teach me some deeper truths. Not always, but sometimes I get it:) Have you ever been through, or maybe right now…you are in a season where you are hearing the Lord say a lot of big, fat NO’s. Sometimes we get a run of “nuh-uhs”, “not nows” and “ain’t no ways” from the Lord. It isn’t that hard hearing one of those answers to a request every now and again but when you hit a season of consistent no’s ….it just plain old stinks!!
Because what happens to me is I start to pout and internalize the rejection to my request and make it about ME. The enemy has a lot of fun with this. Instead of hearing the Lord say NO to what I was asking… I hear Him saying NO to me and the negativity seeps into the way I view Him and how I think He views me. Just because He said “NO you can’t go on that vacation” that doesn’t mean He loves me any less. Or just because He didn’t answer my prayer with a YES when I asked that my friends marriage be healed that doesn’t mean He is saying I have powerless prayers.
Does that make sense? Cause it really hit me that my NO’s to Eli were spoken out of my great LOVE for him, and nothing less.
If I loved him less…I would have said YES!! But he didn’t FEEL loved necessarily when I said NO. This was big for me. Just because God says no doesn’t mean I am out of his will …or that He doesn’t love me…or that He doesn’t hear me…or that I am wrong to ask…or he prefers someone else’s prayers over mine…
Those are all lies and untruths from the enemy. My Father tells me NO when it is for my best and for His glory. And that’s what I want right? I want Him to be glorified through my life. And I want to learn to smile up at Him and say “yes, sir” whether He tells me NO or YES because I trust His heart and I trust His great love for me. And really when I look at Scripture and take a step back to examine the bigger picture, my circumstances may in that season resound with some major NO’s but spiritually and eternally the YES’s are overwhelming. When I put my focus on that…I can only be filled with delight! And I’m not making this business up…look what I found:
2 Corinthians 1:20-22
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.
Now that right there is some good news!! We are “a sure thing in Christ” with “his Yes within us.” “A sure beginning of what he is destined to complete.” I can handle some NO’s when I have that YES to hold onto:) How about you?