It’s All God’s Anyways

It’s All God’s Anyways

From the Authors Our Story

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
    the world, and all who live in it;
Psalm 24:1 (NIV)

Can't you see him asking, "Seriously, Mom? Those curtains right behind me? Those are the curtains you can't live without?"
Can’t you see him asking, “Seriously, Mom? Those curtains right behind me? Those are the curtains you can’t live without?”

We recently moved, which involved selling our house. When we read the offer for the house, it stated that they wanted to keep all of the curtains. I sat up a bit at that, and may have thrown a small scale tantrum. “Those are my curtains!” I obstinately told my husband. And it was true. I’d sewn most of the curtains in that house (or found them clearanced and had a coupon…). My husband gave me a look, and then patiently asked me if I wanted to keep the curtains. And I thought about that. “Well… no, not really. But they are my curtains!” And then he patiently informed me that we could ask to keep the curtains, to which I scoffed, “What would we even do with those curtains? They’re not even that nice.”  I was already thinking of how they weren’t that great of quality (homemade, in my case, sometimes translates to thrown-together-as-quickly-as-possible while using the cheapest fabric I could find). Then I was thinking that we don’t even know where we will end up, and what kind of curtains we will need. And then I remembered something my husband always says, but had (wisely) not said yet.

“It’s all God’s anyways.”

It’s funny how those words change the attitude of my heart so quickly. Sometimes I forget that God is the one who owns everything. Even us. And when I say, “Well, it’s your house God, so I guess you better find someone to buy it so we can move.” Then I can also say, “Well, those are your curtains, and I guess I don’t really need them.” My selfishness sort of slowly fizzles when I stand before God openhanded and say, “All that I have, it’s not really mine, it’s Yours. All that I am, it’s not mine to boast in. It is Yours.”

So we (me, Mom, Uncle Bob, Cousin Adam) are prepping to get our first (of several) children’s books published. And it’s intimidating in it’s own way. We are standing open handed before our Lord, our God, our Savior, our Friend.

It’s all Yours anyways.

My favorite part of the Lord’s prayer is, “Not my will, but yours be done.” Not the easiest part, not by a long shot. But my favorite part, because I trust that His ways are infinitely better than mine.

And my husband and I now laugh at my moment of curtain-insanity. And it amazes me that I was so adamant about keeping ugly curtains!* But we live, we learn, and hopefully we can always find ways to laugh at ourselves.

May the Lord, protect you and keep you. May He make his face to shine on you, and fill you with peace. And may you stand before your Father in Heaven with hands opened toward him, freely giving and freely receiving. In Jesus name, Amen!

~Lindsay

*I also have a new way of sewing curtains that is infinitely cuter… and I may have learned my lesson about just buying the cheapest fabric. Not very fun to look at everyday.

 

Yes

Yes

Encouragement From the Authors

But let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and ‘No’ mean ‘No.’
Matthew 5:37 (MEV)

I quoted this verse to my kids today. Then I was left staring off into space as a few things occurred to me.

I said something like, “God wants us to say yes, when we mean yes.” At the time, I was talking about being truthful. But before I go on a parenting tangent about speaking blessings into my children’s lives, or my thoughts on quoting biblical scripture to our kids…

Let me just stop and say it again, “God wants us to say yes, when we mean yes.”

And while my kids waited for me to make my point, I realized something, I usually think of this verse in two contexts:

  1. We speak the truth, and
  2. If we say we are going to do something, then we follow through and do it.

But there is something I’d been missing.

It’s that time of year again. The very best time of year, but also a very busy time of year with more than the usual amount of too-much-to-do. And there is a group of us who tend to say “yes” to everyone, even when on the inside we are screaming, “No! How will I ever have time to do that too!?” Or, sometimes in my case, “Ugh, I really, really do not want to do that, but what will this person think of me if I say no?”

God wants us to say yes, when we mean yes. Not say yes, when we are screaming no in our minds.

When I say yes too many times, especially when I didn’t mean to agree, I become overbooked, stressed out, and frustrated. And I turn into a really not fun person to be with; a scrooge. Just ask my kids.

Now don’t fall off the other side of the horse here! This is not our free pass to say “no” to everyone. Some of us (still me included), need to pray for a more willing heart. A daring prayer that God will help us step out of our comfort-zones and be the person He created us to be. Saying, “no” to everyone because you don’t really feel like doing something is not the answer.

So how do we find the balance?

Oldest Son, sledding like a penguin.
Oldest Son, sledding like a penguin.

As I am constantly telling my older son, “practice!”

Start with prayer. Pray for wisdom, for God’s heart, for understanding of yourself and others. Pray that you will be ok with feeling like you are letting someone down (because that’s how I tend to feel when I say no).

And then be practical: know your limits, know your commitments, know what is reasonable, and know where you need some “stretching.”

And finally be kind to yourself and others. People aren’t asking you to do things to be cruel. And you aren’t saying no to be cruel.

God wants us to say yes, when we mean yes. And to say no, when we mean no.

So, to recap. Go to Him first. Pray. And then practice. Practice with safe people. Practice with a ‘soft’ no. Don’t say a flat out, “No. Nope. Never going to do this. This is a terrible idea. I’m way too busy for this junk!”

Instead, try saying,

  • “Thank you for asking me, but I can’t make that work in my schedule.”
  • “I’m really grateful you thought of me, but this is not something I am interested in.”

Most of all be honest. Kindly honest.* And don’t give a ‘maybe’ answer unless you really mean maybe.

Anyways, if you will excuse me, I have to go apologize to my kids for being a scrooge, pray to my Good Father about what this season should really look like, clear up some time with my kids, and practice saying my ‘no’ when I mean it. And practice saying ‘yes’ when maybe I’m a little nervous to try something new. So, I have a pretty full plate for the rest of the day. Sorry to say, I gotta scoot!

May the Lord, who created you for a purpose, bring you the wisdom and strength to do the good things you were created for. And may He bless you to say yes, when you mean yes. In Jesus strong name! Amen!

~Lindsay

*But, speaking the truth in love, we may grow up in all things into Him, who is the head, Christ Himself Ephesians 4:15 (MEV)