The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Sunday Snippet: Let My Yes Really Be Yes…

November 12th, 2013 · 10 Comments

There are times in every day when I am hanging out with my kids, just one on one, and idly chatting… and it is almost always when we are doing chores. We fold laundry together, we wash dishes and clean up together. We were folding laundry the other day, and a “little less than enthusiastic” young person mentioned to me that I should write a post about “when your yes really means yes…” After a long and grumpy day, they really just couldn’t get their heart into chores and I gave them a break. I get that, I totally get that… and as usual my children are training my heart.


So I pursued the conversation… “Well grown-ups always say: “because my no means no…”” How true is that, it is a Bible verse after all, Matthew 5:37, we often feel quite justified in saying a number of things because, “our no means no.” Now I am not for one moment suggesting that our “no’s” don’t mean “no…” But how annoying is it to be on the receiving end of that all the time. This little person was quite right about wanting our “yes’s to really mean yes.”


I for one do not want to raise an army of children to say “yes” just because they must, I want them to say yes because they can and because they want too… ambitious in a world full of folk “looking after number one.” But when faced with a sink of dishes on a Saturday morning, when everyone else is busy relaxing, instead of grumbling, just stopping to be grateful for full tummies and plates to eat off… can make the world of difference to how dishwashing will sound, the splish and splash of cheerful dishwashing is very different to the crash and bash of an unwilling helper!!!


How often have you read posts like Se7en Silly Reasons Why Moms Say No… and thought hmmm, I am so inspired, I am really going to figure out a way to say “yes,” much more often… Well this isn’t about saying yes more often and a whole lot more about saying yes and meaning it. An enthusiastic and resounding “yes,” is so much more of a gift than a run of the mill, “yes, because you say so.”


I am thinking it is all about our attitude and as your kids get older, it isn’t just your own attitude!!! I know when my kids were small if I was happy then they were happy, a lot depended on my own attitude. But as they get older, and then much older… attitude very much becomes matter of their own hearts. Yes, if one of us is walking around like the proverbial grumpy cloud it will affect all of us, and there is nothing like the great martyrs that sometimes reside in our house… and it isn’t just the children who can be fuming because the kitchen that was neat at bedtime looks like some monsters had a party in it over-night. Have you ever got to a chore that you thought was done… and then sighed and said: “Well I’ll do it then,” when you discovered it wasn’t.


But God loves a cheerful giver, and not just givers of cash… we are talking time and effort and energy here. How do we teach our kids to be cheerful givers? Well ask any tiny person to help you with chores – they are willing and eager and they will run the extra mile for you. But we grow out of that and our hearts really do appear to grow harder. We would all rather read a book than get dinner going, or lie in bed a little longer and hope the laundry takes care of itself. Turns out in order for our children to learn how to be cheerful they really need to see it in action. And while we are good at the bigger things: giving up our weekend to help a friend, giving up your bedroom so that a visitor from out of town can stay the night, we are still working on the little things. I see sparks of enthusiastic giving. The big brother that makes a cup of tea for a younger person battling to start the day, a little sister who helps pack up a mess that she didn’t make at all.


So as so often happens, my reluctant little helper, gave me a chance to pause a little and think about things. What happens if one day we are called to serve our country, to stand in the trenches, what happens if we find ourselves on Flander’s Field. I want my kids to be right up there with me… leaping joyfully at the opportunity to serve, to give with all our hearts, with cheerful hearts, with brave hearts. I would like our “yes’s” to always be a resounding and enthusiastic “yes.” So I made an agreement with this young person, that we wouldn’t do chores together if we just felt that we must… we would take a pause and get our hearts right, before diving in and getting the job done. They were right, that little moment to thankful for the big pile of laundry, thankful for the siblings to serve… we do enjoy helping each other and what a sweet gift to find a neat closet with fresh laundry in it… yes we will still be folding laundry together but we will take a pause to make sure that when we do our chores it is because our yes, really means yes.

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Olivia // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:05 am

    Thank You for this. A very useful tool at just the right time. We’re at 40 weeks, waiting for a new little person and I just want things to stay clean! But other little people don’t see the sense and run out of steam and it may very well be my attitude that they are feeding off of.

  • 2 Tammy // Nov 12, 2013 at 11:22 am

    This is particularly relevant at this time of year with christmas around the corner. X

  • 3 se7en // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Oh Olivia, Huge congratulations, wishing you all the very very best!!! You are so right about agendas… my agenda and those that I live with are often as far apart as the East is from the West – literally!!! After all these years I am still learning to smile and wave!!! Really wishing you the best with your new babe… lots of love…

  • 4 se7en // Nov 12, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    Oh Tammy , too true, I am trying not to think about what is round the corner… I am waiting for summer to arrive in force before it feels like I should be thinking about it all!!! I may have to leap into actin long before I feel ready to leap!!! Hope you have a great week!!!

  • 5 Lecia // Nov 12, 2013 at 10:16 pm

    Needed this today, too! Thank you for the attitude check. again. 🙂

  • 6 tcmullinax // Nov 13, 2013 at 1:23 am

    Dear Se7en,
    Oh how I wish I could pause in front of my sink full of dirty dishes to be thankful! It just doesn’t come naturally to me, to see the good in things. However, thanks to you, I’m going to try to be mindfully thankful for my dirty sink & dishes!

  • 7 katherine marie // Nov 13, 2013 at 4:23 am

    THANK you for your beautiful and reflective words… such a wonderful topic to ponder… an authentic yes is a such beautiful thing!!!

  • 8 se7en // Nov 13, 2013 at 9:07 am

    Great Lecia, blame my kids, they are always adjusting my attitude. I hope you have a fabulous day – wishing you all the best!!!

  • 9 se7en // Nov 13, 2013 at 9:09 am

    Hay TC, How good to hear from you!!! I have more than a few chores to be a lot more mindful of myself – these kids of mine have me in training!!! I hope you have the most fantastic week, wishing you all the best with those dishes!!!

  • 10 se7en // Nov 13, 2013 at 9:12 am

    Hay Katherine Marie… So good to have you over. Where are you when I need you… I think “authentic yes” are exactly the words I was looking for!!! And the difference between yes and an authentic yes can make a huge difference to everything, it is indeed a gift!!! Wishing you all the best in the cold… fun times ahead I am sure, lots of love…

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