no, I’m going to say yes.

Mom, can I come with? 
not today

Could I have a snack?
not right now

Mom, would you read with me?
no, later

Mom, would you play a game?
not at the moment

Can we paint?
no, it’s too messy

Would you go outside with me?
no, I’ve got laundry

Where in the world did my YES go?

Yesterday, I listened to my words. I kept close attention to the automatic no’s that came from my mouth. It is my natural tendency to say no — before I even listen to the question. I think in some ways no became easier, in fact.

So the other day, I chose to intentionally sprinkle my no’s with yes.

Caleb came to me at 5:34 as I was running quick to the store to get extras for dinner.

Mom, can I please please please come with?

My mouth started to form that no word and I stopped.

Yep, Caleb, go grab your coat.

That sweet boy.

He grabbed his coat, flung it on, velcroed the worn and in-need of replacing black shoes on the wrong feet, looked at me with eager eyes, and grabbed my mittened hand.

We were just going to the grocery store.

But, for him, this was the adventure. A big deal.

And I almost told him no.

So as we walked through the store  he kept talking about how this was the best day ever.  We walked to the natural food section and began to look for some gluten free snacks.  Once he spotted these over-priced gluten free, yet made with juice, gummy worms he was set. He wanted those gummy worms. He asked. I wanted to say no, but today was different.

So I told him yes.

I don’t think that grocery store ever saw a happier boy wandering around clutching a $2.99 bag of gluten-free gummy worms talking about how he was so glad they were gluten free.


We got to the car, and I opened those sugary worms, and he pulled the first one out for me.

I wanted to get them for you because you don’t eat gluten, mom.

And to think I almost missed it.

Let me tell you.

Yes was worth it.

Where can you say yes today?


26 Responses to “no, I’m going to say yes.”

  1. I found joy this morning reading how Caleb found joy in you…just by saying, YES! Yesterday will forever be etched in his precious little heart!

    Love it! Absolutely love it! :o)


  2. March 8, 2011

    Southern Gal Reply

    I haven’t commented in a while. I’ve been praying for you, Samuel and your journey.

    This is what woke me this morning at 6:00a.m. When was the last time I told Ethan “Yes!” When he climbed out of bed I was determined (and prayed up) that I would be more positive with him today. It’s what the Lord laid on my heart. Then to come here and read this only confirmed it for me. Thanks for posting this. It needed to be read by me.

  3. Melt my heart!!! Sweetest boy EVER! I have to remember to say yes!

  4. March 8, 2011

    Sarah Reply

    Your story inspires me. I am the queen of no with my 2.5 year old. Thank you for sharing. I am going to try and say yes a little more.

  5. March 8, 2011

    m&msmommy Reply

    I REALLY need to remember to sprinkle my “no’s” with some “yes’s” Thank you for another reminder! 🙂

  6. March 8, 2011

    Hannah Reply

    Oh, Caleb boy. Momma, that made me cry. I’m prone to saying no — but look at the beauty that can come from the yes. 🙂

    Love you.

  7. March 8, 2011

    Kris Reply

    Your sweet daughter sounds special indeed!!! As a Grandma, I find that I am much more a Yes than a no!!!
    Have a lovely day!

  8. March 8, 2011

    Growing Blessings Reply

    I also try to be intentional with my “yes” answers to our children. It always amazes me how a simple “yes” to a simple request can bear such fruit!

  9. March 8, 2011

    Melissa Reply

    What a beautiful post you’ve shared, so many of us have been there…thank you for sharing a piece of your heart!

  10. So very a perfectionist mama of 6, I know this too well. I get in my zone of what needs to be done..why?..because mentally MY mind doesn’t like incompleteness, half-way-ness..but this has been encouraging my recent realizations that my children couldn’t care less about the way MY mind works..they need yes sometimes!

    I once heard a friend of many more children than we have encourage someone to “say yes whenever yes is something that isn’t a sin!” Wow..transformative..if I’d just listen to my heart and not my head!

    I love seeing the joy when usual not right now or no’s turn to yes…if we don’t see these things, I think the joy will only be there for so many years before they stop asking altogether.

    God Bless, and thanks a lot for the post!

  11. March 8, 2011

    Child of God Reply

    Oh what a precious moment, for sure! I think all mom’s suffer from the ‘no’ syndrome. :s

    I am glad you said yes to Caleb. He sounds like a real sweet caring young man-child. What a blessing!

    Still praying for you all and of course Samuel. 🙂

  12. March 8, 2011

    marlece Reply

    I had a pastor one time give me one of the best pieces of advice that I have used since my babes were just little. He said, “you always want to be a ‘yes’ man so that when you say ‘no’ they know you mean it” So many times I say no out of my own selfishness so I always am asking myself, “why am I saying no?” This is good!

  13. March 8, 2011

    Kelli Reply

    Rachel you are right on with this. This is something I have also been working on. I mainly tell my kids no because I’m too busy and not stopping long enough to make time for them. The yes for the little things really light up their world. Enjoy your gummy worms.

  14. Oh yes, I have this problem too. The “automatic no” comes so easily, and the “yes” comes with fears (too much mess, too much time, too much effort…) but as in your case, it often gives so many blessings that I’d otherwise miss. Thank you for the reminder.

  15. March 8, 2011

    Teresa Marie Reply

    Last night my almost 4 yr old wanted to color, I wanted to read to him. I almost said no, but at the last second I was like “well, yeah I guess we can color” while coloring I had him write his name, then dad came home and we were all around the table and Owen grabbed his spelling blocks, for 10 minutes he restlessly but excitedly pieced together different words and did laps of joy or double high fives when he got something right. As I watched him I thought this very thing “I almost missed it”.

  16. March 8, 2011

    Jennifer Reply

    That brought tears. Thankyou for the reminder. I need to try to say yes more.

  17. March 8, 2011

    Joanna Reply

    The smallest things to them are sometimes the biggest {or some to be} chore for us. Just saying yes sometimes is worth it! {Something I need to work on!!}

  18. March 8, 2011

    Kelley Reply

    Aaahhh, love this. Also with 7, and lots of them boys, I am well-versed in the “no” as well. But I did inexplicably say yes this morning to ice cream – at baskin-robbins – and BEFORE lunch – for all 7 at once – just because. And loved it. Yes, yeses are good 🙂

  19. March 8, 2011

    Mama4Real Reply

    oh my gosh I’m going to cry. That is absolutely precious. I say no way too often as well, and it’s just b/c I’m lazy and boring. *sigh*. I’m challenged.

  20. March 8, 2011

    Gwen Toliver Reply

    Yes, yes, yes – you’re absolutely right, Rachel. I sometimes even catch myself saying no before they even finish the questions.

    At times it’s connected w/ me being too busy and (dare I admit it?) a bit grouchy. I want my big, busy crew to grow up thinking of me as a cheerful, positive mom – not always expecting me to veto everything. Thanks for this reminder!!!

  21. March 8, 2011

    Leah Reply

    This was the cutest story ever!~ (to model after Caleb’s trademark phrase). But seriously… so sweet.

  22. March 8, 2011

    rachel Reply

    such a fabulous reminder that I need to work on saying yes a lot more. thank you, rachel!

  23. March 9, 2011

    BARBIE Reply

    How precious that Caleb wanted those gummies for you. Thank you for the reminder to sprinkle my no’s with yes’s.

  24. March 9, 2011

    Masto Mama Reply

    Such a SWEET post! I do that way too much…it’s a great reminder for all of us…thanks for writing it!

  25. March 9, 2011

    Masto Mama Reply

    Such a SWEET post! I do that way too much…it’s a great reminder for all of us…thanks for writing it!

  26. April 11, 2013

    chantalle asselin Reply

    thank you. how delicious. i am going to try that tomorrow!

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