WFMW: Saying Yes is Risky

YesWFMW

I’m happy to introduce you to this week’s guest poster, Erika for my Wednesday series Yes, Works For Me! Please welcome her and be encouraged by her yes to God and continue to link up what works for you.

Sharing on Kristen’s blog, knowing that thousands may read this post, I am tempted to write about the “wow” yeses. You know, those moments that felt big and important and risky and profound.

My pride wants to impress you and my insecurity longs to win your approval by sharing what we’ve done and how we’ve influenced people for the kingdom and taken risks for God’s glory. But saying “yes” isn’t about me impressing you. Obeying God’s call has little to do with what everyone else thinks and everything to do with pleasing God.

I used to tell my students that following Jesus is the greatest adventure they could ever take. And it is.

Following Jesus means listening to His voice and following His lead. But it also means making decisions and choosing paths when the answer isn’t clear and the plan not fully understood. Following Jesus means walking by faith, and faith, by definition, means I won’t have all the answers. The outcomes won’t all turn out as I plan.

Saying yes to Jesus is risky. Many times, our yes, means leaving what is nailed down and secure — resigning from a job or taking a new opportunity, giving when the budget is tight or putting our reputation on the line because we’re standing up for what is right.

Saying “yes” to God can be big and audacious and exhilaratingly scary.

But here’s the thing.

Sometimes we get so caught up in looking for adventure, in looking for those audacious yeses to God that we start saying no to the areas where He has called us to be faithful.

Following Jesus is the greatest adventure – but sometimes that adventure looks ordinary, conventional, and maybe a little boring.

Our family has said some big yeses to God. We’ve given up and given in and given away, but one of the hardest yeses that God has asked me to make is to be faithful in the small, ordinary, sacrificial moments of marriage and motherhood.

God hasn’t asked me to merely be faithful to my husband. He also asks me to respect my husband, to serve him, and to share myself with him. God asks me to step closer when I want to pull away and pray for him when all I want to do is complain.

Similarly with my children. God is not calling me to say yes only with my time and energy. He’s calling me to say “yes” with my attitude as well.

I’m gonna be honest — a lot of times I say no.

I give in to my exhaustion and irritation and my downright selfishness. I stomp my feet or huff and puff or let resentment live in my heart, but the more I say yes — yes to patience and kindness and to obeying God’s Word and His Spirit — the more I surrender my pride and selfishness and plan, the more I say yes to God’s will, God’s way, the more joy and blessing and fullness of life I find all around me.

The little yeses matter, maybe even more than the big ones. After all, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much” (Luke 16:10 ESV).

By God’s grace, I’m learning to say yes.

Yes, yes, yes to God, right here in my mess.

Bio:

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The wife of one amazing guy and Mom to four young kids, Erika is passionate about the Word of God and prayer, and her desire is to help people, young and old, grow in their relationship with Jesus.gue

Erika blogs regularly at erikadawson.com and is a contributing writer at ForTheFamily.org and the Allume Conference blog. She also speaks to women’s and parenting groups, and directs the Sunday morning children’s ministry at her church. You can also find her hanging out on Facebook or Instagram.

Her heart is for encouraging others to live out an authentic, courageous faith and equipping families to disciple their children.

She is the author of Pray Truth: Praying God’s Word for our Husband’s Heart and Clean on the Inside: A Family Devotional for Holy Week.

Dear Exhausted Mothers of the World:

I lay awake with an unsettled feeling. I searched my mind going over my day, picturing names and faces until I settled on one of my kid’s tucked in bed upstairs.

Yes, that’s the one. She’s keeping me up tonight.

I thought about the tough day, the words we’d flung at each other and I prayed for her. And I prayed for me.

The night before I started thinking about how expensive college is going to be and stayed up an extra hour pondering it.

Two nights earlier, I didn’t rest well because of a tension headache from overthinking all I needed to get done.

The week before that is was the flu, strain A, that put a feverish second grader on a pallet wheezing through the night and I slept with one eye open.

I keep a notepad next to my bed and it’s always got something on it in the morning. Some worry, some reminder, some whispered prayer, something to do.

This morning’s said, “Call ortho. Tell son to stop eating chips.”

Dear Exhausted Mothers of the World

Every season of parenting is different and the same. We never move past the worry, the wonder, the what-the-heck-am-I-doing-wrong thoughts, or the bone-tired weary responsibility of raising these little people.

We work hard.

We love harder.

We look ahead at the weeks To Do List of grocery shopping and cleaning and baking and thawing that turkey followed by weeks of Christmas shopping and tree decorating and merry making and we are tired. And not just the sleepy kind (although yes, what a day in bed wouldn’t fix).

Exhausted.

Bone-weary, worn out.

Can you feel it? The noise, the never-ending piles of laundry, dishes and demands.

And some days I think we just need permission to leave the worry and the doubts, the fear and the unknown. To walk away. To turn it off. To say no. To take time for ourselves. To lay down the burden.

Here it is.

Here’s the permission to rest, to be quiet, to reflect. To be.

We can kill ourselves trying to create a perfect holiday season or rest in the fact that perfection is overrated.

Dear Exhausted Mothers of the World

This week as we prepare for company and cooking, family and friends, let’s put ourselves on the list.

God didn’t tell us to be thankful.

He told us to give thanks.

And we know all about giving, don’t we? 

We give our kids the last cookie we were saving for ourselves.

We give them our hoodie off our own back because they are cold at the park. We shiver through.

We give to our children first. Because that’s what we do.

Giving thanks might just sound like another thing on our list. Someone else who needs something from us.

But here’s the beauty of giving him Thanks when we’re empty, tired and worn down, worried and burdened:

In exchange, He gives us rest. 

‘But they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
I’m taking my own advice to rest with my family this week. We are tucked away for a quiet few days.  I’m letting go of a lot of things…
This week, take a moment to put your feet up. Trade your worry and doubt for peace and rest. Give God your exhaustion and He will renew you. “He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s,” Psalm 103:4
Remind yourself you’re a good mom.

Happy Thanksgiving.

An Advent Roundup

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I'll never forget eight December's ago when I had my youngest child seven weeks early. Gifts weren't bought or wrapped, stockings weren't hung with care. I wasn't prepared. That year changed Christmas for me.  Most of my adult life, I had … [Continue reading]