The Season of Yes

“You can say ‘no.’”

Immediately, my guard went up.
It was Christmas time, so my planner was bulging its squares with lists of things to buy and to wrap and to bake.  What was my husband going to propose that required this ominous-sounding, front-loaded disclaimer?

Well, it turns out that there was this puppy . . .

A St. Bernard puppy – the dream puppy of my youngest son’s heart.

Could I really say ‘no’?

Well, sure . . . I could have, but how much cuteness would I have missed at the sight of a small boy’s head resting on a big dog’s sprawled body?  How much joy and laughter would be absent each Christmas without Tucker’s howling descant that floats atop our seasonal singing?

It seems to me that many of life’s loveliest gifts come with a built-in refusal clause:

“Be still and know that I am God, (Psalm 16:10 NKJV).

I can say no to stillness.  I am free to fill my life with activity and noise            that drown out the whisper of God’s Spirit.

“In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your path,” (Proverbs 3:6 NKJV).

I can say no to His direction.  I can bulldoze my own path through life.

“With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation,” (Isaiah 12:3 NKJV).

I can say no to eternal abundance.  My bucket can hang out to dry while I   search for joy in ways that leave me parched and exhausted.

Or I can trust God and make room in my heart for the risk that comes with a yes.

The “yes” that bubbled to the surface on the Christmas that Tucker joined our crew was a gift to my family, but it was a gift to me as well, for I learned that I don’t have to play it safe in my love for my family.

Acceptance of inconvenience stretches the boundaries of my heart, while my yes becomes a reminder that Jesus Himself ushered in The Season of Yes with His embrace of God’s great rescue plan for the human race.  Early in His ministry, He made His mission clear:  “I have come down from Heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me,” (John 6:38 NKJV).

This is deep teaching that we revisit every Advent season, but as my sons grow into men, our Advent traditions are no longer about teaching them the message of Christmas.  No, they’ve celebrated with stories and carols for so many years that now Advent has become a time to remember known truth and to rejoice in it together; to offer up our hearts as a family in an echo of God’s resounding YES that came when Jesus poured His glory – and His obedience – into a small body and entered time and space.

Jesus brought with Him the Promise, the Mercy, the Forgiveness, and the Welcome that lie at the heart of what we celebrate every Christmas.  His big, beautiful obedience opened the way for my heart to accept His grace and truth — and sometimes . . . to move outside my comfort zone in this glorious Season of Yes.

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Find more inspiring Christmas reading at BCW’s Christmas Blog Tour!  Click here for the next stop on the tour!

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An Announcement for January

Most of us have a favorite C.S. Lewis book, whether it’s the incisive practical theology of Mere Christianity or the glorious story-telling found in The Chronicles of Narnia.  It turns out that C.S. Lewis’s favorite of all his books was Till We Have Faces.  One Lewis scholar calls it his “most subtle treatment of the relation between good and evil.”

Till We Have Faces is a novel, based on the mythical tale of Cupid and Psyche, and in it, Lewis explores themes such as the selfishness of human love, the limits of reason, the corrupting effects of self-will, and in Lewis’s own words, “the havoc a vocation or even a faith works on human life.”   I’m planning to lead a discussion group about the book starting in January, and am hoping that many of you will join me, so here’s a quick overview of the plan:

  1.  The pace will be leisurely at three chapters per week (about 30-ish pages), which will take us into the beginning of March.
  2. I will be posting weekly starting January 5 (Thursdays) with introductory material and a detailed reading schedule.  My hope is that the comments section here at Living Our Days will become a comfy living room where we can discuss our thoughts on the book.  If you blog, PLEASE plan to include a link to your post about the week’s reading so that we can all benefit from one another’s impressions with more detail than is possible in the comments.  If you don’t blog, no worries.  Just share your thoughts in connection with the weekly reading here, and be sure to visit and respond to others.

More details to follow!

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I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.

 

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Published by

Michele Morin

I am a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. I have been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 27 years, and our four children are growing up at an alarming rate. Nonetheless, two teens still remain at home, and along with an incorrigible St. Bernard, we laugh, make messes, clean them up, and then start all over again. I love hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop me in my tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. I lament biblical illiteracy and advocate for the prudent use of "little minutes." I blog at Living Our Days because "the way I live my days will be, after all, the way I live my life." You can connect with me on Facebook or Twitter.

53 thoughts on “The Season of Yes”

    1. No need to sign up! Just show up! The first Thursday in January, I’ll be sharing an introductory post with background info and a reading schedule — which will probably take us into March at three-ish chapters per week. Bloggers and anyone who else who is reading along (or just curious) are welcome to comment or post links to their own posts on the book. If you want to make sure you get the reminders, you could follow my blog — I believe that there is a place to provide your email address. The posts will come to your inbox.

      Thanks for asking!

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  1. I’m so glad you said “yes” to that puppy! Far too often we miss out on God’s greatest blessings because we think the package they come in is too messy. Have a Merry Christmas, sweet friend. 🙂

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  2. Oh my! A St. Bernard puppy grows into an adult and they are big! Sounds like the perfect “yes’ for your son. I like how you say this is a season of “yes”. I am working hard to align my yeses with God and spending time with him instead of just forcing on myself.

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    1. I’m afraid that you are absolutely correct — 150 pounds worth of correct. 🙂 Sometimes I say that having Tucker in the house is like having an extra couch that just walks around and stands in your way. But he is a much loved part of the family, and I’m thankful that God gives us opportunities to do things that sometimes don’t make sense, logically, but which add to the joy of our family.

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  3. What an encouraging post today! Thanks!! It is one of those chilly 38 degree gray rainy days that saps your energy and can feel very heavy in mind and spirit! Your January sounds intriguing…will need to see if I think I can manage that along with routine posts and a major writing project in addition to some travel in February and March. Thanks for the invitation.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I would love to have an email address to share more with you, but don’t see one on your website. I have not known his work in the book you mention. I will see if I can check it out.

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  4. “Acceptance of inconvenience stretches the boundaries of my heart, while my yes becomes a reminder that Jesus Himself ushered in The Season of Yes with His embrace of God’s great rescue plan for the human race. ” Amen to this, Michelle! I’m sure your son was happy at that yes for the puppy that Christmas. Sounds like Tucker loves Christmas, too.!

    Blessings to you, Michele! I’m your neighbor at #TellHisStory

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  5. Saying “Yes” is what I so want to be able to do always. It is that always that gets in the way. I seem to desire to pick and choose my yeses. But that is not my heart’s desire, Michele. My husband and I together have a quandary in our lives and do not know the answer. We are waiting upon the Lord and also praying that we will not jump on ahead of Him. So we pray to say “yes” to whatever He has planned for us. That is our desire and prayer. Thanks for these words tonight.

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    1. I’ll be in prayer for you and your husband. May you sense God’s guidance in this decision, and may you experience His patience in the waiting (the hardest part!). Thanks for sharing your heart.

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  6. This is the second post I’ve read with the verse, “Be Still and Know that I am God” I think He is trying to tell me something. Don’t do, just be. So much easier said than done but thank you for your poignant reminder!

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  7. Michele,
    Oh how couldn’t you say “yes” to that face??? Can you tell I’m a big dog person. Way to often I say “No” to God on what could be good for me, because my own stubbornness and self-sufficiency get in the way. When I do say, “Yes” to Him, things generally tend to go better. I’m a slow learner so thank you for this needed “recalculation” on my course.
    Blessings,
    Bev

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  8. I think the only thing missing from this post is a pic of that cute little puppy. They grow so BIG over the years, goodness! But I love how you said yes, even with hesitation and that yes truly blessed your family for years to come! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, how many things we can choose in our lives! It can be truly overwhelming. Thank you for reminding us what is important and how to choose wisely!

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  10. Sometimes it’s harder to say No than we’d ever imagine. And other times it comes automatically.

    Same’s true with YES, I guess.

    May our heart be in the right place as we respond to life, to God, to opportunities.

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    1. Great point, Linda. I have found it’s been important to screen my mothering “noes” for the motive — is this request over a line of some sort or is it just that I don’t want to be bothered with it?

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  11. I’m hoping that I have the kind of trust in saying yes to anything the Lord brings in my life like you did with that cute puppy, Michele. Was this a recent addition or something that happened a Christmas or so ago? I do hope your son learns to say “yes” in helping you to care for such a big bundle or happiness! 😉 Thanks for reminding us that we must step out of our comfort zones in order to experience some of God’s sweetest blessings!

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  12. I love the phrase you coined, “acceptance of inconvenience “! Just knowing that “yes” can be challenging somehow seems to make it a little easier. Covey and Payne also help me stay in balance by remembering abundant life comes from investing, saying yes, to others. Blessings from your neighbor at Crystal’s.

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  13. “It seems to me that many of life’s loveliest gifts come with a built-in refusal clause:

    “Be still and know that I am God, (Psalm 16:10 NKJV).

    I can say no to stillness. I am free to fill my life with activity and noise that drown out the whisper of God’s Spirit.”

    I tend to do this. Sometimes in society, “being still” is looked at as being “lazy” and I hate that! Thank you for the reminder of God’s Word that tells us to be still and know…

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I absolutely love this line, “I learned that I don’t have to play it safe in my love for my family”. Thanks for sharing your learned lesson with us. Playing it safe is not what Jesus exemplified to us when he left the comfort zone of heaven, put on human flesh and came that we might have life. Lord help me step outside that safe place and learn to love like you.

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  15. We miss out on so much when we don’t say yes to things. While we can’t say no to everything, there are things we need to answer with a yes, just like a puppy. Michele, thank you for the kinds words you left on my blog. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Beautiful, Michele! May I align my yeses with God’s. What a wonderful yes with that precious puppy! So glad I’m following you this week at Holly’s. It’s always a gift to stop over and spend time in your online space. You are a blessing, friend!

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  17. Oh wow! I was writing about something similar and would love to share a quote from here if you don’t mind. Who would have thought bulldozing would have come up twice in one day for me? LOL…I think God is trying to tell me something….

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  18. This Michele…”Acceptance of inconvenience stretches the boundaries of my heart, while my yes becomes a reminder that Jesus Himself ushered in The Season of Yes with His embrace of God’s great rescue plan for the human race. ” I love this. And your words are going to find their way into my quote book.

    One of our best Christmas memories was a new puppy on Christmas morning finding her way to our kiddos and their joy and delight at the sight of a new member of the family. :0) It was one of the best ‘yesses’ we ever said.

    Blessings friend!
    Dawn

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