By Abigail McConnell
The requests, they fly at me all day long.
Can we have a popsicle?
Can I try out for the travel team?
Can I have an iPhone?
… and now often heard in our house:
Can I take the car?
There’s no dodging them, because I am the parent. Which means I am The Decider. Raising kids is an endless series of yes’s and no’s — each one a doorway to yet another set of yes’s or no’s:
Can we have another popsicle?
Can I have 80 bucks for travel team spirit wear?
Can I get unlimited messaging?
… and also recently heard in our house:
Can you please come get me? I just crashed the car!
Who hasn’t looked back and said, “If I’d have just said NO, then there never would’ve been the popsicle vomit/empty wallet/texting addiction/wrecked car?” It is so tempting to think that if we limit choices and outcomes, life will somehow be easier to control.
Saying yes is hard, because there’s a good chance it’s gonna get messy. That’s parenting.
But what about when the requests are from our friends, our school leaders, our church, our co-workers? What happens when they need our yes or no? (This is becoming a theme around here.)
Saying no is hard, because we feel less valuable when we’re less visible.
Will you join the committee?
Will you take on the fundraiser?
Will you lead the project?
Those decisions are just as tough, especially in our hyper-involved culture where action and leadership are revered, and where nothing — I mean n-o-t-h-i-n-g — is just plain simple (as in, can kids really not play soccer for an hour without needing a full round of CapriSuns and fruit snacks for the whole team after?)
But saying no is hard, because we feel less valuable when we’re less visible. And we feel our worth by what we do — not by what we don’t do.
But here’s what I have found: In this suburban sea of endless choices, doling out yes’s and no’s is a confusing, stressful mess UNLESS I first have said yes to God:
Do you love me?
Will you feed my sheep?
Will you follow me?
Saying yes to God is when our true worth takes root (though it still might get messy). And that is what this blog is all about: You can say yes to God and be assured that you’re not left all alone to figure out what that means. Throw your doors open and invite him in, and invite others in with you. Right there in your cul-de-sac.
We hope the things we write will get faith conversations started at your bus stop or in the bleachers — whether it’s about anxiety over our kids or slowing down or what to do when life’s not fair. We think online community is good, but we’re pretty sure that in-the-flesh community is really where it’s at.
And because we believe this so strongly, we want to share an awesome opportunity with you. (Heads-up Atlanta-area readers!)
THE ROOTED WOMEN’S CONFERENCE, happening in East Cobb Oct. 24-25, will bring together women just like you. Women who yearn to be rooted in Christ’s love and filled with his power and purpose. Women who want to say yes to God and who need to explore together what that means. Lysa TerKeurst, best-selling author of the new book The Best Yes and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, will lead us for the weekend. You’ve probably heard of her. If not, look her up. She’s a huge deal.
Here’s the fun part. We really want you to come to Rooted with us, so we’re giving you (and a friend) a chance to come for free and read The Best Yes. ($90 value!) To enter, just help us spread the word about this blog and The Rooted Conference:
» WIN TWO TICKETS TO ROOTED + THE BEST YES BY LYSA TERKEURST! HERE’S HOW:
Step 1: TYPE “YES!” in the comments section below (your email will be required), then …
Step 2: CLICK ON The Cul de Sac’s Facebook’s page, and “LIKE” or COMMENT on the link to this post
**Both steps must be completed for entry!**
If you’re an overachiever, you can EARN ADDITIONAL ENTRIES when you also doing the following:
— Like The Rooted Women’s Conference on Facebook
— Retweet this post
Hurry, entries accepted only until Saturday Oct. 4. Winners will be randomly selected and contacted via email (the one you used to enter your comment). If you already have your ticket, enter anyway to bring your friend, mom, sister or neighbor, and please share this post on your timeline to let your friends know about The Cul de Sac and Rooted — and so they can enter, too!
So let’s do this, people!
Think of The Rooted Conference as one big cul-de-sac, where everyone’s coming out to talk and laugh and sing and be real together with Jesus. It’s too easy to live divided up in our households or church circles — sometimes it even feels like you’re choosing sides. But here’s a chance to gather with your people, the ones who get tangled up in their yes’s and their no’s just like you do. The ones who feel caught shuttling kids or shuffling papers, but who said yes to God and now need to know what to do next. Those people. You and me. God meant us to seek him together.
Please say yes.
*For more information about The Rooted Conference click here.