And now for something completely different.
The blog thus far has been about me whining and being sad and dark and trying to find my mojo. Well, I'm going to put that on the shelf for a bit and focus on something good. Really good. Something that often floats on whisper . . .
Yes or no?
What's your answer?
Think of all the times we've said YES.
Yes. To big things. The little things. The seemingly insignificant things.
Think of all the times we've said no . . .
I have been thinking of the YESES and how much the trajectory of my life has changed because of them.
Sure, there are the obvious ones: Do you want to go on a date? Will you marry me? Do you want another kid? Should we get a dog? Should I quit my job? Should we move?
But, mostly, I'm remembering the seemingly small ones that turned out to be big ones: Will you help me? Do you see me? Am I loved? Do you care?
Our sunflowers have died already this summer. I have pulled them up and tilled the soil and I'm ready to plant new ones. The original sunflower came home with Pierce from preschool. We planted it along the fence we shared with Mr. Harvey, our neighbor, so he could enjoy it too.
Mr. Harvey will always be one of my greatest YESES.
He was our elderly neighbor. We'd chat and be cordial. He was battling cancer. He loved coming to the edge of the fence to visit with my children and pet my dogs.
Then, his son, fearing for Harvey's health and ability to get on by himself, moved him into an assisted living center. That lasted a few months.
I saw Harvey's car next door. It was near Christmas. I had a gift and decided to take it over. He said he was moving back into his home. He hated the center--he said, "It's where people go to die and I'm not ready to die yet. Plus, the food is horrible!" I asked him if he had plans for Christmas dinner. "No," he replied.
"Well, now you do." He came with our family to my parent's house to celebrate Christmas. And then Easter. And then another Christmas.
Harvey was a secret smoker. So kind, he never did it in where my children could see him. Before bed, I always potty the dogs. I go out into the yard with them to make sure they do their business. I could always smell that Harvey was out there and see the red light of his cigarette. We'd chat. He loved my dogs. Especially Chloe. He never got her name right--always called her Cleo.
"I love you, Meredith." "I love you too, Mr. Harvey."
Harvey turned 80 this year. He fell in his home and hit his head. I miss him terribly. Everyday.
I will plant new sunflowers this week.
I told this story last week to my friend Erica.
She didn't know she's one of my best recent yeses.
Earlier this year Erica was enduring some health issues. She needed help getting her kids to and from preschool. I got the email. I felt strongly about saying YES.
When God presents you with the question, "Will you? Yes or No?" He's never over bearing. He's quiet. He presents us with millions of these scenarios, daily. Yes, or no. He waits. Often, we say no. It's no big deal. We just didn't choose the opposite. Most of the "no's" fade away . . . But the YESES, these remain.
When I chose to take this woman's children to and from school three days a week--I had no idea where my YES would take me. I didn't know her. I didn't know her children. Yet, I could not say NO.
She has become one of my best friends. One of the people I chose to spend my time with every week. Our children play together. Our husbands are becoming friends.
It all stems from a YES.
Yes makes me think of Yahweh. The true name of God which means: becoming or to be. I am.
Yes. I am. Yes I am. Yes, I will.
Yes, the "no's" matter too. But, let's focus on the yeses.
Jeremiah 29:11-13. This is my FAVORITE verse and all that I hang my YES on:
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
What will you say?