"Let's be cheerful"! We have no more right to steal the brightness out of the day for our own family than we have to steal the purse of a stranger. Let us be as careful that our homes are furnished with pleasant & happy thoughts as we are that the rugs are the right color and texture & the furniture comfortable and beautiful"! Laura Ingalls Wilder

Thursday, January 17, 2013

a thoughtful, yes











A couple of days ago, in response to my yes/no list, Bevy of Treasured up and Pondered asked me a thought provoking question.  Rather than answer it in an email I decided it might be interesting to address it here, today.  She asked me if I considered myself to be more of a yes mom or a no mom.  Actually, she meant when the kids were little and I suppose things do change with the years but I'd have to say that really, I haven't in that area.

Larry and I found when the kids were young that by laughing much and loving much, the kids naturally wanted to please us.  We expected them to do the right thing and made sure that they saw our delight when they did. Both of us are fairly calm by design which helped us not to over-react to accidents and mistakes.  We used that to our advantage pairing teachable moments with smiles and hugs (not neglecting discipline when needed).  Those were the easy years... 

Thankfully, what was sown has taken root.  With teens come temptations with larger consequences, peer pressure and conflict as they make more of their own decisions.  Being confident in our balance of boundaries takes much more deliberate discussion and prayer.  Many times our answer to, "can I go see such and such a movie with so and so?" has been difficult.  It's hard being in the world and not of it when your world seems to have become entangled with what peers think.  We've always offered our home as an alternative plan when we have to say no.  Mostly they understand and are thankful, sometimes there's frustration.  Our children love the Lord and are learning every day.  If I still have more to learn in my late forties, I have to be empathetic as they work out their own understanding.  No one is perfect but we do the best we can with what we understand.  That really is all any parent has to offer.

So, yes or no?  I'd have to say I'm infinitely more yes than no, but to parent well means knowing there is a time for each and when to say which.  We say no more to movies and activities that promise to be dangerous to sweet souls, and yes more to people and opportunities.  











Every day the Lord is growing us.  Younger people may find it hard to believe that old people like me are still learning but there will always be room for improvement.  So, I go back to the initial heart behind our parenting.  Smile much and love much.  While my kids are imperfect sinners (just like me), what I do see is young people (who make mistakes) with deepening roots who freely smile and love.  If we did nothing else right... I'm calling that success.        

 Blessings, Debbie

*These photos are from a play the girls were in last summer.

27 comments:

  1. You are both definitely a blessed couple with a blessed family. I love your answer and you get an A+

    Your girls are so pretty.
    Hugs
    JB

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  2. PS, the pictures are great.
    JB

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  3. A HUGE success! You are a blessing to your kids and others who watch and see. Laughing and smiling and loving....ahh, a happy home. Doesn't your LIW quote say something like that? Hugs! d.

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  4. OH! what beautiful daughters you have, and what great, no , Awesome parenting advise.... We too gave the alternative of opening up our home when we had to say no, and that seemed to suffice. Great post, Great job of parenting.
    Blessings,
    Sue

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  5. Thank you for this.

    I got goosebumps with your answer. And realize afresh that God created each one of us different - so therefore our natural bents all are played out differently and some need refining more than others. ME!
    It's a cause for prayer... and a desire to "walk in a manner worthy of the Gospel" even more so.

    You are certainly an inspiration. I want to laugh more, love more and smile more freely... it's something I need to work on for sure.

    But God - gives grace! Amen?
    Every. Single. Day.
    ***
    I want to know more about this play. It looks beautiful. And so do your girls...

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    1. Trust me. One thing I've learned at this ripe old age :), we are all in need of the refiners fire. As you say, each one of us different and each of us desperately in need.. praise him!

      Amen.

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    2. I commented already but I saw what Bevy wrote here and I have to agree! I think what you wrote was inspiring and I too want to laugh more, love more and smile more - the Lord is woking on that in me - more Godly yes' in my life! :)

      Oh and I forgot to say how lovely your daughters are!

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  6. What a wonderful post! I know what you mean by all the yes and no's. But I no wisely said is so much more postive than you know. I once again have to say no to the boys on a issue that the older two had asked. ((sigh)) I need to be strong for the younger two. Miss you my SSiC.

    Blessings and ((HUGS))
    -Mary

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  7. Ohh PS: I for got to say your two young ladies are soooooooooo beautiful in their play. To bad this style is not in fashion. [o=

    -Mary

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  8. These pictures just blessed my heart..I kept thinking, Oh how I would have loved to have seen this...your words just added the truth already spoken in the faces of your young adults in these pictures
    Great piece

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  9. My Tim has always said, "We need to say yes as much as we can,so that the "no's" mean more." We found that as selfish people we tended to say No quickly without really thinking through something.

    I agree with your views...

    You have stunning daughters!

    Deanna

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  10. Beautiful pics! You are a great photographer. And your daughters, so lovely, they could be acting in "Downton Abbey"!

    Very nice post...so true. Kids love to please when they feel loved!

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    1. Funny Andrea... you just made their day. The girls have watched them all and made me sit down and watch my first one last night! (I was afraid to start because I knew I'd get sucked in. Yup. :)

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    2. Well they are truly beautiful girls. And they carry their selves well also. (I will be at my t.v. at 9 p.m. here, Sunday night watching Downton Abbey on pbs.)

      It is funny how my house seems roomier now, yet during holidays when everyone visits, it shrinks!

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  11. Your daughter's are lovely! This is a great post. It is always a wise parent, when having to say no, provides a better alternative by opening their home for other teens to also go! :)

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  12. Oh my goodness - they look lovely in those old-fashioned togs. What fun. Being laid back must be nice - I know that Tim and I both tend to over-react. I blame it on the fact that we are both first-borns (don't tell me you are too). :) I tend to put things off - neither yes or no but later - I am trying to work on some of that more.

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  13. Your daughters are beautiful, I loved these photos.

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  14. I LOVED this line:

    "We say no more to movies and activities that promise to be dangerous to sweet souls, and yes more to people and opportunities."

    Fantastic! Good parenting advise there!! I'm going to lock that away and apply it more as my children grow!

    Thank you for stopping in at my blog and for your comment on The Buck Stops Here. I found your comment VERY encouraging!! So thank you again!! :)

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  15. Debbie,
    Your words are always so encouraging and thought provoking. I have to intentionally be a "yes" mom. My kids are still young enough that saying yes often equates a mess :-) But I want my "no" to be well thought out, and I love the laughter and memories and creativity that come with saying yes!

    Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of last summer. Sweet times and sweet young ladies!
    Joanna

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  16. You are wise. Very wise.
    Beautiful daughters with the Light shining through!

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  17. I have certainly enjoyed visiting your blog. What beautiful pictures of the play your children were in! Beautiful vintage look! I hope you are having a nice weekend!

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  18. First of all,these are amazing pictures. Such beautiful girls. I would have loved to see the play. And second, smile and love--YES!

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  19. Hi there! What a lovely blog! I wanted to thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a sweet comment - I greatly appreciate it!
    I thoroughly enjoyed reading about you and your relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I find it a great blessing meeting other Christian woman so I am now following you and I look forward to future visits :)

    Have a lovely weekend.

    Hugs,
    Stephanie
    theenchantingrose.blogspot.com

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  20. Lovely photos. That looks like it was such a fun time. And really good thoughts!

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  21. May your tribe increase!!!! I concur with your answer - it's well stated.
    And my goodness - that play must have been awesome! What beautiful photos of beautiful customs & actors/actresses.

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  22. So very very well said! Love the photos!!

    Blessings!
    Deborah

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  23. They look straight out of Downton Abbey! Clarice

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