I was angry and a little hurt.
As I stood in the kitchen cleaning up after yet another meal, I suddenly felt like I was being taken advantage of by my family.
Yup. There I said it.
While the boys watched the football game and my daughter played happily with her dolls nearby, I was seething. Not only had I made all the meals that day but I had unloaded the dishwasher twice before adding another load.
So there I stood feeling injured.
And the devil wasted no time taking advantage of the situation and pushing negative thoughts into my head to further feed my anger.
“They should be helping me.” I thought to myself.
“Why am I always doing all the work around the house?” I lamented.
“I want to relax and unwind too. Yet I have to do all this!”
It was all so unfair and I was ready to let my family know just how angry I was that they were not helping me.
As I stood at the sink, strategically planning my passive-aggressive response, a thought gently entered my heart and surprised me.
“YES, I know you feel like you’re doing all the work BUT I have blessed you with a strong body and good health so that you can do all you want to do. You’re able to care for your family and your home today.”
God came to remind me of everything I neglected to see myself. Wow!
It hit me hard. It was my “Yes, but”.
How often do we have thoughts like this? Lies that threatens to take the joy from us and have us view the world through the obscure lens of shattered glasses?
I have these thoughts more often than I care to admit. Yet, with every joy-sucking thought, my God has been there to correct me. To remind me. To make sure I don’t forget what is really true.
MY YES, BUT….
While I was consumed by the injustice I was feeling, I completely missed seeing how lucky I am to be able to do the things that needed to be done in my home.
When I heard that whisper in my heart, I became aware that in every experience there is an opportunity to be thankful and to reclaim your joy.
The “yes, but” acknowledges the current circumstances, however unfair, but reminds us to look at things from another perspective.
“Yes, I may feel like I am doing all the work. But God has given me the health and energy to do it.”
“Yes, my child is not listening to me. But I will continue to pray for him and know that in time things will change.”
It is not being naive about your situation. Rather it is acknowledging our dependence on God and reminding ourselves that we are not going through this alone.
It makes it possible for us to look past what is happening now and opens up our heart to gratitude.
Almost immediately after my own “yes, but”, my body relaxed and the tension that was between my shoulders eased.
The anger that was growing in my heart was replaced by gratitude and joy. God has blessed me with this day and given me all I need to take care of those I love.
I had reclaimed my joy!
When you feel like things should be different, consider using your “yes, but..” to make sure you are not missing out on an opportunity to change the narrative and reclaim your joy.
If you are growing tired of always being the one to do all the things at home……
Or if you’ve had it up to here about always going beyond to meet the deadline at work when everyone else seems to be doing the bare minimum yet get just as much credit…….
Or maybe still, if you are fed up at working hard to save a friendship but the other party does not seem interested in your efforts…
I want you to know that you are seen. He will not leave you in all your trials or in all your efforts.
He will not leave you to the thoughts that whisper lies in your heart. He will remind you of all your “yes, buts”.
CALL TO ME AND I WILL ANSWER YOU
Just the day before this, I had been reciting Jeremiah 33:3 to myself all day.
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I whispered it under my breath as I drove to work.
I said it again at my desk and at different times of the day. I mulled it over trying to figure out what I meant.
I believe that this is what it means to hear wonderful and marvelous things. I was clueless to all I have because I had decided to temporarily focus on what was not working for me.
Our job, yours and mine, is to pray and stay close to Him so that we can hear His whispers in our hearts. And when we hear it we have to trust in it enough to believe that what He says is true.
This simple practice will not make your troubles disappear. Nope, the house will still be a mess and everyone will still be looking at you at 5 pm asking what’s for dinner.
What will happen though, is a change in you. By pausing just for a minute and being intentional about seeking out good in your life, you will approach your circumstances differently.
I will definitely say something to my family about helping me more but I will speak from a completely different view. One that is (hopefully) calm, loving and patient; just as my Father speaks to me.
Will you try it next time? Start practicing today. What can be the “yes, but….” for the next thing you face?
- When the kids aren’t listening.
- When your spouse is being unkind.
- When the money is not flowing like you hoped it would.
- When you have not made that strong friendship you’ve been praying for.
- When you have not found that job that will make things better.
- When you feel like you’re not making any progress towards your goals.
Remember your “yes, buts”.
Start looking for things to be grateful for. It will change your life.
I pray that you will call to Him and that He will answer you. May He tell you wonderful and marvelous things that you know nothing about. (Jeremiah 33:3)
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