When you pray say “Father…”
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
– Matthew 18:2
Our kids ask questions, without shame, all day long, for anything that comes to their mind; and most of the time, for no reason other than just not wanting to, I say no. Sometimes they ask to do things that are fun. Sometimes they ask for things that are tasty. Sometimes they just want to show me something or have me play with them. Sometimes they want to buy something. Often times they ask for a snack. On occasion, they ask to help out with something or participate in some sort of activity that is beyond their age.
Today Kyle and I decided to have a day where we would say yes to everything and anything that wasn’t dangerous or sinful. Here is how our day went…
This morning our kids got up early and like most mornings they asked to watch PBS. Without hesitation, knowing today was a “Yes Day,” I agreed.
So far, no big deal.
Our plan today was to go to the farmers market and get groceries and see where the day would go after that. The next question was still pretty painless and normal.
Can I have cereal for breakfast?
Cereal is usually the first thing to get eaten up after buying groceries and since today was grocery day we didn’t have any left. So instead of cereal, they got a Kind Bar and an apple. Knowing what my kids would ask before even asking, I also spooned out some peanut butter to add to the side.
After breakfast, they got dressed. I could tell they didn’t want to wear what I had laid out for them but they never actually asked if they could wear something different so I didn’t bother to let them change. Hannah did ask if she could wear her church boots. Normally I would say no and tell her to put on her tennis shoes, but instead, I said yes and helped her zip up her gray fancy cowboy boots. I have to admit she looked darling in them.
Why don’t I normally let her wear these shoes?
In the car, they asked if they could listen to Psalty, The Singing Song Book, We have listened to this at least 20 times in the last few days and one of the songs keeps getting stuck in my head, but Psalty it was.
Usually, when I play their music I keep the sound in the back where I can hear it the least and still be able to somewhat carry on a conversation with my husband. But, going along with the theme of the day, I moved the sound to the center and found myself whole-heartedly singing along. I was actually kinda proud of myself for remembering the 1980s words.
On our way to the market, we drove by a park. The kids asked if we could stop. I looked over at Kyle and shrugged as he turned into the Lake Monroe parking lot.
Come down the slide with me mommy! asked Hannah
I thought: No, I’ll just watch. I’m too big to do down the slide.
But said: Ok!
Push me, mommy!
I thought: You know how to pump!
But said: Yes, ma’ma!
Come over here mom!
I thought: I just want to sit here.
But said: I’m coming, James!
Can’t we play just a little longer?
I thought: No, we need to get to the market before it closes. (aka: I don’t feel like being here anymore).
But said: Yes, Elijah
Mom, watch this!
I thought: Wow!
And said: Wow!
Ok kids, time to go!
Can I just do one more thing?
I thought: We need to get to the market before it closes.
But said: Sure.
We finally left hoping we still had sufficient time at the market, yet feeling surprisingly chipper from having more fun than ever with our kids at the park.
Taking kids to the market on a “Yes Day” can be dangerous. The first thing we saw were some large, bright bows. Inevitably Hannah asked if she could have one. She picked out a hideous-looking one with some sort of horn and a much-to-big hair tie attached to it that her fine, thin hair would never hold. Without technically saying no, we gently re-directed her to one that was a little less like playing dress-up and more for everyday use.
But now, I kinda wish I would have just let her get the one with the horn for memory sake.
Bows were not on my grocery list, but neither were the cookies and huge bag of kettle corn that our boys asked for, along with the rainbow snow cones and a fun ride on the trolley that took off from the market and went through quaint part of downtown Noblesville.
The boys picked out some veggies that were not part of my meal plans this week so we’ll be eating omelettes with pepper and onions in lieu of what I had planned.
There was a playground at the farmers market so we agreed to let them play again – spinning them until they nearly lost their breakfast.
We had a plan to start eating healthy after vacation but it was lunchtime and we were parked right next to Wendy’s and James had to ask.
While in the parking lot and perhaps catching on to the fact that it was a “Yes Day,” James asked, Can we have a baby sister? to which all kids jumped in with yeeeeahhhh!!!!! Oh Please!!!!!
Ah… yes! I said, laughing and being somewhat sarcastic. But that one’s not up to me. You’ll have to ask God.
Three kids-meals later we were finally on our way to Meijer.
We kept the kids in the car while watching the requested “Tangled” this time while I shopped.
It was the safer, more economical option. With all we spent at the farmers market, I had only $100 left in groceries.
We will be eating more eggs than we will be selling this week, but the joy of my kids, and honestly the joy it gave me, made it well worth it.
The day went on with many more “yesses.”
Yes, you can color instead of taking a nap. (Elijah and James)
Yes, I will stop what I am doing to come look at your picture. (Hannah)
Yes, you can play in our dusty, dark basement. (Elijah)
Yes, you can rake the grass instead of me. (Elijah and James)
Yes, you can ride in the wheel barrel. (Hannah)
Yes, we can eat out at Cinco De Mayo for dinner. (James)
Yes, you can clean the entire house! (James)
Yes, you can get get the eggs. (James)
Yes, you can ride your bike. (Elijah)
No, You cannot stay up any later. (Elijah)
For Elijah, James, and Hannah, “Yes Day” ended at 9:00 pm.
But it wasn’t just for our kids…
Yes, I will butcher some rabbits.
Yes, I will mow the lawn.
Yes, I will go write a blog post while you put the kids down!
If our kids knew that we were going to say yes to everything today, I wonder what else they might have asked for?
Kids don’t usually have a problem withholding a request.
Maybe that’s why God asks us to come to Him as little children. Maybe that’s why when He teaches us to pray He starts by saying: “Father…”
Perhaps God is also thinking: I wonder what my children would ask for if they only knew what I have already promised them: to ask anything in my name and it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. Don’t they know the confidence they can have when approaching me: that if they would ask anything according to my will, I hear them. And if they know that I hear them—whatever they ask—they know that they have what they asked of me?
The Bible says that sometimes we don’t get things because we ask “amiss” or out of selfish motives, and just as a father knows what is best for his kids, God may be withholding something out of love.
But how often are we too afraid to ask because we think our request sounds selfish, or childish? Maybe we withhold a request because we keep hearing no so we’ve stopped asking.
Before today, our oldest son Elijah told Kyle he was going to go 10 days without talking so that he could earn enough money to buy Woody from Toy Story. It made both Kyle and I sad that he thought being quiet was what would earn him a toy. I think it occurred to the both of us that our kids have been treated more like burdens instead of blessings. This is why we decided to have a “Yes Day.”
I realized today that only once – once – did I really need to tell my children no. So that means that on a regular basis, most of my “no’s” are purely out of selfishness and laziness.
And if we serve a God that is completely void of any kind of selfishness or laziness, then how much more will He be willing to say YES when we humbly come to him as a little child with the desires of our hearts.
Thankfully my kids have not heard “no” enough to the point where they’ve stopped asking. But have we gotten to the point with God where we’ve stopped asking because we assume His answer is no? If so, we need to take a look at countless people from the Bible whose “yesses” have come through the persistence of Elijah in the drought, the patience of Joseph in prison, the painful prayers of Paul in chains, the humility of a cast-away, gentile, woman begging for Jesus to heal her daughter, the endurance of Moses in the desert, the faith of Abraham despite circumstances, the expectant mother of Jesus, and if God who did not spare his own Son, but gave Him up for us all–how will He not also, along with Him, graciously give us all things?
What if God were to say to you: Today is your “Yes Day.” What would you ask Him for?