Frankly, On Faith: Let Your “No” Be “No”

Frankly, On Faith: Let Your “No” Be “No”

by Molly Jo Realy @RealMojo68

Frankly, On Faith.

Frankly, On Faith

Let’s face it: We’re people pleasers. We don’t like being told “no,” and we don’t always like having to say it. We let others sway us or question our determination.

How often does the following dialogue happen in your conversations:

 

“I can’t.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah. I’m too busy.”
“Really?”
“I just don’t want to.”
“But why not?”
“Look, I can’t, okay?”
“Oh, well. If you’re going to be that way about it.”

We end up feeling guilty for not sticking to our original plan, for letting others influence us into changing our minds. We say yes when we’re not sure, or when we know the answer is really “no.”

Matthew 5:37 and James 5:12 both caution us against making promises we can’t keep.

I’m not talking about what movie to watch or food to eat. Those are fluid choices. I mean fundamental decisions and the ones that make you misrepresent yourself. Don’t say something you can’t back up. Don’t offer help if you don’t mean it. And don’t give an explanation if it’s not the truth.

Breaking promises can break trust and relationships. Even with ourselves. We try to explain our way out, spinning the situation or twisting the truth.

Life can take us down a different path than what we planned, but that’s not the same as letting others nudge us when we shouldn’t budge, and we know it. We end up breaking trust. We allow others to undermine our foundation.

Soon it becomes easier to not believe in ourselves, to need others to tell us what to do. It’s harder to stand on our own two feet.

God says to stand firm.

“But most of all, my brothers and sisters, never take an oath, by heaven or earth or anything else. Just say a simple yes or no, so that you will not sin and be condemned.”
~James 5:12, NLT

Saying “no” to someone or something may be the most positive thing you can do for the world around you. Imagine being the person He designed you to be: Full of life, vibrant, encouraging, trustworthy, dependable. Imagine being able to grasp what He has to offer you, because you said “no” to what someone else was offering.

This week, I challenge you to not embellish your conversations, but simply stick to your “no.” No excuses, no exaggerations. Just a simple “no” or “yes.” And then follow it through.

Believe in yourself as He believes in you. The others will follow.

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, On Faith: Let Your “No” Be “No”. @realmojo68 #franklyonfaith #franklymydear

Frankly, On Faith: Sometimes, saying "no" can be the most positive thing you can do.

Frankly, On Faith: Sometimes, saying “no” can be the most positive thing you can do.

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

Paige’s Plantation, Part Two

Paige’s Plantation, Part Two

by Jacqueline Patterson @jacpatterson

Paige's Plantation

Paige’s Plantation

Haven’t y’all been holding your sweet breath to find out how Paige’s plantation adventure ends? I know I have. Okay, not really, because I read it a month ago ~ the perks of being the editor and post curator. But you haven’t.

And it just wouldn’t be right for me to keep you waiting any longer. So here you are, alligators and all.

~ ~ ~

Rhene grabbed my arm, whispered, and pointed. “Look. See it? Out on that little island?”

OK.

My leg was about to be claimed.

“Where?” My gaze dropped to a gator hole on the bank, checking frantically. Rhene’s hold tightened on my arm until I was forced to look up, following her gaze until I saw it, almost hidden in the high grass of the island.

Paige's Plantation - Hidden Alligator

Paige’s Plantation – Hidden Alligator

The baby alligator turned its head toward us for an instant before returning to sunning himself on the bank, completely unconcerned about our presence.

A baby gator. I stared at its tiny scale-tipped body and enormous eyes and the sudden swell of emotion inside me was frightening.

Because I. Wanted. That. Gator.

Paige's Plantation- Baby Alligator

Paige’s Plantation- Baby Alligator

“Whoa.” Rhene released my arm and pulled out her phone. She snapped several pictures in quick succession. “You don’t see the babies very often. Everything wants to eat them.”

Apparently the old gators are tasty only when fried like chicken. I wasn’t about to find out.

Rhene zoomed in through the grass in an effort to get a clear shot on the baby’s level. “Ha. Looks like we’re being watched.” I turned in the direction she was pointing, just in time to see a full-sized gator sinking below the surface until his eyes looked like bubbles floating in the water. Obviously he could smell the deep fryer heating up.

“See what I mean?” She said. “The old ones are cowards.”

The adult gator’s eyes completely disappeared under the water. The baby remained where it was, tilted between the shallow water and the grass like a discarded toy.

I swear it wanted to come home with me.

“It’s illegal, but some people keep the babies as pets,” Rhene confided. “They grow —or don’t grow— according to their environment. Keep them in a cage, and they will remain the size they are now, stunted even though they’ve reached adulthood.”

OK, so keeping one was completely out of the question. But I still found myself looking back as we left the marsh.

Paige's Plantation - Alligator on the Ceiling

Paige’s Plantation – Alligator on the Ceiling

Twilight found us on the porch of the overseer’s cabin, the wind setting heavy branches creaking above the roof. In the distance three bald eagles circled above an enormous nest in a nearby pine, their wings ghostly in the dimming light. Always flying, but never landing.

In my heart, I too was flying the skies.

CLICK TO TWEET: Frankly, My Dear . . . :Paige’s Plantation, Part Two

Paige's Plantation - Marsh Birds

Paige’s Plantation – Marsh Birds

And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!

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