How to Create an Atmosphere of “Yes”

A cheerful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.

Proverbs 17:22

I’m a positive gal in general, and I’d like to think that I face life with a great big “Yes!”

But I’m also a planner, and when something outside of my plan presents itself, my knee-jerk reaction is, “No.”

Just ask my poor kids. This is the worst time of year to ask me for anything—my mind is so full of things to arrange that it’s like a constantly shifting puzzle without room for one more piece.

When they propose something outside of my plan (in other words, ask for something they want), sometimes the “no” springs out of my mouth before I can stop it. I’ll start giving reasons why it won’t work.  Then I’ll start shooting down my own reasons—walking down a think-out-loud path to yes that sounds discouraging even to my own ears!

Lately I’ve been focusing on that “Yes!”, especially where my kids are concerned. Here are some of the things I’ve been trying:


“Yes, absolutely!”

When the “yes” is easy or direct, be sure to make your answer that way. Don’t put a damper on the “yes” with a down-trodden, put-upon tone that implies you’re doing them a great favor. A “No problem,” a “Definitely,” or a cheerful, “Sure” will have the same end result and create a better atmosphere!


“Let me think… Yes.”

Don’t jump in and say “no” just because you can immediately think of a reason (or three) why not to. It’s OK to quietly process a request for a moment and silently work your way around to a positive solution.


“Yes, if….”

This is a way to say yes when plans will need to change or concessions will need to be made. For example, “Yes I can play that game with you, if you can help me finish this chore.” Or, “Yes, you can have this treat, if you’re OK with not having another treat today.” This gives the asker a chance to make their own decision about which “yes” they’d like.


“Yes, but…”

Rather than say “no,” you can delay or qualify the yes. For example, “Yes, but not until tomorrow. Let’s put it on the calendar.” Or, “Yes, but you must do this first.”


And let’s say “Yes!” to more than our kids.

These things will work with husbands. They will work with extended family members and friends.

And most importantly, they can help us tune up our “Yes!” to God.

The New Year is here, it’s time to consider our goals and priorities once again.  As I shared in this post, just because you feel you “should” do something doesn’t mean that God’s calling you to do it. But when you do hear God’s call or feel the Holy Spirit’s nudge to take a step out in faith—even if you can think of reasons why not, or you’d rather wait—it’s time to answer with, “Yes, absolutely!”


Take the Challenge:  How are you going to create an atmosphere of “yes,” at home or in your spiritual life?

How are you already intentional about being positive?  I’d love to hear your ideas.

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