When it looked so decadent and piled with whipped cream, I said no to that fancy coffee drink and brewed my own at home.
When the leftovers in the lunchbox were lackluster and rather unappealing, my husband said no to the drive-thru and ate the cold spaghetti.
When that tax-refund came in and we really wanted to blow it on something frivolous, we said no, and tucked it away in savings.
When the kids wanted to head to Disneyland or Six Flags, they willingly said no, and planned family days close to home instead.
There are a thousand noes. Take-out, nights out, smart phones, newer laptops, newer cars and bigger TVs. A thousand things that are desirable and desired. A thousand things right at our fingertips. A thousand things we could afford, but instead said no. We could count them. And count them. And count them.
And sometimes it could be discouraging. Why must we conserve gas, consume less, discipline ourselves, stay home more?
Truth be told, it has not felt like a sacrifice. We never really mind, deep down, all the no-ing. Because, I suppose, we weren’t necessarily saying no. We were actually saying one big yes.
Yes, to our future and our history in the making. We let our “yes” instruct our wants and empower our no, so that they never felt like no.
Through my history’s despite and ruin,
I have come to its remainder,
and here have made the beginning of a farm
intended to become my art of being here.
By it I would instruct my wants;
they should belong to each other and to this place.
Until my song comes here to learn its words,
my art is but the hope of song. (Wendell Berry)
Our bigger yes is to our house, our farm, our land. To a place where the barns are red and the tractors green. To a place where we can work out our vocation–our vocation to love–in the context of sustainability and connection to the earth, community, and our family. Yes it is a big move, across the country, away from extended family and away from what is familiar. It’s scary. But you know what’s scarier? Regret.
You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage—pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically, to say “no” to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger “yes” burning inside. ~Stephen Covey