Slow Down and Say YES to Summer

When I catch myself mid-morning saying, “No“, for no good reason, I practice Slow Motion.  I slow it down and listen to what they are asking for.


Mama, can you sit with me?

Let’s play this together.

Mama, can we have another popsicle?

Mama, will you swim with us?

Mama, want to shoot hoops?

Mama, come look at our blanket fort!

Can we eat our cookies in here?


It is summertime, the season of “Yes” in the sunshine of their youth… but the winter of my age casts shadows on their joy. And it’s sad, not just because the dark cloud of “No” steals joy, but it darkens the Gospel of Christ’s “YES.”  So I slow down, and count and breath, and ask myself if I might say YES, one more time, to this too.


 A mother’s “No” darkens the Gospel of Christ’s “Yes!”


It’s easier to Say Yes, if we’re willing to slow down and Live Yes.  Yes to life in our home.  Yes to surrendering our attention.  Yes to crumbs inside the blanket fort.  Yes to squeezing into the damp bathing suit you already put on as an offering today.  Yes to homemade lemonade.  Yes to making every meal today into a picnic in your backyard.  Yes to the face paint.



Mama, would you make me The Lone Ranger?




Mama, Can we paint each other too?

um… er… yes?


It’s odd to me that this Yes-Life is hard.  But it is… when we blaze through it with our agenda, and need to keep it clean.  But when we slow it down, to the slow motion rhythms of summertime, there is time to redirect our answers.  As we redirect our Yes-Heart, we direct the hearts in our home toward the Yes-Gospel of Christ.

Caution:  This is not about giving into whining, and this is not about permissive parenting… this is about relationship.  This is about joining our children in their joy;  joining them in the sunshine, chlorinated glory of their youth.


If I had this life to live over again

I’d run barefoot, relax a bit more.

And I’d talk with more children

and I’d learn how they laugh,

and I’d teach them how I’ve learned to fly.

(I’m Gonna Fly, Amy Grant)



Two night’s ago I held my sick child, weary from the tummy bug.  It was 10:30pm and his body was weak from vomitting.  With face flushed and speech slurred he said, “There’s one thing I love about being sick, Mama.”  “What’s that?” I asked as I mopped his brow.  “You sit with me and listen to me.  You stay with me longer than you do when I’m well.”

Yes, I do.  And Yes, I don’t.  And Yes, I want to slow things down and sit with you today.  Today when you are well and the sun is shining.  Yes, today when the slow motion rhythm of summertime bids us all slow down.  As Ann Voskamp encourages, “Everyday take time.”


Everyday take time. Everyday take time to feel the sun and the wind and the rain and feel that you are loved — and then let your life overflow with that love so that a thousand others feel that love. Everyday take time to live loved — and live so others feel loved. Everyday take time. Time is there for the taking. For the unwrapping.

There are only so many summers in a life.

Run through water sprinklers and touch someone and learn how to belly laugh — practice belly laughing every day. This is a way to practice your faith.”

(Ann Voskamp, What Our Boys Need In This Economy Their Dads Work In)


Take time to say Yes today.  Yes to love.  Yes to the belly laugh.  Yes to the crumbs.  Yes to the facepaint.  Yes to sprinklers and sunshine.  Yes to life, today.


Enjoy this short video message from me, on the power of saying yes to our kids.

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  1. A list of things I will say yes to today.
    The best darn blueberry pancakes, a sweet girls science birthday party, a new workout, reading and napping, grilling with family and friends and giving thanks in front of waning full moon.
    Happy Yes Day!

    • I dare you to paint your face FIRST, Teresa! It would cause quite a stir at the gym!

  2. Does a little bit of powder and lip gloss count?

    • No! I want butterflies or fangs. You choose!

      • this reminds me of my little bears birthday challenge every year he has a challenge that he has to complete to turn that next age. like eating breakfast with your underwear on your head or my favorite last year he had to do a Polar Bear Plunge an ice cold water, yikes!
        he always give me such a hard time “why do I have to do this mom” and I say “because I’m the mom and I get to say” so for you Wendy I might just do this because you’re you 🙂

        • Let him face paint you. Post it here! Ha.

  3. Yes!!! More wonderful advice <3

    • YES, now I just need to practice it All Day Long. Adore you, Shannon. So fun to “watch you mother via FB”

  4. Yes. I have to work hard at this, but it’s so worth it.

    But…do I have to swim with them? Because the water is cold and they climb on me, and they already know I’m a giant wimp in water. That’s a really hard yes for this mama… 😉

    • Okay, I stink at the whole swim with them thing. “Yes. I’d love to swim with you. I am always willin to go in the HOT jacuzzi with you boys, but God made daddies for COLD swimming pools.”

  5. Perfect and so freeing!! I’ve been challenged to be more childlike in my interaction with my kids remembering the awe, wonder, risk taking, dreaming, and “everything is possible” mentality that wasn’t yet poisoned by wordly disappointment, failure or others criticism. To join in the joy of how they see the world while still instructing and teaching. Good word as alway Wendy! Thank you! Love your living room!

    • “To join in the joy of how they see the world while still instructing and teaching.”

      Yes. You got it!

  6. Thank you for saying yes to writing this!

  7. I love the summer break for the kids. Here it’s only 7 weeks though. But i love it.

    • Summertime in the Netherlands! Will you do any travel?

  8. This is the first summer that I will be working, almost, full time at home! Saying yes will be so hard but I am committed to doing it. My daughter might get a job at the peach orchard and I am looking forward to saying yes to go see her there, pick peaches and make pies!

    • Peach cobbler is my favorite! Love it. Good job to both of you working women!



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