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(re)evaluate: to once again determine the value of

 Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil. (Matthew 5:37 ESV)

Just say ‘yes’ and ‘no.’ When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong. (Matthew 5:37 The Message)

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I am a “yes” person. I readily give my yes to most requests; however over the years I have learned that “no” is an appropriate answer as well. So many times, when I’ve said “yes” hastily, I find myself overwhelmed, and in a place of regret and re-evaluation.

Now I pause, before I give assent to an opportunity. As a writer and artist, the skill of saying no and meaning it is crucial. If I said yes to everything I would never write and I would never enjoy my art studio.

As a created, creative person I have learned what primes my pump and I know what fuels my enthusiasm for my work. I need a balance between solitude and community.

Today, I am choosing to say yes to a community that will be saying yes to reading, responding to and re-visioning our writing lives around Dave Harrity’s book, Making Manifest: On Faith, Creativity and the Kingdom at Hand. Our host for this interactive group is Sandra Heska King, a fellow blogger and word lover, who serves up sweet morsels of life at her place, where she focuses on the “still” life.

Check out these two recent posts from Sandra to get a flavor of what she offers.

Richard Foster on Silence and Writing (This post caused me to re-evaluate my yes and no answers to life.)

Making Manifest: Your Days are Waiting (This post gives you a taste of Sandra’s savory words and luscious photography.)

(For the month of May, I will be reflecting here about the “Making Manifest” adventure on Thursdays.)

Here’s a intro video to the idea of “Making Manifest”:

and a reflective poem, I penned in response to these thoughts milling around in my head.

Yes and no.
No and yes.
These are true answers,
honest to God responses.

Maybe, a pause–

a moment
to reflect before
answering no or yes–

cultivates rest.