Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Negotiator

Speaking of those No's and Not Yet's, what kind of listener are you?  Although our experience I described in Monday's post ended pleasantly, not all situations in our family can be described that way.  My girls are two very different young ladies and they each respond to situations differently, and sometimes it's almost like they reverse personalities depending upon the situation. 

There are times when questions arise from the girls and our answer is no.   Some days one or the other of them is willing to listen to our explanation and accepts parental wisdom.  Then there are the other days when the OTHER SIDE surfaces.

What do I mean by the OTHER SIDE, you may be wondering......

Let's just say the when the other side surfaces, I am faced with a tough NEGOTIATOR.

Although both of my girls are very capable of doing this, there is one, who shall remain nameless that is a STIFF negotiator.

No by itself just doesn't seem to do. 

Everytime I say no, it's quickly interrupted with a "but" followed with some slick-to-her-seeming negotiating tactics.  Little does she know, I have her number.

I see the big picture.

I understand why I said no.

When the buts aren't working, she pulls out the ole "if I" and tries to bargain.  For example, we'll pretend that this type of conversation may or may not have taken place in my kitchen sometime within in the past 72 hours:

"Mom, can I get on your computer?"

"What for?"

"So I can play Webkinz."

"No. Not right now."

"But, I haven't gotten to feed my Webkinz in several days." Notice how suddenly "playing" with Webkinz has become an issue of Webkinz survival.

"I said no."  A little more curtness erupts from this precious kind sweet never irritated mom.

"But I'll only be on there for a few minutes."

"I have already told you no, and it's still no."  The curtness edges up some more.

"If I clean up my room, can I?"

"NO!"  (I'll leave the volume and the tone to your imagination)

I don't know about you, but The Negotiating Tactic has never been a positive experience in our family.  At least one, and sometimes all of us end up irritated when the negotiating begins and we definitely don't walk away from the situation feeling more bonded or more trusting.  We are more distant, more bitter to one another.

As I have pondered the No's and Not Yet's, I've been thinking about ways we respond. 

We interrupt this post for Breaking News -  You will never believe this, but as I typed the last sentence, we just had a conversation about Webkinz and the computer and guess what???  THE NEGOTIATOR surfaced!  I guess God wanted to drive the point right on home for me...just in case I didn't completely grasp the concept He is trying to teach me.

Now back to what I was saying - As I have pondered the No's and Not Yet's of my life, I've been thinking of the outcomes of my responses.  I have a choice to respond to God's No's in two ways.

  1. I can chose to become a negotiator and respond with things like - It's not fair, But I have served You, I don't see how this could be a bad idea, I won't let this get in the way of my relationship with You, Why does so and so get to do such and such, etc.  Negotiating doesn't leave me feeling close to God, it leaves me feeling distant, and sometimes even bitter.
  2. I can chose to become one who trusts His answer and rest in the arms of the One that wants to pull me close, the One that completely understands every facet of my immature heart that breaks a little at His answer, and is willing to love me.  Staying in communication with Him, sensing His presence, and filling myself with the joy that His presence brings me.  As I mentioned in Monday's post, I can have a no in my ears, but joy in my heart when I chose this response to His no.
I hate to say this, but I have been a negotiator far more often that I have been the one who trusts His answer.  I want things all explained, I want to understand why, but He knows that the why is sometimes to big for me to handle.   I have to learn to put away the but's and the if I's lean into that No that is overflowing with love.

So, which are you?  The Negotiator or the One Who Trusts?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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1 comment:

  1. Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.----Psalm 51:10 Renew a right spirit within me. These 2 verses have been a 'go to' for me for many of my years. You have added l more for me; my memory Godsword --Proverbs 18:10 The Name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it and is safe...
    I fail but the Lord always welcomes me back with his Loving Arms. 'how good is that?' pt


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