Turn Your NO-NO Into Yes Please.

 I never understood women who said, “I can’t keep food in the house!” Until … my boys were teenagers and they turned into eating machines.

(They inherited that from their father’s side.)
In high school, they were both in weight training and they were hungry all the time.

My baking dishes and freezer meal containers got bigger and bigger.

One night when I opened the refrigerator to take out that evening’s meal, I could see that a large scoop of the casserole was missing.
I smoothed the contents to fill in the divot, popped it in the oven and waited.
Sure enough, the guilty party asked, “Is this the same stuff that was in the frig earlier?”
“Yes it is, Son. Why do you ask?”
“It tastes different,” he said.
“That’s because it’s cooked now!”
He looked at me sheepishly.

“Sorry, I was hungry.”

To protect them from salmonella poisoning and to preserve enough food to feed the entire family at mealtime, I started putting NO NO post-it stickies on anything in the refrigerator that was off limits.

Uncooked food …
NO NO!

Sunday’s dessert …
NO NO!

Raspberries for tomorrow’s salad …
NO NO!

Beef Stew & biscuits for a new mom …
NO NO!

Doggie bag from my anniversary celebration …
NO NO!

We had a system in place and it worked.

After they moved out, I got out of the habit of using the NO NO post-it stickies.

Big mistake.

One day, I reached for a container of bacon crumbles to make a dish to pass at church that night. There were 4 tiny bits of bacon rattling in the bottom of the dish.

It only took one phone call to find out that the guilty party had stopped over while we were out and had helped himself to a snack.
“But, Son, I needed that bacon for tonight!” I scolded.
“Well, mom, there wasn’t a NO NO on it,” reasoned my boy.
“Son, YOU DON’T LIVE HERE ANYMORE!
I don’t need to use NO NO stickers!”
“Yes you do, Mom!”

We both had a good laugh.

The NO NO stickers were a good system that worked for our family.

Like any good habit, discipline or routine,
they only work when used.

To this day, I still put NO NO stickers on containers in my refrigerator.

What are the habits in your life that are working well for you?
Or, what habits have you stopped that you need to start again?

Is it one of these?

Quiet time with Jesus?
Kissing your husband good night?
Journaling?
Exercising?
Consistent church attendance?
Cutting out the junk food?
Serving others?
Letting go of a grudge?
Giving cheerfully?
Putting NO NO stickers on your bacon crumbles?

What is God is saying to you about your habits?
Whatever it is, getting into good habits
will always serve you well.

Scripture Refresher: Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9 NIV

Prayer: God, life gets so busy and I get so tired that I fall away from habits and routines that restore my soul and keep me healthy and balanced. Remind me not to give up doing good so that I may reap the benefits of a life well lived.