Friday, January 9, 2015

The Best Yes ~Chapter 1, 2, and 3~

Friday, January 9, 2015

"We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please." Lysa TerKeurst

Wow. Welcome to week one! I must say, I have read this book once already but have already learned so much more reading it a second time with you all! (And the velvety cover, I just love that!) I am so excited to see the new faces that are joining in and humbled you are here! I hope you love this book as much as I do! We have read chapter one, two, and three this week and they are all amazing! Where do I even start? Maybe with how I got to the book in the first place? 

Tears. 

No, seriously, I was in tears. I had over committed myself to my church to be in leadership, to be a volunteer in five different areas, I was in five small groups, leading one of them, I worked part time as a stylist, and was pregnant with my second daughter. All of this was piled on top of homeschooling my oldest, being involved with family activities, friends, and the areas I was in at church meant nightly meetings. Working as a stylist was breaking me more than helping contribute to the family. I was a frantic mess. We ate out constantly because I was never home to cook, we were gone more than we were home, my husband and I ceased all communication that was friendly, and my attitude just sucked. 

My husband finally said to me that I just needed to surrender some things. With a lot of thought and not much prayer, I quit working outside the home, put my oldest in a private school the next year, and stopped volunteering for things that just were not my strength or battle. I did however continue to lead church nursery and be back there weekly, sometimes both services. I still was in all my small groups as I wanted to see them through, and we still ran around like crazy. 

What I quickly found was this stigma that comes with the "stay at home mom" title. "She must have nothing to do, she doesn't work. Let's ask her." And in the beginning, it didn't help that I was battling with the feeling that I had lost my identity. My life led me to the point where I wasn't really sure who I was in the first place. I defined myself by what I did and who I did it for. When people would ask me to help them out, or if I saw an opportunity I wanted to fill, I would jump in and fill it! My heart intentions were even mostly good. "I'm not doing anything Monday at 2 P.M. Sign me up!" My problem was Monday at 2 P.M. was the ONLY time I wasn't doing something. My other problem was that I hoped that helping everyone else would gain their favor, would build relationships, and would find my identity. What I really gained was what Lysa refers to as an "underwhelmed soul." 

What happened in the grand scheme was instead, I let a lot of people down because I could either not keep my commitments or I took out my stresses of meeting those commitments on those closest to me. I began to realize what Lysa says here, "The woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul." I am ready to admit openly that my schedule drug me right into a depression. I was letting people down, I was letting myself down, I was not building the community I craved, and I was not pleasing God. Being busy for everyone else actually felt more lonely than I thought. 

I happened across Lysa's Facebook page and "liked" it. The first book I knew of her's that she wrote was "Unglued." At the time I started to love and "follow" Lysa, she was pushing this book. I was reading her quotes and I would cry. I would nodd, applaud, and think, "That is the best sentence I have ever read. Ever." Of course I pre-ordered the book. 

Through reading it, finally in prayer, and counsel from friends and my husband, I have begun to learn to say no, to focus on my strengths and calling, and to parent with intention. I have found my identity in the Creator and have realized to cherish having my few close friends that truly have been sent by God. My motives are different and my soul doesn't ache. My schedule doesn't give me ulcers and you will see my tackling of depression on a future blog series. 





In chapter one, page three, Lysa addresses her struggles. I felt like she was reading my mind. The comparison of how other women seem to just do it all. Struggling about what others will think of my life. How my kids will turn out. Then she says on page three, "I'm tired. I'm distracted, I'm disappointed in myself. I feel slightly used and more than slightly used up. I'm a little overwhelmed and a lot worn down." Me. ME! *Raises hand* ME! She goes on to address our hearts desire to say yes but feeling powerless to say no. Matthew 5:36-37 reminds us to not to make promises because we have absolutely no control but to make sure we mean what we say when we commit to yes and no answers. 



She goes into chapter two and this chapter broke me. When we are so overcommitted, we take it out on those around us. We also blow right past the opportunities God is saying, "This is what I have for you, focus." When she spoke about the funeral and how we spend so much time blowing by the things God wants us to hear, I was truly convicted. For me, the conviction was because I was so busy with the rush of my own agenda, that God's plan simply didn't fit into my schedule. I had to search my heart and discover what and who my rushing was for. And why? If I was honest, God wasn't calling me into even so much as half of what I was involved in. My guilt was. My people pleaser side of me was. And because of that, I was completely unavailable to be used by God for things eternal. 

"Don't miss this. Unbroken companionship helps us hear His instruction so then we can see His direction. We must not seek direction before obeying His instruction." Lysa TerKeurst, Pg. 18, The Best Yes

I needed to ask God for forgiveness because I was not in unbroken companionship with Him. I was in a chauvinistic competition with myself. I needed to submit my wants and desires to Him. I needed to get back in the Word, back in communication and prayer, and back in with the friends that kept me there. I had a lot of forgiveness to ask for but it started with God first. 



Because, we have hit chapter three. When she asked, "So that I may bless whom?" Wow. Right? See above! Most of my choices were to, *ehem* bless me. Earn me relationships. Earn me a paycheck. Earn me a pat on my little ol' back. This is painfully humbling for me. I did the part where I wrote out my time, where it went, and my goals. We go into Phil 2:3-7 where it is addressed to doing nothing out of selfish ambition. After I crossed off all of my ambitions that were selfish, I was left with where my soul found its ache. To be an author and a blogger. And I know that might be odd for some of you, but for me it made complete sense! My whole life I have been called to writing and I've avoided it, put it last, and ignored that calling. Then there it was, starting me right in my face. My purpose. My God-honoring gifts that I had absolutely no time for. 

The Best Yes lead me to this blog. This book lead me to many of my own aspiring book titles. This book lead me to choose my "best yes" and I hope it can also do that for you. Let's choose to keep our best yes to honor God! 

Next weekend we will be going over chapter four and five! 

But first, I want to hear from you! Here are some questions you can answer, but you do not have to answer them all! 

How did you decide to read The Best Yes? 

Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? Why do you find is your main reason for being so busy? 

Do you feel lonely when you are at your busiest? 

Do you relate to Lysa in chapter two where she nearly blows by God's callings? Do you want to share that experience? Did God redeem it for you like he did for Lysa? 

Write out how you spend your 168 hours (you can do this on paper) and then write out your life dreams and goals. No matter how silly they feel and include what you are pursuing now. End each with, "That I may bless whom?" Evaluate where your time is going. Does this convict you or empower you? 

Does your heart ache for a purpose that causes you to live out a vicious cycle of having an underwhelmed soul? 

What did you take away from the first three chapters? What stood out that was applicable to your life?

How can we best listen for God's direction to daily give Him the best of our time and yes answers?

Lasty, I want to be praying for you. If you feel led to email me at whengracecametostay@gmail.com I would be honored to pray over those requests for you. Let us set some goals with this study and find ways to honor God with our time. Here are a few ways I started to say better yes and no answers. Everyone's call to action will look different. This is some of what worked for me a third child later. Feel free to share what you might try or have tried! 

I blocked off one day a week and one weekend a month. Those days are for my family. Period. 

Figure out your strengths and gifts, then, serve with your strengths, not with your guilt. 

Make time for God every single day. Be intentional with this. Start with what you can, five minutes a day. A song, sermon, a YouVersion or She Reads Truth devotional (free in your app store). Pray. Be in communication with God daily. 

See you all next week! Looking forward to the conversations and responses below! 


6 comments :

Stephanie said...

Great stuff, Kirsten! I'm on my second round of her book Made to Crave. I enjoy reading your posts!

Kirsten Kay said...

Our small group just finished Made to Crave!

Nicole Josephs said...

How did you decide to read The Best Yes?

*I've read Unglued and Made to Crave by Lysa. I really like her style of writing and love her thoughts on the radio for Proverbs 31. The Best Yes was on my radar, but I actually purchased a copy and gave it to my friend, Jen, as she was struggling with work/family commitments. As soon as you mentioned this study I knew I was being led to read it for myself!


Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? Why do you find is your main reason for being so busy?

*I am the definition of people pleaser! I want everything to look perfect on the outside and meet everyone's needs. I recently had it pointed out to me that I worry too much about the appearance of our house before people visit, making me snappy and rude to my family.
I feel that I am so busy because I won't delegate. I feel that if I don't do the project it won't get done correctly and I will be coming behind to redo it. I figure if I just do it on my own in the first place it will save time. Then I end up with too many projects on my plate - and most of those projects being of no significant importance!

Do you feel lonely when you are at your busiest?

*Definitely feel lonely at my busiest. My life boils down to a check list. Go here, finish this, make this appointment, run this errand. There is no meaning to the days, just a list to continually monitor and check off. There's no meaningful personal interactions when my face is looking down and focusing on my list.

Do you relate to Lysa in chapter two where she nearly blows by God's callings? Do you want to share that experience? Did God redeem it for you like he did for Lysa?

*I'm sure I blow by God's calling multiple times per day. There have been many times that I look back and see the clear messages that I chose to ignore. Robin Williams' suicide and a friend's suicide are a painful reminder that I need to listen and follow through when I hear. The smallest email, text, etc can make a huge difference in someone's world.

Nicole Josephs said...

Write out how you spend your 168 hours (you can do this on paper) and then write out your life dreams and goals. No matter how silly they feel and include what you are pursuing now. End each with, "That I may bless whom?" Evaluate where your time is going. Does this convict you or empower you?

*I simply want to cry when I break down my time. I end up with 3.75 hours, but feel that's an overestimation. My weeks vary so much and most of the time I'm double booked. I'm currently working on this book study while working a night shift. I simply can not carve out time elsewhere. I'm needed by the household - husband, kids, extended family, work (two jobs), upcoming work projects and pressing decisions, laundry, cleaning, Mads' swim team... I want to return to the gym but 5AM comes to quickly! Why can't I find an hour or two during "real people time" not the crack of dawn! (Sorry - I've gone on a tangent!)

Does your heart ache for a purpose that causes you to live out a vicious cycle of having an underwhelmed soul?

*My heart is so broken. There is so much more that I, and my whole family, are meant to do for God. We were told to move back to Monroe for His purpose and at this time we are not living out his mission. He didn't send us here to be beyond busy, and so lonely. We aren't living to the potential He put in us. I want to live for Him, but all the day to day basics turn me away from my true path and it breaks my heart - multiple times daily!

What did you take away from the first three chapters? What stood out that was applicable to your life?

*I absolutely love Lysa's reminders that:
"A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul."
"The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul!"
But most importantly, I LOVE this the most: "Unbroken companionship helps us hear His instruction so then we can see His direction. We MUST NOT seek direction before obeying His instruction."
I MUST slow down so that I can be in constant companionship with my sweet Lord who has only good things in store for me!

How can we best listen for God's direction to daily give Him the best of our time and yes answers?

*I simply need to scale back!! I need to break down requests into who I'm blessing so that I can find my Best Yes. I need to stop taking on everything and ask for help. God has given my friends, family, and others in my life skills that could even be better than mine. If I don't step back not only am I overburdening myself, but I might not be allowing others to shine!!

Amanda Benson said...

How did you decide to read The Best Yes? 
I was invited by my friend Nicole :) I have been trying to read my bible in the last year or so, but I easily get lost and feel like I miss out on a lot. I like reading books that discuss bible topics because then I still feel like I am studying His word and learning more about God. I have been listening The Best Yes on cd on my commute to work-keeps my mind and heart focus when it sometimes can wonder into angry places that deal with my exhusband. I also like Max Lucado books (You'll get through this and Fearless) and Jesus Calling.

Do you consider yourself a people pleaser? Why do you find is your main reason for being so busy?
Yes, I would consider myself a people pleaser. I think my birth position as the middle child has a lot to do with this. I have a really hard time saying no. I have always been pretty good at handlng a lot of activities, and demands, but I find myself saying “yes” more often in the past year since my divorce. It gets lonely in the apartment by myself when my son isn't here..and sometimes even when he is here. I figure that I need to be social when the opportunity presents itself, there are plenty of times to be home alone.  

Do you feel lonely when you are at your busiest? 
Yes. I am a big list maker. I make lists for my lists, and add things to a list just to cross it off because it was something extra that I completed. Many times I get lost/overwhelmed in my lists or pack too much stuff into one day and then get panicky or cranky, or both...and it is all of my own doing. I have thought “there has got to be more meaning to life than this!”

Write out how you spend your 168 hours (you can do this on paper) and then write out your life dreams and goals. No matter how silly they feel and include what you are pursuing now. End each with, "That I may bless whom?" Evaluate where your time is going. Does this convict you or empower you?
I did not write out my hours. But I would guess that it will show that I waste too much mindless time on facebook and pinterest. I have been trying to be more mindful of that. I do like the idea of “that I may bless whom”. Helping others has been good therapy for myself, especially on the really hard, emotional days. Makes me think about others instead of myself all the time—there are other people going through hard times-not just myself! 

Does your heart ache for a purpose that causes you to live out a vicious cycle of having an underwhelmed soul?
I love to plan theme parties (birthdays, weddings) and it would be my dream job. No idea how to get started in it though, and I can't leave the safety of my teaching job, especially being on my own. Just a on the side thing would be awesome.  

What did you take away from the first three chapters? What stood out that was applicable to your life?
You don't always have to say yes!

Kirsten Kay said...

Nicole, What you said here struck me, as we have just talked about this at our leadership group... "I feel that I am so busy because I won't delegate. I feel that if I don't do the project it won't get done correctly and I will be coming behind to redo it. I figure if I just do it on my own in the first place it will save time. Then I end up with too many projects on my plate - and most of those projects being of no significant importance!" I relate here because I also do not delegate. I see how I want something in my head and feel bad because I know I am a perfectionist. So I end up doing so much by myself. My friend gave a blerp about needing to be in control and I instantly knew that was true for me.

Amanda- What you said about list making! I RELATE! :) I make lists, and on them say, "Find that other list..." HAHA! Great goals on being a party planner!

Post a Comment

Proudly designed by Mlekoshi pixel perfect web designs