Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Best Yes - Chapter 4 & 5

Sunday, January 18, 2015

 "Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow."
Lysa TerKeurst 

Welcome to the second week of The Best Yes! If you haven't purchased your copy of the book you can find it here.

Let's dive right in, shall we? 



Dear friends, what are your boxes in your entryway? Lysa has a foyer, which I "googled" a photo of, and decided that I really want one of those! Ha! Back on track here, but she says something on page 35, "We process the what-ifs and the but thens and the maybes until we find ourselves standing around a corner listening to see if a cardboard box containing a refrigerator might sneeze. Good glory."  Did anyone else laugh out loud there? She covers what we know that we need to do but we over process what might actually happen if we say yes or no. If we leave the box in our entry, it might be a creature waiting to bust out and attack. Or it might just really be a fridge. Plain and simple. 

To which on page 36 she describes the difference between knowledge, insight, and discernment. When she talks to the mom in the gym, she asks the mom if she has been reading and praying in God's word. Then she asks if she has been applying it. Lastly, if she has sought Godly counsel who know specifics of her situation. Sometimes, we need to remember to ask people who know about the situation. But often times we do wait for that "neon sign" to point us where we think we should go.  We need to seek wisdom. 

The Bible says in James 1:5, " If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given to him." Like Lysa says on page 39, we need to put our minds in places where wisdom gathers, not scatters. When our lives do not line up in obedience to God's word, that we are not reading, we can hardly expect to find the Godly direction in which to walk. But if we ask God for that wisdom, he will give us wisdom. Usually that will come by trial and error. Sometimes not. In my own life I have found that my mistakes gradually led me to seek God's wisdom instead of earthly wisdom. His answer was always, "Just follow me and the rest will all just fall into place." Because you won't find wisdom at the bottom of a bar stool, disconnected from church, or gossiping with even your closest of friends. 

How did you feel when you read about being stripped of power and significance by our daily demands? I love how she addressed the small acts of service. The most important areas of service opportunity is often right in our laps, behind our closed doors, and we blow the time away because it feels like this doesn't matter in the grand scheme of life. Like I said in my first post, when I chose to stay at home with my kids, I felt as though I lost many things. My connection to the outside world, my "status" that comes with job maintenance, and my paycheck. Nothing described me anymore except, "stay at home mom." And it never felt life changing. It never felt like what I did matters. Most days, it still doesn't. But I know in my heart it does. 

"Wisdom isn't just a label, it's a lifestyle." 
Lysa TerKeurst, kinda :)

I truly loved the part with the wise woman in 2 Samuel.  I want people to buy this book, so go there to read it. But if you have read the book, what she dives into there is amazing, right? 

She closes with fear. I loved that. Because fear of the problems in our life, or entryway, lead to rushed and often times decisions made with regret. But the true fear, or awe, of God, leads us to the choices we can truly trust are wise. I know for me, pushing for a lifestyle of "wisdom, knowledge, insight, and discernment," is truly found in the mundane of each and every day. 



Physically. Financially. Spiritually. Emotionally. Does it fit? Now, I am assuming that the answer must be "yes" for all of the above. 

Lysa says on page 52, after addressing her approach and her attitude, "God's wonder is the assurance that not every activity is my activity."  Oh man, this chapter was for me. 

My attitude was getting to be pretty stinky. I was always saying yes, even when it wasn't my strength or gift. Even when it didn't fit between the other stuff, or when my physical, financial, spiritual, and emotional bank was empty. I always felt that I needed to say yes. I needed to lead, I needed to serve, I needed to help, I needed to (fill in the blank) because "that is what good Christians do." 

Saying no feels painful. Saying no can be awkward. Saying no can hurt people's feelings. I do not believe there will ever be a moment when turning someone/something down will be enjoyable. Because isn't that how it feels? We are rejecting their idea. We are rejecting their need. 

I remember one time I was talking to my Grammie. I was telling her how everyone needed money and if I was rich I would help people all the time. I couldn't understand why God wasn't giving me the money to help everyone, everywhere. My grandma explained to me that if that were to happen, I would be getting in the way of other's need to rely on God. They may have needed financial help, but if I was constantly jumping in writing checks, they would never have to go to God and trust him for provision. Yes, there would be weeks where money was tight. Yes, there would be things they couldn't do because the money was not there. But God wants to teach people things. I cannot play God. Plain and simple. 

In this chapter, what my Grammie said to me stuck out. When Lysa spoke about saying no to her friend moving in I related. Only, my relation would have been I would have said yes, the friendship would have been ruined, and she would be homeless months later. Because have a hard concept with grasping when to help and when not to. God says to help people. He says being his follower will be uncomfortable, he says  in Matthew, "Whatever you do for the least of these, you have done for me." So as a Christian, the need to help others is something we are familiar with. 

This is why I love the way Lysa broke it down into those groups. A wise project sent by God will fit all those needs. I am not saying they will fit comfortably, but they will fit and you will be able to say "yes" to those categories. Remember, does it fit financially, emotionally, spiritually, and physically?

We do have to be careful to not use the wisdom of saying no as an excuse to not be uncomfortable. Sometimes God wants us to grow and most times that means a season of discomfort. Look at Moses, for example. Had to leave his home, not once, but twice to constantly pursue Pharaoh to let his people go. In his season, I am not sure that he could say, "Yes! I can expect that to be comfortable, right?" Our greatest example is Jesus. The plan for his life called him to death like a criminal. There isn't anything comfortable about that. Emotionally, that was Jesus' burden to carry so he made the space to make it his project even in discomfort. 

Sometimes God might want us to say yes to paying for the driver behind us, no matter if his bill was $5.00 or $50.00. Maybe God might call some to adoption, even though their other kids might not understand. In the end, it is God's wisdom that will help us decide which task is ours. Those are our best yes'. Saying no to the things that halt God's will, like saving the entire world from financial distress, is not our best yes. In the end, we all need to rely on God. So saying no will save us stress, time, money, emotions, and physical stress, but it will also allow that window to be there for the person hearing the word no to rely on God. 

Let us make sure to be open to discomfort for our yes answers. Let us pray for peace for others who need to be open for the discomfort in our no answers. 

"But a Best Yes will require having the courage to say no to other things. No to wrong things. No to some seemingly good things. That's the only way to ensure there's space to run and take that leap of faith toward the best things." Page 62

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From chapter 4, and in the moment where you have a decision to make, let us use Lysa's breakdown. Write out these questions in your journals:

1) Have you been reading and praying through God's word lately?
2) Have you been applying God's word in your life lately?
3) Have you sought Godly counsel and insights from wise people who know specifics about your situation? 
(Pg 38.)

Do you feel Lysa was spot on when she describes where wisdom is and is not found? Or did you feel she was too harsh? Why?

Do you ever feel like your purpose has been stripped away? What daily demands drain you? Have you asked God to strengthen you in those areas? 

Do you wish you could be more like the un-named "wise woman" of 2 Samuel? Controlled, calm, and known for wisdom?

What about chapter 5? 

Do you have the complex that you need to "help everyone?" 

What area (physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually) do you strain the most to say yes to things that are not your "Best Yes?" Write out these four areas in your journal and think of some of your most demanding commitments. Do they all fit here? 

How do you feel with the idea that sometimes our best yes answer might cause discomfort? Do you find comfort in knowing in little day to day choices our best yes will fit in all those above categories? Will you use that method to narrow down your options of what you say yes and no to?


Don't forget! I want to be praying for you! If you feel led to send me an email  I would be honored to pray over those requests for you and all 100% confidential.

Next week- Chapter 6, 7, and 8! Fast read, we can do this! 

5 comments :

Nicole Josephs said...

1) Have you been reading and praying through God's word lately?
*Unfortunately, I have been pulled away from my close relationship with God recently. I am currently working on scheduling time to nurture our relationship and make it a priority in my daily schedule.

2) Have you been applying God's word in your life lately?
As mentioned above, our relationship is not as strong as I would like. I am longing to read His word and strengthen my knowledge of Him, for Him.

3) Have you sought Godly counsel and insights from wise people who know specifics about your situation?
(Pg 38.)
I feel that I am currently dwindling in Godly counsel. As I struggle through my current situations and I feel lonely and that I do not have the counsel I need. I continue to watch and listen for God to point me in the direction of that person. A stronger relationship with God Himself will also allow me to be more fulfilled.

Do you feel Lysa was spot on when she describes where wisdom is and is not found? Or did you feel she was too harsh? Why?
* Not harsh at all! We need to be able to walk closely with God and have a relationship with Him. With that relationship we will be able to see His hand in all that we do. It's hard to pull ourselves away from the thoughts and measuring sticks of society, but when we do have that relationship things become so much easier.

Do you ever feel like your purpose has been stripped away? What daily demands drain you? Have you asked God to strengthen you in those areas?
* I constantly feel like I'm pulled thin in every single direction. I continually say yes to what is asked of me, leaving me frustrated and sad. When pulled so thin and being something to everyone I become NOTHING. I'm not who I want to be and most certainly not what He created me to be. I am a shell and disappointed in myself that I am not living out the plan that has been set for me. I know that when I am stretched to my thinnest, I need to pray and ask for help the most. However, I become "too busy" to talk with God and it becomes an evil circle of missing my relationship with Him, but yet not working to fix it. It's a devastating cycle that hurts my soul even more.

Do you wish you could be more like the un-named "wise woman" of 2 Samuel? Controlled, calm, and known for wisdom?
*Ah, "controlled" and "calm" would be such wonderful adjectives to have when someone thinks of me! I often lose control and calmness... stressing and yelling when things get harried. I am able to find my calm when I have been able to invest in my relationship with God. If you see me stressed and lose my calm, you can be assured that I haven't been able to spend as much time in my relationship with God!

Nicole Josephs said...

Chapter 5:
Do you have the complex that you need to "help everyone?"
*Oh boy, do I ever! I have always been a people pleaser, it's just something I learned to do as a child. My sister was always the one to stir the pot and I was always coming behind to take away her spoon! :) I am currently in a busy season mostly related to my people pleasing!

What area (physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually) do you strain the most to say yes to things that are not your "Best Yes?" Write out these four areas in your journal and think of some of your most demanding commitments. Do they all fit here?
*I am struggling with leaving a deficit to MY spiritual life when I continually say yes. I continue to help and spread myself so thin that I miss out on my time with God. Our relationship is the one that suffers. Secondly my emotional state suffers. I know that physically I can take things on (who needs sleep, right?) but emotionally I become drained. I miss my kids and my husband and then I become overwhelmed with my "mom" chores and things just spiral from there. I lose my calm and control and end up hurting my close family while I'm busy helping others.

How do you feel with the idea that sometimes our best yes answer might cause discomfort? Do you find comfort in knowing in little day to day choices our best yes will fit in all those above categories? Will you use that method to narrow down your options of what you say yes and no to?
*I am very comfortable with the discomfort of a Best Yes. After seeing the path we've been led on since Amelia was needed more in Heaven the on Earth , no amount of discomfort will ever match the pain of not bringing our baby girl home. The blessings that we have found on the other side of that pain, though, are beyond imagination. We have walked a very difficult walk, not understanding why we were put on that path but yet we are reminded of God's love at every turn.
I need to remind myself that the discomfort of letting a coworker down, is nothing in the grand scheme of God's plan. He needs me to keep time open to say Yes to all that is good and promised for me!

Amanda Benson said...

Do you ever feel like your purpose has been stripped away? What daily demands drain you? Have you asked God to strengthen you in those areas? 
Yes! For almost 10 years, I thought my purpose was to love my boyfriend/husband and his two daughters. I thought I was meant to be a wife, to raise a family...house, dog, two cars, “perfect” little family. Then I found out about his endless, multiple affairs. And suddenly I find myself divorced, alone, and a single mom to (now) 3 ½ year old, watching my friends have 2nd babies with their seemingly perfect husbands. Suddenly I am shopping and doing laundry for 2 instead of 5 and have a mandatory 50% child free time when I was use to 0%. I continually ask God to strengthen me. God has brought me from being stuck on my parent's couch to living in my own apartment for almost a year now. He has brought so many new people and opportunities into my life, I can hardly believe it. I know I have a long way to go. God's timing is slower than I think it should be, but I know that He has the master plan already figured out and I need to learn patience.


What area (physically, emotionally, financially, spiritually) do you strain the most to say yes to things that are not your "Best Yes?" Write out these four areas in your journal and think of some of your most demanding commitments. Do they all fit here?
I struggle with all 4 areas, and over commit myself, and end up overwhelmed and do nothing (enter pinterest and facebook zoning time). I do too much and not really enjoy any of it. My goal is to work on the 'best yes' and give 100% effort.

Kirsten Kay said...

Amanda! So sorry to hear about the losses you have faced. I will pray for you. I think you have hit something on the head when you talk about God's timing.

I realized just now, that sometimes when we think God's timing isn't right, we will fill our schedules with the things we want to make us happy or push our timeline faster! At least, I think this is true for my own life. For an example, my husband and I want some land. But my calling is to be home with my children. So I want to move in five years but unless I work and make a few extra payments on things, we will be in our current house much longer. So, to rush the timeline I could go back to work and make those payments, get that land, etc. But if we do it in God's perfect timing, we will be more blessed by me having stayed home to raise our kids, build with less debt, and honor God with our patience and finances. A Best Yes can look differently when we are seeking to honor God and not our own timeline. Thank you for revealing that to me!

I feel like all four of those (physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial) are connected. Like, one affects the other. When we over extend one, we over extend all of them in a way. Do you agree?

Kirsten Kay said...

Nicole, I identify to a lot of what you are saying. Especially about feeling like I give so much to everyone else and my family gets what is left. Instead of getting my 100% focus and mission, they get my scrap offering.

I believe I, in the same way, need to be focused on staying in the word! Because the Bible keeps our priorities in line and allows our choices to be wise. Proverbs 24:3 says, "By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established." Wise choices lead to better understanding. Understanding gives us wisdom. Ying-yang have you, but either way, with those two things, we can build a solid foundation to pursue our best yes. So important for us to stay in the word first! *preaching to myself here*

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