Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Best Yes - Chapter 9 & 10

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Chapter nine lit a fire in me to be productive. I wanted to start fixing a few half done projects that have been that way for a long, long time. It started in the hallway, then moved to the dink in the red kitchen, to not liking a red kitchen, to painting the kitchen, to, "Oh, no! The ceiling is now darker than the color I painted the kitchen..." If you give a mouse a cookie, right? Well, long story short, my weekend has and will continue to consist of painting and home repair projects.

But I feel the "working hard" and "being lazy" that Lysa was getting at in chapter nine had nothing to do with my red kitchen or my off white ceilings. We need to be hardworking, like her daughter, to show up prepared for the projects we have before us. Like an athletic person, we need to be ready to "give an example for the joy that is within us" (1 Peter 3:15). We need to be leading our choices with wisdom because that is honoring to God. But this means practice, it means what Lysa describes in more detail on pages 109-110.

1) Accept God's word.
2) Memorize God's word.
3) Surround ourselves with wise people and wise teachers.
4) Call out for insight.
5) Communicate with God in prayer about everything, particularly our decision making.
6) Look for wisdom like we are hunting for hidden treasure (Matthew 13:44-36).

What strikes me again moving forward is what Lysa says about Eve. Satan introduces something to her when he suggests the fruit. Doubt. Oh, how deeply this gets to me. I feel like I am headed in a confident direction until, "But what if, " or "But then this might," and the ever so common, "What if I miss my purpose?" That confident direction begins to waver with doubt. I begin to question God, "Are you sure?"

I love what she says about Satan and concludes with, "If we don't know God personally, then we are unlikely to be influenced by Him." Wow, right? Satan knows God's name but he doesn't have a relationship with God and will do whatever he can to halt us having one with him either.

The oh too busy days that we cannot make time to read God's word.
The doubt that God's word still applies to "this day in age." He didn't really mean that for now.
The ex that peeks back into our lives.
The addiction we cannot kick.
That struggle you are facing that God is getting blamed for?

Can you envision the grin on that smug little face of Satan? On the same note, the heartbreak of God as we doubt him and his plan and continue to pack our schedules in order to plan or own life. Do you see where our underwhelmed soul kicks in?

God is just asking us to show up for practice. If you don't know or have that personal relationship with God, if you feel like there is a wedge between you and God, it's not too late. You've never been "too bad." Salvation and forgiveness is for everyone, no matter what. Email me, for any prayer requests or if you need help getting connected. I would love to walk you through that release. It was also true for me.

Well, we have arrived! Lysa addresses the why, where, and when. She has arrived to how we can start to break this pattern. One thing I so appreciate about her writing is she doesn't leave you without a game plan or a how to. Are you ready to dive in here? I know I am!

"If the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not become empty. I shall not live in a constant state of disappointment where circumstances drain me dry." 

Lysa says on page 116, we first have to "assess expectations and responsibilities that come with each thing I say yes to." Secondly, we need to "identify unrealistic expectations so these can either be managed or eliminated before I jump into an opportunity." 

We need to know what our expectations are before we say yes to an opportunity. 

I remember when I was asked to co-lead nursery at our church. Two women were leading it and one wanted out. I was eager to be of help and continue to be passionate about helping the next generation. My duties were, "make the schedule once and a while," and "make sure we are covered every Sunday. Just pop in and see." Shortly after signing up for the position, other duties popped up. Trainings, meetings, arguments, low snacks, not enough diapers, broken toys, people quitting, and the list continues. It could only have been worse if I was doing it alone... can you see where this is going? Yep, shortly thereafter, it was decided that the helper could no longer help and I was on my own to carry the projects, meetings, no shows, and whatever else would go on back there. The stress was immense and my opinion to change things was often shot down. Had I known I would end up alone, with a list of expectations longer than my arm, I would have declined. But I carried that position for as long as my emotions could manage and was quickly drained and overextended. It left a gap to be filled. This is why it is so important to know everything and consider the possibilities. "Do I have the resources (goes back to the physical, spiritual, emotional, and financial) to maintain these expectations realistically?" 

Like Lysa's car situation, we need to evaluate some what ifs in order to make a wise choice. Again, this isn't an excuse to not take a risk and not step out in faith, but a woman who makes those wise choices evaluates these next things:

Is this wise not only short term, but also long term? 
Is the choice forced or frantic?
Is the decision tied to people pleasing?
Which wiser people think this is a good idea? (This means, ask your Godly friends!)
Are there facts I am leaving out with the above friends?

I love what she says next here, "Unrealistic expectations become unmet expectations." Back to nursery, there were ways to meet the standards we wanted to uphold. However, my ideas were often unheard or there was no interest to change "the way it was." This way was unrealistic. Very quickly, it became impossible to meet that expectation. Lysa continues with explaining how our strengths play into our expectations. If we have zero strengths in administration, then maybe steer clear of administrating. That would be a "best no." Here are the other factors she wants us to consider (if you don't have the book yet you can get a more in depth description if you buy it here.)

Our season.

When we assess those things then our choices we make will be wiser, God-honoring, and they will take our "underwhelmed soul" to that peaceful soul that allows us to establish a smooth rhythm lived with purpose, direction, fire, and intention. Does that inspire you? It does me.

Here are your ten questions! Next week, chapter 11, 12, and 13. We get into that dreaded N word. No. 

Not a serious one, but what are some projects you are currently working on?

We all have projects to work hard on. What did you think of the six practices of a prepared decision maker? Which one(s) are your strengths? Which one(s) do you struggle with?

What was your take on the interaction between Eve and Satan?

Do you agree with what Lysa says about knowing and being influenced by God?

Like me and the nursery situation,  have you ever said yes without all the details?
If you did, did you regret it long term?

Have you ever made a choice from frantic decision, without consulting others (or regardless what they thought), or to people please? How did that end up for you? What did you learn?

Are you currently tied up in something that isn't "your season?" 

What are some things you will put into action from these chapters? 

Great job friends! We are 4 weeks out from finishing the Best Yes! I will let everyone know our next book next week so we all have time to order it. 

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