Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Best Yest - Chapter 6, 7, & 8

Thursday, January 29, 2015

"Today's choices become tomorrow's circumstances." 
Lysa TerKeurst

Welcome, fellow busy mom, sister, and friend.

The past few weeks have kicked my butt. You too? Maybe you relate. Maybe this is why I need to really cherish this book! Let me pray for us today, if I may.

Lord, I pray now for the woman who has so much stress on her plate that her world is spinning. I ask that you would give us the strength to slow down and cherish you above all else. Lord, your plan is so much more important than our own missions. Please remind us for the plans that you have for our lives that we may truly live to glorify you. May we live out our purposes with intention. Amen

These past chapters have really spoken to me again, as I read this book with you a second time. I have been so convicted. I constantly forget what she says in Chapter 6. Let's start there, shall we?


Chapter 6 pulls us in to the importance of making our choices with intention. The choices we make today start off a chain of events that determine the rest of our lives. Lysa addresses the need to make choices with the wisdom she talks about in previous chapters.

On page 64 she says, "No decision is an isolated choice. It's a chain of events." 

Imagining what I would tell myself on graduation, my ideas were packed full of forgiveness, grace, and love. Speeches of purpose and clear goal setting. I never thought about "chains of events" like chapter 6 covers. It was an interesting dynamic of truth that I will apply from here on out.

When she forwards to college, she turns down the weak moment in order to pursue church instead. I grabbed hold to one truth hidden there. We do not have to stay stuck in our worst places! Forgiveness and grace gently push us onward to try to be better. In God's strength, we can do better!

When we walk into church, it is much more than just walking in and sitting down. She says, "We have to engage with what's offered if it's going to do us any good." We need to go in and get involved with that community, the service opportunities, and the words in the Bible being offered. We need to hold tight to those things that can get us in a better direction, making better choices for a better chain of events that will glorify God.



I loved chapter 7. Look at what Lysa says here, "If you desire to please God with the decision you make and afterward it proves to be a mistake, it is an error not an end." 

This past summer, I had just had my third daughter, had recently chosen to stay at home, and was getting into a few new rhythms. The topic of daycare had come up with a friend. They were weary of generic daycare, looking to save money. I was weary of being home and a little extra cash would have been helpful. So, the match seemed to be made in perfect timing.

A month later, my infant changed sleeping patterns and this boy and my daughter had daily fighting matches with high pitched screams and slap festivities. I was tied down to my humble abode with four kids under the age of 5 from 7 A.M. to 4:30 P.M. I couldn't really leave to get groceries, to take my kids on vacations, go to the pool, or anything, really. In my mind, I was home anyway, what was just one more kid? I didn't fully acknowledge that it would essentially be like raising another child if I truly wanted to do the job right. It was then that things really started to set in. My list of negatives was way longer than the list of positives. I really, really wanted to help my friend out but it was taking it's toll on my own parenting.

But what was the absolute worst for me was recanting my commitment to have this precious being in my home. Getting the courage to send the email admitting my mistake in not truly thinking over my commitment took me two weeks. The day I sent it, I cried. I felt terrible. If I would have prayed, sought counsel, made lists, and read this book first, this situation would have started and ended differently. I had the best of intentions, but my best of intentions ended with a lot of broken hearts, stress, and waiting in faith to watch God work out the situation for His good. I wanted to please God by helping my friends but afterward, felt like I had reached an end. I was comforted in this chapter by two things. First, I was comforted in knowing I made an error. And by my dear friends loving God like they do, we were able to move on with forgiveness and still remain good friends to this day! Her son is still a pleasure and the best dressed toddler around. Secondly, I learned a very useful strategy on page 81-82.

1) Trusting in God by lacing my desire under his authority.
2) Analyzing the decision.
3) Making a decision.
4) Owning the decision. (No matter what the outcome is.)
5) Trusting God to work good even from the not so good parts.

We have a freedom to make decisions and then step out to trust his authority and then trust God's work in the outcome. Lysa says this on page 87. We should not freeze in fear because God will work out the good for those who love him (Romans 8:28).



"Not making a decision is actually making a decision. It's the decision to stay the same." 

We are not designed to carry more than we should. A "Best Yes" can become a "stressed yes" that will quickly break us when we do not release other things.

I love the analogy Lysa used to relate to the trees. If I would have continued to attempt daycare, which is not my strength, I would have hurt my kids in a way that was not worth the trade. I could not be fully committed to them when we had a full time guest. I needed to let that commitment go in order to give my Best Yes back to my own itty bitties. Lysa says here, "Refusal to release often means refusing to have peace."

Now, like our closets, I could have carried on with the daycare situation. Grumpy, over-stressed, and pushing on from guilt. All of those things are the opposite of peace. God wants us to live in peace. Sometimes, God wants us to let go even when that process can be painful. We need to let go of things that would otherwise hold us back from our purpose in order to thrive in God honoring living.

This is more than just saying yes too much. This can also refer to that "50 Shades of Grey" you cannot put down, even though it's technically porn. It refers to the one drink too many. It refers to the spouts of anger taken out on those behind our own closed doors. This means turning off the TV to read God's word, even though this show is just so.good. We need to let go of the sin that holds us back from the closest relationship with God so that when bigger projects come our way we were faithful.

In the little and in the much.

We all have fallen short and the beauty that lies under the broken storms of our life is that God can redeem it and make us new. It's never too late to give him back our "high school graduation" so that the storms we face or have faced do not crack us. Let's submit those things to the cross together. Cause I know I have a list of things to let go of! You too?

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Here are your questions!!

Do you wish you were more intentional when you graduated high school? 

Think over your life choices: Are there things you need to let go of to live your full potential in Christ and for your best yes? 

On page 67, Lysa gives an example of one of the best things to happen to her. It actually broke her heart. Do you have a time that this was also true for you? Heartbreak = blessing? 

Are you facing an issue that you need some "light" or new direction? Refer to page 67. 

Do you think into every seemingly little choice like Lysa and her latte? Do you think we should?

What decision do you need to "chase down?" 

When making a large decision, do you freeze in fear? What about the small, daily choices?

What is a major fear stopping you from your best yes?

Do you have multiple things, projects, or commitments you need to break in order to pursue just one wholeheartedly? 

Do you have a closet like Lysa's? :) Purge party? Seriously. My closet is a mess.

Have you feared the release of something so much you have given up the trade to something better? (Refer to page 96 for examples.) 

What was your favorite part of these three chapters?

Can I pray for you this week? Email me, I would love to pray confidentially over those requests for you!

Let us look at how we can apply this in a literal way. Sit down and write out what holds you back. Both your sin and your worst yes answers. Pray that God would give you the courage to defeat the pattern of sin in your life and that he would give you courage to graciously bow out of projects that simply are not ours. After you feel that confidence, take action! Get extra help, a good friend to walk with you and hold you accountable, or send that email and make that call. Our best yes is waiting!

Next up, Chapters 9 and 10!

2 comments :

Amanda Benson said...

These chapters were exactly what I needed to read this week. I have been listening to the cd during my drive to and from work and I was glued to every word. Do you wish you were more intentional when you graduated high school?

Think over your life choices: Are there things you need to let go of to live your full potential in Christ and for your best yes?

yes--I need to let go of the shame that I carry from my divorce. I know that I tried my best and that I did what I could to reconcile with my ex. I know that it was not my actions that caused the breakup of my marriage. It is a failure, none the less. I don't understand God's plan or where he is going with all of this, but I have to let go of the shame and the sadness if I am going to be my best yes and continue to grow from this horrible experience.

On page 67, Lysa gives an example of one of the best things to happen to her. It actually broke her heart. Do you have a time that this was also true for you? Heartbreak = blessing?

Again-the divorce. It has been just over a year since I knew without a doubt that the marriage was over. In the time since then I have experienced God's love and grace in so many ways since then. Renewed friendships, new friendships, a church community to belong to, working (ongoing) through the scariness of the divorce process, living by myself....I know that God has been there every step of the way with me. On the hardest days I think about how I was feeling and what I was doing a year ago...and try to picture what God might have in store for the next year. Looking back, there are so many bad things that were happening within that relationship that I was oblivious to. As sad as the situation is, it is a blessing to be moving in a healthier direction for myself and my son. God has replaced the negative aspects with hints and glimmers of a healthier future.

Do you think into every seemingly little choice like Lysa and her latte? Do you think we should?

With my ex-yes. When there is conflict (and there sure seems to be plenty to go around) I have to really think how I am going to act. I try to see it if it the situation was turned around and how I would feel if he did xyz. Petty little things get blown up pretty quickly (ex: he brings my son back 10 minutes late--next time do I bring him back late or just show up at the regular agreed upon time) I have to carefully weigh what is important enough to fight about which is really tough for me because I hate conflict and now there is daily conflict.


When making a large decision, do you freeze in fear? What about the small, daily choices?
absolutely--I was frozen in fear on my parents couch for months, debating every 10 minutes-should we work it out? should I file for divorce? but what about? maybe if we? constantly, over and over and over, it was exhausting.


Have you feared the release of something so much you have given up the trade to something better? (Refer to page 96 for examples.)
I was in fear of losing my marriage and what it would be like to be divorced-to the point where I ignored my gut feelings and had moved back home with my husband. God intervened pretty quickly and opened my eyes to what was still going on behind my back. I believe that God was trying to open my eyes to all of the horrible things and make me realize that there are better relationships out there-even if that means being alone for a while.


What was your favorite part of these three chapters?
they were so applicable to what I was going through this week. I kept thinking "oh my gosh that is so true" I liked that she pointed out that sometimes there might be more that one good answer. I am a bit of a perfectionist and always want to be do the best thing, the most right thing.

I have been second guessing some of the details of the final divorce papers. Now is where I need to trust God to take this and use it for good. Time to stop worrying about it and let God be in control.

Kirsten Kay said...

Thank you for your boldness and bravery to share with us what you are going through! Still praying for you. Kirsten

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