An exciting addition to our blog is that, each month, we will be featuring a book review based on our blog theme for that month. This book covers February’s theme of “Balance.” For more great book suggestions, check out our Bookshelf tab here. (And for you non-readers, check out the audio book options!)
Three years ago, I found myself sitting amongst a crowd of people at a leadership conference, not knowing that I was about to hear a very powerful and life-giving teaching from a woman named Lysa Terkeurst. At the time, I had very little knowledge of who this woman was, but that day, as I listened to her teach and preach and pour out wisdom through honesty and vulnerability, it left me wanting to hear more.
It turns out, Lysa has written several incredible books, one of my favorites being, “The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.” When I began reading this book, I assumed it was another book about making your yes a ‘yes’ and your no a ‘no,’ but it reveals so much more than that. Lysa goes even further than yes and describes what she calls a “Best Yes” by saying, “Best Yes answers are much more likely to happen when we are in the habit of seeking wisdom. We have to put our hearts and minds in places where wisdom gathers, not scatters. Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow.”
I absolutely loved this book. There is a wealth of truth within its pages I could unpack for you, but there were three key truths that seemed to stand out while I was reading.
Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the direction we’re about to head. Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.
It’s easy to believe this for the big decisions we are faced with, but what about the small decisions we make every day? What happens when I choose to give my husband the silent treatment because I am upset with him? Lysa talks about the importance of “chasing down” our decisions. If I choose the silent treatment today, what happens tomorrow? Being quiet today could start a pattern of behavior that I could repeat over and over when things are tense between Bryan and me. This could lead to shutting down the communication in my marriage and would eventually drive a wedge between us. Chasing down this decision helps me to make the “Best Yes” choice of being open and honest with Bryan about how I feel in the very moment that I am upset. This “Best Yes” may seem small but when looking at the big picture of my marriage, it’s crucial.
While my heart wants to say yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.
This is an example of what Lysa calls a “small no.” A small no pushes through our fears of disappointing someone and convinces us it’s better to say no early on instead of letting things progress until the no becomes much harder to give. This book helped me to see that waiting longer than I should to say no to someone builds their hopes that the answer will be a yes, it prevents them from making other plans, and it makes an eventual no much harder to receive. Somehow, we have believed that saying no is not kind or even “Christian,” but we must learn to believe that saying no now means that we are positioning ourselves to be given a God-opportunity to give a “Best Yes.”
A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.
Does your heart sink when you read this? If so dear friend, please read this book. I love how Lysa said, “An underwhelmed soul is one who knows there is more God made her to do.” I especially loved this chapter because she takes the time to explain how we can get back to that one thing, that one passion that we wake up in the middle of the night thinking about. That one thing that makes our heart flutter when we dare let ourselves dream a little. I loved reading this morsel of truth, “Never is a woman so fulfilled as when she chooses to underwhelm her schedule so she can let God overwhelm her soul.” Isn’t that so good?!
There were four statements written on the cover of this book, two of which convinced me to read it.
I hope there’s more to life than my to-do list.
I’m a little overwhelmed and a lot worn out.
I dread saying yes but feel powerless to say no.
I’m drowning in the regrets of too many commitments.
If any of these statements jump out and speak to your heart, then this book is definitely for you. It is an easy read, packed full of wisdom, truth, God’s Word, and insight from a woman who’s not afraid to be vulnerable and share the lessons life has taught her. I will leave you with some of the last statements written in this book in hopes that you will choose to read it and let it minister to your heart as it did mine.
Let’s use the two most powerful words, yes and no, with resounding assurance, graceful clarity, and guided power. All so people may see Jesus when they see us. Hear Jesus when they hear us. And know Jesus when they know us.
This post was written by Amber Curry. To read more about her, click here.