I want to write, I really do. But for the past 2 weeks, it simply hasn’t been my “Best Yes”. Between youth group stuff, a Bright Life Farm trip, church directory pictures, trip to my husband’s hometown for his induction into the Football Hall of Fame, and a 3 day wedding weekend in Nashville, I have had to say “no” to many things.
Just today, I woke up with a mile-long list of things I wanted to accomplish:
2 loads of laundry (at least)
Work on counting with Mason (with cool toys of course)
Puzzles with Clint
Work on stuff for youth group tonight
Work on Bible study for tomorrow’s meeting
Go to recycling
Go to Farmer’s Market
Library Story Time
Go to grocery store, get food to cook for couple with new baby
Shower (maybe? or maybe just wear a hat and hope no one brushes up against my legs)
Cook food for my family
Deliver food to other family
Finish Jen Haymaker’s new book
Call about a hair appt for the boys (Clint definitely has a mullet)
Write for blog
How can I possibly cross anything off the list? It all needs to be done.
I can do this. Nurses are great at prioritizing.
Cross off book reading. Maybe after the kids fall asleep.
Pay bills tomorrow at work when I don’t have sticky hands trying to interrupt.
Recycling and windows can wait…no expected visitors this week.
Laundry? Nah, we have plenty to wear.
My “Best Yes” today belongs to quality time with the kids, buying and preparing food for my family and friends, and preparing for youth group. These things can’t wait until tomorrow. If I try to squeeze in the extras, the atmosphere in my house will be a cloud of rushing, exhaustion, anger, frustration, disappointment, insecurity and regret.
This writing break isn’t necessary, but I keep thinking about YOU and how much you might need to read this today, so perhaps it is a Best Yes.
I recently finished Lysa Terkeurst’s The Best Yes and it has completely changed my outlook on life. She explains how saying “yes” to one thing means saying “no” to something else. We only have room for so many things. Each decision (even the ones that seem insignificant) changes everything over the course of this day, this year, and this life. As Lysa puts it, “Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices. Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head.”
She talks about the reasons we don’t say “no” even when we know we should. Sometimes we agree to do something because we truly do want to do it, but deep down we know that we won’t be able to give it the time and attention it needs. It’s best to give it to someone who will be able to fully commit.
My husband was recently asked to be the new teacher of our Sunday School. At first glance, this looked like a good opportunity. I thought about how it would help him grow in knowledge and faith, and I liked the idea of studying the lessons with him and helping any way that I could. My husband is wise, however, and knew early on that the answer should be “no”. With his school, family, and other church commitments, he would not be able to dedicate an adequate amount of time to the job.
Sometimes we say “yes” because we fear what people will think of us if we say “no”. Lysa says, “If the person you are trying hard not to disappoint will be displeased by a no, they’ll eventually be disappointed even if you say yes.” In my own words: If someone can’t respect your “no”, they are probably the type who is hard to please and will never fully appreciate your time and other commitments. Don’t do things to please another person; it’ll never work.
Lysa says that we learn how to give our best answers by searching for wisdom. As I talked about in my last blog post and as Lysa says here, wisdom is found when we “set aside our excuses, our habits, and our justifications” and ask God for wisdom. As stated before, each little decision is significant.
Today, I say “yes” to the things I HAVE to do, and then “yes” to the things I think I will be glad I did when tomorrow comes. Tomorrow may come with some regrets, but I will hopefully learn from them and make better decisions later.
Today, I’m glad I chose to put aside laundry, bills, and window washing. Because I said “no” to those things, I got to see Mason’s excitement over the pony at the Farmer’s Market.
And my husband and I created a hilarious video for youth group with sticky notes about “How You Can’t Get to Heaven”. I will spare you the lovely singing voices and just show you a couple pictures by my artistic husband.
I’ll spare you all the verses, but here a couple I have to share.
Although I’m still tired at the end of the day, I can’t imagine how tired and grumpy I would be if I had tried to squeeze in even more.
I’m getting better at saying “no” to things so I can give my “best yes” to others. I encourage you to read this book if you struggle with the same thing.
What deserves your “best yes” today?