Saturday, August 30

I’m Disappointed In Myself

I think I’ve finally figured out the root cause of the chaos that sometimes sweeps into my life and makes the worst of me emerge.

I struggle with decisions. I don’t want to miss out on opportunities, mess up relationships by disappointing people, or misstep right out of God’s will.

And then, I struggle with wondering if my inability to do it all will make my kids wind up on a therapist’s couch one day. How do other women seem to do it all?

And worst of all, I struggle with feeling like I’m going to let God down.

Descriptions ping in my head: I’m tired. I’m distracted. I’m disappointed in myself.

I feel slightly used and more than slightly used up. I’m a little overwhelmed and a lot worn down.

Can you relate? I thought maybe you would.

Last year I finally had to admit I wasn’t doing so well. So I put pen to paper and dared to explore this topic as an author who needs this message most of all.

This time was hard for me. Admission instead of omission.

I had to admit that I needed to reevaluate. I whispered, “God, I really want to do life right. So I give and serve and love and do and sacrifice. I do it all with a happy heart, an open checkbook, a calendar dedicated to being Your girl. I study Your Word. I tuck truth in my heart and as a trembling, brave one, I determine to charge upward and forward each day. I’m going to be fine, right God?”

And yet there was this nagging sense that something was a bit off inside me. Someone would make a request of me that I knew right away was unrealistic. My brain would say no. My schedule would say no. My reality would say no. But my heart would say yes! Then my mouth would betray my intention of saying no, and blurt out, “Yes, of course.”

I dreaded saying yes but felt powerless to say no. I dreaded saying yes not because I don’t love that person. I love them very much. But I dreaded what saying yes would do to the already running-on-empty me.

And I kept on marching as if this is how a Christian woman is supposed to live, as if this is the call on my life, as if this is all there is.

I misused the two most powerful words, yes and no.

Every assignment felt like my assignment.

And this kind of thinking almost made me crumble and quit ministry.

Friends, can I gently but honestly say it’s time to stop the chaos?

The acid of over-activity eats holes in our souls. From those holes leaks the cry of the calling that never quite happened. We said yes to so much that we missed what I call our Best Yes assignments — simply because we didn’t heed the warning of the whispers within us begging to reassess and breathe.

acidofoveractivity

Are you wanting something more for your life than an endless to-do list and the feeling that you’re never quite keeping up?

We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please. And it’s not just because of the vicious cycles of people pleasing, although that’s part of it. I miss Best Yes opportunities sometimes because I simply don’t know they’re part of the equation.

I get all twisted up in making the decision to check either the Yes or No box, not realizing there is a third box that reads Best Yes.

I want to introduce you to a more realistic and fulfilling way to live in my new book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. Click here to purchase your copy.

Today I’m giving away a Kindle, loaded with the eBook version of The Best Yes!

For your chance to win, sign up for the Proverbs 31 Ministries online Bible study of The Best Yes below and leave a comment to let me know that you signed up.

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The Best Yes Online Bible Study.

Wednesday, August 27

Recapturing “US” in the Midst of Our “RUSH”

Mary and Ken lived right down the street from me. They were famous for their amazing hospitality, adorable farmhouse, and parties that stepped right out of the pages of Southern Living.

Mary was alive with creativity and was always thinking of ways to bless others. Ken adored living out his retirement years helping his bride create a haven for family and friends.

They were still young and vivacious with many plans. But cancer swept in and, before long, Ken laid Mary to rest in the arms of Jesus.

I remember seeing Ken in our restaurant not long after Mary’s funeral. He and Mary had been regulars for years. I knew I needed to stop and say something. But what?

I felt so unsure as I walked toward my grieving friend.

As I approached, words escaped me, so I just bent down and gave him a hug. Tears filled his eyes, “The silence is killing me Lysa.”

“Well then, you must come to our house for dinner. I can’t always promise it will be tidy and I’m certainly no great cook, but one thing is for sure… my house is never silent.”

Thus started a tradition – Monday night dinners.

I have to admit that I didn’t feel adequate to have Mary’s husband over for dinner. He was used to Mary’s lavish meals… all I had to give were quick and thrown together kid-friendly offerings.

We never had candles or tablecloths or even a properly set table. But the noise of our family was an orchestra of comfort and healing to Ken’s lonely heart.

We just did life and let him join in. I would often ask about Mary’s ways of doing things and his face would light up at the opportunity to keep part of her alive.

One night, as Ken was leaving our home, he stepped off the sidewalk to make his way over to a bush in full bloom. He tenderly picked up one of the flowers and pressed his face close, breathing deeply its scent.

He then looked back at me standing in the doorway and said, “Don’t miss this. Don’t rush through your life, Lysa. Make time to stop and breathe it all in.”

I’ve never forgotten that.

My family and I still preserve that sacred space for Monday night dinners. We invite co-workers, acquaintances, and friends that feel like family to join us. We take time to talk. Laugh. Process life. Breathe it all in.

Although our to-do lists and schedules tug at us to get our attention, we don’t allow anything to take priority over these moments. I refuse to let the people I’ve been entrusted with get my ‘less’ instead of my ‘best’ because I’m distracted.

It’s amazing to me that what started out as a simple gesture to help a grieving neighbor became one of the greatest blessings of my life. And I’ve done a lot of breathing it all in, ever since.

If you ever feel like the relationships you treasure most are constantly getting your ‘less’ instead of your ‘best,’ I’d love to invite you to join me for a Monday night dinner conversation around my kitchen table. I’ll be webcasting from my house and teaching on powerful ways to recapture the “us” in the midst of our “rush.”

You don’t want to miss it. Here’s all the information:

Who: Me, you, and friends…
- Renee Swope
- Chrystal Evans Hurst
- Melissa Taylor
- Nicki Koziarz
- Paige Klein
- Tonia Bendickson

Where: Broadcast from my house to your home! Join us here at www.LysaTerKeurst.com.

When: Monday, September 8th – 8pm EST

Enter your email address in the form below to sign up for the reminder list. I can’t wait to see you there!

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The Best Yes Webcast information list.

Leave a comment below telling me a few of your friends you plan to invite to watch this. I’ll randomly pick three commenters to win a $25 gift card to either Target or Walmart – your choice!

Monday, August 18

What We Miss When We Rush

A few years ago, I had the amazing privilege to meet BJ. He was sitting in the row in front of me on a flight and made sure to welcome us the minute we took our seats. It didn’t take long for BJ to make everyone around us aware of how excited he was to be on this plane.

His voice was loud, his exclamations seemed a bit child-like for a man his age, and his stuttered words made it difficult to completely understand him.

But one thing was unmistakable to me – his passionate embrace of the magnificent.

As we rose into the sky he clapped and bounced in his seat. His eyes were wide as he turned to the man sitting next to him and exclaimed, “The clouds are huge!”

That’s when the nudging on my heart started. This gentle prodding to ignore the task oriented part of me wanting to get my work done. A rush-like whisper tripped over those boundaries I’d erected to keep my thoughts focused and orderly.

Embrace this moment Lysa. Notice him. Notice Me. This is a better use of this time. This is a Best Yes.

I’d love for you to learn more about what BJ taught me on that flight by reading the rest of my post at (in)courage today. Click here to pop over there.

And I’m excited to announce that (in)courage is partnering with the message of The Best Yes this week! 100% of the proceeds from copies purchased through (in)courage will go to 99 Balloons – a wonderful non-profit that aids families of children with special needs. This specific initiative will help train churches to better support families with amazingly awesome kids like BJ. Click here to find out how you can help!