Addicted to “Yes”
I wake up feeling behind and anxious before my feet even hit the ground. Pouring my first cup of coffee and posturing myself to write, I can’t seem to focus. why?
Later, I reach for another sip of coffee, but this time I notice the coaster. It’s a book! And although I’ve been using this “coaster” for over a year it’s as if I’m looking at it for the very first time.
Today the words on the cover jump out at me.
“Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?”
From “The Best Yes”
My mind scoffs at the absurdity of this thought, but my heart is anxious because I know these words ring true for me.
But how could this be? Because nine months ago, I left the corporate world filled with involuntary demands, and stepped into my new world of voluntary causes and commitments. How could I be stressed when I now control my own calendar? A calendar filled only with purposeful things: church activities, volunteer opportunities, outreach, mentoring, fostering relationships, visiting shut-ins, bible study…
Grabbing the coaster/book, (“The Best Yes” by Lysa Terkeurst) I slump down into my soft chair backlit by the morning sun and turn the first page.
“We must not confuse the command to love with the disease to please…The acid of overactivity eats holes in our souls. And from those holes leaks the cry of the unfulfilled calling that never quite happened. We said yes to so much that we missed what I call our “Best Yes” assignments.”
What?! You mean to tell me there are yeses that are good, just not good for me? That there is a “best yes?”
Have you ever looked up in the sky and noticed the white trail following a jet? That’s called a contrail. Contrails are basically crystallized exhaust. They last anywhere from one second to a few hours before disappearing.
As women, by nature we nurture. In Genesis 2:18, it says we were made to be “helpers,” but sometimes I believe we think if there is the least bit of white space in our calendars it must be filled. You know it’s true! As a result, we rush from one very important commitment to the next. We crawl into the back of meeting rooms fashionably late, and race into the church parking lot on two wheels.
Our friends and family know us to always be chronically a day late, a dollar short, over-committed, anxious, out of breath…STRESSED! I don’t know about you but I would like to figure out my “Best Yes” so I don’t get to the end of my life and realize all I have to show for my time here on earth is one… loooong… trail… of… exhaust.
Remember, exhaust leaves no imprint, it just disappears.
I had a friend who once said, “Doesn’t it seem like we are all just one medium effort away from being fabulous?”
I’ve never forgotten that because she was so right!
The times I haven’t seen the anticipated result, are all times I was over-committed. Seasons when I was saying yes to everything, not discerning my best yes. Just one medium effort away.
“I know the weight of carrying more than I should. And usually it’s because I’ve refused to release something before taking on something else. If I want to choose a Best Yes, it’s crucial I make room for it first. Otherwise a Best Yes can quickly become a stressed yes.”
-Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes
When we stay busy ALL the time we don’t have time to meditate on our most important appointment of the day, our appointment with God. We must be still long enough to hear His calling breathed into our lives, so that we can distinguish His voice in this noisy world. That is how we discern our best yes. You don’t want to miss your assignment because you were too busy.
“The decisions you make determine the schedule you keep. The schedule you keep determines the life you live. And how you live your life determines how you spend your soul.”
I’ve been reading long enough now the sun has moved across the front room, my right leg no longer impatiently bouncing up and down. My pulse is calm, and my breathing more purposeful.
I can’t wait to learn more of this new concept. The Best Yes…
If you would like a link to obtain your own copy of “The Best Yes,” check out the Pilot’s Lounge and you will find other resources that can help you simplify your life as well.