Good morning and happy Cyber Monday i'm feeling the post turkey madness hangover how about you?!
Here to take us back into some encouraging Monday morning routine is the sweet Carla from Heart in High Cotton.
Happy Monday, y'all! I hope you had the sweetest weekend with family, eating your favorite foods, and hopefully everyone in the family enjoyed an extra-long, tryptophan induced nap! :)
I'm so glad you're here checking in for our weekly Monday Morning Book Club and I'm thrilled to get to guest post today! For those of you who don't know me, let me introduce myself. I'm Carla and I blog over at Heart in High Cotton - mostly chronicling my adventures in motherhood, sharing my favorite Southern recipes, and the thoughts Jesus puts on my heart. I have two beautiful baby girls that keep me on my toes and fill my heart so full. I've been married to my ball-capped sweetheart for almost 5 years and I truly believe that because of Jesus' grace and mercy my heart is "in high cotton." This morning I'll share with you some highlights and takeaways from chapters 11-13 ofThe Best Yes by Lysa TerKeurst. If you've been reading along you know this book has been a treasure packed with truth and encouragement for the weary mama's heart!
Chapter 11: The Power of the Small No
The small (and big) no can be really hard, particularly for us Type A, people-pleaser personalities. It's an awful feeling when we believe our "no" will be a disappointment. Lisa suggests that even a "small no can be given in such a way that it becomes a gift rather than a curse." Proverbs 24:26, "[an] honest answer is like a warm hug."
Two typical responses are to respond with a quick yes without tracing that 'river's path' or a defense mechanism of delay. Lysa very poignantly suggested that neither are necessarily a good way to respond. Earlier in the book we've looked at the peril of a quick yes without considering the cost. However, the issue of delaying cut straight to me. Oh, how I could identify with when she said, "we delay - as if delay will somehow make this request go away so we don't have to deal with it." Even if it is a small request/issue, a "no" can seem huge when it means feelings will be hurt or someone will be disappointed. I appreciated how Lysa suggested that delaying isn't just a defense mechanism but it's also unfair. It builds false hope, prevents other plans, and eventually makes receiving more difficult. Personally, I was encouraged that out of consideration for others I can purpose to resist delaying.
I have loved how Lysa keeps each chapter balanced between determining the "best yes" while keeping in mind that saying no to everything doesn't work either. She duly noted that a "no! ninja, karate-chopping response" to everyone can result in suffering relationships. We can do great jobs, be nice, etc while remembering we can not take on every responsibility offered.
In this chapter she also talks about "tracing the river." A metaphor for thinking long-term as it relates to making decisions. It's important that we don't jump into a raging river of demand without considering how consuming the metaphorical current will be. We should be people of faith, trusting God to lead us through those rivers but we should also be wise people listening to His calling. Maybe we aren't intended to jump in, but rather walk alongside the water, listening to His instruction. "We can't forget why we give small "no" answers. It's so we can have the white space and wherewithal to recognize God's assignments and give Best Yes answers to those."
Chapter 12: The Awkward Disappointment of Saying No
Bless her heart, Lysa begins this chapter with the description of a painfully awkward experience. However, she goes on to share that as uncomfortable as that situation was it was through the experience she was able to find her Best Yes appointment with God. Without a doubt there will be times when the pursuit for our Best Yes results in an awkward situation. No one really likes to be told no, but it's important to remember the reason we push through the awkwardness. Even if we have to repeat it out loud we must recite to our selves, "I will not let the awkward disappointments of others keep me from my Best Yes appointments with God."
It's confidence and conviction in our Best Yes that helps us learn to graciously push past the awkward. And as always, our confidence and conviction must rest in God's Word. It has to be front and center. "We have to be thinking about it, be able to quote it. Refuse to let fear and discouragement hold us back." A perfect scripture to hold fast to is Joshua 1:7-9.
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Chapter 13: But What if I say No and They Stop Liking Me?
This chapter cuts straight to the chase - that proverbial elephant in the room we've avoided calling out. People pleasing. Y'all, the struggle is so real on this one. Everyone wants to be liked. It's a tough pill to swallow when you realize no matter how hard you try, we cannot make everyone happy.
Lysa creates the perfect case-study scenario for when a "yes" really needed to be a "no." I'd be willing to bet the scene or something similar has played out in each of our homes. She agreed to do something she knew was going to be stretch. She felt pressure for approval and subsequently her family endured the consequences. She found herself snapping at the children, arguing with her husband, and cleaning up a massive pile of soggy cereal on the kitchen floor as the guilt set in. Why did she get caught up in this? Why do the opinions of others matter so much?
"So another mom will say thank you and maybe be impressed by your Rice Krispy treats for 5.3 seconds?" We must "resolve instead to make decisions based on what is realistic - not on trying to earn the approval of or impress another."
Here's the thing, in healthy relationships, when you respond with a "no" the other party understands. She knows your heart and if you say, "no" there is more to the story or a good reason. Sure, you're there for her at other times- you just can't be there every single time. "If they push back when you say no, that's disrespectful on their part. And if you play along, it's dysfunctional on your part." That is not love. Y'all I can't stress this enough - there is no need to participate in dysfunction. It's unhealthy, unnecessary, and usually undetected. Simply put, "at the end of the day, a healthy relationship isn't void of service. Of course we must serve, love, give, be available, help, and contribute to the greater good. But we must have the freedom to say yes or no responsibly without fear of emotional consequences."
Lastly, she talks about the strings that we attach to acts of service. If I do this, then I will get that. If I make sure this is done, then they will appreciate me. "[We] need to be able to say yes to something without presuming this yes will make a way for me to feel more, have more, or have more owed to [us.]"
I pray that we can be women motivated by love and not fear. That we'd do what Jesus calls us to do and walk in freedom when He says in the quiet of our heart we need to sit this one out.
What are some of the biggest things that impacted you as you read through these chapter? Please share your thoughts, responses or questions in the comments box below! I can't wait to hear how each of you are learning and growing as we walk through this journey together! Also, don't forget to hop on over and join us on Instagram for further discussion in our weekly #mondaymorningbookclub chat loop! Until next week, happy reading!