Sometimes it feels like I live in that movie from the 1990’s, Groundhog’s Day (and yes, I know I’m dating myself here).
In it, Bill Murray’s character experiences the same day over and over again.
Which can be true in the life of a woman.
There’s a template we live by and within that template, there are certain things we must do every single day. Pack lunches. Lay-out clothing for the next morning. Get kids up. Feed them breakfast, make sure their teeth are brushed and hair is combed, and do you have your permission slips/homework/Monday folder?
They’re the small details that don’t seem to be making much of an impact – but they are. The daily minutiae that makes me wonder if I’ll ever use my college degree actually has a further reach than that little piece of paper.
But sometimes, it’s hard to remember this. Somewhere between the forgotten lunches and the failed math test, I can become so bogged down with those small details that, truth be told, make me just want to run to the nearest beach and braid hair for a living.
But then a sweet reminder will come along and I’ll feel like maybe I can stay in the game a little while longer before I enroll in a hair-braiding class.
One such reminder can be found in Chapter Four of Lysa TerKeurst’s book, The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands. Lysa reminds us to, “Never despise the mundane. Embrace it. Unwrap it like a gift. And be one of the rare few who looks deeper than just the surface. See something more in the everyday. It’s there. We can learn right here, right now, in the midst of all that’s daily how to become wise. As we wisely gain knowledge through everyday stuff, grasp insights through everyday stuff, and grapple with the development of our discernment through everyday stuff, we’ll use what we have to our advantage in making better decisions.”
So what Lysa’s saying is . . . Those little things build wisdom. And wisdom helps us to make decisions.
Why is wisdom so important? Because “severe choices usher in severe consequences” (p. 45)
Every little choice we make will have a long-term effect – even when it seems like it won’t.
But sometimes, decisions are hard, aren’t they? We think we are making the right decision one moment only to doubt ourselves the next.
In Chapter Five, Lysa works through a decision she had to make about having a young lady who was her dear friend live with her family for a season.
She considered four areas to help her make this decision: physically, financially, spiritually and emotionally.
Her home had the physical space because there was an extra bedroom. Check.
The woman’s small rent payment would have covered any extra expenses that might have resulted from her living with them. Check.
Having this young woman live with them would not drag her family down spiritually. They would not be prevented from attending church, reading their Bibles, or interfering in anyone’s relationship with God. Check.
But then Lysa had to consider the emotional impact. And this is where she stumbled.
And this is where I had my own “a-ha” moment – I so often discount the emotional expenditure of my decisions.
I base my emotional decisions on the short-term without giving much thought to the long-term.
While all of these categories are necessary to consider, it’s our assessment of the emotional energy that would be extolled that ultimately leads us to feel stressed out and burned out. “My attitude of love must be fiercely guarded when considering adding activities. My attitude of love must not be sacrificed on the altar of activity” (page 56).
When Lysa ultimately decided that having this young lady live with her family was not her best yes, she added “This doesn’t make me a bad person. It makes me the wrong person for this assignment.”
So often we feel badly when we say no. We incorrectly think we’re an awful person because we said no. However, we aren’t bad – we just aren’t the right person for the assignment.
Soon after Lysa shared her decision with her friend, an even better option came along. Another friend offered her a condo at a very fair price that was much closer to her school and work.
Lysa’s “no” gave her friend the opportunity to see God’s provision for her. And when we see that God will provide, our relationship with Him grows.
And nothing beats a growing relationship with God.
For this week’s discussion, select one or more of the following to discuss in the comment section:
1. What do you do when you have to make a difficult decision?
2. Lysa said that “Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow.” Tell about a time when you made a decision that ended up not being so good. What did you learn?
3. Is there something that is taking more of your emotional energy than you had foreseen? What can you do about eliminating this? If it can’t be eliminated, have you considered placing boundaries around this so you can have more emotional energy?
4. What stood-out to you in Chapters Four, Five and/or Six?
Join us on Thursday night at 9 p.m. EST for our Facebook discussion over these chapters!