My notes on The Best Yes

The Best Yes:  Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands by Lysa Terkeurst.


Summary from Google Books:

Are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?

Lysa TerKeurst is learning that there is a big difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God. In The Best Yes she will help you:

  • Cure the disease to please with a biblical understanding of the command to love.
  • Escape the guilt of disappointing others by learning the secret of the small no.
  • Overcome the agony of hard choices by embracing a wisdom based decision-making process.
  • Rise above the rush of endless demands and discover your best yes today.



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Does a “YES” make sense in each of these areas?

  • Spiritually?
  • Financially?
  • Physically?


Because whatever (stressed out) attitude you bring to the decision and the situation that follows will be multiplied!


The Word of God addresses my approach.

The Ways of God address my attitude.

The Wonder of God provides my assurance.

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There is no such thing as a PERFECT DECISION!!

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Five parts to making a decision:

  • Trusting in God – place your desire under His authority.
  • Analyze the decision.
  • Make the decision.
  • Own the decision.
  • Trusting in God – to work good even from not so good parts.


The space between our expectations and our reality is a fertile field, and it’s the perfect place to grow a bumper crop of disappointment.


Every “YES” answer comes with a list of expectations.  If you do not know what those expectations are, you can not possibly meet them.  It’s crucial to identify the expectations before giving a “YES”.


Determine if the expectations we are agreeing to with this “YES” are really realistic:

  • Will it feel thrilling two weeks, two months and/or six months from now?
  • Do any of the expectations that come from this yes feel forced or frantic?
  • Could any part of this yes be tied to people pleasing?
  • Which wise people in my life would think this is a good idea?
  • Are there any facts I try to avoid or hide discussing this with my wise advisors?


What makes an expectation unrealistic?

  • My time.
  • My ability.
  • My money.
  • My passion.
  • My season.


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Dream: Wings as an eagle

Dear Diary,

I had a dream last night.

I was isolated in a high space, beaten down, hungry and stranded. Do you remember when Gandalf escaped from the top of the tower at Isengard? He jumped off and was rescued by the Eagle.

Start at 1:30…


In this dream, I did the same. I fell backwards off the high tower and was caught on the back of a eagle. Immediately, I heard God say to me, you can be caught and rescued by an eagle, but MY BEST for you is that YOU mount up with wings as eagles instead.


The key? WAIT UPON THE LORD!!! And then that song from Phil Driscoll began singing through my mind……



Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.


Not Weak.

Dear Diary,

So…… more thing about that doctor’s appointment.  We talked meds.

More specifically, adding a medication.  Two and half years ago, I swore off all over the counter and prescription medications unless of course it was vital.  I have been faithful to that decision so adding a new med is the opposite of that.

I have experienced many victories in my health these last few years.  The sacrifices made and effort put forth have been worth it.  But the journey has been long and I am getting tired.  As much as some things have improved, the pain has this year has increased; the Fibromyalgia more present.   The stress of that too begins to wear on you physically, mentally and emotionally.

The physician surprised me when he asked me – what if this pill changes the quality of your life?  What are you trying to prove?  Do you realize it is o.k. to accept some help?

This started a downward spiral of inner turmoil and questioning.  I said I would not.  That would be a step backwards.  Does that make me weak?  I did all this work and expected a different result.  I think I should further along.

I was so fortunate to have both my medical and natural doctor to talk this over with and that both prayed with me.  It was timely that I was visiting with a few of my close friends to whine to and be encouraged.  And when I laid it all on the table to my husband, he validated my concerns and suggested I take a pill now, perhaps lick one as soon as possible.

All of this might seem like nonsense but for me it is revealing.  It has shown me that my struggle I have isolated myself when there are people who do care about me that eagerly support me when invited.  It has confirmed that as hard as I am on others, I am much harder are myself.  As one of my friends said to me, “you truly unrealistic expectations for yourself”.  And she is right.

I have started my new medication and I am dealing with the effects it has as my body adapts to it.  Some of areas I experience the most pain have already improved and I look forward to feeling better and better with each day.

This late in life I boldly say, accepting help is not weak.  I am not weak.


Not defeated.

Dear Diary,

My latest lab work is in, did you see them?  I reviewed the results with the doctor, did you hear?  I feel defeated, did you know?

Before I knew it, I forgot all about the progress made over the last 20 or so months and dove into despair.  I ignored the seven pages of great results and zoned in on the one not so good.  I think I would have been o.k. if something I already knew was a problem was still a problem or a worse problem.  I had not prepared myself for a new thing to be wrong.

In fact, I have spent these months trying to help my body heal from all these little problems so they will all go away and I can be perfectly healthy.  I did not expect a new thing; a different thing.  I only accept improving things; better things.

But here we are.  Hashimoto’s.  There, I have it.  Maybe the most common diagnosis in our country today and millions of people have it.  I did not have it.  Now I do have it.  I don’t want it and the additional possible complications that come with it.

Now, what does it mean really?  Probably nothing.  I am already medicated and medicated “appropriately”.  In fact, this was the big test to see if the lower dosage was still applicable and it is.  I get to keep it and not have it raised.  That’s a victory.

And I have had many victories and each one is important and meaningful and all of the praise and glory goes to God.  And this little distraction is just that.  A distraction.

I have got to get my head back in the game.

Act Natural.

Dear Diary,

I have to talk quietly.  Water Lily has had a rough week and I do not want to gain her attention.  She hates to admit it, but she has had a rough week.  She likes to think that everything is not so bad.  Each day is o.k.  It’s fine.  Every week is alright because, it could have been worse.

This week seemed to conclude in a perfect storm.  She was tired and her body weary.  She was gifted with extra hormones and impressive contractions off and on for days.  She was hurt in a relationship and her emotions stampeded between the perceived betrayal and resulting fury doused with disbelief.  She then performed a most brilliant melt down to her little gang of friends.  But she was not done.

For finally, in a grand conclusion, she raised her voice at another human being.  Oh Diary, can I be honest with you?  Water Lily … she more hollered  at such a pitch, not heard for what I can estimate for some 17 or 18 years.  And the frustration, no, anger that bellowed out of her mouth!  I was embarrassed for her.

She was shaking and I could not console her.  To be honest, she wanted nothing to do with me.  That woman wanted no part of what I had to say.  She is so ungrateful.  I mean really.  I am there for her when no one else cares to listen to her gab on.  I stand  by her side and cheer her on when the husband thinks she is wrong and she is not.  I help her find a place to hide in the house when the kid has maxed out the 17,000 questions per day limit.  As I have been a constant support to her, you would think she would turn to me in times of distress.

I tell you, that Water Lily is quite a handful and frankly, I get tired of her and her antics.  Her demands are constant and her expectations high.  But still, it was hard not to feel sorry for her.  Even after all of that, when her mother asked how her day was, she said, “It was fine.  I got through it; got some work done.  Moving on to the weekend.”  She could not bring her self to say, “I so blew it!”  “This week was tough.” “I think I might need to take a break.”

I don’t know what to do.  I have tried to work with her but she can be difficult.  I might need to change my tactic.  One thought I had was….OH GREAT!  She is looking at us. She knows we are talking about her.  Act natural.

There is always a way to be thankful.

Dear Diary,

I have so many thoughts in my head tonight, it is hard to hear one from another.  As I listen to them all I think I can summarize them all into this question – Why do I have to be so human?

Why am I perfectly fine one second and then so ticked off I could hurl the coffee table through the front glass window?  Why do I ignore all the progress I have made overall and focus on one mostly unknown variable?  Why do I allow a single circumstance to temporarily rule my life while I overlook all of the factors that made the combination of events that this one time got me from here to there?

Today was not a bad day but I can feel the last 7 days of working on the house barreling down on me.  I am tired and my body does not want to move.  Some of my muscles are beginning to spasm from physical therapy today and I know tomorrow they will be so sore, not wanting to function.  Until tonight, I forgot to be thankful that I actually could do 7 days of physical activity and I am thankful that I only cried during the last 15 minutes of P.T. and not the whole hour.  And for a therapist that will pray over me.  There is always a way to be thankful.

I keep thinking about my test results that are in and that the doctor wants to talk about them.  I have been working very hard to improve my health the last 20 months and have had success in several areas.  It is so easy to be distracted by the latest bad news or unknown news and forget about the strides that have been made and the battles that have been won.  I want the war to be over and victory to be proclaimed!!  But I am thankful that I have a doctor that will listen and a natural practitioner that will help me look at new ways to help my body function the way God designed it.  And both professionals that will pray with me.  There is always a way to be thankful.

And I ended my day with a group of friends that have become dear to my heart.  I was not funny me or entertaining me.  I did not have to brush my hair and look cute.  I did not have do or be anything.  I was able to cry and curse and snort and rage.  So often we a person, a comment or a happenstance to completely derail us.  Everything we know to be true, thrown out the window.  We know better but all of a sudden, before we took two steps, we are changing this and never doing that and certainly never again.  But tonight, as I shared what was in my chubby cheeked little head, beautiful eyes looked back at me and made me  feel accepted and encouraged and loved.  There is always a way to be thankful.