Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Cure For The "Perfect Life"/ The Best Yes


(Editor's Note: Today's post comes from my friend Pattie.)



Do you ever struggle with saying yes too much? Overloading your schedule? Being too busy? Worrying about what others think of you if you do or do not do something?
I do.
In fact, more times than I care to admit, I’ve said “yes” to doing things I know I shouldn’t have committed to; and because I was taught to finish what I start and do what is expected of me, I’ve spent a lot of time being tired and overloaded. Being tired and overloaded seemed like it was expected of me as a Christian, not to mention a ministry wife and mom of two growing girls.
Recently I read two books that have helped me begin to reshape my thought processes into following what God wants of me, and I’d like to share them with you. One is The Cure for the “Perfect” Life and the other is The Best Yes. Both of these books are written with a sound Scriptural basis and an element of practicality that is honest, fresh, and incredibly helpful.
In The Cure for the “Perfect” Life I found that I was not alone in my belief that I was never going to be good enough or smart enough or talented or accomplished or achieving enough. Kathi Lipp and Cheri Gregory give quizzes for the reader to determine her level of perfectionism, people-pleasing, performancism, and procrastination (also known as the “P-Bullies”). But they don’t leave us feeling badly about how much we struggle with pleasing others or being perfect—on the contrary, these ladies give Biblical wisdom, practical steps and tips and ideas for “Braver Living” that help those of us who struggle with these issues a way to step by tentative step move past them and start being brave enough to say “no” to pleasing others or trying to be perfect—or just giving up completely in the case of procrastinating—and say a big resounding YES to what God wants from us.
The next book I read immediately following this one was Lysa TerKeurst’s excellent book The Best Yes. I was struck immediately by this quote, and I knew I needed this book: “A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” Oh my goodness, I knew what that felt like. I’ve lived there, on more than one occasion. I don’t want to live there again. This book is full of ideas of what to do in the case of having too much on our plates, or when we’re tempted to say “yes” to something we think God wants us to do just because someone we respect tells us they want us to do it. Or when we aren’t sure if it’s what God really wants, what should we do to determine if it is or is not since we don’t have a telegram from heaven above to tell us our exact plans for the next six months (don’t you wish sometimes He did that?). Lysa also includes plenty of good Scripture to memorize and meditate upon as we relearn how to think of ministry in God’s kingdom.
In the months after reading these books, I can say that while there have been moments I’ve felt really busy (I have a daughter who’s a senior, so all senior moms are saying “amen”), I can say with all honesty that I’m not at the place where I feel as if my soul is underwhelmed. I’ve taken some steps to make sure I’m taking care of myself, and I’ve said “no” to some really good things that have come up as opportunities. What happens when I say no to things and yes to God is that He uses others to come up alongside the ministry or the church to meet the need, and it’s a beautiful thing to see.



Pattie Reitz is a ministry wife and mom of two teen girls who lives in south central Alaska. You can read more from her at her blog (http://freshbrewedwriter.blogspot.com) and at Wives of Faith (www.wivesoffaith.org/blog).

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