Book Review: The Best Yes



A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.” Lysa Terkeurst, The Best Yes


What an excellent choice to read in the first week of 2105!  I am more committed than ever to focusing on my best yes in the year ahead.  I have the hardest time saying no to opportunities that sometimes come my way.  I never want to let anyone down and often say yes to things that I really shouldn’t in light of other commitments and my season of life.  The Best Yes by Lysa Terkeurst is an excellent read and a book that I quickly passed along to a friend who is next going to pass it along to another friend.  Unfortunately, that probably means both of those friends will start telling me “no” about things…but it really will be a blessing to all of us to save our best yes for the things that God really has lined out for us to do with our short time here on this earth.

Reading this book was pretty funny because it seemed like I was reading my own thoughts in some of the situations that Lysa shared as I could completely relate!  One of my goals after reading this book is to thoroughly evaluate decisions that require my time, effort, and resources in order to make sure I am focusing on my best yes.

I highlighted several things while reading and have pasted those notes below…

  • I get all twisted up in making the decision to check either the Yes or No box, not realizing there is a third box that reads Best Yes.
  • We must not confuse the common to love with the disease to please.
  • The one who obeys God’s instructions for today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.
  • Have you ever heard that amazing verse in Isaiah that says, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” (30:21)?
  • If we want His direction for our decisions, the great cravings of our souls must not only be the big moments of assignment.  They must also be the seemingly small instructions in the most ordinary of moments when God points His Spirit finger saying, Go there.
  • A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.
  • 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.
  • How we spend our soul matters.
  • Find that courageous yes.  Fight for that confident no.
  • And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ.  (Philippians 1:9-10)
  • We have to put our hearts and our minds in places where wisdom gathers, not scatters.
  • Wisdom makes decisions today that will still be good tomorrow.
  • We’ve got to practice wisdom in the everyday places of our lives.
  • Put our hearts and minds in places where wisdom gathers.  And then with courage, make the decision.  Open the box.  Move forward.  And determine not to make it all so complicated.
  • Could this fit physically, financially, spiritually, and emotionally?
  • And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.  Colossians 3:17
  • Whatever attitude we bring into a situation will be multiplied.
  • Here’s the core issue-we aren’t the master provider.  He is.
  • Not every assignment is my assignment.
  • Today’s choices become tomorrow’s circumstances.
  • Our decisions aren’t just isolated choices.  Our decisions point our lives in the directions we’re about to head.  Show me a decision and I’ll show you a direction.
  • “In light of my past experience, and my future hopes and dreams, what’s the wise thing to do?”  Andy Stanley
  • If you desire to please God with the decision you make and afterward it proves to be a mistake, it’s an error not an end.
  • My imperfections will never override God’s promises.  God’s promises are not dependent on my ability to always choose well, but rather on His ability to use well.
  • If your heart and your mind are aligned in the direction of God, you don’t have to agonize to the point of paralysis over the decisions before you.  We will steer where we stare.  So stare mightily at God and His plan.  And if you don’t know His plan, stare mightily at living our His Word in your life and His plan will unfold day by day.  Decision by decision.
  • Choices and consequences come in package deals.  When we make a choice, we ignite the consequences that can come along with it.
  • Not making a decision is actually a decision.  It’s the decision to stay the same.
  • Wisdom needs to be practiced day after day if we are going to know how to apply it to the Best Yes decisions when they come.
  • 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.
  • It feels thrilling to say yes to this now.  But how will this yes feel two weeks, two months, and 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 and allowing that desire to skew my judgment of what’s realistic and unrealistic?
    Which wise (older, ground in God’s Word, more experienced, and more mature) people in my life think this is a good idea?
    Are there any facts that I try to avoid or hid when discussing this with my wise advisors?
  • Evaluation eliminates frustration.
  • We can’t use our “no” answers as wands to wash away our responsibilities.  Nor can we use our “no” answers as weapons.
  • While my heart wants to say yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.
  • I will not let the awkward disappointment of others keep me from my Best Yes appointments with God.
  • Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman.  It will make me a worn-out woman.
  • It is impossible to please everyone.
  • If the person you are trying so hard not to disappoint will be displeased by a no, they’ll eventually be disappointed even if you say yes.
  • You won’t ever be able to keep up with unrealistic.  Unrealistic demands lead to undercurrents of failure.
  • Remember, relationships don’t fit in neat boxes.  Often the best ones slop over the edges of neat and normal.
  • We want big directional signs from God.  God just wants us to pay attention.
  • “When I tell someone no, I visualize my family and see myself saying yes to them.”  Jud Wilhite
  • Saying no isn’t an unnecessary rejection.  It’s actually a necessary protection of our Best Yes answer.
  • Great descriptions are birthed from great decisions.
  • Yes and No.  The two most powerful words.
  • Consider how we might spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  Hebrews 10:24-25
  • Connecting with those we love is like soul food.  It’s not that we don’t have tasks to do, but rather than we don’t fill up with tasks at the risk of starving our relationships.  Relationships nourish us in ways nothing else can.  It’s the relationships that help unrush us.
  • Relationships can complicate things.  But they also have the power to force us into a much simpler rhythm.
  • Conversational threads are what make up the fabric of relationships.  We must take time—make time—to talk.
  • “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else.  Make sure your yes is worth the less.”  Louie Giglio
  • We must let our identity, not our insecurity, be the first thing that walks into every situation we face—every decision we make.
  • Just as our bodies need oxygen, our souls need truth flowing steadily in and out.
  • Humility and wisdom are a package deal.  And often the people who have the most wisdom have experienced the most humility.  Or sometimes even the most humiliation.  A wisdom like none other can arise from those hard places that bring us low.
  • When prides comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.  Proverbs 11:2
  • Sin and consequences always walk hand in hand.
  • Trials are working something good in us we can’t get any other way.  We can find joy in that.
  • Let this unexpected happening point to your strength, not your weakness.  Maybe you’ve been entrusted with this.  Not cursed with it.
  • Do the next right thing that’s right in front of you.
  • Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  James 1:4-5
  • It’s not the activities or accomplishments we string together that make lives well lived as much as it is the hearts of wisdom we gain and use along the way.
  • Wisdom is proved right by her deeds.  Matthew 11:19
  • The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him;though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.  Psalm 37:23-24

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