My Unrushed, Best Yes Week {& Why You Might Need One Too}

  • This post is part of Lysa TerKeurst’s “The Best Yes” Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers.  To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE. (http://goo.gl/bQVJW0)

I don’t have a sister, only a brother and two-step brothers. When I married into my husband’s family, I became a sister-in-law to his three beautiful sisters and later, both his brother and mine married giving me two more sisters-in-law.

author-150x150My husband’s oldest sister, Thais (pronounce Ty-ese) was diagnosed with breast cancer about 12 years ago. After treatment and lots of prayer, her cancer was gone.

However, the monster of cancer returned in the summer of 2011 in full force, this time in her bones. I sat at the side of her hospital bed as her doctor told us to plan an early Christmas. She had about 6 months to live.

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Thais and my kids in the summer of 2011 when her cancer returned.

That was over three years ago. She’s been blessed with not only three more Christmases, but some baby and bridal showers, our second child’s graduation open house, and over the weekend, she was at the wedding of her oldest child, my nephew.

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My nephew and his bride being married on the shores of Lake Michigan. My niece is the matron-of-honor and her husband is marrying them.
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My nephew and his bride using the Ehman family silver my husband and I were given in 2001 just before his grandmother passed away. We love to loan it out for this fifth generation of Ehmans to use at special occasions.

This past week has been full of family and down time for me. Our daughter Kenna flew home for 9 days to not only attend this wedding, but also the wedding of a childhood friend. She is the daughter of one of my dear friends whom I met when we coached cheerleading together over 25 years ago.

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Kenna with the sibling group of the bride. These four, along with my two sons, spent lots of unhurried time playing together when they were young.

Having a week full of family, friends, and not a lot of work and hurry, made me weepy. Seriously weepy.

When I watched my friend’s daughter walk down the aisle, remembering all the times she and Kenna played “wedding” or got into my purse and played with my lipstick when they weren’t supposed to. {Kenna did the hair and make-up for the wedding party. Guess I shouldn’t have scolded her so much for the swiped lipstick. She was just practicing for her career!}

When we were fortunate to have three full days of family time thanks to the generosity of a long-lost college roommate I reconnected with. She rented us a gorgeous cabin on Silver Lake for a fraction of what it should cost. She knows my husband has been laid off for over 17 weeks so far in 2014, causing us to tighten our belts just a bit.

I got weepy watching my husband’s family gather in from all over the map to rejoice at the wedding. And there were plenty of tears as my youngest wheeled his amazing but now so frail and fragile aunt down the aisle in a special all-terrain wheelchair so she could see her son wed.

The Ehman family gathered at the wedding. The gorgeous woman in the wheel chair is my sis-in-law who is still bravely and beautifully battling stage four bone cancer.
The Ehman family gathered at the wedding. The gorgeous woman in the wheelchair is my sis-in-law who is still bravely and beautifully battling stage four bone cancer.

Although I try to leave enough white space in my schedule to allow for down time, unhurried conversations, and really connecting with family and friends, I often get caught up in the rush that is life. To keep myself in line, I often read books on quiet. On slowing down or being thankful. But what has inspired me the most in the past year or two is watching the life of one of my close friends as she modeled for me how to be unrushed and intentional.

My friend Lysa and I talk several times a week. We do ministry together. Our kids are like siblings. My daughter spends almost every Sunday and Monday with them as they made her a part of their family when she moved just weeks after high school graduation to North Carolina from our home in Michigan. Her daughter Brooke often comes to visit me. We bake and paint our nails and I get my “girl fix” since my home is usually full of teen boys at any given time.

book_sm-2I have seen Lysa, who has a very full plate being a wife, mom of five, and a woman in ministry all at once, acquire a sense of calm and purpose in the midst of the activity swirling all around her. She is focused. Intentional. She has taught me so much about delegating tasks. About not trying to do it all in a wonder-woman way. About how to be unrushed.

I was so hoping she would write a book on this concept so that others could learn to live the unrushed life; to learn how and when to use the two most powerful words in the English language–yes and no. Because what we say yes and no to makes our schedule. And then? Our schedule makes us!

I am not exaggerating one bit when I say this is her best book yet. And the best book I have read all year. Maybe in several years! I’d love for five of you to win a free copy of The Best Yes; Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands.

Please comment letting us know who you would connect with today if you had unrushed time to do so.

Because the reason to create white space in our schedules, isn’t to fill it with more activity or to free up time to make more money. If I learned anything at all from watching my nephew carefully dance with his mother at the wedding reception, holding her up for barely two minutes of a song as she leaned on his chest and nearly every guest was a sobbing mess—-it is this…..

The best things in life………are not things. They’re people.

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Make that call. Write that letter. Humble yourself and ask for forgiveness. Talk to that person about Christ. You know, the one God has been nudging you about.

We can’t take anything with us when we die. Only other people.

Learn to make “Best Yes” decisions as you pray, “Lord, unrush me”. It will allow you to live a life that is people-focused, not activity-centered.

 

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49 Comments

  1. I love Lysa’s books as well and look forward to reading this one.

    It has been on my heart to send a letter and some recent photos to my grandmother. It’s rather sad how much I am on the computer and yet I forget to send her a simple email with some pictures. She hinted as much the last time she wrote.

    Since reading this post I’m choosing to say I will get this done, not “I would if I had time.”

  2. I’d reconnect with my grandmother who in which we’ve had at strained relationship the past 11 years, but she recently re-commited her life to Christ. We’ve talked on the phone a few times recently but there is so much more we can talk about.

  3. This is definitely the book for me! I have much to learn about being unrushed. My mom misses spending time with me and her health hasn’t been good, so I feel guilty for always being rushed. There are also friends I would love to reconnect with. We just keep passing one another in a blur of promises to “catch up soon.”
    Thanks so much for sharing this!

  4. Oh Lord help me to become unrushed…I am so tired of the rat race I live. I work 4 jobs all the while being a mom to 4 children (college to elementary) and a wife to a husband in school to be a pastor. I feel like I am always running and running…never taking time to walk or smell the roses. If I could have unrushed time I would simply “be” with my family…I miss my husband and children…I miss my sister and my dad…I miss my friends who I never get to hang out with because I am always working…I work to make ends meet and pay expensive medical bills for a child…Lord please help me to be unrushed and to “be still and know that you are God”…

    Thank you so much for sharing this post…it means so much to me…May you be blessed in all you do!

    Smiles and Blessings,
    Robin :)

  5. Although I am not a mother (other than my fur baby), I am a single 38 yr old attorney. So life can be nuts. I would love to reconnect with my college suite mates – identical twin sisters – who live in Atlanta. We chat on the phone, but haven’t seen each other in years.

  6. Lord, unrush me. That is my prayer as I realize how hard it is for me to stop doing and start connecting with those people who have been there through it all – my mom and my best friend. I talk to my mom regularly and get together with her, but usually in the edges of my day, not as a priority. And my best friend who lives 2,000 miles away. Life is busy for both os us. But how long does it really take to sit down and just say hi?
    Thanks for the reminder : )

  7. I would take the time to connect with my husband and our five kids. I love spending family time together but with everyone’s busy schedules it’s never easy.

  8. I would take the time to spend a day with a good girlfriend of mine. She and I are so busy that we talk through Facebook or an occasional text message, but never get to spend time together. I would also like to spend time with my grandma. She lives in New Mexico and I am in Oklahoma and she has fibromyaligia and doesn’t travel much. I have a 10 year old and 2 year old and both me and my husband work full time, so there is usually no time to go visit. But I wish I had more time to call her at least.

  9. I woudl reconnect with a dear friend that I went to high school with, then had the pleasure to work with for 7 years. She is a wonderful woman with a heart the size of Texas! Her youngest son had leukemia when he was young, but is cancer free. I watched as she went through this gut wrenching ordeal from miles away wishing I could be there with her. On one occasion, I was able to travel with her to the Children’s Hospital to experience what the whole family was going through. it touched my life forever. She is the strongest woman I have ever met and would give you the shirt off her back if you needed it. An angel on earth, as they say. :)

    Blessings,
    KK

  10. I loved this post – it really spoke to me. I would spend more quality time with my mother in law, who lost her husband in May 2014. She lives about an hour away and we do not see her near enough due to our rushed schedules.

  11. An unrushed life IS a beautiful thing! Earlier this year, my job was eliminated and I was forced into living an “unrushed” life. Initially, it felt awkward and uncomfortable but after reading Lisa’s book and experiencing the peace an unrushed life brings to not only me but my entire family, I wish someone would have given me this advice LONG ago.
    After living both the rushed and unrushed life, I genuinely believe it is now my mission to reach out and connect with my friends and previous co-workers and share Lisa’s book and message with them.

  12. We just spent a wonderful weekend with my 70-year old parents. We SEEMED too busy to get up there over the summer, but I’m realizing more and more that really, each time we get together is a gift, and I want our kids (and my husband & me!) to have lots more wonderful memories with their grandma and grandpa, which means we need to be more intentional about getting together more often. A dear friend of mine lost her father (same age as mine) very suddenly a year ago–it was very hard for me to be at the funeral because it really brought home how fleeting life is.

  13. The task of canning tomatoes for my in-laws fell on me today as the prepare for a wedding. I had to do it all be myself and I don’t have a lot of experience. It seemed very overwhelming to even think about. My son offered to help me. I wanted to clam up and suggest he go play, but unrushing is something I’m working on. I decided to let him help. In some ways I think he might have slowed down the process, but in other ways he was a tremendous help, and I enjoyed our conversations. I need to unrush more often so that I can enjoy the times more. I can’t wait to read this book.

  14. I would connect with my high school girl friends LeeAnn who is a breast cancer survivor living in New Mexico, Donna who just lost her step daughter to a tragic car accident and lives in Lousiana, Londa who has a special needs daughter and lives in AlabamaWe haven’t all been together since high school graduation in 1980, way too long. I’m the only one still in Texas.

  15. Thanks for such a beautiful post showcasing all that truly matters in life. Your sister is a beautiful testimony to Jesus! I would connect with a dear friend who is a mentor to me. She only lives about 35 minutes away but my hectic schedule often makes it hard to connect. We did connect in June and it was such a blessing. She is a beautiful woman of God and I always learn so much when I am with her.

  16. My son, who live 1 hour away, but our schedules never mesh. Miss his monster, pick me off the floor hugs.

    Really needed to hear your words today. TY!

  17. I thank God for the opportunity to have read this sharing.

    It is my 60th birthday today, away from loved ones, and alone celebrating time in quitet moment. When close friend and relatives send greeting, I feel the joy of being loved and remembered. So touched that I thought of starting to connect again. For many years I stopped celebrating my birthday and just be quiet with The Lord. But today, I felt sad for they stopped remembering my special day too.

    We need to really inrush with life and start giving and sharing life with old friends and loved ones…

    Again, thank you….!

  18. If I had unrushed time, I would spend it with my Nanny! She is 95 & in a nursing home, in another town 1 hour away. I love her and miss her bunches!!! I spent so much unrushed time with her when I was a child, but I’m not even sure I know what unrushed time is and that I need to read Lysa’s book. Thank you and all the P31 team for investing time to pour into other ladies, God bless you!!!:)

  19. At 61 years old and retired my life is not busy but, the woman I’d like to reconnect with is my very busy daughter, Lea , who is a mother of three and wife of a Special Forces soldier living in North Carolina. I have not seen her in 4 years due to finances, scheduling conflicts and the fact that I take care of my ailing mother. Lea teaches woman’s bible study, writes a blog for a local Army publication, is a professional photographer for military families and the ‘I am Project’ & runs her household while her husband is often away on duty. I’m sure she would be inspired and challenged by Lysa’s book.

  20. My great Aunt Ruth. She is my favorite aunt but lives 6 hours from me. She ALWAYS makes time for everyone and lives for the moment and not the “to do” list. She has been such a great mentor to me and I am a better person for the time spent with her.

  21. If I had more time by making better choices in what I say yes to, I would spend it with my mother. I have always given plenty of time to my children, their friends, and activities, but would love some more time with my sweet, godly mother.

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