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. Thanks for doing this giveaway! My problem is usually that other people don’t have time to connect with me. Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about that.

  2. How divine that this message comes just as the new school year is beginning! As I look ahead to a very rushed schedule, this gently reminds me that there is much more than the schedule that should demand my attention. Things that are much more important. The people in my life closest to me need more than their schedules met, they need me. Sounds like this book would be great for me to read.
    Thanks, Karen, for the reminder.

  3. I would connect with my mother-in-law. I lost my husband (her precious son) 12 years ago, she lost her husband (my precious father-in-law) last summer. I’d also love to spend time with my older sister who lives 500 miles away. For that to happen, she would need to find some unrushed time as she does animal rescue which is a never-ending job. Thanks for the chance to win Lysa’s book. I would give it to my sister to hopefully help her find some balance in her life.

  4. Thank you for such wonderful sharing from your heart! It made me think about how busy I must always appear to my two teen sons. They’re who I’d like to reconnect with and have unhurried time with.

  5. My 84 year old grandma Sara is who I would spend unrushed time with If I could. I live 3000 miles away from Charlotte, NC. Every summer that I have visit the past 4 years I hardly spent time with her. I was always in a rush to to see and spend time with other prople who haven’t seen me in awhile. On last night, I began to remember how and why she raised me when mom left me and my little sister at very young ages. If it wasn’t for my grandma I wouldn’t be the woman of God or the woman I am today. Her 85 birthday is in October, so I am believing God to fly to Charlotte to suprise her on her birthday so I can spend some unrushed time on her birthday.

  6. How timely this post is for me. Today is Labor Day, and I am at work, not because it is a scheduled work day, but because I feel like I need to ‘catch up’ and prepare for the coming week. My husband and daughter are at a campground just a few miles from here, camping with my extended family. Taking a few minutes to check my email and read this post has really made me stop and think. I do need to read this book, and rethink my priorities. Thank you for sharing this wisdom.

  7. Your post was so precious . I would like to have some time with my older brother to clear the air and reconnect like we used to be when growing up. He lives in another state and we have had a few words over the past two years that have strained our relationship. I am going to do asmyounsuggested and write him a letter asking for forgiveness.

    Thanks for the give away. Would love to read as I desperately need to become more focused on how,where and why I spend my time. I feel like I am always running behind.

  8. I try to be intentional about keeping in touch and spending time with family/friends but often they are ‘too’ busy. Lately though I am missing seeing my aunts. I lost both my mom and our youngest son in separate auto accidents and I am so grateful for all the unhurried times I had had with them prior to their deaths. This morning was spent with my grandson looking at flags and their matching countries at his prompting. No wonder my house looks like a hurricane hit it. :)

  9. I would like to reconnect with old acquaintances, especially my best friend during our junior high years. I have not seen her in over 30 years. :(

  10. I would spend my unrushed time with my old neighbor who sowed such wisdom into my marriage when it was so young. I am still married to the same wonderful loving man for 21 years now and the wisdom she gave me is one of the reasons. Her guidance instilled in me soft tones to my husband and a spirit of silence when I often want to vent in harsh ways. This conduct in my marriage has rolled into all of my relationships, and raising my children.

  11. My best friend, Twila from high school days. We have been close since graduating but have drifted apart in the past 2-3 years. She has a new husband and many, many friends in the city she lives in and is very active in their church. I have the same busy life and we have let ourselves fall out of regular touch. I would love to schedule some girl time with her to just catch up on our lives. In fact, I think I will do just that! Thanks for the inspiration!

  12. I would reconnect with two of my friends from college, one of whom was a bridesmaid in my wedding almost 30 years age. The other respectfully declined my invitation to be one. ????

    My group of friends from high school, some of whom date back to elementary, are trying to be more intentional about staying in touch. One lives in Ohio, but the rest of us are all within a 15-20 mile radius of each other.

    I’m looking forward to the study of Lysa’s book. I may even start reading it before the study starts. A novel concept for me, as I usually run a week or two behind in my studies that involve reading books. Definitely an area to which I need to apply the whole “best yes” principle. It isn’t always about requests from others; many times it’s about our use of the hours given us each day.

  13. I am sad to say, my mom. We are close but because of my kids sport schedules and working full time, I put her on the back burner and I am bothered by it every day but it’s hard to find a good amount of time to sit and talk to her on the phone since she doesn’t live close.

  14. There are a number of people that I am ashamed to say that I have not stayed connected with as much as I want to because I have let “life” get in the way. You know, the we need to get together for coffee or dinner or whatever and yes we do but the invitation or reaching out is never done.
    The top of my list is my beautiful and wise friend Peggy who, at the end of September, is moving several states away to pastor a church. I am so fearful I will never see her again.
    Also, Sandy who isn’t going anywhere and I do see from time to time. But, we don’t connect as we should and she has asked me to talk with her in the near future about the healthy lifestyle changes I’ve made and how maybe this would encourage she and her husband as they both have blood sugar, blood pressure and other issues (2 years ago I made the decision to change my lifestyle and a result have lost over 100 lbs and gotten healthy but that’s another story).
    My friend Linda who I used to see all the time but we’ve now drifted apart and now only through Facebook even though we live in the same town.
    Nadine, who who I would just flat like to have in my life again.
    My 3 beautiful high school friends Shirleen, Cheryl, and Felicia. They live several states away where we went to school but I want to grow deeper with them again.
    I am hurting especially for Felicia who lost her husband to cancer yesterday August 31st.
    And, this may sound strange but also my husband. No, we aren’t having marriage issues. Actually it’s better than it ever has been. But I want to be more intentional, more aware of how my Yes or No affects him and us as a couple.
    Thank you for your wonderful message.

  15. That’s a tough one, but if I had to choose from the handful of people who come to mind, I would probably choose my friend Julie. It’s been a long time since we’ve had kid-free time to talk about the important things in life.

  16. I would reconnect with my mother-in-love; she is 79 and increasingly frail. My family would love to have her move in with us, but “giving up” her autonomy and independence are big deals. So we do what we can from an hour away with phone calls, snail mail, visits, and meals.

  17. I would love to connect with my mom today. At age 75 her life is so full and stressful caring for my 90 year old father who is going through the early stages of dementia. My mom is so wonderful, patient, and loving. I said “yes” to extra teaching work – was that the “best yes”? Therefore I am working on planning for the wonderful students I will meet in a couple of days. I do love SO many things and people in life. I NEED to read Lysa’s book!

  18. I’d love to spend some unrushed time with family in another state that I don’t see enough! My daughter who is off to college! The list goes no…………..

  19. The five women I would love to be in rushed with are Deb, Robyn, Kelly, Rochelle and Silke. Unfortunately, these 5 women are in four different states. The thought of us all getting together makes me smile.

  20. If I could reconnect hurried, it would be with my mom. Her 78th birthday was yesterday but 10 years ago, God took her home after a 5 year fight with ovarian cancer. Last Friday, we went to the funeral of her 67 year old cousin who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer around June 15 and has already gone off to glory. I think how easy it is to drop everything and attend a funeral and get together with family when something like that happens and yet too often it takes too much effort to get together for reunions to see loved ones while they are living. Where are our priorities? I know we are all busy and if mom was here, would we take time to do fun things together. I’d like to think so but for now, I pray and ask for her to speak to me from those heavenly realms. Remembering your “sister” in my prayers and thankful she could be there for the wedding weekend.

  21. Thank you so much for this much needed post. As a wife and mom of 5, I am a huge fan of all of Lysa’s books. So looking forward to reading her new book. School is beginning tomorrow and football (4 boys) l and volleyball games (1 daughter) started this last week…finding white space in my schedule is going to be a must to keep me focused on what is important and make wise decisions in the midst of all the busyness of my very blessed life!

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