I have been reading “The Best Yes” by Lysa TerKeurst. She is an author after my own heart. She likes to communicate in a conversational style, as I do But what really struck me was the almost revolutionary idea of The Best Yes. I won’t steal her thunder, but the basic premise is that it is ok to say no and that most women in our world, Christian and otherwise, think you are being unkind by doing so. This book is published by Moody Publishers, so it is a Christian slant, but even if you aren’t Christian you could get a great deal out of this book.
Here are some take-aways from the book that I found interesting. She talks a great deal about how non-working mothers find it necessary to make their working counterparts feel less than what they are. Lysa will be the first to say that most of her reactions to these less than tactful women was her own hang-ups making her feel bad. But I was ready to drive to wherever these women were, after reading some of it, and give them a piece of my mind. If you read my blog, you know I have never had children. I saw myself in some of Lysa’s struggles. I couldn’t understand the parts about the judgmental mothers looking down on her working self or asking her children “Does it make you sad when Mommy goes to work?” That one made my head want to explode, by the way. But what I can compare to what she was going through is the idea of the Mother and Non-mother in Christian circles. I know I have written about this here before, but I think it bears mentioning again.
Judgmental people make, again, my head want to explode. In Evangelical circles two things are looked down on, sometimes openly, sometimes covertly. One is a working mother and the other is someone who isn’t a mother at all. One of the reasons I am not a mother is because I knew I would never have a child raised in daycare or by a babysitter. So I waited and waited and found myself too old and too sick to have any children. Lysa says in her book that our choices lead us where we will go. I have made a slew of bad choices and I can’t blame the judgey lady at the church pot-luck for all of them. But it did make my life different. The Bible states that a woman is to be a wife and a mother (in that order). Christian friends assume you didn’t become a mother because you couldn’t, physically. But that isn’t the case with me. I truly never wanted children, and when my heart started to change, it was too late. My husband and I do not have the means or the patience for adoption, so here we are.
But I digress. Lysa made some excellent points about saying no that were very freeing to me. I suggest you read her book. You can read it via Kindle, or purchase it.
So back to the take-aways, in my own words.
1. It is ok to say no to even good things, if they aren’t the best things.
2. Just because you don’t have a house full of children you still have priorities and needs for your family that need to be met. So don’t allow people to guilt you into saying yes just because you have no children and you must have “oodles” of time. (That wasn’t specifically in her book)
3. People who guilt you into saying yes will eventually find a way to be unhappy with you anyway, so don’t worry about making them unhappy by saying no.
4. People can take advantage of people pleasers. Lysa is one and her chapter on this made me roll at times. Her and I are so similar. We need to grill out sometime.
5, God know what is best for you, and when asked will help find what that is.
6. Saying yes depends a great deal on what season of life you are in.
There are so many more, but I won’t steal you the joy of reading this book.
Let me end this blog by saying that I admire stay-at-home mothers, working mothers, women with no biological children and those with lots of people who have they have made their children.
So what I learned from Lysa’s book was when to say Yes, when to say no, and sometimes when to just shut up. I don’t want to be one of those people pushing a pleasers buttons either. Now go over to Amazon.com and get this book. It will be well worth it.