I’m afraid this post will disappoint, but I’m just trying to be real, y’all.
This is a very good book. It’s about very important things. I certainly could stand to learn more about how to make wise decisions in the midst of endless demands, because my life seems to be a non-stop merry-go-round. That tag line at the bottom?
I’m a little overwhelmed and a lot worn out.
Yeah. I get it.
What’s funny is that I’m at this stage of life where I don’t think I need to read books like this any more. Four of my five kids are grown up, and by grown up I mean that they are of voting age. My youngest is 17, and by 17 I mean that he’s independent and requires relatively little in terms of hands-on parenting. I have a pretty good handle on my job; my relationship with my husband is solid. My schedule is somewhat predictable.
But I find myself exhausted, and I run out of time to do important things – like clean the kitchen, or wash my underwear. Or vacuum the floor. Or call a friend.
I go in and out of seasons; sometimes I feel like I have a lot of margin, and other times I sense that there won’t be time to get anything done.
And here’s the ironic – and probably disappointing – part of the post:
I HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK.
This lovely Lysa Terkeurst book sits on my bookshelf, along with a dozen other books, waiting to be read. I know it’s important and probably worthwhile, and I valued it enough at one time to actually purchase it – but I haven’t made time to open it and read it. It hasn’t made the cut, because I’ve certainly read a ton of books since it landed in my house. I haven’t read it.
And that’s the point, I think; that I’m living and keeping up and doing all the things and there are things that maybe, perhaps, I ought to consider saying No to, because I’m sure she’s right and that there is a Best Yes. I just went through that, really, in the transition from Campus Pastor at Riverside back to my one job; so maybe I know that already. Maybe that was a Best Yes, because I can’t do everything.
But I’m still busy, too busy, I think. Or maybe I just sense that I’m running out of time.
I didn’t have time to read this book, yet. Maybe I will. No promises. But in that is the truth about my life; I have bookshelves crammed with tomes that mean something, and in some cases, the meaning is as yet undetermined. I value this book, even though I haven’t read it yet. I haven’t made time. I won’t lie and say I’ve read it.
But I like the way it looks on my shelf, and I like that it represents something in my future that might be a revelation, an epiphany, or something more simple. I like that I’ve heard about Lysa Terkeurst and people say good things about her. I like that I heard her share a few words in a video last week and I recognized her as the author of a book I haven’t read.
And I like the way that the principle of The Best Yes was actually reflected in what I did tonight; why we ordered pizza for dinner, why I didn’t spend an hour on work email after dinner, why I didn’t clean the bathroom (yet), why we listened to an old Nat King Cole record, and a Stevie Wonder record (and we all sang along), and why there were multiple hugs and promises that we’ll all be together again at Thanksgiving.
My best yes has always been my kids, even in light of the fact that one of them spoke honestly tonight of the challenges they faced growing up with a working mom, one whose job never ended at 5pm, one whose life was spent investing in other people. She replied an honest Yes when I asked So do you think maybe you got cheated out of my time? , and that was hard to hear, but the best yes is rooted in honesty and authenticity, so I’ll take it, thankful that she can tell me the truth. My best yes is to be a better human tomorrow than I was today, every day, especially when it comes to my kids. I pray that as they work through whatever challenges they faced as children (Don’t we all screw up our kids, somehow? Some way?), I can be a resource for support, for listening. For a safe space. For home.
I try not to be overly idealistic. It’s not perfect. But, for me, the best yes is when we say Hey – everybody’s gonna be around on Monday. Do we want to get together? and Sarah cleans the kitchen, Sydni talks me through the food order, Shannon and Travis travel in from Richmond with Amie and Daniel in tow, David brings Austin, Mom and Dad drive over, and Tony leaves the music store early enough to grab a bite of pizza with us.
This is my family, and tonight the endless demands took a back seat to the wisdom of this: That a brief glimpse of love will hold us over for another two months.