Today’s interview is with Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author, speaker, and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries. Her new ebook The Best Yes, artfully paints a picture of how to make wise decision amidst a sea of endless choices. Get it on Vyrso today!
1. You have an impressive resume of accomplishments, and you’ve made a huge impact on thousands of people. Tell us more about the everyday you.
I just chuckled at “an impressive resume of accomplishments” because it makes me sound way more polished than I really am! At my core, I’m just a simple country girl who lives in North Carolina with my husband, Art, and my five priority blessings—Jackson, Mark, Hope, Ashley, and Brooke.
In my everyday life, I feel like a success if I get through the day having spent time with the Lord, exercised in some way, had a laugh with one of my kids, had clean underwear in my husband’s drawer when he needed them, and made a friend smile.
2. Why did you write your new book, The Best Yes?
I wrote this message because I NEED this message. I wrote it because I’m tired of rushing and stressing and missing out on the sweet parts of life. I always found myself saying, “I’ll do that thing that makes my soul come alive when I find time.” But no one in the history of the world has ever found more time or made more time.
We all get 168 hours a week. No more. No less. And too many of us are missing out on too much.
Honestly, when I set my life to the rhythm of rush, I don’t like who I am.
Rushing robs me of the sweetest parts of life—the parts of life that feed my soul. When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul.
I’m tired of that deep ache. I think a lot of women are.
So with The Best Yes, I really want to help equip women to slow the rhythm of rush in their lives so the best of who they are can emerge.
3. What does it mean to become a “powerfully effective decision maker”?
A powerfully effective decision maker is a person who uses a combination of knowledge, insight, and discernment when faced with a decision. We must get into God’s Word and let God’s truth get into us (Philippians 1:9–10).
Knowledge is wisdom that comes from acquiring truth.
Insight is wisdom that comes from living out the truth we acquire.
Discernment is wisdom that comes from the Holy Spirit’s reminders of that knowledge and insight.
The Holy Spirit helps us remember that knowledge and insight so we can display it through good judgment in our everyday life decisions.
4. What’s your decision-making strategy for going through big life transitions?
I think it’s always good to use wisdom, knowledge, and an understanding of your resource capacity to assess your decisions.
For many situations, my husband and I run our decisions through these five questions that I talk about in the book:
• Do we have the resources to handle this along with our current responsibilities?
• Could this fit physically?
• Could this fit financially?
• Could this fit spiritually?
• Could this fit emotionally?
I’ve learned to really pay attention to my emotional capacity and be honest with myself when I’m stretched too thin. When I allow myself to get overloaded emotionally, which can happen so easily in big life transitions, the worst version of me emerges. And that’s not good for anyone. So this five-question filter helps us to be realistic when facing a decision.
5. How do you recommend parents teach their children to make wise decisions at school?
As parents, we need to get intentional with teaching our kids to think through their choices. But we must get intentional about modeling good choices as well.
Satan is a master of keeping the cost of our decisions hidden until it’s too late—for us and for our kids. Explain that to your child and consider age-appropriate examples of how costly wrong choices can be. Be real, raw and bold as you walk your children through different scenarios of temptations they might face.
Think how different life might be if we all paused and asked ourselves this crucial question: How much will this choice really cost me? If we teach ourselves and our kids nothing else today than to ask this one question, we will have invested wisely.
6. How do you choose “the best yes” when you have to decide between multiple good choices?
That’s a great question. More often than not, I find myself stuck between a good choice and another good choice, trying to figure out which one is perfect.
These good vs. good decisions happen every day. But when you’re trying to pick the perfect choice, here’s the secret answer: there is no perfect choice. If you understand this, it sets you free from the fear of making a mistake.
As long as you desire to please God with your decisions, no decision you make will be completely awful. Nor will any decision you make be completely awesome. Every decision carries a dose of both. Every thrill has an element of risk. Every leap of faith has moments of uncertainty. And every great success story has elements of failure.
In other words, since there is no perfect choice, I don’t have to be paralyzed by the fear that I’m not making the perfect choice.
But here’s where the certainty is: 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. And I’m so thankful for that.
7. What are some of the hardest decisions you’ve ever had to make?
Discerning God’s will at different crucial steps in my life was so hard for so long. With all the needs in the world, how can I determine which ones are my assignments? Here’s what really helped me: making enough space in my day to really be able to pay attention to God.
Often we want big directional signs to God’s will. He just wants us to pay attention. The one who obeys God’s instruction today will develop a keen awareness of His direction for tomorrow.
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Learn what it means to make wise decisions while you are making thousands of choices everyday. Get Lysa’s new ebook, The Best Yes, on Vyrso today!