Hello Ladies! You are reading chapter 3 this week, which will complete session 1. As you read, consider the following from The Best Yes Study Guide (pages 30-36):
1. Think back on a recent situation in which you said yes, even though at the time you knew that probably wasn’t the wisest response. Write what you were thinking on one side of a sheet of a paper; then write what you actually said on the other side.
Something happened that changed your “no” thoughts into a “yes” response. What was it? What concerns or fears prompted you to disregard the warnings from your discernment or the Holy Spirit leading?
To what degree does your response in this particular situation represent your general decision-making approach when it comes to how you spend your time? Consider the continuum below and determine what number best describes your response. The beginning of the continuum (1) represents a reactive approach to decision making (when other people’s requests determine how I spend my time). The end of the continuum (10) represents a proactive approach to decision making (when your priorities determine how you spend your time).
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
2. A woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule will often ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul. An underwhelmed soul is one who knows there is more God made her to do, but who feels too overwhelmed or powerless to pursue it.
In what ways, if any, would you say your soul feels underwhelmed or lacking in fulfillment right now?
What is your “soul thing” – that God-honoring endeavor that keeps slipping away because there’s no time to set aside to actually start?
If devoting time to this soul thing could be a Best Yes – a way for you to serve in one of God’s assignments for you – who might be blessed as a result?
3. To get an inspiring picture of what can happen when we take a risk and change our approach, read the “Fearless Fosbury” story.
I’ve got to become a Fearless Fosbury. Now before you read any further, y’all know I’m not a sports girl. . . . But I found this story about an athlete who changed his approach and what a diff erence it made. He was a high jumper named Dick Fosbury. . . . With the traditional approach to the high jump, an athlete could only go so high. But Fosbury had the crazy idea of going higher by lowering his center of gravity. All he had to do was go headfi rst and backward. That’s why they call him Fearless. Using the new technique — which used to frighten his coaches — Fosbury set an Olympic record. Of course, he never could have done that with the old technique. He had to change his approach if he wanted to improve his abilities. So he did just that. He tried a new technique. He established new patterns. He changed his approach. And not only did he gain the highest level of success in doing all these things, he transformed the sport. Today, more than forty years later, jumpers are still using the Fosbury technique. What if we, like Fosbury, decided to flip our current decision-making technique? . . . It’s not that how we’ve been living is bad — just like Fosbury’s old jumping method wasn’t a bad method. He still cleared the bar. But he dreamed of more, higher heights. And I suspect that’s true for you too. Dick Fosbury discovered his new heights in being able to jump over his obstacle by turning his body so that his back went over before his feet. That’s an interesting concept to me. He literally backed into his jump. And when I think about the changes we need to make so our thing doesn’t keep getting crowded out, I think we may have to back into it as well. Instead of waiting for the time to get started to simply appear one day, we need to be intentional with scheduling it. The Best Yes, pages 19 – 20, 23
When we get locked into a reactive approach to scheduling our time, chances are good that we’ll spend our soul haphazardly. In order to spend our souls wisely and well, we need to flip our approach and be proactive — we must dedicate time to our soul thing each week before that time gets eaten up by other people’s requests.
Use a planner or chart to complete a brief “hours assessment” of a typical week. The following link will take you to a weekly plan that I created in google drive. Under “File”you can “Make a Copy” it and fill it in (this will make it private to you only). You can also print it or use it as a guide to create your own. 😀
For now, the goal is not to do a detailed analysis of your schedule but to get a quick snapshot of potential available time on your calendar. Rest assured, you’re not committing to anything; you can come back later and make any necessary adjustments. Based on what you know about your schedule, block out an X for all the hours that are already occupied by nonnegotiables and commitments you value. Things you might consider include: Sleep, Meals (prep, eating, cleanup), Quiet time, Exercise, Family time, Work, Church (attending, serving, small group study), Prep time for work or personal projects, Volunteer commitments, Date night, Kids’ activities, Time with friends, Other priority events. Once you’ve blocked out all the occupied hours, place a circle in any remaining spaces (blocks of time that are not marked with an “X”).
If you feel ready to move ahead, choose one of the white spaces you marked with a circle and block it on your calendar as your “Best Yes” appointment. Even if you have no more than an hour, use this time to dream a little about what you would like to do. Write down your ideas and identify one next step. Before your time is done, look ahead on your calendar and schedule additional Best Yes time each week for the next few weeks. Every hour you dedicate to that Best Yes thing God made you to do, you spend your soul wisely and well.
4. Read Psalm 32:8 – 11, which describes God’s promise to guide us with His love. Use the Psalm as a reference for writing your own prayer. Name the decisions or challenges you face and ask the Lord to counsel you. Surrender your will and your desires to God’s care. Receive His love and thank Him for leading you into wisdom.