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Lysa TerKeurst wants to help us UnRush.
Take the 5 day challenge with us starting Monday, July 14.
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Day Five

Where the Best of Who You Are Comes Alive Again

Remember on Day 1 of this journey to unrush, I was standing at the sink grabbing at my heart throbbing with stress? What got me to that place were the choices I’d made.
I’d said yes to so many things that I was now having to say no to the best things. And constantly missing out on the best things was making the best of me shrivel up and die.
I knew I had to unrush. And the only way to truly unrush is to start getting brave with protecting those best things. What I call my Best Yes answers.
This sounds so good in theory but feels much more scary when you start having to disappoint some people by saying no. I’m such a people pleaser that this is hard—really hard. Like, I fret and sweat and get all worked up in a tizzy.
Welcome to my brand of crazy.
So, this was going to be quite a jump for me to move from desiring to unrush my life to actually doing it. Decision by decision. Day by day.
I knew I needed to do something physical to mark this leap from chaos to calm. From people pleaser to God pleaser. From saying yes to everything to saying yes to the best things.
And I knew my moment had come when I was on a retreat led by my friend Bob Goff. Of all the humans I’ve met on the planet, Bob is truly one of the best at living this unrushed life. I’m not kidding, when I spend time with Bob, I smell Jesus. You can just sniff out the loveliness of an unrushed person.
So, he had this retreat up at a camp in Canada, and on the last day of the retreat Bob invited us to do a ropes course. Um, no!
Here’s the thing: I don’t like climbing. I’m not very athletic. And heights taller than my kitchen counter make me want to cry. The end.
But then I saw the last part of the course. There was a platform perched very high up in a cluster of very tall trees. Then there was a gap of nothing but air. And placed just far enough away from the platform to be really scary there was a hanging bar. The only way to finish the course, was to jump from the platform, leap through the air, and grab with all your might onto the bar.
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Crazy as it sounds, I knew I had to do it.
If I could somehow make this physical leap in the face of fear, I knew it would make me braver in my leap to unrush my life.
I shook as I slowly made my way up the first tree and through the various stages of the ropes course. And here’s the crazy part: I was completely held safe by an elaborate system harnessing me to hooks, ropes, and anchors.
There was no way I would fall. My brain knew that, but my body wasn’t getting the message. Every step was hard and scary. Then when I finally reached the platform, the last step to completing the course, I looked down. I was beyond scared. A bolt of glacial cold terror shot through me.
Bob was behind me on the platform instructing me to jump on the count of three. He counted. But I couldn’t jump. I just stood there trembling and wiping my sweaty hands up and down my jeans.
“You got this Lysa, you got this. You can’t fall. Just jump to that bar and you’re done,” Bob said with enthusiastic encouragement. He counted again. But again, I couldn’t jump.
A crowd of friends had gathered at the bottom. They all started chanting my name and various cheers to spur me on. Awesome! But, no, not awesome at all. Because now so many people were invested in me jumping, I couldn’t turn around. “Go Lysa! Go Lysa! Go Lysa!”
I knew my body was never going to make this jump. Yet Bob was doing another count. “One, Two . . .”
So, I had to close my eyes and let a different part of me boss my body around. I whispered, “I will not let fear steal anything more from me. Help me, God.”
Suddenly my feet exploded off the platform. And somewhere midair, fear lost its grip on me. I grabbed the bar and wanted to cry tears of sheer relief. I had looked fear straight in the eye and won.
If I could do this leap, I knew I could take the leap of really going after this unrushed life. And so can you.
You don’t have to climb to a ridiculous height and make a crazy jump. You just have to make a decision. A decision to unrush just one thing today. And then another tomorrow.
Point your life in a new direction with your new Best Yes answers. And you’ll walk straight toward the life you’ve been wanting. An unrushed life where the best of who you are comes alive again.

Day Four

The Thrill of an Unrushed Yes

 

Each morning I have a routine with my husband. It’s simple. Nothing profound. Nothing for which we’d ever stop and snap a picture. It’s just a moment. He asks me to help him pick a tie. He then goes away to fix it. Soon he returns with a flipped-up collar and a pressed-down, knotted tie.      Next, he needs my gentle hands to fold the collar over. Actually, he doesn’t need. He wants my gentle hands to fold the collar over. And I do.     It’s just a moment, but it’s a moment when we unrush our day for the sake of connection and compassion. In the intersection of this unrushed moment, we’re once again saying to each other: “I love you.” “I love you too.” Please don’t get an overly idyllic picture in your head of our marriage. Heavens, no.  We have plenty of those “growth opportunity” moments too. But this moment with the tie, it’s like a spot of glue ever tightening the bond between us day by day. It’s so simple, and yet something I would miss with the deepest ache imaginable if today were the last of the moments. If today. Tears slip as I think about this. Dear God, help me think about this. Let me snap a hundred of these moments with the lens of my heart to be stored and appreciated and thought of as the great treasures they are. It’s just a moment together. Or is it? This kind of moment can only happen when we choose to experience the thrill of an unrushed yes. An unrushed yes means I’ve said no to enough other things so I can say yes to the spontaneous moments of relationship.

 

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This beautifully messy band of people I call my own needs time together. We need unscheduled moments to connect and process—pauses in our day where we have space to let the organic process of relationships happen.  And this isn’t natural for me. I’m a task girl. I like accomplishing things. I like the thrill of moving forward, creating momentum, and getting stuff done.  But the more I choose to pause and talk and really connect, the more my soul gets filled back up.  We need time for relationships. Hebrews 10:24–25 reminds us to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Relationships nourish us in ways nothing else can. It’s relationships that help unrush us. It’s relationships that matter most. Where do we find time to do this? We can’t make time for it. We can’t find time for it. After all, no one in the history of the world has ever found more time or made more time. We have to get more intentional with the time we have and schedule our lives to be a little more unrushed. As Louie Giglio said: “Whenever you say yes to something, there is less of you for something else. Make sure your yes is worth the less.” I’m going to take another honest look at all the things vying for my time this week to make sure my relationships aren’t getting my less. I want to make sure it’s people, not projects that occupy the sacred places of my heart. Leave space to linger just a bit after dinner around the sticky farm table. Leave space for friendships less pixilated by getting off the computer and seeking more face-to-face time. Leave space for laughter and loud singing on car rides long or short. Leave space for the to-do lists to prioritize people, not just projects. Leave space for the talks and walks and the crazy inside jokes. Leave space for folding his collar over his tie. Leave space for the unrushed yes.

 

 

DAY THREE

Overwhelmed Schedule, Underwhelmed Soul 3

 

We’ve been talking quite a bit in our time together about leaving space for relationships. When this doesn’t happen, our soul feels depleted at best and starved at worst.  Remember what I wrote on Day 2, “When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul”? This isn’t just a snappy little theory that sounds clever. It’s true. As I’ve been on this very imperfect journey to unrush, I’ve started to experience more and more opportunities to live a life of connection and compassion. One of those opportunities came as I sat talking with my friend Brenda. Short of a miraculous healing from God, Brenda’s cancer wouldn’t allow her to live through the end of the year. At one point in our conversation that day she got very quiet. It was as if she could see things I couldn’t. After a few minutes of silent reflection, she leaned over and whispered, “I know in my heart I’m not going to be here much longer. And I need to know my girls will be okay. They need godly women to walk with them, speak into them, and guide them into the future God has for them.” With tears streaming down my face, I committed to being one of those women. I knew this was a Best Yes for me. I had a deep-down assurance that this was a decision that walked right in line with the connection and compassion Jesus so beautifully modeled. Maybe this assignment was part of the reason God had me on this “unrush” journey.  A few weeks later, Brenda’s feeling was confirmed as she let go of her family’s hands and walked into glory. Her girls, Paige and Philecia were nineteen and fourteen years old—the same ages as my oldest and youngest daughters.

 

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I had no idea how to do this right. I didn’t have a game plan or a degree in grief counseling. But one thing I knew I could do—be a female voice who whispered often into their lives, “I love you.” I can’t take away their pain. But I can bring joy in the midst of it. I whisper I love you during simple dinners at my house. I write I love you on the tops of their birthday gifts and Christmas morning surprises. I text I love you when I invite them for afternoon coffee and movie dates. Nothing about it is organized or done perfectly. But just the effort seems to be what matters most. And bit by bit, day-by-day, love is helping us figure out this hard time together. A few months ago, the girls celebrated their first Mother’s Day without Brenda. I knew they would need an “I love you” to help ease the ache of this day. So, I invited their family to join mine for dinner that night.  Halfway through the meal, I started wishing I had thought in advance of some wonderfully profound words to share in honor of Brenda. But right as I was lamenting not being better prepared for this moment, Paige pulled out a framed letter they’d written to me. To honor Brenda, they’d decided to give me a gift they knew she would have loved: a gold cross necklace.  I was crying so hard I could barely read their letter. But since then, I’ve read it many times. It sits on my bedside table as a reminder of how powerful love is. In the letter they included one of Brenda’s favorite verses: “I can do everything through him who gives me strength” (Philippians 4:13). Interestingly enough, the very next verse reads: “Yet it was good of you to share in my troubles” (v.14).  Connection and compassion. Yes, it is good to share in each other’s troubles. And so with a willing but very imperfect heart, I will keep whispering I love you into the lives of Brenda’s beautiful girls. I still don’t understand why this happened. And I don’t always know the right things to say in response to deep grief. But I do know love is a beautiful thing to bring into the gap of all the unknowns.  As we resist the rhythm of rush, divine things happen. Special bonds are made. We start to look at life through the lens of connection and compassion. When we underwhelm our schedules so God can beautifully overwhelm our souls, we start to look at life a lot more like Jesus does.

 

Day TWO

The Two Most Powerful Words

 

The two most powerful words are yes and no.     How I use them determines how I set my schedule. How I set my schedule     determines how I live my life. How I live my life determines how I spend my     soul.When I think about my decisions in light of spending my soul, it gives     gravity to choosing wisely. Each and every thing I say yes to sets the pace     of my life.As I set my schedule, I must remember the prayer we prayed on Day 1:     “Lord, unrush me.” After all, when a woman lives with the stress     of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed     soul. An overwhelmed schedule leads to an underwhelmed soul — a soul with a     full calendar but no time to really engage in life.If you’ve found yourself caught in a stressful pace recently, I understand.     I think so much of why my schedule gets overloaded is because I’m afraid of     missing out or not measuring up.One quick look at social media, and it feels like everyone else is able to     live at a breakneck pace with a smile. Their kids are accomplishing more     than my kids. Their business pursuits seem more important than mine do.     Their marriage seems more romantic. Their home is cleaner. And they even     have time to invite dinner guests over to eat food from their garden. Huh?Remember yesterday how we observed that Jesus lived at an unrushed pace?     It’s interesting to combine that reality with a powerful statement God made     about Jesus in Matthew 3:17: “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I     am well pleased.”Jesus had not yet performed miracles, led the masses, or gone to the cross.     Yet, God was pleased with Jesus before all those accomplishments.

 

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His Father was establishing Jesus’ identity before He     started His activities. Jesus heard God, believed God, and remained     unrushed. In Christ, God has given us a new identity (Romans 6:4). But,     unlike Christ, we forget.We fill our days and our lives with so much activity that the only way to     keep up with it all is to rush. And I’m discovering that the source of much     of the stress in my life is this constant need to keep up. But what if I’m     chasing the wrong desire?Do I really want my life to look more like others? Or to look more like     God’s best for me?God’s best for me requires time for connection and compassion. God’s best     for me means engaging with life and the people in it. God’s best for me     means noticing divine invitations and feeling the freedom to say yes — a Best     Yes to the Lord’s assignments.If I really want an unrushed life, I must underwhelm my schedule so God has     room to overwhelm my soul.Tomorrow I’ll give you an example of what a beautifully overwhelmed soul     experience looks like. But for today, we must stand moment-by-moment in the     reality of our identity before we resume our activity. Grasp this truth and     rub it in deep: “You are my daughter, whom I love; with whom I am well     pleased.”Well pleased because of who you are — not because of what you do.     Well pleased because of an unfathomable, unconditional love — not     earned but simply given.

As you say yes and no to activities today, remember anything that will set     your pace to the rhythm of rush where you’re too busy for connection and     compassion is not a Best Yes.

The Rhythm of Rush

Not too long ago, I stood at the sink trying to ease the stabbing feeling of stress. I had so much pulling at me.
I found myself rushing my husband in conversation. Rushing my kids out the door. Rushing to the next thing and then the next. Rushing to make dinner and then rushing my people through dinner.
Exhaustion gnawed deep places in my heart, demanding me to slow down. But how? I’ve made my decisions and now my decisions have made me. Me—this shell of a woman caught in the rush of endless demands.
Ever felt like you’ve set your life to the rhythm of rush?
Sometimes it takes stepping out of the rush to see things. Not too long after the day I stood at the sink drowning in life, I went to the Holy Land. It was a trip I’d longed to take for years. But as the day to leave marched closer and closer, I wished I’d scheduled it later—another time, a time when life didn’t feel so busy.
But the trip was booked, so I went. And I’m forever glad I did. In the Holy Land, busy took a break from chasing me. This trip forced me to “unrush,” and I discovered I like who I am so much better when I’m not set to the wrong rhythm.
I also learned so much about Jesus. His life. His decisions. His lessons.
And do you know what the most impactful lesson was for me, personally? Jesus never rushed. He set His life to the rhythm of connection and compassion. With great intentionality Jesus stayed unrushed. This is what I want.
As I stood at my sink that day, this is what I was longing for but didn’t know it. Like Jesus, I must unrush my pace for connection and compassion to take place.
As I walked many of the same places Jesus walked, I was struck so profoundly by this. He knew pressure. He knew stress. People pulled at Him everywhere He went. Crowds demanded sermons. Individuals begged for healing. The disciples wanted leadership. Friends wanted time with Him. The religious rulers wanted answers. There was an entire world to save with such limited time.

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Yet, He didn’t rush. He talked with the woman at the well. He reached out his hand making contact and healed the leper. He felt the touch of the woman with the issue of blood and stopped for her. Do you see it? Connection and compassion were central to every interaction.
And then for those with whom Jesus was the closest? That’s when He was the most unrushed.
While I was in the Holy Land, I visited the site that’s recorded in Matthew 16:13–20. In the shadow of a pagan temple hustling with unspeakable acts and human sacrifices, Jesus pointed. “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it,” He said. He connected truth with Peter’s calling. He compassionately assured Peter, the church will prevail.
I’m sure Peter recalled this conversation many, many times. It must have given him the courage to become one of the most pivotal church leaders in history. And he had this conversation to remember, because Jesus wasn’t too busy to have it. The Lord walked three days out of his way to make one point with Peter.
It would seem Jesus was unrushed so He could be incredibly intentional and laser focused on connection and compassion.
If I were reading this right now, I would probably think, That’s great you went to the Holy Land, and it helped unrush you, but I can’t do that right now. I understand. So, let this truth from Jesus’ life come to you. It’s not the location that changed me. It was the revelation. Jesus didn’t rush, so neither should I.
Tomorrow, we’ll talk about an unrushed perspective. But for now, let’s end by praying this very simple three word prayer, “Lord, unrush me.”

 

 Our first ever 99.9 Painting Class is coming!
and we want YOU to be a part of it!
Only 8 spots left in our first class!  CALL TODAY!

gals painting class

We are so happy for the opportunity to partner with the artists at
Social Crafting to bring you this class at our KCWN studios.
You do not need to be an artist to create your own one of a kind
masterpiece, but you might need a little guidance.
That’s just what this class will provide, along with all the materials you need and a snack!  Our first one is July 22 at 6 PM.  Email
bev@kcwnfm.org to save your spot in our first class.
Grab your girlfriends or come to make new ones!
Questions?  call us 628-9999
Cost of the class is $35.

We would love to offer more classes in the future, let us know if your coffee group, Bible Study, workout gang, cousins, or any other group would like to reserve a date!  What a way to “Share Hope” at 99.9

 

 Reach and Teach the kids in your neighborhood by hosting a Back Yard Bible Club!  Trained teens come to your location with a high octane 5 day club!  It’s 90 minutes of Bible Power Packed fun for kids!  To schedule your very own Back Yard Bible Club call Jill Lake at 641-673-3947.

 

All Kids and youth are invited to a FREE SACK LUNCH every Monday through Friday of Summer Vacation!  Pick up is from noon to 12:30 at the gazebo at Burbank Apartments, 408 East 13th Street in Pella.
Lunches sponsored by our friends at Second Reformed Church.
More information?  call 641 628 3982

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