Amy Carroll » Living Joyfully » A Yes to Joy

A Yes to Joy

I’m thrilled and honored today to be part of Lysa TerKeurst’s Blog Tour for The Best Yes. I’m just one of many Jesus-loving bloggers participating. To learn more and join us, click here.

Joy is a fragile commodity.

It’s a fresh water spring issuing directly from the Father’s heart, but the flow of joy can gradually be blocked by the left-overs of an over-scheduled life.

As a little girl I loved to bicycle over to a local park and play in the stream. I’d pick up long branches to poke holes in dams clogging the progress of the stream and creating pools of stagnant water, dark and stinky in the shadows. I loved watching the movement of water picking up speed, washing away the brackish sludge, moss-covered sticks and rotting leaves.

A pastor I adore has often said, “There are two kinds of people. There are do-ers and there are be-ers.” I fall definitively into the “do-er” category, finding pleasure and affirmation in checking things off my long to-do list as I move through the day. I take up obligations with gusto. I thrive in the busyness of running a home and loving the people in it. There’s a need for d0-ers. Unfortunately, doing feeds my quest for approval, and my motives often get mixed along the way. So my list grows, my tasks multiply and my obligations grow weighty.

But the left-overs from my lists, tasks and obligations are stress, worry and resentment. These leftovers accumulate quickly too, catching and weaving together until God’s stream of joy is dammed up and the stagnation of my soul begins.


It’s a pattern that has happened over and over again in my life.

Steams of joy.

Accumulation of activities.

Build up of stress worry and resentment.

Poke a hole in the dam.


Thankfully, I’m sensing the warning signs earlier. I’m running to Jesus faster. He’s truly The Joy Renew-er!

Just last week I started feeling the familiar tightness in my chest. Anxiety in my heart. Resentment in my soul. Snap on the tip of my tongue. All the left-overs of  an over-scheduled life had caught up with me, and joy was a mere trickle.

So I packed up and escaped to sit beside some water, a literal lake near my house, and I prepared to poke some holes in the dam.

By praying.

By taking some deep breathes.

By appreciating the beauty.

By soaking in God’s Word.

By thanking.

By resting.

By feeling the whoosh of joy back into my soul.

For just an hour or so, I chose a “best yes”, but it was a “yes” that rode home with me and has carried into the days that followed. It’s a “yes” that poked a hole in the accumulated dam of an over-scheduled life and ushered in joy.

Reading Lysa TerKeurst’s book The Best Yes helped me to end the cycle of a joyless, over-scheduled life this week. I’m finding the content to be incredibly valuable, and of all of Lysa’s books that I love, this is my favorite! You can grab a copy HERE.

Today Thomas Nelson and Lysa are generously donating FIVE BOOKS for a giveaway. To enter, please leave a comment below. You can share what “yes” restores joy in your life, or if you’re on a schedule today, you can simply comment, “I want to choose the best yes!”

Click here to read other Best Yes blog posts on The Best Yes Blog Tour.

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  1. The “yes” that refreshes is to sit quietly with the Lord.

  2. Lisa Bohannon says:

    I am praying God reveals my best yes!!!

  3. I want to choose the best yes!

  4. I want to choose the best yes!

  5. Anne Lewis says:

    I want to choose the best YES!

  6. The Best Yes I have said recently was actually a no. I love to just serve where God called me to instead of all the openings the church had. I thought I needed to step in the gaps if no one else did. However, once I said no it pushed other to finally step in. In doing so they learned that that is where they needed to be.

  7. I want the best YES is my life so badly….It is hard for me because I am a doer. I want to be a Mary not a Martha and sit at Jesus feet and know his will for my life.

  8. I am under a tight budget these days with our daughter’s wedding coming up so I would love to win 🙂

    A good walk in God’s beautiful creation is what I love.

    Thanks for the giveaway!! Have a beautiful day!

  9. I want to choose the best yes. Thank you and God bless.

  10. Courtney J says:

    “I want to choose the best yes!” I have so much trouble saying no, double-booking myself, and just being flat out exhausted from trying to do too much.

  11. Funny, while at noon worship yesterday, I felt the Holy Spirit wanted me to tell my sister who was visiting me and there with me, to practice being instead of doing. I love my church and am thankful for this opportunity every Wednesday at noon to go and soak and refresh! And loved this article!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for this post and the reminder that we need to pause, refresh and soak in God’s love and grace!

  13. Cathy Collins says:

    Push, pull, run, rush, busy, busy, busier….my Pastor reminds me that busy might mean…Being Under Satans Yoke sometimes. Slowing down and making the best yes choose. This would begin with saying, “Yes” to God even if it takes me out of my comfort zone and saying, “NO” to being B.U.S.Y.
    Thank you Amy for saying yes and thank you Lysa for providing the books.

  14. I want to choose the best yes

  15. Elizabeth says:

    I try to make the best yes for our family…but it’s a challenge. The expectations and opinions of others is sometimes hard to combat. I would love this guidance from Lysa. Thanks for the opportunity!

  16. I would like to feel the best yes.

  17. Jennifer O says:

    I want to choose the best yes!

  18. I want to choose the best yes. I own a funeral home and sometimes get really drained. God always provides a vacation when I need it the most. I want to read and apply the contents of the book to my life.

  19. Amye Deatherage says:

    I want and NEED to learn to choose my best yes. I’m working on it!!!

  20. Linda Chandler says:

    I’d love to win a copy for my daughter. I’ve already read through chapter 3. Awesome book. Thanks Lysa and Amy for the give away.

  21. I want to choose the best yes. As I’m getting ready to run out the door!

  22. One big “yes” for me is taking time to get outside – to take a walk in the pasture, to notice the feel of the sun on my face and the breeze on my skin, to hear the rustle of the grass and the calls of the birds…. to just be able to collect my thoughts and have a bit of time away from the clamor and noise.

  23. Christine Wipson says:

    I want to choose the best yes, and I try to by getting into the Word of God first thing each morning.

  24. Heather smith says:

    I want to choose the best yes!!!

  25. Charlotte Richardson says:

    I’m looking forward to participating in the upcoming Obs with proverbs 31 on this book. Thanks for this post.

  26. I want to choose the best yes! When I put my daughter to bed, read a story and we say our prayers, that restores me.

  27. I want to choose the best yes! I want to remember to run to Jesus when I need my spirit filled with His joy!

  28. I want to choose the Best Yes!

  29. I want to choose the best yes

  30. I want to say the best YES!!!

  31. I have lived ally life near one of the Great Lakes. One of the best ways to say Yes to restore joy is to go sit at the beach in the evening as the sun sets, listen to the waves along the shore and just breathe as I wait on God. I do not do this nearly often enough. Learning some others ways to to reconnect to the Joy would be awesome. Thanks!

  32. I want to choose the best yes! We are entering a new chapter of faith for our family. May He direct all of our steps…

  33. What #TheBestYes means to our family? Stepping out in faith like we never have before. We said NO more to the way our schedules had been maxed out, and made a life-changing decision that I’d walk away from the corporate job I had for nearly 15 years. That hinged upon trusting Him for everything – including our finances. It was freeing to realize we had more to surrender and that saying YES to God really mattered more than anything else. Thanks for sharing your experience in joy with us. ~ Kristy

  34. Jennifer Gearheart says:

    I want to choose the Best Yes and I use my quiet time at work (yes, work…I am a church secretary and it is so peaceful)!! It seems my list of things to do keeps getting bigger and being a single mom and learning to do things on my own, I have to tell others no and that bothers me. I will trust God in knowing He has a plan.

  35. 🙂 I want to choose the best yes! 🙂

  36. I want to learn how to better balance my life by saying yes to the right things at the right time.

  37. Elizabeth Lynn says:

    I need to learn how to prioritize. I waste way too much time on nonessential things and end up at the end of the day trying to get the most important things done while I’m falling asleep. Help me get rid of time wasters and accomplish more.

  38. My best yes is taking my Bible going to the front porch to sit on the porch swing.
    Sometimes I do my Bible study there, also. Its so peaceful out there and the birds are so happy and the hummingbirds are so beautiful, with there sweet little hum.
    It is my special place at least for the spring, summer and early fall!

  39. I want to choose the Best Yes for my life!!! i really want to put God first in all i do and say

  40. June Chapko says:

    My Best Yes is when I retreat to my tearoom…a small bedroom I converted into my private tearoom. It’s Tea &THEE, a time for climbing onto the lap of The Lord and making time to rest in Him through His Word.

  41. My #thebestyes is most definitely saying NO and being able to mean it! I’ve gotten better over the years but NEED this book to help me become a better YES person to what GOD wants me to do!

  42. “Unrushed” not I rushed! Love auto correct!

  43. I say yes to a third cup of coffee before I wake up my kids. Yes, a third cup. With that third cup my mind settles into a few quiet I rushed moments when I most clearly hear from The Lord.

  44. Christy Sullivan says:

    It’s always good for me to say yes to lunch with a friend that is positive and uplifting. Leaves me time to share stuff and get it off my chest.

  45. I want to choose the best YES for my life! I find that in the hustle and bustle, my to do list gets smaller, but I am also spiritually drained from lack of personal time spent with my Savior. I pray that He aids me in finding ways to say yes and no to the right things. God Bless!

  46. Sherri M. says:

    I “try” to make time to sit on my back porch and just breathe. (I truly think we as a society don’t do enough “porch sittin” But so many times, the door opens with a request floating through the air, the dog starts barking at the squirrel she SO wants to chase, then I start to see the dirt on the windows, the cobwebs in the corner…..

    YES, I need to say YES to rest and renewal. 🙂

    1. Rhonda Bennett says:

      YES! to ridding my life of all the toxic people in it!! I choose to surround myself with positive people who encourage me to be all I can be! People who love me no matter what…no judgment, no condemnation.