aliajoy_gettingready

My best yes is a whisper brushing up against eternity.

I’m asking God to quicken my heart to the things He has but un-rush me in rest. I’m finally seeing I can have both. Passion and peace, dwelling together.

My best yes is contentment with my ordinary and a vision for God’s Kingdom at my fingertips. Close enough to touch and taste.  It’s open eyes and removable scales. It’s seeing and cherishing my small in light of His greatness.

It’s my little obedience to the now with a hefty vision for the things to come. It is the choices made each day that add up to eternity.

It is letting my fingers swim through my daughter’s hair, plaiting it in rows and weaving it together and what is bound is so much more than untangling stray strands, it’s a tapestry of our life together. It is her reflection mirroring mine, modeling the way she will see beauty and have grace for herself, believing herself to be known and loved before the world will try to tell her different.

I choose grace to cover all the flaws I see in myself and remember I am not made wrong.

aliajoy_sunsetdrive

It is the long drives with the windows rolled all the way down and the bass turned up, thumping my foot against the floorboards, and my hand is enveloped in his and sometimes we talk but sometimes I just lean my head toward the open air and breathe in creation as we speed toward the setting sun, tangerine lighting the sky in wonder.

My best yes is date night when my to do list is battling the fringes of my mind and I can’t cross off a single thing by applying red lipstick and changing out of yoga pants. But then we’re driving and God paints the sky and I remember why this yes is important even when we’re too broke for dinner out or a movie but we have a little gas in the tank. And I trace the callouses worn into his palms from the years he’s served me, labored for me, provided for me; they feel like home.

He’s shown me faithfulness and what it means to say a vow once but live it every day. And I press my fingers into the band I gave him years ago and am reminded that he will always be my yes. I choose him.

It is grocery shopping with kids in tow. It is dinner menus and bill paying and being put on hold when making doctor’s appointments. It’s prayers whispered and gleaned from status updates, and church bulletins, and the news. It is an inbox I will never tame but I tackle a few at a time anyway. It’s tucking Spiderman blankets tight around little bodies, and the one with all the voices this time mommy, and one more glass of water or hug or nightlight.

It is a house that’s never really company ready but I choose my best yes when I open it to imperfection with the piles of junk mail I should toss immediately but instead stack on the counter two feet from the trash, next to the pile of dishes left over from my morning rush out the door. It is saying you’re welcome in any way. People matter here.

It is loving the hardest people, the ones with sharp edges, the broken and lost not just in the world but in the pew right next to me. It is saying, Lord, send me, even if it means I’ll stay right here in my ordinary. It is saying I am all in.

It is loving my church, the one that fails and is messy and doesn’t get every single thing right according to me. It is the mad dash on Sundays and tip-toeing in 15 minutes late because no matter how early we get up we just cannot get there on time, but we go in anyway and I hush the kids as we take our seats and we’re never sorry that we showed up. It’s potlucks with something I picked up from Costco on the way.

My best yes is not worrying about being just right and instead being just real.

It’s scribbling out my story after kids are tucked when the bedside lamp glows steadily in the darkness bringing my words to light. It is trusting God with book deals and platforms and wild dreams knowing that my saying no now means I’m already living the faith I hope to write about because my yes to God is tested and tried.

It is ordinary and all the things I never wanted. It is exactly what God knew I needed.

It is my open hands grasping the edge of eternity.

This week if you buy a copy of Lysa Terkerust’s The Best Yes, she’s giving every dime that would normally come to her as an author to a wonderful organization called 99 Balloons. You can learn more about the campaign here, or head to DaySpring to purchase your book now {psst…buy two or more copies and use code BLOOMBOOK at checkout for FREE shipping!}.

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  1. 1

    Alia. Your words here are magical for their truth.
    We must be soul sisters, (and not just because we always tiptoe into church late, too.)
    Thanks for the reminder to walk in my mission even when it looks like nothing more than tapping these keys when I should be sleeping or finally folding the whites I’ve been avoiding for 2 days.

    • 2

      Yeah we are! And not just because of our love of Taco trucks. It’s so much deeper than that. And… bravo for folding at all. I usually just scavenge clothes out of the basket until the dirty clothes basket is full and then I start over. Eh, close enough, at least they’re clean.

  2. 3

    Alia Joy,
    I love your words that “My best yes is not worrying about being just right and instead being just real.” I am getting better at this as I hosted a group of divorced women in my home. I hoped they’d look beyond the tumbleweed fur balls and the dust…and they did. It’s my heart that matters, not my house. I texted your words, “I choose grace to cover all the flaws I see in myself.” to my daughter this morning. In a world that is so image conscious and in our minds that are so quick to condemn…we all need reminders of grace. I love your writing. You are truly gifted at helping us live intentionally in the moment while keeping our eyes fixed on eternity.
    Blessings,
    Bev

    • 4

      Yes, reminders of grace. I love that. I have people in my life that are that to me, and blogs I read that consistently point back to that, and coming here I know I find it too. So much grace to just be.

  3. 5

    Alia, again you pour out so much of me in your own words. So much of my best yes or at least the best yes I strive for. Thank you for always being real and reminding us all we are not alone. This is solid,”MY BEST YES IS NOT WORRYING ABOUT BEING JUST RIGHT AND INSTEAD BEING JUST REAL.” Yes, Yes, Yes! That’s my prayer, that I would stop worrying about being just right and instead being just real. I love that. Thank you for this and thank you for “you.” xoxo, Meredith

  4. 7

    I love your voice Alia. You are a real life and poetry ribbon wrapping a foundation of wisdom.

  5. 9

    Perfect. Thank you for this.

  6. 10

    Thank you, Alia, for brightening my day. This sentence especially resonates in my heart – “MY BEST YES IS NOT WORRYING ABOUT BEING JUST RIGHT AND INSTEAD BEING JUST REAL.”

  7. 11

    Trying to be real in the broken and ugly mess of it all. I feel very fragile but know He is present in it all. Parenting a child with disabilities makes me hold my dreams lightly. Holding my hands open for His dreams.

    • 12

      That’s the place we need real the most. In the broken and ugly messes. I imagine you’d feel so very fragile and your dreams would feel as if they’re tethered to your hopes for a child with special needs. Hoping you find rest for your mama heart and take the care you need for yourself too in the midst of it all.

  8. 13

    Thank you for your realness. I feel like a kindred spirit with you, arriving late to Church. I love God. I love to think about Him and write about Him and be with Him. Can I get my rear in the seat before opening song at Church? Not a chance. Even when i am set up to, my small wonderful little beings need something. This past Sunday, i showed up, 5 min late, and then loved on the babies in the nursery during worship. And it was glorious. My best yes is trusting God meets me where I am.

  9. 15

    Gah.. I love you so! (TWO DAYS, my friend!) This is all kinds of beautiful truth, right here!

  10. 17

    Alia… this post was absolutely beautiful. Thank you for sharing what your Best Yes answers look like… Much love ~ Lysa

    • 18

      Thanks Lysa. I’m excited to read your book and I love what 99 balloons does to serve and love those who are giving their best yes everyday in loving and caring for their children.

  11. 19

    All I can say is AMEN to “My best yes is not worrying about being just right and instead being just real.” It’s the realness that changes lives, makes the best prayers, allows vulnerability for real (true) friendships, and opens our eyes to His grace. You are a soul sister of mine! And I love the part about being late for church. That was me this past Sunday!!

  12. 20
    Marinalva Sickler says:

    My best yes brings me to the Yes, Lysa Terkeurst took me to respond in tears in my living room several months ago. The Women’s Ministry at my church through our leader, Sarah Mosley, decided to have When Women Say Yes to our 6 weeks reading book group. I was alone in my house and after reading my daily portion of the chapter, I began praying. There was an unanswered question my 5 years old niece had spoken to me several years ago. For years I hadn’t visited that thought till then. Now, it was creeping on my head.
    I wanted to be real. The fake hidden me cried to come out.
    I recalled my niece at the bench of the choir standing up and holding the songbook, she sang the hymns along like she was a big girl. After the crowded holy communion at my dad’s church, I asked her if she had a message from God to me. Looking firmly at my face with her black rounded eyes, she said that God had asked me something and I didn’t answer Him.
    The radical obedience on Peter’s call made me review my own wrecking life. How many times I became angry at the requests of singing or preaching. I wanted to recuse them. My hiding anger always took me to tears knowing that in spite of my groaning, God was good to me.
    Now with the book by my side, I prayed that I would receive God’s grace and forgiveness. I wanted to say YES.
    Fear was all over but I couldn’t hold it back. My future was in God’s hands.
    From that day on, life in the house changed. A phone call and an invitation challenged me to go into preaching in Uganda, Africa.
    Here I am getting ready with a 10 years old to an unimaginable trip of one month sharing about the mercy and grace of our Lord.
    Thank you, Alla Joy, for helping me to be the real me.

  13. 21

    Alia, your writing is always a blessing to me! This line: “I choose grace to cover all the flaws I see in myself and remember I am not made wrong.” I am not made wrong. Wow! That was powerful to me. What a great truth to recite when the lies attack.

    Christy @ A Heartening Life

  14. 22

    Alia Joy, I love what you wrote about choosing Grace to cover the flaws we see in ourselves. I hope that I have given that message to my soon to be 18 daughter especially that we are not made wrong. Thank you for a great post!

  15. 23
    Beth Williams says:

    Alia,

    Love your writing sister! Loved the fact that our best yes could be in ordinary everyday routines. “My best yes is not worrying about being just right and instead being just real.” So very true! I want “real” in people not fake. Be yourself and show me who you truly are.

    I am grateful for God’s unlimited grace. Without it I would be lost in this crazy sin sick world!!

    Blessings :)

  16. 24

    What I hear in your post is — It’s all about Love. It’s about showing up with love to give, no matter if we’re late, or messy… Great post Alia! Sorry I am late reading it. Just found it today.

  17. 25

    I love your writing sister.

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