She opens her door and invites me in with a smile followed by a warm hug. We sit down at the kitchen table, and she places a brightly colored plate in front of me. I study the pretty design around the edges. My college mentor, Beth, doesn’t believe in matching sets. Every dish she owns is wonderfully unique, and I’m always intrigued to discover what I’ll eat off each week. She has a knack for noticing the one-of-a-kind beauty in people too.

Beth asks how I’m doing, and I share about my endlessly busy schedule. After listening intently, Beth leans back and says words that will stay with me for decades to come: “Holley, the hardest choices in life aren’t between bad and good. They’re between good and best.”

My wise mentor recognized something in me that will take me much longer to see. I have a tendency to say yes to anything that looks appealing. With well-meaning intentions, I fill my calendar and heart beyond their capacities and then wonder why I spend so much time being exhausted.

Becoming a thriving adult requires discovering we have limits and then figuring out a filter that helps us choose what truly matters most. In today’s world, there will always be plenty of choices. But not everything we can do is something we should do. Even if someone else really, really wants us to do it.

As Ephesians tells us, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned for us long ago” {2:10 NLT}. This Scripture includes two important truths: God created us for a specific purpose, and He has a divine plan that can only be accomplished through us. It doesn’t say, “You ended up in this world somehow, so just get up every day and see what happens.” No, you are here for a reason and you are irreplaceable.

God wants you to take ownership of your life. He wants you to live proactively rather than reactively. There will always be someone who’s willing to tell you who you should be and what you should do. But God doesn’t want you to be like anyone but Jesus — and only He knows how your one wild and precious life is to be spent.

It’s time to go beyond “good” and embrace the very best God has for you.

by Holley Gerth

If you liked this post, you’ll love Holley’s brand new You’re Already Amazing LifeGrowth Guide. And don’t forget to read this wonderful interview with Holley and shop her inspiring line of products at DaySpring!

  • Bev @ Walking Well With God

    It’s only taken me 50+ years to learn this important lesson…and I’m still learning. Another point I was reminded of once – that if we say “Yes” to every opportunity that is presented to us, we may, potentially, be robbing someone else of their ability to serve and use THEIR gifts and talents. We are not made to do it all…discerning His call is a work of the Spirit in us. Wonderful reminder this am.!

    • Consuelo

      I like what you said that we could be robbing someone else of their ability to serve. So true.

      • Lynn D. Morrissey

        I love this too! thank you, Bev.

      • Bev @ Walking Well With God

        This really struck me and has stayed with me since I first heard it! xx

  • A

    Thank you, Holley, for the gift of this posting. I have been struggling greatly with this issue lately and am taking the leap of faith that the Lord needs me to take in this. He reminds me that He has a plan for me, for each of us, that I need to cooperate with in the Holy Spirit, to yield to His leading. Praise be to our Father in heaven who gives all good gifts to be used for His glory and kingdom. May we each step out today in His love and grace into the places He needs us to be :)

  • Lynn D. Morrissey

    Oh Holley,
    How true this is! Thank you for a timely reminder. Years ago, when I had to do this for our agency, it dawned on me that I should write a purpose statement for myself as well. It was more difficult to do than I thought it would be, but over a month or so, as I prayed, God gave me the statement that I felt best captured His intent for my life. I had never heard of doing this (long before all the leadership books that exist now). I kept that statement in my planner and read it often. A year later, because of that statement’s influence (God’s of course, because He gave it to me! :-) ), I left my career and eventually began writing and speaking for the Lord. At that juncture, I also had a baby at forty, and knew that God wanted me to be with her full-time. So she was the over-arching reason I left my job, but I could also see how my purpose was intertwined with this decision, leading me to a new ministry direction. I could write and speak from home base. I loved my career. It was a good, good thing, and we did much good in serving America’s military. But the best thing for me was raising Sheridan and writing and speaking for the Lord. Thank you for fulfilling your calling. I love being a recipient of your wisdom. I also loved meeting you at the JT Retreat! You are one special lady.

  • Wendy

    Oh Holley, this is a message for me this morning! I am a pastor’s wife in a small town and I have so many good opportunities to assist in my husband’s ministry here. I’ve had to make many choices between what is good and best, especially in regard to our 2 children. Often I would want to help at the church, and I did plenty of serving, but I realized that I was the only mom my kids would have! The Lord kept reminding me to keep the main thing the main thing. He had given me my 2 precious children and leading them to Him was my best work.
    In 9 days my son will marry and in 5 months my daughter also will marry. And once again, I’m reminded that this is my best job, to assist them both this year as they vow to love, honor and cherish the ones God has given them for their lifetime on this earth, as they all seek to serve Him with their lives.
    Very soon I will have so much time to do all the other good jobs God has planned for me!

  • Cheri Tolliver Johnson

    Good reminder – God has a specific purpose for us to accomplish. He decides that. not other people.

  • Mommy Muddling

    Wow…this speaks so directly to my heart. I had heard of Holly’s new book and guide recently and added it to the running wish list I have in my head, but now I feel I must get it! I desperately want to understand, know and feel the amazing me that God has created. Thank you.

  • Beth Williams

    Loved the print at beginning. My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you”. My life has taken twists and turns in the last few years. I had to quit my job to be there for my aging father. My plan was to go back to work soon-even if part-time. God had other plans for me. I’m taking ownership of my life and embracing the best God has for me and my family! I’m saying yes to more church activities and helping out more with the time I have!
    Blessings :)

  • Nancy Ruegg

    Thank you for this, Holley. Each of us IS here for a reason and each of us IS irreplaceable. I want to rest in this knowledge and proactively embrace God’s plan each day!

  • Horace@pleasingtothePotter.com

    I have read so many wonderful posts over the past week of encouraged ladies reviewing your inspiring book so I had to come to the source. I absolutely love the truths in this post. It reminds me that God did not allow me to survive the stroke to just get by. I want to believe in my heart that He has something amazing for me since He allowed me to survive. I think sometimes we don’t feel we are worthy for the “best” and are okay with settling for something pretty good. I want to accept the best He has for me and hopefully it will encourage others and lead others to know Him. It has been a pleasure reading some of what God has laid on your heart. Have a fantastic week and may God bless you and yours!

  • http://www.onlyaseason.com Gloryanna @onlyaseason

    I love this verse. I just wrote about this verse speaking to me as well, during this season of life I’m in. I also like the Mary Oliver reference with “one wild and precious life.” I do feel like I get all mixed up in what I do as my identity, instead of resting in my identity in Christ. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • http://livethetoplife.com Daniaazi

    Thanks ! The difference between good and bad makes us able to choose the right path, decision for our life which led towards courage and trustworthy or vise versa.