The Best Yes Study: From Worn Out to Wonder

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This is the bottom line of Chapters 12 and 13 – when we accept one invitation, we decline another.

Have you found that out yet?

I’ve run into that all too often that year.  And the funny thing is, invitations don’t come in order of priority in your life.  Right?  So the best yes opportunities don’t always come before the better-say-no opportunities.  If you don’t spend time thoughtfully considering each invitation, and the trade you make when you accept it, then you foreclose the possibility of accepting certain future invitations.  We need to leave room to: (1) breathe and rest, and (2) have availability for best yes invitations.  {===>Click To Tweet}

In Chapter 12, Lysa reminds us that saying no can be hard and awkward, “In between where you are now and where you want to be will usually be a pathway of awkwardness. A crowd of potentially disappointed people… As hard as it is to disappoint a person in order to keep your appointment with God, remember on the other side of awkward is a promised land you don’t want to miss.”

If you have any people pleasing in you, then those nos can sometimes present some prickly challenges.  But as we learned last week, there can be power in a small no.  It can free you up for a big yes later on.

Oh, and then friends, we get to Chapter 13 where we’ve all been: what if I say no and they stop liking me.  Listen to this wisdom:

If the person you are trying so hard not to disappoint will be displeased by a no,
they’ll eventually be disappointed even if you say yes.
The Best Yes, p. 159

Hear that?  If you’re worried you can’t make them happy right now, then you won’t ever make them happy.  You will tap dance around their feelings but eventually hit a landmine.  I have HIT those landmines.  They smart.  They can even leave scars.  Realize that you can not make everyone happy all the time, and then move on.  Do the best you can.  Give as graceful of a no as possible and then leave the rest in God’s hands.

What about you?  What are you being called to say no to?  How do you deal with awkward situations and disappointments when challenging offers come your way?

Let’s all try to remember what Lysa cautions at the end of Chapter 13:  You won’t ever be able to keep up with unrealistic.  Resolve to make decisions based on what is realistic. 

Meaning in the Mayhem, Vlog Part 1

So I’m going to try to do a little video blogging this season (“vlog!”).  It’s super professional (ha, ha): Me and my iPhone as I wander through Houston doing Christmas stuff.  The reality is, this season can be a frenzied blur.  And I’m trying to stop and remember what really important and capture the sweet moments.

Today’s short little entry, our first, is from our excursion to The Nutcracker at Wortham Hall in Houston.  This is our second experience at the Nutcracker and it is always so fun.  This year all five of us got dressed up and went, and when we finally got downtown, parked, and through the lines, I stopped us in the lobby to find a little meaning.  We were together.  We were given tickets to create a special family memory.

And in the end, as the kids said, we remember what we love most about Christmas – enjoy:

 

 

Fashion Fridays: Dressing for Holiday Parties, Part 3

Well, we made it!  We covered ideas for how to festively dress for your casual holiday party.  Then we covered dressing for fancy parties.  And now, the ever looming work party attire – the most dangerous of fashion dilemmas.

First, it’s hard to make one set of recommendations because your work Christmas party may land over lunch during the work week or be held at a four star hotel featuring a band and sit down dinner (or every iteration in between).  However, regardless of the type of party, it can be fun to embrace the season with your fashion on the day of your party.  That’s why you can incorporate tips from both of the prior two types of party when considering what to wear for your event.

Second, it’s far easier to lay down a set of ground rules for pitfalls to avoid when dressing for your office party (um, it’s frank, so hold on):

1.  Do not be too revealing.  This is not date night.  This a way to network within your office and relax with work colleagues.  One of the quickest way to blemish your office reputation is by showing up wearing a low cut blouse, a mini skirt, or a painted on dress.  I love to dress in a feminine way but not one that sexualizes me and takes away from my professional standing.

2.  Do not dress inappropriately.  You can tell from the type of event what the attire will be.  If you are unclear, then ask a co-worker who has been there longer or the event organizers.  Don’t show up for an after work cocktail reception in a cocktail dress if everyone else has come in business attire.

3.  Do not play the ugly Christmas sweater game (unless it’s an ugly sweater party!).  There are so many ways to incorporate fun festive elements into your wardrobe without donning a blinking Christmas light necklace and Santa shirt.  Find subtle ways to festivize (see, there it is!) your office party look without making yourself seem immature with childlike fashion.

(And even though this is FASHION Fridays, don’t drink too much at your office party.  Y’all, it’s so important to preserve and enhance your professional reputation and these parties are often the blight on someone’s otherwise lovely career.  Don’t be the person puking on your bosses shoes.  And yes, I’ve seen that happen.)

Here are a few ways to step up your office party look:

1.  Don’t forget your bottoms.  We so often focus on the top half of our outfit that we forget all the ways to bring holiday luxury into an outfit.  One of my favorite ways is well fitting velvet pants.  You can do the traditional black and pair it with a deep red satin blouse and heels or you could pick up one of these gorgeous velvet colors in evergreen or berry (and they are having a sale today, I just got my pair in evergreen and they are really pretty):

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One other way is to find bottoms with depth and subtle print.  I love damask in this gray and black patterned skirt which I selected for our Christmas photo shoot – or you can find something with lace or other accent.

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2.  Get a mani/pedi.  I never have the budget or time to get a mani/pedi anymore but I got one yesterday for several upcoming parties and events I have.  I did a silver gray on my nails which is so lovely but subtle and a deep crimson with gold glitter on my toes.  I realize you girls up north will be in boots and no one will see your feet (so stick to manicures), but us southern girls will be able to wear our peep toe heels out to the party.

3.  Wear some sparkle and shimmer.  There’s lots of fun ways to do this but the easiest is sparkling earrings or bracelets that you would normally skip as too dressy for a work event.  A holiday party is a perfect time to add some.  You can also add a shimmery green satin blouse under your outfit or don a eye-catching silver wrap to top off an outfit.

Both of these looks from White House Black Market are great options for a dressier party:

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But just as simple are these silver items, also WHBM, that you can grab and go:

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Most of all, Have Fun!!!  (And send pictures!)

2014 Letter

I love Christmas letters.

Seriously y’all, I love writing them and I love receiving them.  But they are going the way of the album with all these snazzy photo cards (which I totally do in addition to the letter, but alas, most folks do not!).  I have been writing a Christmas letter since my senior year of college.  When Bray and I got married, I changed Gindi’s Annual Christmas Letter to The Vincent Annual Christmas Letter and I’ve only missed one!

My master plan was to have a Christmas letter typed up over Thanksgiving and ready to print and stuff Thanksgiving weekend into our waiting Christmas cards.  And then the plague hit.  I’m still not recovered.  So on the back of folks Christmas card envelopes, I pointed them here to read our Christmas letter because I refused to go down the no-more-letter camp without a fight.  I’m doing it a little less traditionally this year as all you sweet readers have to suffer through the annual Christmas recap (and quite frankly, you already know most of this because you’re readers!).

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I’m wrapping up two years at Exxon where I traveled from Alaska to D.C.,

I even managed to fly B with me to Anchorage and that wasn’t easy.

I’m also finishing my term as President of the Women’s Energy Network,

It allowed me to speak to hundreds of women, and that was a major perk.

B’s out of restaurants and in corporate Goode now,

But his favorite pastime is still baling hay to feed all the cows.

We celebrated EIGHT years of marriage in May,

And it looks like we’re both planning to stay.

We had lots of fun family outings to the ranch and the farm,

We even rode in a Cajun 4th of July Parade and managed to avoid harm.

The kids started Pre-K 4 and, in October, turned five,

Look back through the years, I love seeing we passed survive for thrive.

We started a new neighborhood tradition,

I hope it brings our dream of building community to fruition.

The Vincent family sends Christmas blessings upon the four winds,

And we pray for peace and joy to settle on your family and friends.

The Best Yes – The Space Between

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I wish I had more energy to give Chapters 10 and 11 of The Best Yes the attention they deserve because boy were they good.  Did you catch this quote right off the bat?  Did it ring as true for you as it did for me?  Every yes comes with expectations and if we haven’t identified them before we offer our response, we could be in for a world of hurt.

On p. 119, Lysa asks a lot of smart questions that I am going to start employing before deciding – it feels thrilling to say yes now but how will it feel in a couple of months, could this yes be tied to people pleasing, are there facts I’m avoiding…  Take that list with you.  And in her words, “evaluation eliminates frustration.”

Then in Chapter 11, I found extraordinary insight in her take on “The Power of a Small No.”  Oh y’all, I am really learning how to practice this technique this year and it is still hard.  “Early on, expectations and disappointments can be managed better with a small no.  But the more we let things develop and progress, the harder the no becomes.”  (p. 127)

I am so incredibly thankful for the requests for lunches or coffees or advice or speaking that have come in this year.  I am nothing special and I’m honored that people trust me for advice which I just pray every day that God directs me wisely if people seek counsel.  However, the most important people are my family (and then my friends and my clients).  There was no way I could say yes to all the requests but I didn’t say no.  So I would prolong the inevitable and invite a series of, “I can’t now,” or “ask me when my schedule dies down.”  The reality, and I knew it right away but delayed it anyway, was I didn’t have the bandwidth in this season.

This is how Lysa says no despite her people pleasing heart, “While my heart wants to say yes, the reality of my time makes this a no.”

There are times I need to say yes.  There are responsibilities I have to give back in the way so many before me gave to me.  But that reserve is not unlimited.  So I chose ways and people to invest and give back, and there are others I can’t connect with during this nutty time in my life.  So I will often say how truly honored I am to have been asked, {considered, invited, thought of} for a coffee, {lunch, meeting, event}, I just do not have the ability to connect individually right now.  It is a hard line for me to even type in this blog post, so even more so when it connects with a person, but I am learning that a small no, especially one that offers a suggestion or counsel in response, can be the wisest course of action.

What did you find most useful in these chapters?  Are you enjoying the study?