The Most Non-Frantic Woman I've Ever Met


The decisions we make determine the life we live. So if we want our best selves to emerge, then we've got to decide to be a little less frantic.

"A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." Proverbs 22:1 (NIV)

She was knocking at my front door trying to balance her paper coffee cup, her purse, her cell phone and a stack of papers. She was also trying to fix something on her shoe. She hopped a step or two when I answered the door.

I smiled. Her imperfect posture delighted my mind that had been feeling a little off-kilter all morning. She smiled back and hopped one more time.

Finally, whatever was bugging her with her shoe seemed fixed. She stood up and smiled with an apologetic smile that made me adore her before we'd ever had our first conversation.

And with her first step over the threshold, it was as if the shoe issue never happened. She was noticeably focused on the project ahead of her.

She spent all day with my family and me. She was a reporter doing a story on our sons adopted from Africa. Even though she never alluded to another title she had, we knew.

She was the daughter of a former president of the United States. As in ... she and her sister called the White House their home at one time. Her mom had been the first lady, which made her part of the first family.

But being the daughter of a president wasn't her role that day. She was a reporter. She was at our house to do a story. She stayed present in that role alone.

Her questions were honest and unassuming. Her demeanor kind. Her laugh delightfully loud. Her paperwork messy. But her focus was clear.

She was there to uncover a story.

So she stayed focused on the task at hand. She wasn't encumbered with a thousand other things pulling at her. She didn't try to multitask too much. She wasn't distracted by her cell phone. She wasn't running late or from one thing to the next.

She said no to everything else pulling at her. So she could say yes to the story. She gave it her Best Yes.

This woman who demonstrated a Best Yes that day left a lasting impression on my family for sure.

Later at dinner my husband, Art, asked the kids to go around the table and say one word to describe the reporter.






Then there may or may not have been a less than delightful exchange from an older sibling to the youngest child, "You can't say humble. I just said humble. You always want to copy what I have to say!"

I love family bonding.

But ... I really did love the collective experience of meeting this nonfrantic woman. And the words my kids used to describe her.

Art went on to ask the kids to explain what she did and how she carried herself that led us to use such great words to describe her. Then he turned the conversation on each of us.

"If you want people to use such great words to describe you, think about the decisions you are making. How are they leading people to describe you?"

This question made me think of our key verse, Proverbs 22:1, which says, "A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold." We often encourage our kids with this truth when reminding them of the weight their decisions carry.

Yes, great descriptions are birthed from great decisions.

And there it was. A small beginning of a big thing to ponder. A clue that better decisions help make better lives for the souls of women caught in craziness. Snagged. Worn out. Worn down. Ragged.

The decisions we make make the life we live. So if we want to live better, we've got to decide better. Yes. No. The two most powerful words in the English language.

They can run us if we don't intentionally run them. Guard them. Guide them. Use yes and no to work for us. Can you imagine how great life would be if you didn't dread saying yes and felt completely empowered to say no?

Then and only then will our best selves emerge. And maybe you and I can start to be a little less frantic.

Dear Lord, I want to be described as a woman who says yes to You and to the assignments You have called me to. Help me to discern what those are today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Proverbs 10:7, "We have happy memories of the godly, but the name of a wicked person rots away." (NLT)

Think about the pace of your life. How do you think your pace is leading people to describe you?

If these descriptions are negative, why do you think that is? How can you change this perception?

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