Managing Demands Means Understanding Expectations

Managing Demands Means Understanding Expectations

This is an excerpt from chapter 10 of The Best Yes written by Lysa TerKeurst.

The space between our expectations and our realities is a fertile field, and it’s the perfect place to grow a bumper crop of disappointment.

When I was in high school, I had a friend whose sister had the coolest hairdo. It was cropped short with straight bangs that fell messy over one eye. She was the older sister who just seemed to have a handle on how to do everything with style.

I somehow decided all her coolness traced back to her hairdo, as if that were the budding spot from which the life I wanted could sprout. Yes, that hairdo. Never mind the fact her hair was thin and obedient, and mine was thick and rebellious. Never mind that her hair was sleek and straight, and mine was curly at best and frizzy at worst. Never mind that her bangs fell nicely over her forehead, and mine had a crazy cowlick causing them to grow up, not down. Yes, never mind reality.

I set my expectations high and willed my hair to fall in line. The hairdresser chopped. And chopped. And chopped. And tried to assure me I now looked just like the picture of the older sister. But that was a lie. I knew it. She knew it. And, oh, how the space between my expectation and my new reality grew some serious disappointment. I still have nightmares of that disastrous hairdo where I wake up desperately grabbing at my head to make sure my hair is still there.

But hair grows back. Bad cuts can be fixed in time. That disappointment can be remedied.

Other situations aren’t so easy. Maybe you have some space between a current reality and an unfulfilled expectation. If so, I imagine disappointment can be found growing there.

Psalm 23:1 NKJV says, “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” The Hebrew word for want is chacer, meaning “to lack; be without, become empty.” So, if the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not become empty. I shall not live in a constant state of disappointment where circumstances drain me dry.

But I do sometimes. And not just with my hair. It’s other stuff as well-important stuff. How do I let the Lord shepherd me so the gap between my expectations and reality closes?

First, I have to assess the expectations and responsibilities that come with each thing I say yes to. This is an important step in determining whether this choice I’m making is a Best Yes. I also need to identify unrealistic expectations so these can either be managed or eliminated before I jump into an opportunity.

These are crucial things to consider when making Best Yes decisions.


In The Best Yes, Lysa TerKeurst asks the question “are you living with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule and aching with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul?” If so, grab The Best Yes book (only $10) and perpetual calendar (only $5) today to help you make wise decisions in the midst of endless demands.

If the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not become empty. - Lysa TerKeurst
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