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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo TerKeurst will be selling and signing copies of her book at the conference, which will be at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills in Rogers.

Women in Northwest Arkansas are busy. Their time is filled with meeting the needs of their children, their husbands, their friends, their community, their careers. How do these women find time to meet their own needs, especially their spiritual needs?

Lysa TerKeurst, president of Proverbs 31 Ministries and New York Times best-selling author, will address this topic Aug. 24 at the Northwest Arkansas Women's Conference. TerKeurst's latest book, "The Best Yes: Making Wise Decisions in the Midst of Endless Demands" (Thomas Nelson) was released Tuesday. In it, the mother of five addresses the difference between saying yes to everyone and saying yes to God, according to her website.

Q&A

Lysa TerKerust

Q. Why did “The Best Yes” need to be written? What have you experienced or what have you seen other women go through that prompted you to write this book?

A. I wrote this message because I need this message. I wrote it because I’m tired of rushing and stressing and missing out on the sweet parts of life.

When I set my life to the rhythm of rush, I just quite honestly don’t like who I am. Rushing robs me of the sweetest parts of life — the parts of life that feed my soul. When a woman lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, she’ll ache with the sadness of an underwhelmed soul. And honestly, I’m just tired of that deep ache. I think a lot of women are.

So with “The Best Yes,” I really want to help equip women to slow the rhythm of rush in their lives so the best of who they are can emerge.

Q. What are you most looking forward to sharing with the women at the Northwest Arkansas Women’s Conference? What do you think will resonate the most with the women in attendance?

A. I’m looking forward to sharing a beautiful way of life I’m personally trying to live out. And that is asking God to just unrush me. I want to slow down and embrace His best for me.

God’s best for me means engaging with life and the people in it. God’s best for me means noticing divine invitations and feeling the freedom to say yes — a Best Yes to the Lord’s assignments. All women need that sacred space and capacity in their lives. I’m excited to talk about how to make it a reality!

Q. Women of all ages have read your books and will be attending this conference. Why do you think your message has such a broad appeal?

A. I think this message has such a broad appeal because so many women, at one time or another, have felt the exhaustion of life gnawing those deep places in their hearts, demanding them to slow down. So many of us have felt caught in the rush of endless demands with no way out. I pray this message sets some Jesus girls free and points them in the direction of living a Best Yes life totally surrendered to Jesus.

Go & Do

Northwest Arkansas Women’s Conference

When: 5-9 p.m. Aug. 24; doors open at 4 p.m. for dinner

Where: Cross Church Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, 2448 Pinnacle Hills Parkway

Cost: Adults $25, includes dinner; Students (through college) $10, includes dinner

Information/Tickets: crosschurch.com

Bonus: Church groups buying 15 or more tickets can reserve a block of seats

Web Watch

Lysa TerKeurst

lysaterkeurst.com

proverbs31.org

The conference, open to all women in the region, will take place at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills in Rogers. The conference also includes dinner, worship and informational booths about Cross Church's women's and family ministries.

Mollie Duddleston, director of small groups and women's ministries at Cross Church Pinnacle Hills, said TerKeurst's message is timely and relevant for women of all ages.

"Women need spiritual refreshment in their lives," she said. "It's rare that we take a step back to fill our own tank, spiritually. ... If you aren't drawing any spiritual refreshment into your life, how are you going to give that to others?"

The start of the school year, which is in full swing, offers many opportunities for all women to get involved in numerous activities in every facet of their lives.

"You never really get out of that cycle of back to school. A lot of life revolves around the back-to-school schedule," Duddleston said. "I think (the conference) is a great opportunity to say at the beginning of the school year, 'Upon what am I going to base my life this year? What are my priorities going to be? How am I going to invest my time? How am I going to invest in other people?' I know the message Lysa is going to bring will encourage us to invest in that which is going to be meaningful to the Kingdom of God."

She wants the women to walk away from the conference feeling "fired up and refreshed and ready to do what God has next," she said.

That's exactly what happened to Jennifer Mullen after she met TerKeurst last summer.

Mullen, a mother of two who writes a faith-based blog, coffeewithjen.com, from her home in Lowell, heard TerKeurst speak last summer in her hometown of Ash Flat. Before the event, Mullen read TerKeurst's "What Happens When Women Walk in Faith: Trusting God Takes You to Amazing Places" (Harvest House Publishers, 2005).

"Her words spoke such truth to my heart," Mullen said. "The book took a look at the calling of Abraham and the stages he went through before he realized the fulfillment of that calling. As a woman who feels called to ministry, I was encouraged by her words and was able to identify the stage that I am in. This brought hope and understanding."

The event was small and Mullen was able to meet one-on-one with TerKeurst, she said.

"She was so personable, and she had a sincere interest in my journey," Mullen said. "After that encounter, I felt led to start a Bible study using 'What Happens When Women Walk in Faith' as a framework. It was a huge step for me. I had never led a Bible study for my peers, but such growth and blessing came from that step of obedience."

Cary Plunkett of Bentonville, a mother of two preschoolers, heard TerKeurst speak during a college retreat and has read some of her books.

"I like that she is completely honest about her life -- her mistakes, what she's done well and what she's not done well," Plunkett said. "She's really transparent with the audience. You almost feel like you could be friends with her."

Plunkett said she's looking forward to hearing TerKeurst speak about her latest book and to fellowship with the other women.

"I think it's really good for women to get away from the hustle and bustle and just be at an event for women only and perhaps make new friends," she said.

NAN Religion on 08/16/2014

Print Headline: The Best Yes

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