"Disease to Please"

I would like to introduce you to my dear friend and very first guest blogger, Lisa Beavers. Lisa and I grew up in the same church community in Northeastern PA, but it took us moving out to Minneapolis in our twenties, and becoming roommates to realize we were kindred spirits. Both us of married guys in full-time ministry, and we each had our two kids just months apart from each other.

Thank you Lisa for sacrificing your valuable time, and stretching your Mama mind to share these honest and vulnerable thoughts with us. Jesus' blessings all over you! I love you dearly!

Not only was Lisa one of my bridesmaids, but she also played the piano and sang during our wedding! It was beautiful!  

Hello readers of Abigail's blog! First I want to say that it is a true honor to be invited as a guest blogger here. This is a place where honesty is found and truth and Jesus are sought after. One of the things I admire most about Abigail is her courage to be honest about how she is feeling as she journeys through life, and then her courage to SHARE those thoughts with others. That is what I am attempting to do today :-)


What a loaded word.

When you hear the word “fear”, there are so many different things that come to mind. Starting young (like my 3 year old son right now) we have “fear of the dark”. We watch tv shows like “Fear Factor” that capitalize on pushing our limits in braving “fearsome” things like tarantulas and heights. There is the #1 fear of public speaking and the anxiety the vast majority of people experience at the mere THOUGHT of getting up in front of a group of people to speak. And at this time of year we even “celebrate” fear in the way we dress our cute little children in costumes of ghosts and goblins and teach them to yell “Boo!”. We watch horror movies for the sole purpose of being entertained by fear.

There are many things people readily admit to being afraid of, but some fears go deeper than the physical realm. Some fears become these emotionally paralyzing and mentally draining traps that ensnare us and immobilize us.

The other day, Abigail and I were talking and she was sharing with me this recent theme in her life of FEAR. As she shared, she made the comment to me, “And I know you are not someone who struggles with fear…” In the context she was talking about, she is right, I do not struggle with that particular BRAND of fear. However, her comment got me thinking, “While I don't see myself as someone who is paralyzed by fear, surely there is something in life that I fear?”

And then it hit me. The fear of people being disappointed in me. The fear of people thinking any kind of negative thought about me. This is a fear that affects me every day.

Hi, I'm Lisa and I am a woman plagued by the “Disease to Please” (as Lysa Terkeurst so perfectly puts it in her book “The Best Yes”). It has been through reading this book as well as through conversations with Abigail about this topic lately that I have become more aware of this “disease to please” in my life and just how far-spread it has become.

And disease is such a good word for it too. Not just because it rhymes. This panic to please people–just when we think we finally have quarantined it to one aspect of our life, one room… all doors and windows sealed off– spreads to another part of us. It begins to poison another relationship. It begins to cripple us in another social setting. It just has this way of spreading and infecting parts of us we didn't even realize until we find ourselves worked up into a frenzy of anxiety and inner turmoil and we can't even always put our finger on the reason why.

Let me give you some scenarios of how this “disease” plays out in my every day life. It's about to get real and personal and my “what will these people think of me” sirens are already going off. But step aside, Fear. There is a healing in honesty among God's Church, and power when His people are honest with each other about struggles and fears.

1.) Text messages: Ok. We'll start on a lighter note. So are you one of those people, like me, who will analyze a text message to DEATH if there aren't enough smiley faces or happy emoticons? This is a problem. My husband makes fun of me for it as he well should. When I compose a text AND when I receive one, the Disease to Please (We'll refer to it as DTP from here on out) is even affecting this part of my every day communication with friends and family. For example, say I need to decline an invitation to an event a friend has asked me to. I will ask my husband to look over the text before I send it to make sure it is worded in the right way so as to not offend and so the person “will still like me and invite me to other things”. He knows that the phrase “It's perfect, Babe” is pretty much the only acceptable feedback to get me to press “Send”. Also, if I've agonized over composing a certain text, I will sit and wait for those 3 dot dot dots (for iPhone users of course haha) and if they don't start soon enough I might get nervous that surely I've offended them and they are trying to figure out how to respond tactfully. Yep. Crazy I know.

2.) Social invites: On the heels of the “text turmoil” is the fear of being left out or having your kids feel left out if you know the right thing to do is RSVP “No” to an event. EVEN if you don't actually have another conflicting event at that time (gasp!) but you just know it's not your “Best Yes.” (I will shamelessly plug Lysa Terkeurst's book here in hopes that even just ONE of you readers will pick it up and read it if you haven't already done so). And even if I'm not so much afraid of the “left out” part, there is this nagging fear that somehow the person inviting me will feel rejected by my “no”, and that I will cause another person some sort of negative emotion. Really this is probably a bit of an ego problem if I dig deep enough because chances are (as my wise and blunt husband tells me often) “People are not thinking about you nearly as much as YOU are thinking about you.” In other words, when I say “no thanks”, while they may be disappointed for a few seconds, they are already moving on to other things in their busy and full minds that have nothing to do with me and my “no”.

3.) Parenting: As I was finding myself one day, trying to reason with my 3 year old son and attempting to calmly explain to him why he could not at that time watch one of his favorite tv shows, I realized to my horror that this DTP had even leaked into my parenting! Here I was “afraid” of how my 3 year old would feel if I didn't allow him to do this thing he was insisting on doing. You thought teenage peer pressure was bad! Try staring down a toddler and telling HIM no! It's terrifying. Especially for a people pleasing, ever-accommodating mama like myself. I'm always trying to take everyone's feelings into account. I'm constantly concerned with how my behavior/responses/actions are making other people feel. A little bit of this is good of course. Sensitivity. Social awareness. But when OTHER people's possible reactions have the power to change your actions that you know are right, it is a problem. A “DTP” problem. As I found myself stammering and over-explaining to my son, this lightbulb went off and I realized how ridiculous and out of hand my DTP had become.

4.) Re-playing conversations with people: Often times at the end of the day I find myself re-playing conversations I've had with people. It could be co-workers, people from my church family, friends, or even someone at the grocery store. I will mentally rewind the conversation in my mind and play it again several times over-analyzing a certain facial expression or comment made. “What do you think she meant by that?” “Do you think he was offended when I said ___?” "I probably shouldn't have said ___, I hope they aren't mad at me." The next time I see that person, our conversation probably starts with some sort of apology or disclaimer from me and the funny thing is most ALWAYS the person doesn't even know what I'm talking about and they weren't at all offended. As you can see, this is really a pride issue, spending so much time wondering how I am being perceived or liked.

5.) Volunteering: Have you ever been asked to volunteer for something and the instant reaction you had inside was a cringe and a silent inward “Nooooo!” but you found your mouth betraying your inner scream as you hear yourself say, “Sure! I'd love to!” Why is it that we (I) do that? I have realized that for me, plain and simple, the reason I say “Yes” to things I should say “No” to, is simply because of the fear that people will think less of me. That they will judge me that I'm not as involved as other people or that I'm not a team player or that I'm not carrying my weight. I'm afraid of “looking bad” in my circles. Heaven forbid I show up to an event that I didn't help plan or decorate for or be involved in in some way!

But what if I could let go of that fear. Just think of how much more fulfilled I would be if I could live from a place of confidence in who I am in Christ and in who He has created me to be. If the only person I was “afraid” of disappointing was My Creator.

I found the October 12th devotional by Sarah Young in “Jesus Calling” to be especially poignant to my current struggle. She says, “Beware of seeing yourself through other people's eyes. There are several dangers to this practice. First of all, it is nearly impossible to discern what others really think of you. Moreover, their views of you are variable: subject to each viewer's spiritual, emotional, and physical condition. The major problem with letting others define you is that it borders on idolatry. Your concern to please others dampens your desire to please Me, your Creator. It is much more real to see yourself through MY EYES. My gaze upon you is steady and sure, untainted by sin. Through My eyes you can see yourself as one who is deeply, eternally loved. Rest in My loving gaze, and you will receive deep Peace. Respond to My loving Presence by worshipping Me in Spirit and in truth.”

We live in a culture that feeds our DTP epidemic in so many ways. Social media is DESIGNED to make you feel happy or popular or validated by how many “likes” you get on a post or picture. Heck, if I'm being brutally honest, even as I type this blog, I am experiencing a certain form of fear in hoping that this entry is “well liked” by YOU.

But I am on a journey. And you are too. Let us resolve together to be people who are MOST concerned with pleasing our Creator and may the only fear we experience be the kind spoken of in the Psalms and Proverbs….“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”.

A Very Very Very Fine House

Thank you Jesus.


This guy right here is pretty amazing. Recently he did some behind the scenes work on the blog. You can now sign up for email notifications when something new is posted in a much easier way! (See "Follow By Email", top right.) Chuck also added convenient ways to Tweet, Pin, post, or share any posts on social media (see the bottom of each post). He shows me love in such techy ways. I'm so thankful for him. He still makes my heart go aflutter.

Tomorrow we are supposed to close on our house. This will be our third attempt, so I'm not exactly confident it will happen. We have our moving truck reserved for Saturday, and several friends coming to help. This should probably mean I am spending my kids-are-actually-napping-hours packing. Nah. I'd rather sit here and watch Ellen while blogging! So many things about her show make me laugh out loud when I'm all by myself! Her new segment, "Mood Booster" is the best! I am also quite fond of the pictures she shows of kids getting into mischief, to which she reminds us, "This is why I don't have kids."

I want to mention I will be hosting a GUEST BLOGGER very soon. I can't wait for you to meet her, and hear what God has been teaching her recently. I believe it is something many women deal with, and I know her post will bring a great big Godly dose of encouragement to your day! If you find yourself with the "Disease to Please", stay tuned!

Little Words Matter: Jesus Review

There is no greater name than Jesus! He is healer. He is loving. He is King! Just a few of the words this beautiful book uses to honor our glorious Savior. Recently I've been wondering if I reflect the love of Jesus to my children. Chuck and I are responsible to tell our babes about the One True God, and we deeply desire for them to know Him personally.

I couldn't wait to show Jase (who just turned two) this board book. I had planned on sitting down and presenting it to him as a big surprise, but alas he saw it on the table and snatched it right up. He wanted to "read" it himself, and sat entertained by it for several minutes. For my always on the go toddler, I consider that a real victory!

You can find your own copy here: Little Words Matter: Jesus

Little Sis wanted in on the action, too!