The Yes Effect: An Unofficial Book Guide

The Yes Effect: An Unofficial Book Guide printable with quotes + questions to engage the main concepts in the book by yourself or with a small group.

My favorite books--the ones that affect me and change me and pull me closer to the heart of God--are books like The Yes Effect by Luis Bush with Darcy Wiley. The stories and ideas are both powerful and practical. They inspire God possibilities for everyday people like me.

This is a blog of yes. From my first post: Journey of Yes. To the start of the Epic Beginner blog series: Say Yes. So I knew from the moment I heard about it that I wanted to read and share this book my friend Darcy Wiley helped write.

Our yeses matter. It especially matters that we spend our yeses on the best in life--Jesus, people, and putting love in action for both. And that's just the sort of yes this book inspires.

Books like this just beg to be discussed with a small group, journaled through on your own, or a combination of the two. The Yes Effect (aff. link; see full note below*) is not just a book of good stories, it's a book to spur action--a change of heart that effects a change of life.

Thankfully, Luis and Darcy concluded each chapter with thoughtful questions to do just that. Invite a few friends to go through the book with you, or pull out a notebook to reflect on the content and action ideas yourself. I compiled a few quotes and corresponding questions below to get you started.

Quotes + Questions from The Yes Effect

Following are some of my favorite quotes and corresponding questions from The Yes Effect by Luis Bush with Darcy Wiley. Use these as you go through the book yourself or to go through the concepts from the book with a small group. (Find this list in printable form below.)

The bold headlines are chapters from the book; quotes used with permission, see copyright information below.

1. Follow Your Leaders

"Listen for God's invitation to join His transforming work in the world around you. And be ready to say yes." (p. 38)

Who impacted you with the Gospel? Whose words or ministry influences or inspires you?

2. Open Your Heart

Resist "flitting from one thing to another and becoming desensitized to the most dire needs around us." (p. 55)

What one outside need brought a strong response in you recently? Write or sketch what captures your heart for that situation.

3. Fix Your Eyes

"Imagine if we became more overwhelmed by the presence of God than by the worries of the world." (p. 78)

Carve out a few minutes to pray about the needs that burden you. What is God bringing to your mind or pressing into your heart?

4. Move Your Feet

"Your response to God's daily invitations will determine how much of His renewing work in the world you will get to see. ... it's your turn to do something, to get on your feet and see what happens." (p. 101)

Where is God inviting you today?

5. Find Your People

"We do our part, other people do theirs, and God causes the increase." (p. 121)

List the gifts, skills, and resources God gave you. Meet with someone already connected to the situation on your heart to discuss the needs and your possible contribution.

6. Stand Your Ground

"If we focus on the joy set before us, our faith and work will be more informed by the good ahead than the gloom here and now." (p. 141)

What resistance, internal or external, are you facing in your effort to help others?

7. Celebrate Your Chain Reaction

God "gives us an invitation to look back on what He has accomplished in and around us" to renew our vigor. (p. 164)

Have you experienced Jesus personally? Has he moved you to act in faith or share your faith?

8. Lead Your Followers

We have the privilege of walking alongside young people, "helping them grow in the Lord and say yes" to their own invitations. (p. 188)

What youth has God placed in your care or influence? How might you intentionally mentor them?

For more of The Yes Effect:

What yes is God leading you to or reaffirming in you?

Quotations taken from The Yes Effect: Accepting God's Invitation to Transform the World Around You by Luis Bush with Darcy Wiley. ©2017 by Luis Bush. Published by Moody Publishers. Used by permission.


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*Note: affiliate links used. Purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Lessons on Slow -- Making Sense of a Hard Year

Lessons on Slow: Making Sense of a Hard Year

Last year was my year for slow. When I chose that word for the year, I imagined a beautifully simplified and intentionally filled life. I would let go of unnecessary commitments, and fill my time with the best stuff life has to offer. Instead, after I said "no" to some things, I did not like the slow that I was met with. Instead of leading me to beautiful new commitments, God walked with me through the challenging slow.

Slow made all of the emotional struggles I didn't even know I was hiding come to the surface. Slow felt itchy and uncomfortable like I needed something, anything, to do to ignore it a while longer. Slow revealed a grief over a life transition that I hadn't yet realized I was mourning. Slow made room for the fog in my life, and I did not like the fog, therefore I did not like that season of slow.

For all of those reasons, last year was a hard year. It was also a really good year with a strong list of amazing memories and experiences with people I love and in cool places. Those were moments of joy in an otherwise tough season. A season that leaves me feeling so thankful now that it's over.

I'm thankful because the challenges of last year taught me some lasting, meaningful lessons.

1. Growth doesn't always look like big, beautiful blooms.

Sometimes it looks like worms and dirt and mulch. But that doesn't mean strong, foundational roots aren't growing under the surface. I not entirely on purpose turned to a lot of children's books on seasons and growth. Each of those books offered sweet and simple encouragement for what I was experiencing.

2. The good stuff in life is all from God.

Particularly His creation--people and nature. It brings such lasting joy even in the middle of spiritual or emotional or relational wildernesses. We frequented a nearby park on the weekends, were in the path of totality for the solar eclipse, enjoyed a Thanksgiving sunrise, and even went on a cruise for our 10-year anniversary. Those experiences brought so much joy being with people I love and enjoying the awesome wonders of God's creation.

3. Be careful what you ask for.

Just kidding. Kind of. Choosing to focus on and make room for "slow" this year opened up an unexpected, and altogether necessary, can of worms. But in gardening and in life, worms can be used for good.

4. Self-care isn't all manicures and bubble baths.

Often self-care is hard things like doctor appointments and taking vitamins and breaking socially acceptable addictions like social media scrolling and Netflix binging. Nobody can do those things for you. And, yes, sometimes self-care is even bubble baths and manicures.

5. "Away" doesn't solve problems.

They'll just follow along for the ride. Addressing problems is the only real way to solve them. This is a lesson I've learned and relearned a few times over since I was 15. And yet I still dream of going "away" when I feel discomfort.

It's your turn. Pull out a pen and paper (or a notebook you can collect these sorts of things in). Write "What I learned in the last year" and start listing whatever comes to mind. Write a list of short phrases, or fill out a story or experience that goes with it if you want. Sometimes acknowledging the end result or seeing a lesson learned can make the hard times worth the struggle.

And there's always good stuff, even in the hard. So be sure to add that to the list too.


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The Benefits and How-to of Collage Cards

Making a collage is an easy way to get inspired, gain clarity, find creativity, and refocus. It can help deepen faith, add a new dimension to personal growth, and pinpoint personal preferences for style and home decorating. It's how I found my style to wear what I love, decorate my home, and even discover basic branding for my blog.

Making collages is also a fun activity to do in a group, either as a girls night in your own home, or in a larger community like at a church or women's retreat. Just choose a theme, collage away while you chat and connect, then share some reflection time together at the end.

Keep reading for how to get started including the benefits of making collages, ideas for collage themes, and reflection questions for when you're done. Get it all in the Pinnable/printable image at the bottom of the post.


Why make a collage...

Gives something to do in the silence.
I've been trying to make more time and space for quiet. Especially leaving social media alone in the evenings and each Sabbath. Reading and getting outside are great things to fill those times, and so is making a collage. It gives something to do with your hands and direct your thoughts in a positive, more productive direction.

Teaches how to be observant.
As you pay attention to images or text that makes you pause, it teaches your heart and mind to pay more attention in other areas of your life, including hearing God and seeing Him show up.

Shows what’s inside, namely God’s image.
We are made in God's image, and any good that shows up in us is from Him. It's worth paying attention to.

Helps uncover hidden creativity.
I spent years saying that I'm just not creative. Now, after lots of practice and paying attention, I'm starting to believe we are all creative because we were created in God's Creator image. How our creativity plays out may vary, but creating collages is a very simple way to uncover some of that creativity.

Visually expresses thoughts, feelings, ideas in ways words can’t.
It's said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and that's exactly what happens when you put together a collage. Suddenly something is expressed or noticed that might have remained unnamed.

Helps solve a problem.
Whether you're trying to decide how to decorate a space in your home or wondering what to do next in your life, the simple act of creating collages can help work out those problems and find solutions.

Use for inspiration.
A collage can serve as a sort of goal board of sorts to keep you focused on some end result you're working toward. It can be displayed somewhere for inspiration to motivate you. You can use it to reflect and journal, then collect in small album or box as you make more collages in the future. Or refer to it as you refine your wardrobe or decorate a space in your home.

How to make a magazine / paper collage card. It's perfect for personal growth, uncover creativity, discover personal style/brand, and even connection in a small group.

How to start a collage...

Gather supplies.
Scissors, stick glue, 5x7 cardstock (or other similar size), and magazines, cards, catalogs, old calendars, or whatever other type of images you can cut out.

Choose a theme.
See ideas of what to collage about below.

Collect first, reflect last.
Cut out whatever makes you pause or fits in with your theme, even if it might not end up in your final collage. Start to piece them together until it works for you. There's no right or wrong way. You don't have to fully understand why a particular image or text speaks to you, just the fact that it does is worth having it in your collage. When you're collage is done, spend a little time reflecting on it. See questions for that below.

What to collage about...

Spiritual Life—prayer, God, devotional time, faith, Bible text

Identity—passions, values, challenges, seasons of life, work, youth

Relationships—spouse, friends, family, motherhood, church

Future—life goals, career, things to save up for, when age 83

Inspiration—styles, colors, products, patterns, combinations


What made you pause for each image?
What does the card say about you or about how God created you?
Is there some message or clarity you get from your collage card?
Does anything about your collage surprise you?
What is the overall feel of your collage card? Is there a common theme or any particular elements that stick out to you?

Have fun with it!

Pin or print:

How to Collage: Benefits of making a collage, how to get started, themes to collage about, and reflection questions for when you're done.


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