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February 24, 2015

Start Saying This Sentence

My good friend Eve gave me some marriage advice when Matt and I got engaged several years ago. She told me that the very things we love about each other will be the same things that drive us crazy about...

My good friend Eve gave me some marriage advice when Matt and I got engaged several years ago. She told me that the very things we love about each other will be the same things that drive us crazy about each other.

She was right.

I love that Matt is steady, unwavering, unemotional, practical, safe and intentional.

And it drives me insane that he is so freaking steady and unwavering and unemotional and practical and safe and intentional.

Make no mistake—it goes both ways.

He loves that I am excitable, spontaneous and free-spirited. But when that turns into me talking at inappropriate volume levels in public, unexpected expenses in the bank account, and fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants decision-making, it drives him nuts.

When you marry your complete opposite, you’re going to bump heads.

But the great thing is that I have also grown tremendously by watching and learning from someone so very different from me—someone who I have an unbelievable amount of respect for. He challenges me to be a better person just by being himself.

One of Matt’s favorite sentences is also one of those things that drives me mad. I hate it. I get really loud and it makes me crazy. And it’s brilliant.

“Let me think about it.” (My chest got tight typing that just now.)

Yes, it makes me crazy, but here’s why it’s brilliant: It gives him time to think.

Think, y’all. THINK.

That sounds like a simple thing, but we make decisions every day without thinking.

Instead, we lead, plan, volunteer and commit our lives away without so much as taking a moment to think first. Then we end up regretting our commitments and resenting the people who asked us.

I do this all the time.

If you ask me any question on any day about anything, my immediate answer—without thinking—will be yes! But as I’ve learned from Matt more and more, I’ve started practicing this myself.

Especially with my travel schedule increasing, I’ve had to be more selective about what I commit to. With everything I say yes to, I am saying no to something else.

Now, when I give myself room to actually think, I allow myself incredible freedom and peace and space in deciding. It’s a brilliant strategy because it’s not saying no, but it’s also not jumping into a commitment that could lead to regret later.

Matt is also really good about starting this sentence with an affirmation for the person asking (me), so it looks something like this:

“That’s a cool idea! Let me think about it.”

Of course I still want his immediate, enthusiastic yes! But I’ve learned over time that “Let me think about it” is a good thing—for him, for me and for the decision we are making together. Investing time into intentional decision-making is a good thing.

I’ve started practicing this, and as a result, I make better decisions, regret fewer commitments, and feel relaxed and in control of my choices.

So the next time you get an invitation, or someone needs you for something, or your spouse has an idea to redecorate the entire house (hypothetically of course) . . .

Pause, affirm, and say this sentence:

“Let me think about it.”

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  1. My wife is a strong woman who pushes over me to get things done. This drives me absolutely crazy. Our adult kids have their own independent lives, but she will intrude on their lives for the convenience of her schedule. She makes rash decisions about our business together that I believe need to be better thought through. She regularly redecorates our entire house, moving furniture from one room to another then back again–actually, I do that, while she decides how we want it.
    My wife is a strong woman who gets things done. I love this about her. We have great family vacations because she plans them, and we and our adult kids have a blast together. She makes decisions about our business together that need to be made. She periodically redecorates our entire, beautiful house. I’d likely be living in a van by the river except for my awesome wife.

  2. sallie says:

    Christy, I am so inspired by your words. I found your website on Dave Ramsey’s site and so thankful for that. We have very similar personalities and my husband mirrors Matt so I can really relate.

    Have a great day and thank you!
    Sallie

  3. sallie says:

    Christy, I am so inspired by your words. I found your website on Dave Ramsey’s site and so thankful for that. We have very similar personalities and my husband mirrors Matt so I can really relate.

    Have a great day and thank you!
    Sallie

  4. Karen says:

    I have learned over the years to think about things before making the commitment….actually learned to “sleep on it” from listening to Dave Ramsey over the past 12-13 years. It does make a difference in decisions that are made as well as their outcome. I wasn’t listening to Dave in 1995 when I “fleeced” a Toyota Camry; hence, I didn’t think about that decision, and it came back to bite me several times over. There’s no telling what I actually paid for that car once it was finally paid off and all said and done. Never again!!!!!!

    On the flipside – my husband’s favorite sentence to use is “I don’t know!” which drives me absolutely bananas. If a decision MUST be made and he “doesn’t know” then one of us has to make the decision whether right or wrong -sometimes there’s no sleeping on it first.

  5. This is a tool that I will certainly have to use. I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten myself in to trouble by saying yes too fast.