Unglued

There have been many good books come across my path over the last little while. The other night I sat down a wrote out a list in priority of what I felt like God wanted me to read. Well number one on my list ended up being the book “Unglued” by Lysa TerKeurst.

 

I am now on chapter three of this book and I’m having a hard time ever putting it down once I start reading. I have decided to go on this journey of becoming “reglued”, not by my own strength, but by the power of the Lord.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Well the subtitle on her book is “making wise decisions in the midst of raw emotions”. Ok, if you just felt a pang in your heart, you probably need to read this to. (Watch the trailer above for more information).

When I bought the book, I went to read the title to my husband, but I couldn’t without choking up! I knew I needed some of her wisdom. I feel like so often I’m “doing well” and then something throws me for a loop, and I am suddenly a completely different person. I’ve cried out for consistency, patience, and many other things to stop me from becoming “unglued” in those moments.

In Chapter Two of Unglued, Lysa shares a story from Joshua when the commander of the Lord’s army confronts him. (You can read it here in Joshua 5). He asks the commander “are you for us, or for our enemies”, and the commander responds “neither.”. Lysa pulls out the point that actually the question should be “whose side are we on”? Are we for God or for our enemy?

My reactions during the day when I am getting stressed out, overwhelmed or triggered by negative emotions can play to a certain side. When the enemy is trying to get at me, do I let him? Do I play right into his little game? Or am I consciously aware of being on God’s side? Portraying a loving (not perfect) example to those around me, and showing God that I am committed to him regardless of circumstance.

It is a new way of thinking, that I am definitely wanting to embrace. It can be a simple as asking myself a question when I’m wanting to blow. “Monica, whose side are you on right now?”

I saw a tiny bit of progress is myself this morning.While packing up my son to get to our mom’s group, I realized I couldn’t find my favourite journal where I have been writing everything I’m learning in. I called my husband to see if he had seen it, and he didn’t help me out much. This is what I would have done last week: Got really angry inside, at myself for misplacing something I really needed, but then had it explode onto my husband in a “you probably put it somewhere!!!”, way. (Ugh, I hate having to confess what I can really be like).

But today, I just thanked him for his help, took a few deep breaths, chose to not let it throw me so  that I could still grow from the morning. I purposely decided to be on God’s side and not damage my husband right before he went into a meeting.

Progress can be slow when it comes to changing thought processes, but faithfulness to the new way always brings results.

Do you want to be apart of this “Unglued” journey? You can order your copy and share what God is showing you on my blog posts, Facebook Page, or Twitter (@myredpurplelife). If you don’t buy the book, still weigh in on the topic as I share bits and pieces!

Change is change, regardless of how long it takes!

 

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Circles

Do you ever feel like you are running in circles crying? Maybe you literally are!

Sunday, we had a lunch after church that we needed to be at, and I had to keep my son up a little later from nap. After we finished eating, but before the speaking started, I knew I had to get my boy home. On the way to the car I could tell I pushed him a little too hard (he also woke up extra early that morning). Realizing a meltdown was imminent, I braced myself for the worst.

A meltdown did come, and it was a good one. I usually get really frustrated when he throws a tantrum like this, but today I felt so sorry for how exhausted he was. There was no way he could handle anything else, he was absolutely done.

I kneeled down with his milk and a soother ready to go for nap, and he just ran around and around and around screaming and crying. I couldn’t pick him up, I couldn’t do anything. It was like he couldn’t see me. I just sat there ready to hug, kiss and comfort him when it was all over. How I wished he’d realize I just wanted to love him, calm him and put him to sleep.

As I watched him running and running, I couldn’t help but see myself and the Lord. I wonder how often He is standing there just wanting to comfort me, give me rest, nurture me, and I’m so caught up in my own life that I’m running around in a self-inflicted whirlwind. I can’t even see him waiting to hold me.

Psalm 120:1 says

I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to him, and he answered my prayer.

Lately, I have really been challenged to take my issues to the Lord, and wow, He is not disappointing. The answers aren’t always what I expect, but soon enough I see why it happened the way it did. His ways are so high above ours.

As my arms waited to hold my son, so God holds us, day after day after day.

Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms. (Psalm 68:19)

Even in our wandering and disobedience, the Lord longs to hold us.

All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. (Isaiah 65:2)

The arms of the Lord miraculously never get tired. Tonight at bedtime my son was extra clingy and wouldn’t let me put him down. My belly is starting to get bigger, and by the time I put him in his crib, I was breathless. The arms of our God never tire from comforting and carrying us.

As a mother, I love this final verse. It is a promise of how the Lord will love and comfort me, and how he will guide me in loving and caring for my children. He will give me strength to do the job he has called me to.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young. (Isaiah 40:11)

God is so gracious, he says that he will gently lead the mothers. He isn’t harsh with us, when maybe we are harsh with our children. His example is perfect, and his grace sufficient.

Stop running in circles, dry your eyes, and fall into the arms of the One who longs to give you rest and lead you in His way.

 

Strength For Today

There have been many days over the last few months where I felt like there was no way I could make it through. I was so nauseous, exhausted and emotional. I barely could keep up with my son, housework, groceries, let alone the idea of cooking a meal. The first trimester of pregnancy was not being kind, and I was stuck in a pit that I never thought I could climb out of.

One Sunday morning, at around week 10.5, I dragged myself up to the altar for prayer after our Pastor had been telling us that God indeed has the strength we need.

I stood in front of the ministry couple and all I managed to sob out was “I’m just so tired…”

That was a turning point morning for me as I acknowledged publicly that I was struggling and couldn’t do it alone. They loved me, prayed for me and spoke verses of health and strength over my body.

That evening at our LifeGroup we were taking prayer requests, and again I blurted out my request for strength.

I hate acknowledging when I can’t do something. I’d rather take some deep breaths and look like I’ve got it together, then run out and puke when no one is looking!

They prayed for me, and one of the guys shared this verse which has been my anchor over these weeks.

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the Lord
In the land of the living.

Wait on the Lord;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the Lord!

Psalm 27:13-14

I definitely felt on the threshold of losing heart, and succumbing to discouragement, but His promises have been my delight. I was able to see beyond the first trimester and into better days.

That night God strengthened me in the spiritual, and then overnight he strengthened my in the natural.

Ever since that day of admitting my need to prayers and help, I have felt infinitely better. Even on the days when I have been sick with something, I have felt supernatural strength coming upon me.

Sometimes just facing our days takes some courage, but if you can muster it up, admit your need for the Lord and wait on him, he will come to your rescue. I’m now almost at week 17, and I can’t believe how quickly time is moving! We’ll meet our new baby before we know it.

If you feel overwhelmed, I hope you will confide in someone today who can pray for and encourage you. Everyone needs an encourager, even if they are usually the one doing the encouraging!

Don’t lose heart!

Link to My Husband’s Sermon – Passion For God

There have been a number of people asking me for a link to my husband’s sermon that he preached on Sunday. So here it is, and you can find all the other awesome sermons from our other pastors as well!

http://hacmj.ca/about-us/recorded_sermons__mp3_

Under October click on “October 28 – Andrew Switzer”

If you want to know more about the Life Journal program that he mentions you can read about it here and order your own!

 

 

I Can Be Your Friend

Life lessons come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. As kids we learn many wonderful principles in Sunday School classes, kids clubs, story books and even TV shows.

Lessons surrounding how to be a good friend, having a good attitude, sharing and other elementary things are ground into our head during those formative years.

Somewhere along the way between childhood and adulthood we can lose the value of some of these lessons. Cue parenting! The wonderful opportunity to relearn all of these marvelous lessons – if we choose to!

As my son and I were driving the other day and I was enduring the millionth play of Veggie Tale’s “Bob & Larry’s backyard party”, I was thinking how much I wished that Hillsong, Jesus Culture or Aaron Keyes could hold the attention of my young one as much as these ridiculous songs could.

I was on my way to one of my first moms groups at our new church, when “I Can Be Your Friend” came. This is the one song on this CD that I somewhat enjoy, so I turned it up and started singing along with Caleb.

 

“Have you ever seen a boy with funny clothes?
A girl with braces on her teeth or freckles on her nose?”

I started listening to lyrics on a deeper level for the first time that morning, and wow, was God ever trying to speak to my heart right there. As I was about to, somewhat nervously enter a new situation, to make new friends, and meet new moms, God was there reminding me not to judge appearances, first impressions or initial conversations.

“Yeah, we’re all pretty different, some are skinny, some are stout
But the inside is the part that we’re supposed to care about
Aye, that’s where we’ve got feelings that are very much the same
So, instead of weirdo, I think friend’s a better name”

In my rush to learning “grown up” life lessons, I had forgotten some of the basics. Since this is the best time for my son to be learning them, this is the best time for me to sign up for a “refresher course”. Opening my heart, mind and even ears to hear some of the “childlike” lessons that can be learned through his special books, music and TV.

Childlike faith is precious to God, and childlike love is precious to people. An open, abandoned, nonjudgmental love that can look at someone and say

“I can be your friend
If your hair is red or yellow
We can have lunch, I’ll share my jello”

Or maybe I’ll share my hazelnut coffee 🙂

Either way, if you’re different from me, that’s actually ok. I can be your friend.