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Wednesday, September 28

Surprise!

I have something so fun to share today!  But first if you want to know why I’ll be the one with greasy hair, click here.  I’m all about living in community with other women.  InCourage is gearing up to get on-line friends to meet in real life.  For more on that click here.

I promise if we meet in real life I really will try to plan ahead and wash my hair.  It’s not that I mind the washing of my hair.  I just don’t like the blow drying process.  I have what is officially known as BDD: “blow dryer dread.”  It’s an official condition with no known cure.  Bummer.

But none of that has anything to do with my surprise.

My fabulous friends at Zondervan (Hi Sandy!  Hi Alicia!  Hi Robin!  Hi Don!  Hi Scott!  Hi All!) have agreed to let me give you a sneak peek at the possible covers for……

UNGLUED!

Well, actually they pretty much are begging for your honest feedback.  How cool is that?  They want you to decide.  I have my definite favorite and I’m crossing every finger and toe hoping it’s the one you choose.

So, without further ado…

Oh wait, I’ll also be giving away another $30 Target Card today!  Yeah!  To enter just leave a comment below and I’ll randomly pick one person.  Winners from yesterday and today will be announced tomorrow.

Okay, now without further ado…

Option One:

 

Option Two:

 

What do you think?  I can’t wait to hear your thoughts.  And if you have a cure for my BDD that would be great too.

Tuesday, September 27

Exploders, Stuffers, or Maybe Both?

I hope you had a great week last week.  Thank you for being patient with me during this writing process of Unglued.  Today, I want to share a part of a chapter I’m working on and get your feedback.  Your feedback is so helpful to me!  So, here goes…

I used to think there were two categories of reactions people have when they come unglued:  exploding and stuffing.

Exploding when we feel unglued means pushing emotions outward. A rush of feelings bubble up and out of our mouth with harsh words, condemning attitudes, and demonstrative gestures like slamming doors or banging our hand down on a table.  The exploding makes us feel good in the moment because it gets the yuck out of us but when we realize all we’ve spewed on others and the hurt we’ve caused, the regret falls heavy.

We’ll either deflect that regret by blaming someone else for our actions or we’ll ingest that regret by shaming ourselves.

Stuffing when we feel unglued means pushing emotions inward. A rush of feelings are stopped from going out by being shoved in.  We swallow hard our hurt feelings but not in an effort to process and release. Rather we wallow in the hurt.  Like an oyster deals with the irritation of a grain of sand we coat the issue with more and more layers of hurt until a rock of sorts is formed.

But this rock is no pearl.  It’s a rock with which we’ll eventually build a barrier or use it to hurl hurt in eventual retaliation.

In processing these definitions, studying the thousands of responses to posts I’ve written on raw emotions on my blog, and honestly accessing myself, I determined there are actually 4 categories of unglued reactions:

  • Exploders who blame others
  • Exploders who shame themselves
  • Stuffers who build barriers
  • Stuffers who collect retaliation rocks

Once I identified these four categories I wanted to know which one I fall into.  Now, here’s where things got really interesting.

I realized I fall into all four categories.

Depending on the situation and the people involved I shift my unglued reactions.

I’m not proud of this nor am I saying any of this is good.  But for a minute can I stop being the Christian speaker and author and just be your gut honest friend?  I think it’s important for me to lay it on all on the table in this book.

When I’m feeling unglued with my kids, I tend to be an exploder who blames them for pushing me to this place.

When I’m feeling unglued with a stranger, I tend to be an exploder who shames myself later for not being more Christian-like.

When I’m feeling unglued with my friends or my parents, I tend to be a stuffer who builds barriers.

When I’m feeling unglued with my husband, I tend to be a stuffer who collects retaliation rocks to use as weapons in future disagreements.

Yuck, right?

Yes, but these aren’t labels I carry around with me.  These are things I’m identifying about myself so I can bring my raw emotions and unglued reactions under the healing revelations of Jesus.

And, I think it’s important to clarify, I’m only talking about my unglued reactions here.  When my emotions are level I am like the little girl in that movie, “The Help” where the Aibileen leans down and whispers, “You is kind.  You is smart.  You is important.”

Jesus has made me a kind-hearted person full of encouragement and ready to inspire any person who gets within 10 feet of me.  Jesus has made me smart enough to know I need Him- desperately and fully.  And Jesus has assigned all of us the important job of representing Him to this world- which means we re-present Him everywhere we go.

Yes, kind, smart, important- that’s who I am.

That’s how I act and react a lot of the time.

But not all the time.

That’s not how I react when I feel unglued.

How about you?  Can you relate to these categories?  Do you find you change your unglued reactions with different people?  Have you found some helpful ways to diffuse and process instead of exploding and stuffing?

Thanks so much for your advice.

If you leave a comment today I’m going to register you in a drawing for a $30 Target gift card.  I found some of the cutest stuff there last week.  If you win, I’ll give you the scoop.  Although I feel fairly certain you wouldn’t have any problem figuring out how to spend $30 at the Target.

Oh and by the way while I was in Target the lady in line behind me told me my shirt was on inside out.  Awesome.

 

Monday, September 26

From sedentary to half-marathoner

It’s a Holly Day today~

We received this encouraging tweet through Twitter over the weekend:

“I can’t thank you enough for Made to Crave. My life will never be the same:)” @sarahfarish

Lysa was so touched that she re-tweeted it and wanted to share Sarah’s amazing story with you today. We pray it inspires you as much as it did us.

If you have a Made to Crave story that you’d be willing to share, we’d love to hear it. Please leave a comment today so others can also be encouraged.

Lysa will be speaking at Harvester Christian Church in St. Charles, MO this weekend. Musical artist Laura Story will also be at this wonderful conference. Everyone is welcome. We’d love to meet you there! For more information, please click here.

Lysa will be back with a fresh blog post tomorrow!

 

Tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. I have a date with two supportive ladies and 13.1 miles.  I can hardly believe I am planning to walk/jog that far.  Just three months ago, the thought of walking 13.1 yards didn’t seem particularly appealing.  While I am not lazy, I just didn’t like exercise.  Ok, I still don’t love it, but I have grown to like feeling great, which I do if I exercise.

What changed?  What made me go from sedentary to half-marathoner?

God.  A book. A conviction.

I have struggled with my weight (literally) my entire life.  My birth weight was 11 pounds 3 ounces!  I’ve lost weight many times.  In college I lost 65 pounds my sophomore year.  I’ve tried every diet and program:  Weight Watchers, high carb/low fat, low carb, Atkins, South Beach, no sugar, soup only, and on.  You name it, bet I’ve tried it sometime in my life.

Except for the 65-pound loss in college when I was boy crazy,  I was never successful at losing weight because I have always lacked motivation. After all, my weight has never held me back from goals, dreams, friends, or anything.   Why lose weight?  I have no health problems, take no medications, and my family and friends seem ok with my weight.  I can fit in stylish clothes, participate in most activities, and fit in an airplane seat.  So, really, what’s the big deal?

Before June 26, there was no deal big enough to prompt change in me.

Then, a seemingly insignificant comment from a pastor in a meeting changed my course.  He challenged those at the meeting to pray and fast.  I’d studied fasting in May as I participated in the 30-hour famine, but hadn’t given it much thought since.  But, at this point, I was struggling with lots of decisions both in and out of my control. As I sat in the church service that evening, a broken record played in my ear, “pray and fast.”

So, I did.

No, I didn’t go without eating.  On the advice of a friend, I chose one food /food group that I NEVER thought I could go without:  sugar.  If you’re food pyramid savvy at all, you know sugar includes carbs – my only food group:)   (I did/do eat fruit though.  I just avoid all things white and processed.)

It was excruciating.  And, in the excruciation, I turned where He knew I would – to Him. But, I still felt as if I was trying to control this area of my life and knew God was after me to give it to Him – something I do not do very well.  In fact, because I am terrible at giving God control, I began desperately looking for help. So, I did what I always do – I went to amazon.com.  Books solve all problems…usually:)

The best book?  Made to Crave by Lysa TerKeurst.  But, this book had been sitting on my bookshelf for a few months.  In fact, I’d already read it.   Still, I walked to the shelf and started from the beginning.  Something in me knew the answer was in that book.

I finished reading and confessed to God and my husband that weight was/is a spiritual issue for me.  I lean more on self and food than God.

I can’t begin to describe how this book spoke/speaks to me and my issues.  Really, it’s still too personal, and I am still in progress.  I’ve lost 20 pounds, but have about 50 more to go.

To lose the first 20, I’ve done three basic things:  changed my eating habits, started exercising, and leaned into God every minute of every temptation.   I know, I know.  Eating differently and exercising works every time.  Yes, it does.  But, I now know that eating differently and exercising is not possible (for me) without motivation and divine intervention.

Allowing God to satisfy my deepest desires, not food, now serves as my motivation.  I use the temptations and struggle to draw close to Him. My weight is no longer about how I look or feel.  My weight is about being a good steward of the body and life God’s given me.  I have learned that “Everything is permissible – but not everything is beneficial” (1 Corinthians 10:23) when it comes to food.  So, when I “crave” or  want something outside of my eating plan, I use it as a prayer prompt:  I stop and pray.

Does this work?  Mostly, yes.  I am continually amazed at the food I can resist and the exercise pace I can maintain if I pray through it.  Have I messed up my eating plan and my exercise schedule?  Absolutely.  But, when I do, it’s not the end of the world or the end of my new habits.  It’s a mistake I take to God and pray through – instead of giving up.

I know I am made for more than this.  I know God has a plan that requires my surrender in this area – and my loss of weight.  He wants to use me in a way that’s not possible as long as I am overweight.  I have already been passed over for a volunteer opportunity I truly desired because of my weight, which helped me to see that while God made me who I am and loves me just as I am, I have been made for more.

And, I take comfort and motivation from knowing God loves me just as I am.  It makes me want to be more for Him and in Him.  As Lysa says in her book, “Life as  a Christ follower will always be a learning process for depending less on our own strength and more on God’s power.”  And for me in this season, “The testing of (my) faith developed perseverance (which) must finish its work so that (I) may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:3-4).

Many have asked me about both my weight loss and half-marathon training, so I hope this post sheds some light.  When asked in person, I often give a quick answer or avoid the topic because it’s still quite emotional for me.  I have so much more to say/details to give, but will leave those for another time./post.  Yet, if you have questions or need help in this area, please ask me or a friend.  I could never walk through this alone.  I depend on my husband and friend Ashley to keep me going most days.  I’ll let you know how I progress:)