Turning My Twit Around

Last week my husband made the decision to have a tree cut down in our front yard. He’d consulted with a professional who told him the tree was sick and one good storm could cause the tree to break and fall. Plus, this tree has been dropping these prickly gum ball things that drive my husband crazy.

So, with one swift decision and a few strong men, the tree was gone.

I wasn’t in any of the conversations about the tree.

I didn’t know it was sick.

I didn’t know it could fall during a storm and damage our home or our cars.

I didn’t mind the prickly gum ball things.

All I knew is I walked out my front door and a tall, lovely, shade providing tree was just chopped down. My heart seized at the sight. What in heavens? I called my husband in a panic.

His calm and reassuring explanation didn’t make me feel better. Every time I looked outside, all I could see was the stump. The gaping hole in the typical landscape of our front yard. The shade that was missing.

I was hyper focused on what was missing rather than seeing the bigger picture.

Now here’s the crazy thing. We live out in the country and have countless trees all around our house. Lots and lots of trees. But the more I got all in a twit about that one tree, the less I noticed all the others.

Distracted by one wrong thing, I was missing out seeing many right things.

I think this is a tactic the evil one uses against me. Against you. Against us.

The Devil loves to make us focus on the little that’s wrong so we miss the big picture of all that’s right.
When you experience stress or anxiety, remember that the devil loves to make us focus on the little that's wrong so we miss the big picture of all that's right. www.lysaterkeurst.com

So, today when this starts happening, I’m going to follow everything up with a “but” statement. If I catch myself focusing on something that’s wrong, I’ll stop my negative hyper focus by saying, “but”…and start listing things that are right.

My front yard is missing a tree, BUT my husband has promised to plant a new one. One that doesn’t drop prickly things and isn’t sick.

My husband didn’t talk to me about the tree before it was chopped down, BUT he was being my family’s protector. One who cares enough to just take care of what needs to be taken care of. One that I can trust.

I have a tendency to get in a twit about little things, BUT today is a new day with new possibilities. If only I will remember how good a BUT can be.


  1. says

    My husband gives me such grace.

    He is an optimist or married a pessimist. A non-twit kind of guy or lives with a twit kind of woman. Bless his heart.

    I NEEDED this today. I’m so blind sometimes to the blessings that are right in front of my face. I seriously need to grow up.

    Repenting right now,

  2. says

    Oh, Lysa! Your words this morning are so on time! We’re starting school today minus one student and it’s a little weird and sad : ( We dropped our oldest off at a college campus just last weekend. I found myself this morning focusing on what’s missing rather than the two precious boys right in front of me that still need to be taught, nurtured, and led. Thank you for the reminder to see what I have in front of me rather than what’s missing.

    My oldest is doing great by the way and we know he is where God wants him to be. I’ve got two more world changers to set in motion . . . gotta get busy : ) Have a blessed day!

    • Debra says

      Pam, I can relate to your words today. This weekend I dropped my daughter off at college too. I’ve felt sad and mopey all weekend but my husband reminded me of a friend from work who lost his 10 yr old to cancer a few weeks ago. I felt so selfish and ashamed of myself at this point….BUT, today is a new day and I’m going to reach out to the grieving parent and let him know he’s still in our hearts and prayers. Sometimes I get caught up in the “fairness” factor in our blended family. It’s difficult at times BUT when I point things out to my husband, he considers my words and tries to make adjustments. I’m a lucky woman to have such a wonderful husband and family! Thank you, Lord for your blessings and for Lysa!!

  3. Debra says

    I know I’ve been guilty of this countless times. BUT, what we really need to focus on is praising our husbands and men in our lives for doing the job God called them to do. There is a great gift in the fact that your husband saw a situation, made an executive decision and executed it without worrying you with it. Sometimes it’s best to just let men be men.

  4. Kathy says

    You make me feel so normal ever since I found your blog. I am always challenged but laughing/crying after reading your posts.

    I had to just leave a note after reading this TIMELY post. God bless my husband, Lord forgive me, Jesus help my family. Thanks for doing what you do…wish you lived next door, lol!


  5. Sallie says

    I just realized why I love your blogs and encouragements so much….I am SO natured like you. Thanks for keeping the “real” world in check for me…God’s grace is enough.

  6. Kristy Laird says

    I will read this blog several times today. I will need it in the days to come. Isaac is headed for my house. (May prayers needed, please)
    Thanks Lysa!
    God Bless!!

    • diane says

      Praying for you kristy….and for all you down there. God is with you. No weapon formed against you shall prosper!!!!

  7. says

    Dear Lysa,

    We had a gum tree once, and it, too, finally went on the chopping block! My mom just had one cut down in her front yard because her puppy was always eating the gumballs.

    Someone taught me long ago that when I am listing all the bad in a situation to say “but GOD. . .” Finish the sentence with His promises and faithful acts.

    Just wanted to add that thought to your good suggestion of concentrating on the positive things. I really need to remember this in regard to my dear husband. He does so much for me, but I often negate all that good for one small inconvenience or annoyance.

    God bless you!

  8. says

    What a perfect reminder to see the big picture. Thanks, Lysa!

    Today is Monday….but we have a long weekend coming up this week! (how’s that for finding the positive?) 😉

  9. says

    Thank you for being so transparent when you fail. I get discouraged because I am always falling so short of the mark (loving like God does). It encourages me that I am not alone and that GOd is merciful to provide sweet friends to point out the “buts”.
    Love you, girl!

  10. Joy says

    Thank you once again for using your God given gifts of ‘seeing deeper’ and then being able to put it into words that we need to hear and say ‘AMEN’ to. I share your love for trees, we had lots and lots of them years ago; before an F-4 tornado took our home and most all the trees. We rebuilt and replanted trees but we will never live to see them in the sizable forms we lost. There have been many ‘buts’ come out of that experience.

    Know what I took from this lesson which I SO needed to hear……. “My husband didn’t talk to me about the tree before it was chopped down, BUT he was being my family’s protector. One who cares enough to just take care of what needs to be taken care of. One that I can trust.” Yes, these beautiful words: “he was being my family’s protector” and “one that I can trust.” I need to see my husband with different eyes and to appreciate him more.

  11. S__R says

    UGH! How come, every time I’m all in a twit and I’m just wallowing in it, enjoying my misery and being a baby, I get an email that you’ve stuck another brilliant God-Inspired blog post out here? I click the link, I read your words, look into your life and BAM! I can’t wallow anymore. It hits me right in the heart (where I’m trying to stay in a snit thank you very much!)
    I just can’t do it! I have to sigh and say “Yep. God told Lysa to tell me this.”
    So much good surrounds me, and yet, here I sit dwelling on my “stump” letting it fill up my thoughts and shoving out the good stuff. Like my 2 best friends that even as I write this are texting me to tell me that they love me no matter how horrible I think I am.

  12. Teresa Hyde says

    This was great. The tree story brought me back to a twit I had with my hubby about chopping apart a beautiful flowering cherry tree in our front yard in early Fall without asking me. This tree is where I place beautiful twinkling Christmas lights. That year all we had was a stump. As you shared about Art, my hubby knew what was best for that tree’s health and by the following Fall the tree was more beautiful than ever. It reminded me of how in the moment I get in a twit when things do not go the way I imagine. God is just sitting back and listening; knowing how everything will work out. Thank you for this great reminder in surrendering my reactions before my Father before I come unglued on those I love 🙂

  13. says

    I love this post. And I’m going to share it with my daughter as we apply it. It’s too easy to look at the negative and not see the positive. On a side note. Once my husband trimmed branches off a tree that I loved looking at. Just branches, but I was beside myself. I can’t believe how I carried on about it, but I think the bigger issue for me was that I was not told he was going to do it. Yeah, I had control issues. Thanks, for posting this. I know this will be a valuable tool for me.

  14. Michelle Angelique says

    Thank you, thank you, thank you Lysa! I have been caught up in my own twit about my work and problems my children are having and coming unglued a lot lately! I desperately needed this reminder. My work may be overwhelming and difficult lately but at least I have a good job that is flexible for my Autistic son’s crazy schedule and needs. My children have all kinds of problems in their lives but they have good loving hearts that are receptive to their momma’s advice. My husband left me but Jesus will NEVER leave me!! God bless you, Lysa!

  15. Shirley says

    I was really focusing on what was missing today that I couldn’t function…at all. School started today and I was missing my 3 so terribly. I couldn’t even sew, which is my hobby and my passion. The kids came home happy and full of stories of their exciting day. Thank you for this post. My heart truly was crumbling today.

  16. Tammy in CO says

    Wow, Lysa, this got me right in the heart. Sometimes I get so tuned into the little things that I forget all that I have to be thankful for. I do sympathize with you, though, in losing the beautiful tree. I really hate it when we have to cut trees down…BUT planting a new, baby tree is awesome! Thank you for you word today.

  17. Jo Anna says

    Hey there girl I so knew where you were going with this today:) You shoulda warned me I’d be laughing and crying thru your book. Starting Chapter 10. Awesomeness ..(New word) LOL God Bless 😀

  18. Lydia Williams says

    I so needed this today. I am a chef and last night I made a new dessert for a client and her 30 guests. Everyone loved it and I even got a few future jobs from it. Today I made the same dessert for 90 people and had one complaint that it was too small and they didn’t approve of the portion size. I let this one persons comment fester and eat at my joy today that God has given me. You just made me remember last night and to focus on the right and not the one wrong. God bless you and your ministry!

  19. Elsie says

    This is really a response to your K’Love telecast. Thank you, I am encouraged that so many of us struggle with coming unglued.
    Here’s what I need help with. It is when the people close to me do the same things over and over for literally years that cause me to come unglued. An example, teenagers (3 of them!) with bad schoolwork habits, and belive me I’ve tried everything! I don’t want to get into a big complaining post (well, actually, I do!) But honestly I want to stayed glued this year….

  20. says

    Such wise words. Thank you for sharing your heart. I really need to practice following up the more negative thoughts/statements with “But.”Starting now!

    I love the way you are honoring your husband in this post. So important and so sweet.

  21. Marie says

    My mom just gifted me a copy of Unglued and how it has helped open my eyes! Sometimes you feel like everyone else has got it together expect you. Thank you for sharing your personal stories because just reading through the comments I see so many others who are just like me with the same emotions and reactions.

    So glad I found your blog. Can’t wait to read more!

  22. Karen W says

    Thanks for your message! It was right to the point. But I have to say I laughed out loud at your use of the word “twit.” I’m pretty sure it’s not the word you want! Maybe “snit” would fit.

    Thanks for writing; I enjoy your posts!