Five Minute Friday-Together

Every Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is Together. Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

Some things just go better…together:  milk and cookies, salt and pepper, macaroni and cheese, chips and dip.

When life happens we sometimes decide to hide within ourselves. We put our big girl panties on and face things alone.

Sounds noble…except alone can sometimes mean catching the train straight to Crazytown where our thoughts are all over the place and totally irrational.

Whether we would like to admit it or not, we need other people.  We need “Sistas” who will give us a hug after a hard day, meet a need, tell us when we are out of line AND remind us to go to our true source of power and resolution…GOD.

Life is simply done better...together.

Glow Party after

What I decided would be an eight week session three years ago, God transformed into a community of women of all different shapes, sizes, colors, ages and stages journeying through life together.

A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:12 NLT

Who are the sistas is your life? Call one of them up today.

There is light and love in the sisterhood of community.

Five Minute Friday-After

imageEvery Friday, Lisa Jo Baker hosts a blog link up called Five Minute Fridays. She provides a word prompt and then participants are to set their timers for five minutes and write until the timer goes off. The word for today is AFTER.

Happy Friday Divas and here goes:

It was 37 degrees here yesterday:(  I had remind myself that it really is spring.  Along with the cold weather, it hailed, snowed and rained all day.  As my ladies (the “Divas”) began to arrive to class, it warmed my heart to know our class is viewed as important enough to endure harsh weather.  Yes, AFTER yesterday’s weather, the divas can tell their friends tall tales about walking to class uphill in the snow—both ways.  (LOL!)

Once class started, we forgot all about the weather.  Perhaps it was our abs done in a big circle, the dance battle, or our cool down worship song. 

When you are really engaged and intentional about doing something, external circumstances do not affect you until, AFTER.  However, when we are discontented and focused on all that is wrong, external circumstances are downright debilitating—now, later, and AFTER.   It is hard to keep putting one foot in front of the other in faith “right now” because we often don’t see God’s handiwork until…AFTER.

If we take the time to look back, we realize God has brought us through so many things.  Each valley experience had an eventual peak…AFTER.  We just have to remember…AFTER.  Trouble don’t last always.

Negative Inside Chatter Unglued Chapter 10

Hello Divas and welcome to our continued walk through the book and bible study, Unglued by Lysa Terkeurst.   In chapter 10, Lysa talks about negative inside chatter.  When I read the title of the chapter, I knew this chapter was for me.  I am the QUEEN of MEAN in my head.  I talk to myself in ways that I would never allow someone else to talk to me.  My inner mean-girl is a bully! 

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It only takes an honest mistake, a quick comparison, or some criticism from someone else to push me over into a toxic thought wasteland.  A toxic thought wasteland is not a good place to be because it is so full of negativity and lies, there is no room for truth. 

I don’t know about y’all but when I get negative, an “unglued moment” is most likely on the horizon.  It is hard for me to see the good side of ANY situation when my inner mean girl starts yakking at me.  In the book, Lysa suggested that negative thoughts actually shift our endocrine system to focus on protection which limits our ability to think with wisdom or to develop healthy thoughts.    Wow.

In Philippians 4:6-8, the apostle Paul advised the following:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Switching my thoughts to something pure and lovely is hard for me in the moment.

Lysa gave three questions that we should ask ourselves when we feel negative self chatter begin:

1. Did someone actually say this or am I making assumptions about that they are thinking?  OOOH I need this.  I will read body language or a look and make it into an entire soap opera drama in my mind. 

2.  Am I actively immersing myself in truth?  Here is that truth word again! Often when I get negative, I also start awfullizing.  “This will NEVER get any better”.  I am going to be stuck on this job FOREVER”.  Test taking skills teach us, nothing is always, forever or NEVER.

3.  Are there situations or relationships that feed my insecurities? You just have to handle some folks with a long handle spoon.  It is just too exhausting to be their friend.

Being intentional about our thoughts helps us think clearly and be free enough to pour out love on other people.  Quieting negative inside chatter can also allow us the freedom to obey God’s call on our lives.  Ohhh weee.

How many of you have a dream that you know is ordained by God but you have not acted on it because you are:  too broke, too fat, too old, too young, not married, married, a mom……

Make sure to have chapters 9 & 10 read for our bible study discussion on this Saturday!

The Exploders-Unglued Bible Study Chapter 5

Welcome to our continued discussion on our Unglued Bible Study written by Lysa Terkeurst.  In chapter 4, we learned about the different ways we come unglued:  we either explode or stuff.  Chapter 5 is all about Exploders!

Perhaps it is just me but I tend to come COMPLETELY UNGLUED with my family.  As much as I love my girls and would take a bullet for them, those two can really push my buttons! The morning shuffle, homework, and picking up after themselves are our largest “mommy-comes-unglued” triggers.

When I say Mommy-comes-unglued.  I don’t mean, mommy gets a little upset.  I mean Mommy Goes Kray-Kray! Of course once I do that, I feel HORRIBLE and shame myself about being a bad mother.

Do ever explode and blame others and then later shame yourself?

I just love how Lysa describes emotions and relationships as being like nailing Jell-O to the wall–complicated and messy.

When things are complicated and messy it is hard to see God at work.  When we get in an exploding mind frame, Lysa challenges us to get quiet so that we can see what God is doing and then do what HEwants us to do.

To further explain the getting “quiet” concept Lysa referred to the following scriptures:

1 Peter 5:6-7 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Humbling myself means that I may NOT need to respond right away. Ooooh, not responding right away is HARD and sometimes makes me feel like a wimp.  But the Word promises that when we humble ourselves HE will lift us up in due time. Getting quiet doesn’t mean we don’t discuss our feelings, it just means that we talk to God about the unglued situation FIRST! (Ouch)

1 Peter 5:8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

When we get quiet, we realize that the person or people who are getting on our nerves are NOT the enemy.  Satan is our enemy.

1Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

And that Divas is our promise.  God can use our conflicts for our good. 

Getting quiet before we explode gives perspective, identifies the REAL enemy, and as Lysa put it “frees us from the pressure to make everything turn out rosy”. WOW!

Dear God,

Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to learn about how to control my emotions YOUR way.  Lord, stretch my mind and my feelings so I can embrace people who “dance on my happy” with grace.  Remind me Oh Lord to get quiet and seek instructions from YOU BEFORE I explode.   You never said this life would be without troubles.  In fact, your Word says that WHEN troubles come they should be an opportunity for joy.  Help me live out my God-created identity and be a light to the world.

What can you say or do to remember to get quiet BEFORE you react this week?

The Homework for next week is to read Chapter 6.

Looking for more discussion on this bible study? Head on over to Melissa Taylor’s Blog

Coming Unglued is an Opportunity to Choose!

We had an ah-mazing bible study on Saturday! Sixteen beautiful women came together, studied God’s Word and shared about our own experiences with coming Unglued. One wonderful thought that has stuck with me from our last study is that when we feel ourselves coming unglued, our feelings are reminders or indicators that we need to choose whose side we are on. Are we all about ourselves and our comfort, or are we for God?

During our discussion on Saturday, we focused on Joshua 5:13-14(NLT).

When Joshua was near the town of Jericho, he looked up and saw a man standing in front of him with sword in hand. Joshua went up to him and demanded, “Are you friend or foe?” “Neither one,” he replied. “I am the commander of the Lord’s army.” At this, Joshua fell with his face to the ground in reverence. “I am at your command,” Joshua said. “What do you want your servant to do?”

Just before becoming completely unglued about a work situation, bills, something that someone has done to us or an interruption in our schedules, we have an opportunity to choose God’s side by submitting to HIM right then. We can ask God what HE wants us to do BEFORE we do what we want to do in the moment.

When I come unglued, I fly into action to “fix” the situation. Stopping to choose a side is the last thing on my mind.  In the Unglued Participant’s Guide, Lysa gave us some action steps on how to “stay on God’s side”.

1.  Use Truth–What is REALLY true about the situation or person.  There are so many outside influences that sometimes getting a little truth about the matter is a really wise thing to do.  Remember, our perception may NOT be the reality.

2.  Use self-control.  I can only control KATINA! In Unglued situations, I often behave in ways to control the other person or the outcome: pouting, yelling, sulking, silent treatment, etc…)  As Lysa says, “Our feelings are indicators NOT dictators”.

3.  Use prayer–Pray for the person who is getting on your last nerve!  I think it is only natural to pray for the resolution of a situation that has us unglued. The only issue with that  is what if the situation does not resolve?

In addition to praying for resolution, I think we should also pray to be able to see God at work in our situation.  Andy Stanley brought out this point in his sermon on The Five Things That Grow Your Faith (Pivotal Circumstances):

Often times, what shapes our response to these pivotal circumstances (Unglued moments) is the support that we have around us during these experiences. Is there a community? . . . Are there providential relationships? . . . that help us frame these circumstances in a way for us to see that God is not doing something to us, but is doing something in us and through us.”

Divas, I believe that we are that community of support for each other.  I can’t wait to learn more about our imperfect progress in resisting becoming Unglued!

Need info about our Unglued bible Study?  Go HERE

Homework for this week:

1. Complete the session 1 worksheets in the participants guide.

2.  Read chapters 1 and 2 before our next study ( 10/6/12).

3  If you do NOT have the participants guide:

Read John 8:10-11–Write down your thoughts.

Think about any changes that you would like to experience in dealing with your “unglued moments” and make some goals for your new normal. (Write them down!)

Here is one of my goals:

I would like for it to be normal for me to speak softly when my children get on my nerves.  (Remember, Imperfect Progress!)