Unglued: I Need a Procedure Manual

I Need a Procedure Manual

Each week Kayse Pratt and I are coming Unglued together. This week we are on Chapter 7: I Need a Procedure Manual. Kayse and I write our posts independently, and I am always amazed at how God has knit our words together once we share (often at the last minute). Let’s see what He does today.

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Jamie’s Thoughts

Who I Am

In January, I spoke at a women’s conference of which I helped organize. My friend and I wrote the material: all the small group discussion questions, a quiet time guide, all of the talks (yes, I was a speaker), and a five-week devotional guide. I don’t say any of these things to brag. I NEVER in my life envisioned myself doing any such thing, and I’m yet to see if it will happen again. I’m a shy, super-“back stage”-type person, and this was a calling in which I had to fully trust. Being on stage is the last place I’d like to be.

I wear makeup only to give it up because people notice me too much when I do. I like the attention for a little while, but not for the long haul.

During this process, God was refining me and making me believe I was who He said I was. I had to believe or I could not teach.

Later when the conference was over and real life set back in, I was feeling all wishy-washy and unstable over relationships again. And frankly I was tired of it. The greatest lesson I learned from those moments of mounting instability was that I do not define “me.” I think we all feel in control of our “me.” But it is not so good to be in control of your “me” if you tell yourself that you are stupid, ugly, worthless, unfriendly, unvaluable, unlovable, etc. Or even if you allow other people to control, manipulate, and tell you the same things. And I regularly did that. Because I had no idea who I was.

Really, I knew who I was, but I didn’t know how to move out of knowledge of who my “me” was to living out who I was. I didn’t know how to make the “me” that God said I was a reality. When I asked God how to be the who, He showed me that I had, like an adopted child, been experiencing attachment rejection. I did not first of all believe who He was, so how could I believe I was who He said I was. I had not fully learned to attach to Him, and that all He requires to make me into that “me” He says I am is to believe. To apply it, I must know it and believe it, and then I will act like who I am. You know I am still learning this – every day, but that moment was a genuine turning point for me. I began to change, and yes, I have had to “make every effort.” Will you allow today to be your turning point?

Sweet sweet Jesus

“As my friend Beth began to pray, I noticed something miraculous. Every time she said, “Jesus,” the woman’s body relaxed, her crying slowed, and her breathing eased. So, when it was my turn to pray again, I just said His name over and over and over. This sweet grandmother joined me, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”

This was the part of the book where I cried for the beauty of the story – the beauty in the midst of deep pain. The hope that only the name of Jesus offers. I’d just been crying my own set of tears, and then I was reminded through Lysa of the sweet name of Jesus which so comforted me, and I know there is someone who just needs to know and say His name today – Jesus, sweet Jesus, how I love thee.

 

Kayse’s Thoughts

This chapter is right up my alley. A plan. Steps. A procedure manual. Yes!

I’ll cut right to the chase this week.

This is a great idea.

Why have I never thought of it?

A plan, pre-made, ready for attack when those unglued moments come.

This, I need.

All too often I’m caught off guard by my anger, frustration, or hormones (let’s be honest). And without a plan of action, I let those emotions run straight out of my mouth. Eek. No good, people, no good.

So let’s take a look at the plan Lysa’s come up with for when those fun little moments arrive:

1. Remember who you are.
2. Redirect your focus to Jesus.
3. Recognize God’s job isn’t your job.
4. Recite thanks and praises to God.

Yes. Awesomeness. Now to dig deeper…

1. Remember who you are.
This one makes me laugh. When I was growing up, every time I left the cemetery, my grandpa would tell me “Remember, you’re a Peebler!” It made me smile, knowing I belonged to someone. But it also made me doubly aware of my actions. I was representing a family. My choices mattered.

2. Redirect your focus to Jesus.
I loved Lysa’s anecdote about reciting “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” over and over in her car when her kids bugged her. And how it weirded them out. I’m totally doing that. But it’s true – focusing on Jesus brings a calm.

3. Recognize God’s job isn’t your job.
Oh, how hard this is for me, the controller of controllers! Must start reciting Jesus’s name NOW if I’m ever going to let this one sink in…

4. Recite thanks and praises to God.
Loved this. So much truth here. Shifting our focus from the wrong to His right is POWERFUL. In fact, I could use some of that this week.

A plan. Yes, I think we could all use one of these. Don’t you?

 

Questions for Reflection:

  1. Do you love Lysa’s plan, or would you change it up? What would you add/take away?
  2. How do you think having a plan would help you when those unglued moments come?
  3. Which one of these steps is hardest for you?
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