Unglued: Imperfect Progress

Today marks the start of walking through each chapter of Unglued. If you want to grab a book or download it to your e-reader, go ahead, you have plenty of time to join in. I will be sharing thoughts from each chapter along with some questions from Lysa Terkeurst’s Unglued discussion guide. After I shared with you what’s been going on in my house on Tuesday, maybe you can understand why I wanted to read this book. Kayse Pratt, from Finding Hope, and I are both going to be reading this book and sharing thoughts together. If you want to join in, just go ahead and read the chapter before we post. Here’s the schedule:

8/16: Discussion of Chapter 1 – An Invitation to Imperfect Progress
8/23: Discussion of Chapter 2 – I’m Not A Freak-Out Woman
8/30: Discussion of Chapter 3 – The Prisoners
9/6: Discussion of Chapter 4 – What Kind Of Unglued Am I?
9/13: Discussion of Chapter 5 – The Exploders
9/20: Discussion of Chapter 6 – The Stuffers
9/27: Discussion of Chapter 7 – I Need A Procedure Manual
10/4: Discussion of Chapter 8 – My Kid-Placemat Life
10/11: Discussion of Chapter 9 – The Empty Woman
10/18: Discussion of Chapter 10 – Negative Inside Chatter
10/25: Discussion of Chapter 11 – My Soul Needs To Exhale
11/1: Discussion of Chapter 12 – It Isn’t All Bad

Chapter 1: An Invitation to Imperfect Progress

{Jamie’s thoughts}

This is my first time to read one of Lysa’s books. After hearing her speak at She Speaks, I wasn’t sure how I would feel about her writing style. She was a great speaker, but I felt almost hesitant to read her books, but her writing style is wonderful, encouraging, and right away, I know that we are on a journey together. In this chapter she gives an example of how some towels, yes, some towels made her come unglued. Later, she’s up at 2:08 a.m. fretting over her actions. Can you relate? I sure can.

“But God help me if I don’t get a handle on this. I will destroy the relationships I value most and weave into my life permanent threads of short-temperedness, shame, fear, and frustration. Is that what I really want? Do I want my headstone to read, “Well, on the days she was nice she was really nice. But on the days she wasn’t, rest assured, hell hath no fury like the woman who lies beneath the ground right here”?

I’ve lived in this very shame, fear, and frustrations she mentions. You? And what I know about it is that if you do not get a handle on your emotions, you perpetuate a vicious cycle and feel enslaved and out of control. She talks about knowing what it is like to “praise God one minute and in the next minute yell and scream at my child – and then to feel both the burden of my destructive behavior and the shame of my powerlessness to stop it.” Can I very timidly raise my hand to say I’ve been there?

Yet, this goes against James 3:9-10 “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.” I’m excited to say that through Unglued we are going to be learning how to obey this verse in James by taking stock of imperfect progress. Instead of only thinking, “I can’t,” and not trying to change these destructive behaviors, we will take stock of how we can slowly make some change and progress, and in the process we will learn self control and say, “I can.”

Eventually, others will begin to see it and take notice. That’s progress, lovely progress. Imperfect progress, but progress nonetheless.

What do I love most about this progress? It will all be wrapped in His grace!! He rebuilds and remakes us, even our emotional responses. Lysa invites us to join her in “drinking deeply from the cup of hope and grace and peace.” I’m game, are you?

{Kayse’s thoughts (visit her at Finding Hope)}

I just love Lysa’s writing style. Honest and funny, unafraid to tell the truth about herself. Her story about getting angry with the towel situation made me laugh and nod in agreement. :) I would have freaked out too! And right there, on the second page of the book, I saw a little bit of myself as Lysa responded to her husband’s oh-so-innocent question…

“Art was asking a question, but to me it was more like a statement. A judgement. Of me.”

And that, right there, is why I need the lessons of this book. This is me, to a “T” (does anyone know where that expression comes from? what is a “T”?). Jon asks something of me that is simple, in his mind. But in my mind it carries the weight of judgements and expectations and criticism. And I respond out of my emotions, and the can of worms has been ripped open.

“But God help me if I don’t get a handle on this. I will destroy the relationships I value most and weave into my life permanent threads of short-temperedness, shame, fear, and frustration. Is that what I really want? Do I want my headstone to read, ‘Well, on the days she was nice she was really nice. But on the days she wasn’t, rest assured, hell hath no fury like the woman who lies beneath the ground right here’?”

Oh, the truth hurts.

My nice days are great. But my not-so-nice days? They’re pretty bad.

But, like Lysa says, most of the time, change seems too intimidating. I can’t be perfect, so why try at all? And Jon’s no saint either, so why should I work hard at this? Plus, don’t you know what my not-so-nice days are like? You wouldn’t be a nice lady on those days either, thankyouverymuch.

Most of that, for me, stems from a fear of failure. I’m just being brutally honest here. I don’t like to fail. Trying to do something and messing up is harder for me than not trying at all. And it means I’ll have to apologize…something I’m not a huge fan of.

Hence the need for this book, amen?

Lysa’s invitation to imperfect progress soothes my soul. It brings hope that I don’t have to be perfect, and that trying matters. It also acknowledges the fact that I won’t be perfect, eliminating that expectation altogether.

We can breathe, ladies. Our standard is not perfection.

Those pesky emotions, they’re given to us for a reason. Some we feel more strongly than others, more often than others. All are a gift, meant to help us experience life, not destroy it. So we must learn just how to do that.

I, for one, can’t wait to get into the nitty gritty of this. I need it. My soul craves it. I want better for myself and my family. I need His grace. Do you?

“And together, we will be courageous women fathering up our unglued experiences and exchanging them for something new. New ways. New perspectives. New me. New you. And it will be good to make this imperfect progress together.”

So let’s dive right into those questions! We’d love to hear your answers in the comments below…

 

Questions: Chapter 1

  1.  What makes you come unglued? What about this book are you looking forward to?
  2.  Are you intimidated by “trying”? How do you feel about the phrase “imperfect progress”?
  3.  What do you want your headstone to read?

 

Action Steps:

  • Dare to believe that change is possible for even you.
  • Read Chapter 2
  • Take inventory of how you usually process your emotions. Do you explode most of the time? Do you stuff your emotions down? How often do you stuff or explode? {Take note, not to condemn yourself of how you fail, but to be able to measure your own progress as we learn more about our emotions.}
  • Believe in baby steps and the power of God’s grace!

 

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Comments

  1. Love Lysa’s writing. We went through “Made to Crave” and she made it seem as though we were on the journey together.
    My plate is super full and won’t be able to read at this time.. but will defintely be journeying with you each week through this blog.

    It’s the little things that make me come unglued. Seriously. It’s not the big stuff.. it’s the little things that are supposed to work and don’t the stuff that incovenience my day. In fact one day I was dealing with this very thing and the Lord just whispered “pride” to me. Why do I think I am so good that I should expect such perfection in my life. Ha! SO True. It has helped me tame my emotions by recognizing the source.

    Thanks for sharing Jamie. I look forward to following along.

    • Yes, you mentioned pride. I was recently dealing with something where I came unglued and God whispered to me, “Fear.” I’m not sure that Lysa is going to delve into heart idols, but it’s something that I definitely think causes us to come unglued. Thank you for sharing with me, Paula!

  2. I will enjoy reading your thoughts…Hooray for imperfect progress because I’m learning that progress is rarely perfect…Grateful for His grace and for you…Thanks, Jaime, for sharing so honestly…praying God continues to give you grace and enables you to stand as you wrote in your earlier post…Hugs!

  3. Hey Dolly, good to hear from you. Glad we are staying in touch. :) I think imperfect progress is easier to accept as we get older, at least it is for me. I am just happy to make some, any progress, perfect or not. :) Grateful for you too, friend, and thank you so much for praying. Hugs to you!

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  1. [...] Sometimes bad circumstances are used for my good later on and other times they are opportunities to trust God. It really is a matter of believing that each moment can be used by God to transform me into a greater likeness of Him. When I submit to that idea, progress happens. [...]

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