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Ungluing the Uglies

April 25, 2013

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I love to read, especially when I discover a book that sticks with me long after I’ve read it.  I’ve left short reviews for books on Amazon and Goodreads, but I’ve never done a full-blown book review before.

I’m not doing one, now either. (Had ya goin’ there for a second, didn’t I?)

The truth is, I don’t really know what a full-blown book review entails, and that’s the biggest reason I haven’t done one. I have an author-friend that I adore, so I should probably figure that out at some point. 🙂

For now, I’m just going to recommend a really good book.  But this book might not be for everyone.

If you’ve never struggled with your emotions, you might not be interested. If you’ve never exploded on a loved one and regretted it later, this book might not be for you.  If you’ve never stuffed anger or hurt feelings down inside to keep peace, you might not need to read any further.   If you’ve never feared that you’ll never get your emotions under control or never felt like you’re the only person who feels this way, then you can stop right here.

But if there is anyone besides me who can relate to any or all of these things, have I got a book for YOU!

Do you ever have to deal with difficult people? Do you ever deal with people who are the loveliest people on the planet when everyone is looking, but turn into something completely unlovely when no one else is around?

I have, and it’s hard to know how to deal with it sometimes.  Because said people are so perfectly lovely in front of others, if you react, you just make yourself look bad (and possibly a bit crazy).  It would be easier if the “unloveliness” of the other person was public, because then your own not-so-lovely reaction might at least be understandable.

Understandable or not, I don’t like it when my emotions rage and I react in kind.  Even when my emotions are justifiable, I never feel good about an emotional reaction. I am by nature a kind person, but sometimes my emotions belie me.

I’m sure none of you ever let your emotions erupt into bad behavior, but bear with me. 🙂

I’ve been dealing with some emotions born of some different situations for several months.  In trying to process said emotions I’ve also heaped guilt upon myself for even feeling the way I do. I’ve been praying about it. And sometimes wallowing in it, having myself a heck of a pity party, streamers and all. *sigh*

I know what you’re thinking.  I started out talking about book reviews and now I’m whining about emotions.  I’m in the vicinity of the point, I promise.

In trying to come up with a “U” topic for the A to Z Challenge, I ran across a book I bought several months ago.  (My book shelves are loaded with books I hope to find time to read.  I really should stop buying more books until I’ve read the ones I already own.)

The book is Unglued  by Lysa TerKeurst.

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I am only half-way through this book and I am blown away. I already feel the blessing.

I felt connected to the author immediately, and that’s no exaggeration.  The title of the very first chapter is “An Invitation to Imperfect Progress”.  If you’ve read my blog post “Raise Your Hand“, you know about my lifelong struggle with the need to be perfect.  I’ve evolved into the resignation that if I have to be imperfect, I’d at least like to be perfect at it.

When Lysa TerKeurst invited me to achieve “imperfect progress”, I knew I’d picked up the perfect book for my struggle.  I only wish I’d read the book back in August when I bought it. I might not only have handled some situations better, I might have even prevented them.

I got tears in my eyes on the first page. THE FIRST PAGE. I got choked up because I could relate to every single word.  It is both humbling and freeing.

Here is this woman who is famous for her godly wisdom. Her passion for Jesus is at the core of her life.  Yet she admits to the world having made some of the very same mistakes I have made. By the end of the second page I felt like she could just as easily have been writing about me instead of herself.  Her words directly mirror my own thoughts, feelings, actions and the guilt and condemnation that follows.

By the fourth page of the first chapter I couldn’t hold back the tears.

“Feeling unglued is really all I’ve ever known, and I’m starting to wonder if it is all I’ll ever be.” —Lysa TerKeurst

It goes without saying that the tears fell because I could relate to that.  And if someone like Lysa TerKeurst has those feelings, then I’m not the only other person on the planet that experiences this. If I was, Unglued  wouldn’t be necessary; Lysa and I could just exchange stories over coffee.

I feel like I can just call her Lysa, because her writing style feels just like I’m having coffee with a friend.

I’ve got so much good to say about this book, but this post is already long.  I don’t want to rewrite it here, although I realized by the second chapter I was underlining almost every word.

But I will say this:  I’ve read books on dealing with emotions before.  While there have been many good nuggets I’ve walked away with, I don’t remember any that have had the effect that Unglued  is already having on me, and I’m only half-way through the book.  All the other books definitely have things I can relate to, but the answers they give seem so perfectly packaged and tied with a big glittery bow.  It all sounds good, but the life application is somewhat elusive.  It is almost like gaining hope then falling back into despair when the “perfect” solutions didn’t work.

In Unglued, Lysa TerKeurst offers no magic solutions or pat formulas.  She offers a “promise of progress”. Progress. Sounds like a real-life solution for real-life people.

What progress doesn’t look like:  putting on your best in-Christian-love smile and in your best in-Christian-love voice saying “Bless you” while on the inside you’d really like to snap someone’s head right off their shoulders with your bare hands.

Lysa shows how to deal with emotions in a healthy way by changing perspective.  That’s where progress comes in.

In the first chapter Lysa offers, “If you relate to my hurt, I pray you can also relate to my hope.”

I believe that prayer has been answered as many times as this book has been read. Lysa is about as real as it gets.  Her struggles match my struggles. Her insecurities mirror mine. Everything she says nails me, only I don’t feel at all nailed or condemned.  I feel connected, and I feel hope.

If you can relate to any of this, I highly recommend you get this book. You’ll be glad you did.

I know I am. 🙂

 

 

 

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6 Comments
  1. Kensi Kempf permalink

    Glad this book is helping you, I may just have to read it when I come and see you!

    • I’ve been thinking about you while I read it. I think you will like it, too. 🙂

  2. Sounds like a really good book, glad it’s helping.

  3. I too have read many books with so much hope, then find mysef falling short of the solutions they offer. Lysa’s words seem to be tuching you in such a positive way. I will have to get this book!

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