What I Learned About Coming Unglued

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I have a confession to make.

I often come Unglued. I have raging inner emotions that explode at the worst times. I yell at my toddler. I snap out at my dog. And I stuff things away to later retaliate and throw at my husband.

It’s extremely hard for me to admit this. I have an intense amount of pride in regards to my emotions. I don’t like to admit that I have emotions, good or bad. I don’t like to cry. (I’m an ugly cryer when it happens.) I don’t get overly excited. It’s sometimes joked about with my family that I have no emotions.

Then I got married. EMOTIONS. Then I had a baby. MEGA EMOTIONS. I suppose part of it is that I’ve allowed myself to soften a little when it does come to emotional events. One of the reasons I was sure about my husband being the one for me, was the fact that he made me feel. I actually teared up at our wedding. Partly because he did too.

Five years later our Little Man arrives and I’m just all over the place. Most of it I account to being hormonal. Again, I don’t like to admit to my emotions. But honestly, I should be feeling all the feels when it comes to my baby. (Part of me is turning up my nose at that last sentence.)

Ok. So, it’s out now. I have emotions. Most of those emotions are positive. I am SO in love with my husband (yes, he drives me crazy, but it wouldn’t be as interesting if he didn’t). And I am head over heels with my little boy. I try not to spoil him but it’s hard to resist because he is SO cute and SO sweet. Most of the time.

That’s where I have problems. On those occasions when sweet-little-toddler isn’t being so sweet, my raw emotions will appear. And not the good ones. I alluded to my struggles and what I was overcoming after the first year of motherhood. But I have continued to struggle frequently with my buttons being pushed, an explosion, guilt,  regret, and tears. And sometimes a complete breakdown with a phone call to my husband telling him I. Just. Can’t. Anymore.

Then I found Unglued. It’s a popular Christian Living book by Lysa TerKeurst. One that I would not have picked up (because of my pride), if it were not for my small Bible Study with a couple of good friends. We went through this book together and learned a lot about dealing with raw emotions and how to make wise decisions in the midst of them.


Lysa describes in this book the process of imperfect progress. I can try as much as I can to not explode when crisis hits, but I truly need God’s help to be in control of how I react.  I must be regularly filled with his Spirit and keep his Word in my mind. I won’t always react with grace and gentleness at first, but a step forward and a half step back is still progress.

She helped me discover that God created our emotions as indicators, not dictators. When negative emotions come boiling up I don’t have to let them control who I am. I can use them to identify an insecurity, weakness, or area of pain in my life. Realizing why I’m having raw emotions in a situation gives me the ability to grow and progress toward a more Christ-like attitude.

The one thing that stood out the most through reading Unglued, is the importance of taking a Sabbath. God knew we needed time off from the cares of our daily life. Time to clear our minds and put specific focus on Him.

Taking time to set aside the to-do list, forget about the laundry, and solely allow yourself time to focus on God, is life changing. We need to be filled with his Spirit and we need to allow God’s strength to revive our souls. Letting go of the demands of our busy lives for a day, an afternoon, or an extended quiet time is so important.

I’m not talking about just a daily moment with God in prayer or reading the Bible. That is important and sometimes difficult for a mom with young children. But a set aside time during the week or weekend to really rest in God’s comfort. This may mean escaping the house for an hour while your spouse takes care of the children. And not to shop or run errands, but to just sit in God’s presence.

Or maybe you have the ability to spend an entire afternoon or day with God. It will look different for everyone depending on your season of life. The thing to remember is to take a Sabbath. Allow yourself the time and freedom to just rest.

Currently for me, I can take a Sabbath on the weekend during my little one’s nap. I set aside my list of things to do and rest. Sometimes it’s reading Scripture, and sometimes its coloring and reflecting on life and praying. (Coloring is amazingly relaxing.) I make it happen and it does wonders.

Lysa TerKeurst quote

Giving myself time to take a break from the demands of life, daily reading Scripture (even a verse or two), and opening myself to God’s wisdom has changed the frequency of my unglued moments. I’m realizing why I’m feeling the way I am and am learning to put a stop to the outbursts before the happen.

I don’t need to label myself as a “yeller” or “terrible mom”. I am a child of God and I can be like him, full of grace and gentleness.

Another thing I learned through reading Unglued, is that I am not alone in this. Everybody has emotions! I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. God gave them to us. He uses them to teach us why we need his grace and how we can extend that to others.

If this is something you realize you are dealing with, you are not alone. Pick up Lysa’s book and read about how you can make wise choices when your emotions are out of control. I recommend it for anyone that has emotions. Which is everybody, including me, apparently. (And yes, I did cry when my little sister was trying on wedding dresses. Don’t tell anyone.)

What happens when you come unglued?

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Restore My Soul



I have found that more often than not, spending a quiet walk in the woods refreshes my soul better than anything else. It may be in part my introvert personality or my love of the outdoors but whatever the reason I will relish the time I can spend walking in God’s creation.

After a particularly frustrating day yesterday, with a teething baby, power outage, and nothing on my to-do list accomplished, I was at my wits end. Today started out fussy, but mid morning I stepped out and noticed that it wasn’t sweltering hot. I quickly strapped Little Man in the baby carrier and out we went. He was extremely happy to get outside. He babbled on in the sweet way that babies do as we enjoyed looking at all the trees.

Eventually he fell asleep and I truly enjoyed the peace of the forest. There was enough breeze to make the trees rustle and plenty of birds making their sounds. It was a very much needed refreshment. I reconnected with God as I walked and I feel like He filled me with new strength.

I know our struggle with teething isn’t over and my to-do list is never ending, but God is gracious and will fill me when I need it most. Even if I’m not intending to seek him, he finds me. As my challenges have changed now that I’m a mother, I’m finding new mercies from God and blessings that I didn’t think possible.

This post is shared on Word Filled Wednesdays.

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Thursday’s Thoughts – Loved

Well, I can’t write for very long without bringing up my beautiful baby boy. He is now three and a half months old. Where has the time gone!
It is really the most amazing thing. Having a child will truly change your life. They say that. And you think you understand. But then the baby arrives and you realize you had no clue what they were talking about. Until now.
It’s not just the lifestyle change (the diapers, the midnight feedings, the extra twenty minutes it takes to get out the door) that I’m talking about. Having to focus my energies on the care and keeping of this child is only part of it. It’s the emotional changes too.
There is now something inside me that can’t be explained. Only other mother’s know. It’s a feeling of joy, pride, possessiveness, and undying love all wrapped up in one. The feelings of a parent to a child are incredibly strong. And I realize that what I feel for my sweet baby boy is only a fraction of how God feels for me.
The love that I have for my little man can only be a pale reflection of the all encompassing love that God has for me. It really is incredible that the creator of the Universe could truly care that much about me, a selfish, sinful creature. I don’t deserve it. Not one bit. Yet he loves me and the other peoples of this earth so much, that he sent his Son to atone for our shortcomings. That sacrifice of his Son makes it possible for us to live in eternity celebrating Life together.
I cannot imagine a love greater than what I have for my son. Yet there is One that truly does love greater. I pray that I can show that love to my little baby as he grows. So that one day, he might know the greater love that God has for him.
My life is forever changed. Not only by becoming a mother. But more importantly, in realizing that God truly does love me.


Thursday’s Thoughts – Advice

You ever have a moment where you need to actually listen to the words you just told someone else??

Yesterday I wrote a note praising a friend for trusting in God and waiting on His timing and encouraging her to continue in it for the next steps of her life journey. I thought I was doing pretty well in that department, until about twenty minutes ago. I had a sudden freak out moment about my own life! I feel unprepared, un-knowledgeable, not “old” enough (which I suppose means mature enough), overwhelmed with the possibilities, and just plain scared. It was a moment of terror of putting one foot in front of the other.

In the midst of my moment, I recalled the words that I wrote down yesterday to my friend and the verse that I found that was encouraging.

Let the name of the LORD be praise, both now and forevermore

From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the LORD is to be praised.

Psalm 113:2-3 (NIV)

Now as I read it I know that it isn’t a verse that is specifically telling me to trust God or one that is reminding me of his perfect timing. There are plenty of those. But I think that is what makes it encouraging in this moment. I already know that I am to trust him. And I know that His timing is perfect. I have experienced first hand many instances where this is true. It is now an innate part of my belief in God and my relationship with Him. BUT the way I find this to be perfect for my freak out moment is that it puts God in the center.

When I am focused on my own abilities to get through a situation or to make the next thing happen, I will either 1) fail miserably or 2) freak out and fail miserably. I will fail if I try to rely on myself. The only way that I will succeed and move smoothly through life is with God’s hand leading me. Returning my focus on Him and praising His name in the midst of crisis (mild or catastrophic) will keep me calm. Things may still feel out of control around me, but internally I can have that peace that God promises when we love Him.

Even now after writing down these thoughts and taking a few moments to cast my cares on Him, I feel so much more relieved. I know that God won’t put me through a situation that I cannot handle. And I know that His timing is perfect, even if it’s a little scary. He is the God of the universe and greatly to be praised! Keeping Him in the center of my life will make life abundantly joyful. I know because I’ve experienced it.

God created all this beauty and He cares greatly about our lives!