Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Puzzling Reminder

"...the Lord is merciful and gracious,
slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love." 
Psalm 103:8

I am delighted to introduce you to a dear friend of mine, Erika Gill.  She is a fun, honest, adventurous, thoughtful, dedicated-to-God-and-family kind of friend. Erika has blessed me and encouraged me in ways that will linger in my heart forever. She is a treasure.

Yesterday, after reading a devotion by another sweet friend of mine, Lysa, Erika emailed me to share how that devotion ministered to her heart.  Erika's testimony of God's goodness moved my heart, and I asked if we could share it here at Joy In The Truth.  Thank you, Erika, for always refreshing me with your love and with His truth.

 The Gill Family ~ Connor, Ken, Erika, Austin

Here is Erika's tender email:

Dear Sharon, I love Lysa!!  Her devotions go right to my 'mommy heart'!  I just wanted to share this with you.

This devotion "Ruined For Good" reminds me of the time our family went to Mexico.  The boys were about 5 and 6. We were in a shopping mall and they had a display with colorful stand-up wooden puzzles. Austin touched one and it fell on the floor. A small piece was chipped so they made us buy it. 

I was so angry that I think my blood was boiling. I kept bringing up how angry I was for several hours after the incident happened. I found it hard to let go. 

That night I cried about how I handled the situation. What kind of Christian mother acts like that?, I kept thinking to myself. I wish I could have stopped myself and thought before I reacted. 

I kept that puzzle hidden for a while, not because I was mad at my son, but because I was mad at myself for the ‘firecracker’ emotions that I displayed in front of my children. 



Later, I asked Austin to forgive me for the way I acted. Thankfully, God's mercies are new each day. 

I now proudly display the puzzle in our entertainment center cabinet. That puzzle is definitely a ‘sweet change of perspective’ for me. I really should take a picture and put it in my purse as a daily reminder. A puzzling reminder of God's goodness.  

(By Erika Gill)

The puzzle now displayed in the Gills' family room

"...to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, 
the oil of gladness instead of mourning, 
and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.  
They will be called oaks of righteousness, 
a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor." 
Isaiah 61:3

*****Give Away*****
We are giving away a copy of Lysa's newest book "Unglued ~ Making Wise Choices In The Midst of Raw Emotions". Simply leave a comment letting us know this book would be a blessing to you and that you can relate to feeling like Erika did.  I sure can!  The winner will be announced on Friday!  Keep the comments coming!

42 comments:

Ginabell said...

wow I feel like I could really benefit from this. I have two teenagers I feel like I show raw emotions toooo many times;

Karen Scheuer said...

That's why I can't wait to read it too.... sometimes I let a "little bump in the road" become a huge "pot hole" for no reason. I am looking forward to how God is going to use Lysa's book to change my life!!!! :)

Jim Sloan said...

Beauty from ashes.... what a wonderful example of how we can confidently but in humility display the chips in our lives as evidence that our Maker is chipping away at us and molding us into His perfect image. You are a wonderful and godly woman, Erika, and I am very happy you are my lovely wife's friend.

Heather said...

I would love a copy of this book. I just finished a great book by Lysa and am looking to more of her inspiration.

Mary Myers said...

I would love a copy of this book - I am a mother of 3 boys and often find myself with a hot temper--often it takes God's word to make me realize I was wrong and I need to apologize.

Andrea Graham said...

I have always struggled with how to control and work with my emotions instead of letting them work against me. My 16 year old knows just how to push my buttons, and I desperately want to learn how to react positively instead of negatively so that he learns good things from me. My 11 year old is now hitting the grumpy preteen stage, and I don't want to repeat the same cycle with him either. I know this study would be a huge benefit to me. Thank you for your honesty and sharing your story. It helps to know I am not alone!

Unknown said...

I could use this book as I am currently making it my goal to better with my children. To show them I love them and that they deserve better from me. I believe this book would help me with that!

Lisa Adams said...

I know i could benefit from this book. I have a son that is ADHD and in the mornings trying to get him ready for school i become unglued! I have tried different strategies but nothing seems to work.
My Sunday school class is a very tightly knitted group, i would also share the inspiration with the other mothers in my class.

Mallory said...

I followed the 5 day "Unglued Momma Moments" on P31. As a military wife whose husband constantly deploys..raising 3 small children alone often times seems too much. I read and reread those emails I received several times a day. I love the honesty shown in the devotions. Such a comfort to know that I am not alone and that every mother goes through it

Whether I win or not, it definitely is a book that I will be buying!

Becky said...

It seems like I am constantly hearing God whisper in my ear "this discipline you are giving your child is really for you as well". So many times my frustration turns to anger and my children suffer as a result. LORD, please help me share love and peace...a copy of this book would be nice too.

Serena Meyer said...

I am really working on being a gentle and humble steward of the authority God has given me as a parent. What a priviledge to be a mom, but how hard the job often is. I think this book is going to impact many. Hope to win a copy!

Cheryl Klosinski said...

Oh yes, so often the 'little' things that are such a test. Sounds like a great read!

Sara Westhead said...

I could definitely relate and would love to be challenged by this book!

Leslie said...

I am so in need of this book right now - for 9 months we've been involved in a situation with an older gentleman who seems bent on ruining my entire family's reputation. I am SO trying to show him the love of Christ and not stoop to his level but it is SOOOOOOO hard to not become unglued - especially when he attacks my children!

Melissa said...

I'm a follower of Proverbs31 Ministries and came to your site by them. I know many of us struggle with "those moments between snapshots." I'm eager to read Lysa's book and focus on how to improve my attitude even in darkness. It would be very helpful to win a copy that I could read for myself and then pass along to someone else who may benefit from it.

Boomer said...

I think this book could help so many as well as myself in so many ways. I honestly get so tired from always allowing my emotions to control me, instead of the other way around.

pablos39 said...

This book would definitely help me. My children are grown and gone but my grandchildren are at my house all the time, especially my teenage granddaughter and boy do I become "unglued" and I also babysit and unfortunately I can become "unglued" with them too. Then I just want to cry because of the way I act or shall I say become "unglued" with them. It is not pretty and I know that is not the way God wants me to handle the situations but I do ask for forgiveness from God and the children. Actually this morning I became "unglued" with a child because they asked for cereal and then I gave them too much and she sat there and cried and started screaming. And all I could think was how would Jesus handle this and I am sure He would not handle it the way I did - Yell and then stood her in the corner and until she settled down and made her go out and eat. I did not like "yelling" at her. I do not like to become "unglued". I NEED this book. Thank you

Stephanie Skeens said...

Would really love to read this book - have just recently started listening to LYsa's webcast and looking into Proverbs 31 ministries and am amazed at how it hits the spot!!! (and steps on toes)

Mackenzie said...

I come from a family who acted from emotion. Often times it was hurtful and full of anger and rage. Now being a mother of two, almost three, I find it so challenging not to fall into that same anger and raw emotion. I want to parent my children with God's grace and compassion. I want my kids to not only feel the lo e I have for them, but the love our Heavenly Fater has for them. I think a book like this will greatly help.

Denice said...

My family and i have been facing a situation where our seven year old's best friend lied about her and we are all suffering the consequences. My emotions keep getting the best of me when I must see the other families involved and I desperately need to find a way to let go, let God, and forgive a child and mother who will never admit the truth. I feel God is using this situation to pull us out of our neighborhood social circle and to surround ourselves with people who will truly befriend us and support us, guiding us back to a closer relationship with our God. I have fluttered in and out of a small group Bible study at church and really need to spend my time with those lades. They are the one who told me about Ungluged, they want me to join them for a study on it. That would mean dropping a workout class at a neighbors house, which I know I need to do.

My children and husband need a more Godly mom and wife, one who can control her emotions and cling tight to Jesus.

Missy said...

I am currently being shown how my reactions shape and form my girls opinions of me, and how they react to daily situations. I can relate very well to Erika's story. Thanks for sharing as it was a reminder and an encouragement. Lysa's new book I think would be an encouragement to any of us moms!

Mackenzie said...

Oops just saw te typo! Heavenly Father that is!

battlezone516 said...

I really was touched by the story and how God works. I would love a copy of "Unglued" because sooo often I feel that way.

The Edgren Family said...

I have three boys ages 6,4 and 2. I never thought of myself as impatient before having them. I look forward to learning how to live a pleasing life for Him and in front of my boys even when I get frustrated.

Tania said...

I know just what Erika means when she said, "What kind of Christian mother acts like that?", I too have had to ask myself that question. Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer Wise said...

I would love a copy of "Unglued" I'm going thru a seperation from my husband right now with three young children. To say I'm stressed and frustrated is an understatement right now and unfortunately, my children are the ones that receive my unglued moments :-(. Praying for God's hands on healing this marriage but also praying and needing a lot of guidance on being a better mommy to my children when I seem to be continuously close to being frazzled.

~ Donna Peter said...

I TOTALLY can relate to this post! Thank you to Erika!
School mornings aren't the picture of beauty, I am so disorganized and I try to lay blame on the kids when I am the one that needs to set an example. God's working on me in sooo many ways, and for that I am thankful
I watched Lysa on K-Love the other night and she said something that hit it home for me, we are an "Imperfect Progress", LOVE that, we need to go to God with all our imperfections.
<3

fb3e4818-f064-11e1-a657-000bcdcb5194 said...

I am a mother of 3 children (10,5,3). They are the heart of my existance. I went through post partum after having a rough unexpected pregnancy with my youngest. I found myself constantly coming "Unglued" at my kids. I was desparate for help and called to God to get me through this. Long story short, He has come forth to walk me through each day. I have started going to church on a regular basis for the first time in my 39 years and trying to show my kids what it is to lead a Christian life. I have read some of Lysa's works and feel like she is a "sister from another mother." She is so relatable to all of us moms. Erika, I probably would have reacted the same way before I learned to turn to God in my times of frustration. God Bless all of you <3

Shirley said...

I love lysa's writing. I have her Made to Crave Devotion which I try to read daily. Here lately I have noticed that I am reacting to the situation instead of stepping back for a moment and letting God into what ever is taking place. I can't wait to read Unglued and Lysa's words of wisdom.

Ms.Clark said...

Not only are my reactions seen by my family, but I am in front of 7th and 8th graders all day. I have to admit that I have not handled things as I wish I would have many times over the years, and often, my students were there to see it. I could easily have been you in your "puzzling situation".

Lost Taken Back said...

Yep- could definitely be fit from this book. I am planning in doing the online study of it!

Maureen Capps said...

I'm sure all can benefit from this book. I have just signed up to participate in the online Bible Group "Unglued". Needless to say I will need the book. Looking forward to reading it and learning all God has for me to learn.

Kim Frank Abbott said...

After hearing what this book is about, I knew this was a book I needed to read. I have two teenagers and have often fired off a harsh remark and later have to apologize for it. I can't wait to read this!

Dennae said...

That is a wonderful story, and fit so well into the message from our minister yesturday on mourning, and many ways in which God calls us to mourn. His first point was mourning over our sins so as to bring us to a place of repentance. Thank you for this story.

Anita said...

I am looking forward to the study of Lysa's book. I find myself to be a person who reacts first rather than thinking & then making a calmer response. I think this book would be wonderful to help in this area.

kb84 said...

I would love a copy. I have a four year old daughter and at times feel so bad for being upset over what later seems so small..

Jhernandez247 said...

Wow...when I first heard the term "unglued" I simply thought..."how perfect"! As a mother of 3 young children, there are times that I can easily become unglued! To be able to put words to those moments(you know, we all have those moments that we regret how we behaved in front of our kids-I mean we are teaching them, right?!) and to say, "yep...I came unglued...again!" We're human...and even in our seeking to become more like God every day...we can't escape the reality that we will make mistakes. Sometimes, we are learning as we go. I could DEFINATELY benefit from this book! I make mistakes daily!!! And I've had moments (like her puzzle story) where I have to admit fault and use my behavior as a teaching lesson to my kids! Sometimes it is harder when the frustration we have "toward our children's behaviors" turn to frustration toward our lack of patience in their learning! That is usually a much bigger pill to swallow! Admitting OUR mistake! Help me to not come unglued so easily!! :)

Tashie Shep said...

I would love the book, my daily battle is against my emotions. I suffer from bi polar disorder so unhinged emotions run rampant at times. I am also the parent of two wonderful little girls. My oldest suffers from a mood disorder, sensory integration disorder and a high functioning form of autism. My youngest has joint and muscle problems and migraines, at five this plays havoc with her emotions. I know they can't control most og their emotional outbursts, but I am desperately praying for God to help me control mine.

trailblazer said...

I would love a copy of this book. I get so upset with myself for overreacting to situations. If I would only learn to take time to think things through first, I'm sure I would handle things much differently.

Lisi said...

This book would really be a blessing to me right now. I'm facing a divorce that I don't want and I don't even know the reasons why. I love my husband and I pray for him daily.

Lynette Hughes said...

I am looking forward to reading this book. I was raised in a hair trigger environment where you never knew what would cause an explosion. I find a tendency, after all these years to come unglued quite easily. I believe that the teaching in your book would really help, not only me but also my 2 daughters who are now mothers. We must break this chain.

JAY said...

Yes, I can relate. Even before becoming a mom, one of my heart`s desires was that I would be the type of woman who opened her mouth with wisdom and kindness. Now that I have a busy toddler who challenges me daily, I understand even more, the importance of my words and reactions and how they may impact my son for life. I strive daily to be a positive influence for him. Receiving this book would be an amazing and very well appreciated blessing.