Tuesday, October 20, 2009

YES to GOD study: CH. 3: When I Feel Like I Don't Measure Up


where we are discussing the new book by our Lysa TerKeurst of Proverbs 31 Ministries.
I am really loving this book. Chapter 2 made me cry and this chapter made me laugh. Before we get to it, let's talk for a minute.

This past weekend Alivia, Amiyah and I took off to KC for a well needed Girls Getaway with Kelley and her family. We don't get to see each other often, but when we do we just have such a great time. Saturday night we went out of dinner with my girlfriend Megan who just moved to KC with her family from Lincoln. Nothing like great fellowship over some wonderful Mexican food served by Ricardo, the best waiter from Peru. Ricardo who has a little boy named Little
Ricky. Seriously.

It had been quite awhile since I had laughed until I almost lost control of my bladder, but the three of us together made for a great evening. Although they were not very nice to me.

I mean, how was I to know that people from Peru are Peruvians?
Not Persians as I lovingly called him.
Supposedly, Persians are cats.

I have only birthed three babies, but apparently when one is pregnant with baby #4, you gain some knowledge. One would think Megan had traveled to Peru before the way she held a conversation with Ricardo about Peruvian food and the beauty of the place.
Nope. Turns out that when her husband had to get a third job to support the family while in Lincoln, his boss was a Peruvian and she learned a lot about his beautiful country at the Christmas party. Incredible she could put that knowledge to use in less than a year.

Anyway, Kelley and Megan let me say "Persian" for quite some time. I was trying to sound intellectual like Ms. Megan when I asked where our sweet Persian waiter was for a water refill. I was wondering why Kelley kept meowing and Megan was saying "here kitty kitty" and didn't catch on until Megan schooled me on what the beautiful people from Peru are really called.

We all had a great time and made some more great memories while Gene was home watching football and Aaron was taking out his first date to homecoming. He assured me to not cancel my plans that have been made for 2 months since she asked him to her school's homecoming just last week. My Mom blessed him and took him shopping and he just looked so handsome....even though he was looking at the wrong photographer and what a beautiful date he had.

Okay...let's get to our book study.

Anything in blue is a quote from the book.

Starting this chapter out, Lysa shared a story that happened to her just last year which she refers to as the "great brownie failure of 2008".
Lysa was making brownies for her children's school bake sale.
100 brownies.
Fancy brownies.
Turtle brownies with caramel swirl.
Cut up and packaged in individual baggies.
Lysa would carry her baked with love brownies to school in a wicker basket.
How perfect.
Lysa was proud and would surely look like a doting Mom to the other bake sale Moms.
Three minutes left until she had to leave to take her kids to school when she remembered.
These turtle brownies had nuts in them. Lots of nuts. And there I was standing over individually wrapped brownie number 97 listening to my daughter's reminder that our school is, in fact, a peanut-free school.

Then she had to make that dreaded phone call to the bake sale coordinator to tell her that she could not count on Lysa to bring brownies that morning.
No shining star. No Really Good Mommy Award. No ooohs and ahhhs over my rectangular wicker basket filled to the brim with the deliciousness known as turtle brownie. No happy, proud kids elated with their mom's efforts.

When my 15 year old son Aaron was in kindergarten he played t-ball. Wasn't really his sport as he would draw in the dirt during the game. One hot summer game I was watching my son draw as his teammates ran after ground balls when Skyler's grandma Ann asked me what I brought for snack.

Ann was assigned to bring the drinks. Which she had in her cooler.
And I was assigned to bring snacks. Which I had completely forgotten.
I told her I was going to run to the store and would be right back.
Fortunately, she had reminded me before the last inning so I had plenty of time to make myself look like a prepared Mom.

When I got back I asked her if I could put my brown paper bag in her cooler until the game was over.
It was so hot and after the kids told the other team "good game", they all came running full speed toward Ann and I.
Ann, who had handed me my bag and opened her cooler so the kids could see her display of icy cold pop.

Aaron was so excited and rushed up to my side as I pulled out two boxes from the bag.
A shriek of excitement rippled through 12 little boys when they saw the picture of the snack on the box I was opening. I'm sure one boy even patted Aaron on the back as if to say,
"you have the coolest Mom ever".

This would be one of those "what was I thinking" moments in my life.
I opened the box and started to hand out the cute yellow treats.
Happy, yellow smiley faces on a stick.
Or in my case,
white wrappers dripping out yellow melted smiley face popsicles.
All down the boys' hands.
Who did not have smiles on their faces.

I was horrified.
Ann started laughing. Hysterically.
And the boys just held their sticks staring at me.
And most of the parents did too.

WHO but Lelia Chealey takes popsicles to an outdoor game in 90 degree heat as a snack?
Oh it was so sad.
I kept apologizing to the parents and each child and just like Lysa, I received no Good Mommy Award.
Then I took Aaron to wash his sticky hands and get some Dairy Queen.

In the grand scheme of life, this was not a big deal. I realize that now. But in that moment, it felt huge.
Suddenly I was overcome by a tidal wave of memories recalling many other events in which I'd fallen short. The more I let my mind free-fall into the pit of negativity and shame, the more disabled I felt.
And that's exactly where Satan would have loved for me to stay. That's his daily goal, actually. If Satan can use our everyday experiences, both big and small, to cripple our true identity, then he renders God's people totally ineffective for the kingdom of Christ.

Wow. Did you hear what Lysa said there?
If Satan convinces us that we are nothing but failures, he wins.
Because he knows nobody who believes low of themselves will allow God to use them.

Lysa goes on to tell how Satan delights in our feelings of inadequacy and he wants to help us stay there.

Satan wants us to start questioning God when we feel like failures.
But instead of questioning the One who is always adequate and asking
"Why doesn't Jesus work for me?"
Lysa began to ask
"How can I see Jesus even in this?".

How does she do that?
Because for me, I can get so fixed on what I did wrong that I can't see anything else.
I never thought of looking at my situation the way God showed Lysa to.
So, how does she ask herself
How can I see Jesus even in this?

The only way I can ask myself that question is when I pull back from the situation I'm facing and separate my circumstance from my identity.

One thing that drives me nuts is when people talk about teenagers getting pregnant and how they've ruined their lives. I've told my daughter over and over again that this can enhance her life. Yes, she is a 19 year old with two little girls under the age of 2, BUT what would happen if she stepped back from her situation and asked herself
"How can I see Jesus even in this?".

Separate her identity from her failure.
That is exactly how Lysa saw Jesus in the brownie let down.

Lysa learned much from the nuts in the brownies that day.
She saw that she is not identified by her failures.
She became more intentional about being prepared for school events.
She did a heart check and to see what her intentions of volunteering really were and whose approval she was seeking.
And she learned that God never intended for us to rely on others for our sense of well-being. Only He is equipped to provide that.

Mrs. T ended the chapter with telling us that it's a matter of the heart and encouraged us to not rely on others to complete our joy. Because we will never measure up.

I have to rest my heart with Jesus only.
Remain in Him.
Obey Him.
Stay faithful to keep His commands--even when I want to yell and scram and pitch a fit over nutty brownies.
Then my joy will be complete.
Not because I got an award or measure up in everyone else's eyes, but rather because I am secure in the fact that God loves me and must have had some good reason for allowing the great brownie debacle!

Oh, how I wish I would've learned that lesson with the melted popsicles.
But God's timing is so good, because now I get it.
Right on time in case I get assigned to take snacks to Alivia's gymnastics class.

Next week: chapter 4: Beyond Sunday Morning.

If you have something on your blog to share, please put your link in the comments section. I have to head out the door to take Gene to Omaha for his
pre-op appointments.

~Many Blessings~


Andrea said...

Great post. Glad you had a blessed weekend!
Blessings and prayers, andrea

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Paula (SweetPea) said...

Great post. Love your story of Persian vs Peruvian...who'da known.

Yes, NO popsicles, at any occasion, Ms. Lelia. Stick to all non-melting items, girlfriend. ☺

Crystie said...

I really got a lot out of this chapter. Thank you so much for doing this study with us.

Lea said...

Glad you had a wonderful time over the weekend!

I LOVED this chapter! Ohboyohboy DID IT EVER open up my eyes to some changes that Lea is going to make the next time she screws somethin up. lol

Holykisses xoxo
Are you crocheting a new scarf yet?!

Laura said...

I'm glad you got your girl getaway, Lelia! Sounds like an awesome time.

The story about the brownies sure makes a point. I love the way Lysa keeps her perspective. That's how I want to respond when I mess up like this!

valerie said...

You're so funny Lelia!

I'm glad you were able to get away and have a good time with your friends.

What a good lookin' son you have!

I'm praying for you and Gene as he faces his surgery.

Love ya,

Jill said...

Great post Lelia! I've been reading the book, but have yet to post - such good good stuff! I so appreciate Lysa's perspective and honesty! I did post recently about something God showed me this past summer about the gift of hope He has given! Praying you stay hopeful with all that's going on and praying for you and Gene with all that lies ahead, Jill

ThreeGirlyGirls said...

Hey Lelia,

Although I haven't been doing this study I really enjoyed reading your thoughts. I think we all have those moments we were no we are not in the running for mom of the year but it's always good to know other's stories. :)

Even today I have been thinking about how much I need the approval of "man" but really it's the approval of God I'm looking for IN man. And there's somethign wrong with that..there is.

These were great thoughts and I just wanted to thank you for sharing them!

Much love,

Michelle said...

Great post Sista...I just told Paula I'm going to have to get this book! And even though Aaron is looking away from the camra He is so handsome and she is a beautiful girl and from the sound of it she is more beautiful on the inside! Love ya much.

Anonymous said...


This chapter is probably my whole life struggle in a nut shell...the feeling of inadequacy (don't think I spelled that right). Anyway, just that feeling that I don't measure up. I have struggled with this since I was a teenager. But it has followed me into adulthood.

It is sad to say, but I will not set up a Facebook page because I don't want people to see pictures of me now and just don't feel like I measure up. I don't want the judgements from people from my past. I have never lived my life to please other people. But just the thought of how rejected I felt as a teen just floods to the surface when I think of reconnecting with people from high school. I know it is sad, but true.

For the most part I have not seen or talked to most of the several hundred people I went to school with, and really haven't thought about it much until a friend emailed me wanting me to set a Facebook page up. Just thinking about it flooded my soul with the idea of opening myself up to people who I felt less than.

For me high school was a refuge from the break down in my home life, but at it's best high school is still a miserable reminder of how rejected I felt. And I have carried that rejection with me all through life.

I have walked with Jesus since I was a teenager. I know He is the only one that I have to strive to please and that has carried me from a teen to an adult. I just didn't realize how I had burried that rejection from years past for so many years until I read this chapter.

I wish as a teen I had realized that my self worth should come from Christ and not desiring acceptance from teen peers. Not that I did bad things for acceptance, I didn't. But I did let that rejection pull me into a pit of "not good enough."

I now know that aside from Christ nothing or no one will ever consistantly make us feel acceptable. We are all human and let each other down from time to time.

I just have to let the Lord have full access to my heart to heal and mend the broken pieces that have been pushed down and not dealt with. I look forward to the freedom that He will bring to me as I give all my brokeness to Him.

Thanks for inviting me to join in YES to God.


Anonymous said...

When Lysa wrote, "It's a matter of the heart. Instead of resting my heart in the unrealistic hope that others will make my joy complete, I have to rest my heart with Jesus only. Remain in Him. Obey Him. Stay faithful to keep his commands ----- ..... Then my joy will complete."

I remember my growing up years (through my teens) and boy do I wish I knew then what I know now. I grew up well churched (Sunday School and Church every Sunday) yet didn't have a relationship with God. Oh I know He loved me throughout those years, yet I didn't love and respect Him as well as I should have. I made many poor choices, looking for my identity in who I was going steady with, dating, etc.

Since I now see my 19 year old daughter following that path, I'm thinking of sending her a few highlights from the book and pray that her heart opens to God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, so she can be filled with joy.

Chapter 3 was full of enlightening moments for me!

Cindy in PA

Libby said...

This is a funny chapter with so much that I can relate to. I love how Lysa keeps it real and shares her life with us.
Thanks ladies for sharing your thoughts too.


KelliGirl said...

I'm not doing this study but after reading your comments wish I was. I can totally relate to being the mom who forgets the post-game snacks. Or making some other mommy snafu. How thankful I am that Jesus is in it all!

tiggerdaisy said...

I've so got to get this book!

Prayers and blessings,

p.s. I hope all is well with Gene.

Anonymous said...

Twinkle Mom @ Sunflower Faith said...

I had some time to read Chapter 3 and wow wow wow....It's amazing how the perspective changes when we stop saying "Why" and change it to "How" instead.

My post is here on:

Letters From Midlife said...

Great post! I am dealing with feelings of not measuring up a lot lately but this post has helped me gain some perspective.