As women, we can’t help but to possess a number of ‘em, right? One insecurity after another…issues that plague us, trip us up, causing us to second-guess ourselves time and time again. Indeed, we struggle for a wide variety of reasons; each of us with varying pasts, emotional baggage, and those yucky old scars from childhood days gone bad. You and I? Girls, we can’t help from getting tangled…we can’t help from getting tied up in knots, unable to free ourselves from the timidities holding us captive.
However, we don’t have to be bound forever. The insecurities we struggle with (and possibly obsess over) aren’t a life sentence. Not when we have a God to remind us of who we really are, how much he truly loves us, and to Whom we belong. A God that tells us no matter the struggles we endure or the self-doubt we succumb to, He sees our heart(s), hears our pleas, understands our angst, and loves us anyways. That He’s there for us right in the middle of our mess. He’s there to undo, loosen, and free us from all of the knots, tangles, and twists we’ve undoubtedly found our way into.
If that wasn’t amazing enough, He then lays these tender sentiments and one powerful message on the heart of one of His daughter’s. He asks her to share her story, her hang-up’s, and her past in an effort to help the rest of us see how much we are loved, cared for, admired, and sought after. He blesses her with the gift of writing and a voice that’s not only relatable but also refreshing…a voice worth paying attention to. Chapter after chapter she begins unraveling the turmoil we’ve done battle with for years, reassuring us with God’s words, Scripture, and love…page after beautiful page of it.
Slowly but surely, we begin to untangle.
Friend, if you find yourself constantly tripped up by the emotional baggage you carry, and the insecurities you struggle with (and against), then Untangled by author, Carey Scott is for you. This amazing book—this gift—is something you should consider investing in. Here’s what I had to say about it:
Carey Scott masterfully unravels each of the tangles we women can’t help but find our way into. With her relatable voice and compassionate heart, she gently guides readers away from such struggles while loosening the knots we desperately want to break free from. A must-read!
Untangled: Let God Loosen the Knots of Insecurity in Your Life is available everywhere books are sold TODAY. So do yourself a favor? Purchase one. Buy a copy for yourself, or maybe one for a friend, family member, and well, you get the picture. Or buy a set and partake in a bible study. This book is about to set a whole slew of women free, standing firm on the rock that Is Jesus Christ, ready to move forward.
Where do you get tripped up the most and why? Take the Untangled quiz and see where you rate.
The Duggar family.
You know, I wasn’t going to write on this topic. I just wasn’t going to discuss this issue because in all honesty, I’m fairly exhausted from all that I’ve read, seen and heard thus far. I didn’t want to contribute yet another article/post/opinion on the subject, but after reading (and re-reading), listening, and viewing the massive amount of comments in response to this “scandal”, I felt there was an underlying problem to this story that has yet to be addressed. One I can’t help but comment on;
Christians aren’t allowed to mess up.
Now, allow me to preface the remaining content by stating that what Josh Duggar did was inexcusable, heinous, and yes, horrible. It just was. Lives were forever altered, and victims were created. My intention here is not to defend his actions, but to shed light on that which has yet to be mentioned; the way in which this information has been handled by the media (as well as the majority of the North American continent) as well as the double standard that exists when it comes to a repentant Christian’s heart, accountability, and forgiveness.
Allow me to explain:
Each one of us is human…fallible…flawed. Each one of us (Christian or not) is more than capable of finding our way into serious sin. Even though we know better. Even though we’re well aware of what we’re doing. See, the Enemy’s sole desire is to see us fall—to fail–as he trips us up and tempts us time and time again. You and I both know this to be true. We’ve seen it take place in our own lives. Each of us has a past just as we can instantly recall those moments where we’ve messed up and made poor decisions. Decisions that may have affected others, hurt family members, and the likes. Maybe not to the degree of Josh Duggar, but we all have history, agreed? And when these sins occur, when we feel remorse for what we’ve done, we desire grace above all else. We pray that others might forgive our trespasses, extend mercy, and that those yucky old sins we’ve found our way in to, will in fact be forgotten.
No one wants to be reminded of their past. No one particularly enjoys the consequences that occur from the mistakes they once made. And you know what? Christians are the same way.
But. The. World.
For whatever reason, it appears the world around us can’t help but judge with a harsh finger just as it’s equally eager to point out the weaknesses of an imperfect Christian. Hey, we’re supposed to know better, right? Just as we need to be held accountable for the speech we preach and the written Word we defend. Somehow those outside of the church have conjured up this notion that in order to back up what we’re preaching, Christians need to be perfect…free from error. We’re not supposed to sin. Not at all. And when we do, our culture is the first to point it out and yes, the last to forgive. It’s as if the world’s standing ready…ready for any opportunity to denounce the Christian faith, the church, and the Lord we serve.
Plain and simple: our society wants Christians to fail.
I hate to say that. Really, I do. But I can’t help but think it true. In the case of Josh Duggar, we’d much rather concentrate on the sin instead of the redemption that’s taken place in the twelve years since. We’d prefer to shout hypocrite, as well as a slew of other nasty names his way. We’ve chosen to spew hatred towards his family, just as we’ve already formed our opinions and cast judgement without knowing all of the details. I think what’s bothering me the most about this whole thing is the double standard that exists when it comes to the blame game. I mean, we can forgive sinners in the spotlight. We can laugh at Lena Dunham’s antics after stating the same type of confession in her recently published book. We can forgive past presidents for the sexual wrongdoings and infidelity they’ve committed while in office. We can look the other way when it comes to certain celebrities, athletes, and the likes. Except for Christians. Except for people like the Duggars.
Now, please don’t think for a moment that I’m condoning sin. Quite the opposite in fact. I’m repulsed by this recent confession and beyond upset at what transpired all those years ago in the Duggar household. It sickens me to be quite frank. But the thing about this incident—this scandal concerning Josh Duggar—well, I truly feel it it has less to do with him and everything to do with what (and Who) he represents. It’s about the world’s response to him…and Christians as a whole.
And we need to ask ourselves why.
**I know this is a sensitive topic, friends. All inappropriate comments will be removed…
One pediatrician’s appointment
One trip to the grocery store
Two rounds of baseball practice
One visit to Target for party favors
One stop at the gas station to fill up the minivan
If you took a peek at my calendar on any given day, you’d see a whole bunch of crazy! Between the chores that keep my household running, the errands and appointments to keep us all on schedule, and the endless to-do list that seems to grow by the minute, it’s easy to see my life is chaotic. The schedule I keep is busy…perhaps, too busy. And I’m guessing it looks a lot like yours.
In the midst of these hectic days is where I struggle…and where those first world problems seemingly take over. It’s where I find myself (and my family) too wrapped up in our hectic schedules to focus on the really important things in life, and the Great Commission we’ve been given as our true purpose. Many of us (me included) find our faith on mute when it comes to sharing Jesus. We know we’re called to make this world more aware of our Savior and His message. Yet our voices are still—stifled even—by our own fears and frenzied lifestyles.
Oftentimes, we’re so consumed with us that we forget about Him.
But deep down, we know this life is not all about us—it’s about the One who first loved us and sacrificed everything for a relationship with us. Why would we keep that Good News to ourselves? I think if we’re all honest, we want to share His love and to be the women God uses to reach out to others. We want to be His megaphone of grace, love, truth, peace, and healing in this dark, harsh world. But, our self-doubt or desire to stay in our comfort zone prevent us from actively showcasing the awesome God we serve!
So, as we ready ourselves this week for the upcoming celebration of our risen King, maybe it’s time for us to finally get more vocal. Together, maybe we need to re-prioritize our thinking, conquer some of our inward focused fears and habits, and purpose to do more in His name for the people He loves.
Because I long to be that woman—unafraid to apply words of Truth from Scripture in secular settings to encourage and defend others, the one who could care less about the stares and whispers as I bow my head in prayer in public places, the one who actively seeks ways to be His hands and feet with those He places in my path.
I want to become stronger in my faith and bolder when it comes to sharing it.
I want to silence all the busyness and crazy schedules and live out my faith…louder.
God didn’t create me in His image for the sole purpose of living a comfortable existence—sidelined by my security—out of the game and away from the action. He made you and I for so much more than that — to do great things instead of nothing, to serve others instead of ourselves. But we need to get involved. You and I? We need to speak up!
So what do you say to conquering the fears that keep us silent, and growing bolder in the name of Jesus? What do you say to pumping up the volume on our faith and living it loud?
Friend, I’m inviting you to do just that! Simply sign up below* and over the next five days, we’ll work through some of the biggest obstacles when it comes to sharing our faith. Even better? We’ll dive into some highly actionable and authentic ways to be Jesus to those around us! So, are you ready? Are you finally ready to speak up and speak out in the name of Jesus? Are you ready to fulfill your purpose and calling–to get bold–and live this gift of faith out loud?
Me too. Let’s do this.
As a thank you for joining me and to kickstart this challenge, you’ll also receive a free downloadable wallpaper for your computer, tablet, or phone with a simple reminder to live boldly!
Guest Post by Erin MacPherson
Have you ever felt like doing the right thing means giving up all of your fun?
I remember a weekend in college where this reality made my zeal to do right come crashing to a halt. The student life center hosted a “van-me” dance. Basically, everyone showed up to a dance on Friday night and one lucky person was drawn at random to win a free “van-me” weekend away.
My roommate won—which meant she got to take five friends to the mountains for a weekend of skiing, hot tubbing, relaxing and eating food that wasn’t cafeteria food. For free. A poor, broke college student’s dream.
Except for one thing: I had a huge paper due on Monday.
And as I watched my friends pack their bags and pull away from the dorm, I wanted to scream. And cry. And throw my Apple 2SII desktop at the wall. Because while I knew the right thing to do would be to stay home and finish my homework, get good grades, make the best of my education opportunity, blah blah blah, what I really wanted to do was throw caution to the wind and spend the weekend with my friends.
Doing the right thing felt so wrong.
And I have to admit that oftentimes—even as an adult—doing right feels like the boring thing, the un-fun thing, the less exciting thing, the less cool thing to me. (Which is why I make my husband send in the mortgage check so I don’t get tempted by, say, a big sale at Anthropologie.)
I like to have fun.
I like a little excitement.
And honestly, I struggle sometimes to remember that I am God’s Girl (Thanks Jenny!) and doing the right thing is something that honors God. Even if it doesn’t necessarily align with my desires.
But here’s something else: There are a few areas of life where the right thing is the fun thing, the cool thing, the best thing. And one such area is marriage. Namely, sex.
God wants us to have an intimate, respectful relationship with our husbands. He wants us to pour into each other, to put each other first, to love each other wholly.
It’s the right thing to do. But it’s also the fun thing to do. I mean, who doesn’t want a hot, romantic sex life?
I’m sure all of your hands are raised in the air right now.
And now I’m going to step forward and volunteer (as tribute!) to help you all do the right thing this month. It will be tough—I’ll probably have to do horrible things like go out on date nights and eat chocolates and have amazing sex—but I’m willing to do it for you. You know, to help you do the right thing.
In a few days, the 50 Shades of Grey movie comes out. And, in case you are wondering what I think of it, let me just be blunt: The movie is NOT the right thing. It’s demeaning towards women, demonizing towards men and takes a beautiful thing God created (sex) and makes it dirty.
So I’m not watching it. And I’d like to challenge you to do the right thing this as well: Instead of going to watch other people have sex in the 50 Shades of Grey movie for Valentine’s Day, stay home and have real, intimate, Godly sex with your husband. It’s that simple.
The right thing. The fun thing. The cool thing. All in one, simple package.
Will you join me?
If so, click here to read about the entire challenge and if you want, post it on your Facebook page (you know, so you can help other girls be all godly and stuff.)
Plus, we have some tools to help you make the night, ahem, extra special. My new e-book (co-authored with the amazing Kathi Lipp) is called 10 Ideas to Inspire Red Hot Sex. It’s loaded with fun, flirty advice and yes, sex ideas to help you make your marriage hot.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
Oh, and remember, do the right thing.
Erin MacPherson is the author of more than nine books, including her newest release, the Hot Mama series. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband Cameron and her three adorable kids Joey, Kate and Will. She blogs at erinmacpherson.com.
To be honest, I had no (real) desire to see this film. Don’t get me wrong: it’s not that I’m unpatriotic. It’s not that I don’t respect our military. It’s not that I didn’t appreciate (and applaud) the efforts of Navy SEAL, Chris Kyle, either. Not at all. It’s just that—well, I knew exactly how I would feel after seeing such a movie as this. I read the reviews, I saw the trailer and I knew the emotions I would struggle with, the anger that would creep up, as well as the sadness that would undoubtedly fill my heart upon viewing it. I was completely aware of the impact this film and the life of Chris Kyle would have on me, and to be honest, I wasn’t sure I could handle it.
But I went anyways.
My husband and I sat in a crowded theatre, popcorn in hand and we watched. For an hour and a half we remained silent as we saw this man’s life play out on screen. And even though I knew the gist of this story, as well as how it ended, this movie hit me hard. Real hard.
I wasn’t prepared for it. Not the opening scene. Nor the lump in my throat that appeared half way through the movie as war scenes unraveled. One of ‘em right after another. Not any of it, friends. But here is what I want to share…here are a few words that I think need to be said to those of us on the outside–civilians–like me, who (for the most part) have no idea what military life is like:
We are blessed.
Freedom isn’t free.
Our men and women in uniform (and their spouses) are heroes.
And as a nation (generally speaking), we take so very much for granted.
I know I have. I’ve taken my freedom(s) for granted more often than I can count. Daily, in fact. I don’t honor the military–or our country–like I should…like they deserve. Sure, I teach my boys to remove their hats and place their hands over their hearts when saying the Pledge of Allegiance. I tell my children to thank a veteran for their service come each and every Veteran’s Day. I parade a flag outside my home on national holidays. But is that really enough? After seeing a movie like American Sniper, the answer is a resounding “no.”
See, I’ve failed to truly appreciate my rights as an American citizen and the freedom(s) I’ve been born into and blessed by. Know what else? I’m not aware (not fully, at least) of the sacrifices being made for me and my family day in and day out. I guess I’ve grown so consumed with my own life, that it’s hard to focus on another’s. Especially the soldiers out there on the front line–those who are risking their lives to defend mine…ours. Defending our freedom of speech, our right to bear arms, our right to…everything. It’s so easy to do, right America?
But then you see a film like American Sniper. You watch a man risking everything for his country. You see him leave behind his family (four tours!), you see the battlefield he treads upon, the impossible choices he’s forced to make in the name of war, and you can’t help but cry. To weep. To feel a twinge of guilt, and yet overwhelming appreciation at the same time.
It’s true: I didn’t want to see American Sniper. Not really. But as I look back, I think the real reason I didn’t want to view this film was because of the discomfort—the emotions—I knew would surface…and the naivety I’d be forced to confront. Friends, you and I (or at least the majority of us)? We aren’t there on the battlefield, we have yet to experience the holidays away from our families, missed births, etc. We have no clue what it would be like to serve, to put our lives on the line for others. We have the pleasure of not seeing what they see.
But in American Sniper, we get a glimpse of it all, don’t we? A small glimpse. And it alters our thinking, doesn’t it? We exit those theatres different than when we came in. We’re more aware. Definitely more appreciative. Thankful for sure.
I dunno about you, but I left American Sniper…changed.
So what do we do now? How do we honor those in our military? How do we thank them for their heroics, and their sacrifices? How do we give back to men like Chris Kyle who’ve given so much? Who have given it all?
- Donate to The Wounded Warrior Project: I don’t care if it’s five bucks or five hundred. Any amount you can give to this amazing charity that helps our military men and women both medically and mentally (PTSD), is necessary. Donate if you can.
- Pray. There is so much power in prayer, friends. Pray for our military and their families. For protection…for strength.
- Do Your Part. Get involved in community efforts to send care packages, and cards, abroad. Find out what you can do to make the life of a serviceman (or woman) and their familes, easier…and appreciated.