Raise your hand if you remember the olden days of blogging.
I’m talking about back before there were blogging conferences on every street corner and the idea of blogging as a business was utterly foreign . . . back when the most popular bloggers were exquisite writers, and only bloggers read blogs, and we all wrote anonymously and went by silly pseudonyms. Remember that?
That is when I met Lysa TerKeurst.
I attended the She Speaks Conference (a speaker’s and writer’s conference for Christian women run by Proverbs 31 Ministries) back in 2008 when they added a blogging track to their lineup and called in some of the biggest bloggers in the blogosphere at the time as speakers. I had an AMAZING time, which is documented at great length here.
I remember being surprised and impressed with the way Lysa took the time to mingle and talk to the conference attendees. She was a bit of a rockstar, but you’d never know it by how friendly and available she was to her audience. We actually got to know each other a bit over the next year via our blogs, and in 2009 she had me back to the She Speaks Conference as a speaker. It was the first time I ever spoke at a blogging conference — or a conference of any kind, for that matter! It was one of the greatest honors of my life, and I mean that sincerely.
Here is a picture of us together at the conference in 2009.
I am delighted to have Lysa TerKeurst as a guest blogger today and to introduce you to her newest book, Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions. Lysa is the founder of Proverbs 31 Ministries, an author many times over, a sought after speaker and also a friend. Forgive me for the lengthy introduction, but I want you to know what a privilege it is for me to have Lysa posting on Musings of a Housewife today!
And now, without further adieu . . .
Dealing with Daily Frustrations
by Lysa TerKeurst
I was talking with a customer service agent from an online company I have enjoyed doing business with for years. I called thinking she could help me with a return. But when I explained I needed to return this certain item, things started to head south with our conversation.
She informed me that my item wasn’t on the returnable list. It was on the final sale list. I had no clue there was a returnable list and a final sale list. It wasn’t posted online or stated in their catalog.
I logically stated my case and felt sure she would see things my way. But she didn’t. No matter what I said or explained, she wouldn’t budge.
I knew the lady on the other end of the phone was just following procedure, but it made no sense. It wasn’t right and I was frustrated!
And my tone of voice made it clear just how frustrated I was.
Later that same day, I was in line at the grocery store behind a man who wanted to use an expired coupon. The check out gal calmly stated she couldn’t honor his coupon. Well, he didn’t like that one bit. And he made sure everyone around them knew how much he didn’t like this situation.
I stood back appalled at his actions.
Until … I started thinking about the fact that I’d acted almost the same way with the customer service agent who refused what I wanted. The conviction wove its way through my heart and made me feel so badly for the way I’d reacted toward that woman.
After my call, she probably moved on to the next frustrated customer. And then the next. And then the next. Suddenly, I felt so sorry for her.
I decided it wasn’t her desire to not be able to help me. She was truly just following the orders of the higher-ups at her company. I imagined her packing up her things at the end of another long day and heading home. A home where she had to face her own daily aggravations and frustrations.
That’s when it hit me. While on the phone, I never pictured her as a person really. To me, she was just a voice on the other end of the phone that was causing me extreme frustration.
How might my reaction have been different if I’d stopped to think about her as a woman just like me? What might it be like to be her, to live her life, and to have to go to her job every day?
I decided God was trying to get my attention to be more aware of my reactions. More aware of handling daily frustrations in a way that reflects a heart that loves the Lord. In today’s key verse, Luke 8:15, Jesus reminds us, “But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” (NIV 1984)
I want Jesus’ message to fall on a heart that is humble and fertile enough to:
Receive God’s Word …
Retain God’s instruction, and …
Reflect God’s character in both my action and reactions.
When I stop to think about this, I am challenged. Whether I am talking with a customer service representative I don’t know or interacting with those I do everyday life with, I want to work towards being a woman who displays godly character. Just like Luke 8:15 encourages, whether I’m having a frustrating conversation or a friendly one, may God’s messages of truth have such an impact on me that my heart and my mouth remain noble and good.
Lysa TerKeurst is a New York Times bestselling author, National Speaker, and President of Proverbs 31 Ministries. You can read her daily blog at LysaTerKeurst.com or hear her encouragement through the Proverbs 31 Ministries’ radio program played on over 1200 outlets. She loves that the first four letters of Messiah spell a “mess.” All of the messages Lysa speaks and writes about come from her awareness of what a mess she can be. Most days you can find her writing from her sticky farm table in North Carolina where she lives with her husband Art, her five priority blessings named Jackson, Mark, Hope, Ashley, and Brooke, 3 dogs and a mouse that refuses to leave her kitchen.
I don’t know about you, but I find it really challenging to keep my emotions in control on a daily basis. In Lysa’s new book, Unglued, she shares personal experience and scriptural wisdom to help us make godly and healthy decisions with our reactions. You can purchase a copy on Amazon.com, or you might . . .
Win a Copy of Unglued!
To be entered to win, simply leave a comment on this post telling me what gets you unglued; or what is your biggest challenge to keeping your emotions in control?
I could totally relate to Lysa’s story. I, too, have found myself so often on that phone call, wanting to take out my frustrations on that faceless, nameless voice on the other end of the line. But I suppose my biggest challenge to staying in control of my emotions is in dealing with my kids. I hate to admit it, but I lose that battle so many more times than I win it. I am eager to read Lysa’s book and hopefully glean a few nuggets of wisdom to help my on my journey to godliness.
Fine Print: Winners must have a U.S. mailing address. I will use the And The Winner Is plugin for WordPress to randomly select 2 winners on Wednesday, August 29th. When the comments are closed on this post, you will know the giveaway is over. I will announce the winners on Facebook and Twitter, and I will send a personal email, giving the winners three days to accept. If there is no reply, I will select another winner. See my Giveaway Policies for more details.