Unglued Devotional by Lysa Terkeurst
Lysa Terkeurst is known by bringing honesty and clarity to the life of every Christian by her insightful writing. This new book, Unglued Devotional is a day by day unpacking of the major theme of her book Unglued in a easy to read format. The days are broken up with a Scripture Reading, a thought for the Day and a short devotion. I think the major focus of the devotional was centered around have the feeling of ‘unglued’ and trying to find godly ways to see this as an opportunity for change, for growth. On Day 1 TerKeurst writes, “I know what it’s like to praise God one minute and in the next minute yell and scream at my child – and then to feel both the burden of my destructive behavior and the shame of my powerlessness to stop it” (12). Every parent can resonate with this feeling, the utter elation of praise and worship alongside the failure to enact this practice to those around us. We disappoint our children, our spouse and with the same breath praise our Savior.
The real encouragement of this book was its aim. TerKeurst does a great job at connecting with parents and especially women through these pages. How? In a funny and alarming way, TerKeurst writes about the root of her rot on Day 6. A smell had entered her house that she went crazy about. After searching, praying and doing all manner of things, TerKeurst found out it was the smell of a trashcan in the middle of her room that was causing the stench (her daughter was doing a school project). TerKeurst writes, “How we react is a crucial gauge of what’s really going on inside us” (28). It is so easy to blow your top, to lose all control and react angrily with spit and venom. Yet, TerKeurst points out that the signs of rot inside us can become apparent if we spot them: always and never statements, bringing past into the present, justifiying how hard life is, and demanding an apology when you should be giving one. We see these actions come up in marital squabbles, parental situations and just about anywhere there is conflict.
What I thought was helpful in these devotionals was the transparency of TerKeurst. She holds nothing back in her quest to deal with the unglued. She leads with a sense of grace when her kids aren’t acting like she wants in church or when interruptions take place. In a devotional winsome way, TerKeurst helps the reader see the light at the end of the tunnel, that being unglued can be an opportunity for God’s grace to work through your life.
Two things I thought were missing from the book: one, a focus on how the ministry and work of Christ radically affect the life of every Christian and two, how does the sense of feeling unglued provide an opportunity to show grace to others as part of everyday living. Flying off the handle, being unglued should lead us to the cross and the hope we have due to his resurrection. Each time there is a meltdown or breakdown in our lives is an opportunity to point us back to the Savior and God’s redemptive purposes. I think more an emphasis on this teaching would make Lysa’s experiences more challenging and point the reader in the right direction.
Thanks to Zondervan for providing a review copy of this book in exchange for review.