The beauty of the Ugly Cry

Yep, I snorted. Inhale. Snort. Cry. Snort. Mascara smudged my cheeks and I was all the feelings at once. I ugly cried today for me and all the women around me who can’t make time stand still. Life why do you go so fast? Why do babies become bigs, and bigs become teenagers, and teenagers move out somewhere between never-ending days and lightening-fast years? 

Change can feel both sweet and soul crushing. Terrifying and exciting. Natural and counter productive. For the best and painful. All at the same time. 

That’s the beauty of the ugly cry. It releases all those emotions without a word. Just maybe a snort.

I wonder what has made you break down lately? What have you had no words to describe? What ending have you mourned or what beginning have you celebrated?

Today I walked the school hallways with a huge smile. I could’ve won an Academy award with my brave face for my daughter.

“You’re going to have SO MUCH FUN!” 

Then I dropped her off in her room and the girl who clung to me last year in Kindergarten shooed me away in 1st grade — too big for selfies with mom with everyone watching. It’s a jolt that means she’s big now. And my mind jumps ahead to the someday of when she will be bigger than big. Someday she’ll be grown. And I will miss her.

I’ll miss her notes spelled wrong. Her little shoes. Her mismatched clothes and ponytail wisps. I’ll miss her scooter zipping and her coloring table. I’ll miss brushing her teeth. 

Queue ugly cry.

I want to give you permission to be what you need to be when life shifts under your feet. When it moves a little fast or throws you off. 

If you’re a wreck at the end of summer break, preschool graduation, senior prom pictures, or the last or first day of anything in life…. You’re not alone. Change is hard. Even if it’s good. It’s still hard. Embrace your beautiful ugly cry. Let out all the snorts. Life deserves it for going so fast.

 

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AndreaWeb47

 

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on Crosswalk

 

Devo promo DWe’re made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.

Praise the Lord for He is Good

This month we’re reflecting on God’s goodness. I was so hit by Psalm 103 I want you to discover His goodness for yourself. Read it here. I love how the psalmist says “Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-” in verse 2. Like he’s saying I dare you to make a list of all the good qualities of God and see if you can’t keep from praising Him.

Let’s do that. After you read Psalm 103, make a mental list of all the qualities that make our God good. What does He do and not do? How far does His love go? How has He shown up in your own life?

It’s so amazing that verse 4 boasts He redeems us from the pit and then crowns us in mercy. Only a good God does that. One who truly sees, cares, and does something about our need.

Each one of us is a Psalmist, our prayers are songs our bodies can’t contain so they burst out to our God. I want to share a song, a psalm, I wrote after reading Psalm 103. It spilled out as I thought of the new life we get when we first believe in Jesus and profess our faith with our mouths or baptism. It’s my Psalm of thanks to the One who is good, who can transform us at His feet.

Each one of us is a Psalmist, our prayers are songs our bodies can’t contain so they burst out to our God.

 

At Your Feet by Andrea Chatelain

You formed me. Made me new from the dust.
Before I knew you, you knew your love would be enough.
To pay the price for all I’ve done,
Now every sin and stain are gone.
At your feet. At your feet.
Oh At your feet I bow down
letting go of all my past.
And your hand it pulls me up
into your love that heals and lasts.
For all you are and all you do
My soul joins the heavens in a song…
to praise you. Jesus I praise you.
You see tomorrow before it even comes.
You light the way. With your abounding love.
You’re on your throne, no one can move that holy place.
You”ll keep me safe, until the day I see your face.
Oh At your feet I bow down
letting go of all my past.
And your hand it pulls me up
into your love that heals and lasts.
For all you are and all you do
My soul joins the heavens in a song…
to praise you. Jesus I praise you.
Hallelujah I traded shackles for a white robe.
And praise the King on High, He’s now and forever my home.
Glory to The Only One who left it all to get to me.
Jesus take what’s left and make me clean at your feet.
Oh At your feet I bow down
letting go of all my past.
And your hand it pulls me up
into your love that heals and lasts.
For all you are and all you do
My soul joins the heavens in a song…
to praise you. Jesus I praise you.
I wonder what your psalm would record about God’s goodness. I challenge you to write something this week, it doesn’t have to rhyme, but jot down how God has shown His goodness in your life. Happy writing!

 

**Here’s how to GET MORE free truth bombs right to your inbox. You matter to me! Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook.

AndreaWeb47

 

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on Crosswalk

 

Devo promo DWe’re made this for YOU! Grab your copy of our newly released 90-day devotional HERE. It’s full of life changing truth that points to the One who sees you, knows you, and loves you.

 

Scandalous Kindness

Kindness doesn’t seem sensational. It’s lumped into the boring, normal, ought to category. But the more I research, the more scandalous kindness is. We’re numb to the miracle that kindness is. It’s a triumph over selfishness. And that undeserved kindness also goes by the name… grace.

But we won’t truly grasp the magnitude of kindness if we don’t own our need for it.

Yes we are forgiven and free in Christ, but why is that? Because we needed scandalous kindness. Your sin and mine bought us a one way ticket to eternity separated from our creator. But our God saw us through the lens of grace, reached out in sacrifice for His beloved creation, and took the blow meant for us.

But our God saw us through the lens of grace, reached out in sacrifice for His beloved creation, and took the blow meant for us.

Who would you do that for? Maybe your children, husband, best friend?

Once my 3 year old was riding his red “Cars” big-wheel in the street when an SUV roared down the hill. There was no way he could cross in time alone. So I ran to the middle of the street, pulled him from the big-wheel and ran out of the way. I didn’t think about my own life, my love for my kid innately spurred me into action despite danger to my own life.

I believe God’s kindness for us is even deeper and more innate and ours mirrors His. After all, we are made in His image (Gen 1:27), so any seed of love comes from Him.

We are made in His image (Gen 1:27), so any seed of love comes from Him.

Pause for a second and think of how you’ve been kind this week. Did the person deserve your kindness? Or was it grace– scandalous and undeserved?

Our God is a kind God. I’ve stumbled on this idea in the past. Why would God want a sinful person like me? Answer- because I’m His kid. And so are you. He didn’t make us for sport. He fearfully and wonderfully made us and adopted us into His family. Never to be lost again. Because of His scandalous kindness.

 “For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to His own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit” (Titus 3:3-5 ESV)

 

**Did that resonate with your soul?! Here’s how to GET MORE free truth bombs right to your inbox. You matter to me! Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook.

AndreaWeb47

 

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on Crosswalk

 

Setting Expectations for the Best Summer EVER

I’m like Chevy Chase in the movie Vacation. In my mind, summer equals kids home, laughing and frolicking through the sprinklers with popsicles that are never sticky. They’ll be grateful for the trips to the zoo, cabin, and pool. No one will complain. But then reality kicks in, kids are kids, my patience dries up, and like Sparky from the movie, I have a mommy meltdown and need some Tylenol.

Not. This. Summer. I’m learning people aren’t my problem, my heart’s expectations are.

What’s the thing that sets you off? Or rather, who drives you crazy? Maybe the person who’s always late, or the friend who never shows, slow traffic, bad manners… the list of pet peevs goes on. You feel your patience waning and your frustration rising.

One of mine is when I put effort in and it’s not appreciated.

I cook an awesome meal like a FoodNetwork star, set the table with floral placemats and use my pretty dishes. I EXPECT my kids to eat in glorious silence because they can’t believe how yummy it all is. Turns out that’s not a realistic expectation. Instead the opposite happens. I have to count out bites, 5  more!, and then threaten no dessert. The fun is gone because my attitude goes south with unmet expectations.

Whatever the struggle is, whoever it is, the root of impatience is in us. What we store up in our hearts comes out in our actions and words. Sometimes in the form of impatience.

Luke 6:45 says “…for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.”

If I store up frustration with others, frustration comes out. If I harbor resentment, bitterness comes out. If I hoard disappointment from unmet expectations or shattered plans, impatience rears up.

Like right now. My expectation is that I can sit in peace and type a blog while my three kids are at home. You can bet that was unmet. One came in with a wookie costume on, another was screaming he needed help on the potty, and the third was chanting Hi-Ho-Let’s go! Enter impatience. I feel it swelling. Can’t I just do what I want to do when I want to do it! gah!

Nope.

The only expectation I have this summer is that I expect we will all need Jesus.

BUT I don’t have to let my unmet expectations today or this summer get my goat. I can EXPECT others to need Jesus just as much as I do and love them starting with my thoughts.

If we store up good as we surrender our thought life to the Holy Spirit, patience and grace will flow out of our hearts naturally. If we store up thankfulness for the sunshine and giggles, if we seek out joy in the hard, and bury positive thoughts about our people in our hearts instead of annoyance, if we decide others are more important than ourselves and our agenda….patience won’t be so hard. It will flow out of the love we’ve stored up.

People will push all the buttons possible. But although you can’t control others, you can control your thoughts towards them.

So  let me validate you this summer as we end the month on patience. People will push all the buttons possible. But remember although you can’t control others, you can control your thoughts towards others. Make a pact with yourself (I will too) to believe the best of others and store up loving thoughts towards your kids, spouse, friends, neighbors, coworkers, even when it’s hard. Jesus loves them dearly and sometimes we can reflect His love best through humble patience.

**Practical action step: I’m declaring June = JUST JESUS JUNE! I’m doing a social media office-620822_1920fast with a friend. Why? Because social media makes me feel yucky sometimes. I leave sites having wasted time and comparing myself to others while neglecting important duties. You?

The fact that I’m nervous about giving it up for a month is my clue that I need to give it up to gain more peace and be more present…which I’m hoping will also impact my level of patience. No more “just a sec!” when someone is calling my name. ARE YOU IN?! Is God calling you to put down the phone and look up at your life?? Join me for a day, week, or the whole month of June for a SOCIAL MEDIA FAST. Jot down in the comments or in a journal how social media makes you feel now. And then update when your fast is over telling me what you learned. Let’s do this!

Here’s how I feel presently while using social media… distracted, pulled 10 different ways, always connected, impatient, everyone’s doing it better, I need to up my game, looking for cute moments to post instead of just enjoying moments. ugh.

I can’t wait to update you in July because I’m counting on a heart change by cutting out the noise:) Also, I’m replacing with a study by Priscilla Shirer on “Gideon”. Input=output. Input God’s word = output love. What are you reading???

 

**Did that resonate with your soul?! Here’s how to GET MORE free truth bombs right to your inbox. You matter to me! Find your voice in the conversation on Facebook.

AndreaWeb47

 

Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family writer, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.

Find Andrea also at WhollyLoved Ministries and her devotionals on Crosswalk