Untangle the Knots and Unfurl the Ribbons

You might think that a day at the spa and a visit to the car repair shop sound like completely different experiences.

For me, one is a pleasurable pastime and the other is more like a disagreeable duty. {Maybe for you too?} 

But even though they're nothing alike, they both have the same effect. 

They bring out the worst in me. 

I always feel like I’m being taken for a ride when I have my car worked on and it seems as if there's always something to make me feel insecure and remind me that I have no idea what I'm doing {which of course, is very true}. 

Last week, the front desk attendant tells me that my oil change will be three times more than the last time I was there because, well, his computer will not allow me to have a less expensive one.

His computer? I’m dumbfounded. Could he explain this to me?

He says he can only give me the kind of oil the computer recommends for my car and he cannot enter the cheaper type of oil. 

It seems there's nothing I can do except wait for my Ritz-Carlton of oil changes.

Since the Ritz-Carlton was already on my mind, the very next day I decided to book myself a little relaxation at their spa, thanks to a gift card from my sister. 

I head to the for-spa-guests-only pool and the attendant greets me as I peruse the empty chairs. But as soon as I set my bag on one of them, he rushes over to tell me the empty chairs are reserved. 

I feel a little embarrassed and ask him where there is a free chair. He seems at a loss {even though the pool is full of empty chairs} and says he’ll have to go find one. 

He disappears while I stand waiting, imagining every eye upon me. I’m irritated, wondering why he didn’t inform me about the chairs as I entered.

And then I remembered. 

I think God just answered my prayers.

You see, I’ve been praying about my reactions and responses to situations that so often make me feel insecure and focus on myself. 

Even though I realize that some of my personality quirks can’t be changed completely, I want to be less sensitive, shrug things off more and feel embarrassed less. 

So I was eager to read Carey Scott's new book, Untangled, and hope for a little insight on the questions that have hung around my life for too long.

How can I be brave enough to try something new when my insecurities make me afraid I’ll look silly? 

How can I take steps of faith outside my comfort zone to do what I think God may have purposed for me when I worry I won't know what to do?

In her book, Carey shows us how God can loosen those knots of insecurity in our lives. 

She spotlights the areas where we tend to focus on ourselves and feel like we don’t measure up, from social media to real-life friendships to family relationships.

Just as a trusted friend would, Carey shares her irritation over an innocent suggestion of her husband’s, how she feels ashamed over a response to a situation without any good reason, and how something innocuous triggers her defensive feelings and she doesn’t know why.

She asks the question I’ve often asked myself. 

If I don’t even know why I feel this way, how am I supposed to fix myself? 

And here’s the answer I've been longing to hear. 

I can’t.

Only God can. 

He already knows about my insecurities and only he can unravel the lies I believe about myself that are tangled up in my self-worth. 

But Carey goes a step further and tells us how.

She shares her experience of the transforming work of God that we can invite into our lives when we give him access to our hearts. Letting him unravel those knots to experience the abundant life he purposed for us is part of this journey to freedom from them.

And I know it’s true. 

Because sometimes we grow braver and kinder in the process and sometimes a little unexpected help arrives. 

While I waited for my luxury oil change a man from my neighborhood walked in. As we chatted, I told him I was feeling a little out of my element. When I was summoned to the desk to review the estimate for additional repairs, he stepped in to provide advice and took on the role of my spokesman {which somehow worked wonders with the man at the autocrat-computer}. 

And toward the end of my day at the Ritz, a hotel manager strolled by and asked me how my day was. I paused for a minute.

I thought about giving my opinion on the pool-attendant who offended me along with some much-needed tips for his improvement, but instead I decided to give him some grace. 

I said I had a great day at the spa, thank you very much. 

And I realized that I actually did.

I think a couple of my tangled knots of insecurities just shook free in the ribbons of my adventures and experiences that God is gracefully tying together for me to live life more abundantly.

I’m part of Revell publisher’s blogger review tour for Untangled by Carey Scott. I received a complimentary copy of the book, but my opinions are completely my own.

I'm linking up with Holley Gerth at Coffee for your Heart. For more encouraging posts from my blogger friends, join me there!


  1. only He can give that kind of grace that somehow comes out of our mouths. we just can't drum it up on our own, can we, friend ...

    1. Linda,
      I so need that grace and yes, you're right -- I certainly can't find it on my own! Thank goodness God promises we don't have to!

  2. Hi Valerie! I always feel like a third grader when I have to take the car in for repairs. (They could tell me I need new gerbils installed, and I'd agree whole-heartedly.) What a grace that you had a neighbor help you out with the oil change people!

    I think anyone who can help us contend with our negative emotions is a blessing. We all have them, they are there as a creation from God. But do they inspire me to good things, or drag me down into a pit? It is wonderful to know that God will help me overcome. I can't do it on my own!

    1. Oh I love that Ceil -- if a car shop told you needed gerbils installed, you'd do it! Priceless! Thank you so much for reading and taking the care to comment! xo

  3. "auto-crat" computer... priceless..! LOL! This sounds like a very good book indeed... maybe I should read it too! I totally identify with having to reign in my own reactions and irritations some days. What's that old saying? Lord keep your arm around my shoulders and your hand over my mouth...! ♥

    1. Heather,
      Glad you liked that -- I thought autocrat was aptly comical! :) And that old saying is very true --if only I could remember it! :)

  4. Valerie- always look forward to reading your blog as I put our youngest one to sleep- it is restful and beautiful in word and pictures. I love the idea of God untangling the knots- and the image of the ballet shoes- Just thinking if I can let him untangle these things maybe I could be free to dance! :) and respond to the beautiful music he is making in my life! :) So often too tangled in my stuff I can't see the way out- I love how you share it is God is the one to do it- This is comforting to me, Thank you for sharing- always a treat in my week! :) with love

    1. Susie,
      I love it that you would be free to dance if we let God untangle all that holds us back! Oh I know what you mean about getting too tangled that we can't see our way out -- I often feel like that and when it lifts, it's easier to see in hindsight where I could have adjusted. I know we can make progress together, friend! :)

  5. This post was so meant for me as I am just like you -- situations where I'm insecure and basically have no idea what to do (with the possibility of embarrassing myself), those bring the worst out of me, too. What a brave thing that is to pray about these situations and changing your reactions and responses, Valerie! I love that God also sent help on your way. That gives me such hope, and a desire to pray about the same thing. Thank you for sharing this, Valerie!

    1. Ronja,
      So glad you understand and share these situations -- we can be on the road to recovery together! I figure if I endure enough of them, maybe, just maybe, I won't mind them so much! A little perspective changes everything!

  6. Thank you, Valerie, for being brave enough to share your insecurities. We all have them we just spend most of our time hiding them rather than trying to change them!
    Your blogs always help me to grow as a person. Blessings

  7. Hi Valerie. I think some people can just see through our insecurities and take advantage of us. My cousin and I were in our early 20s and went on a trip and we had to stop for some repair. Then we were told my car's tires would never make it through the mountains. We both were so scared that we didn't know what to do. It ended up though that I absolutely did not have the money for it, so we just hoped for the best. Those tires lasted at least two years and were still on when I traded it in.

    Thank you so much for this hope-filled post. "Letting him unravel those knots to experience the abundant life he purposed for us is part of this journey to freedom from them." May He unravel our knots! Hugs!

    1. Hi Trudy,
      I love that story about your tires lasting two more years! But I'm sure it didn't make you feel confident, worrying on your trip through the mountains. So grateful for your encouragement here, as always! :)

  8. Let God unravel the knots. I like how you put that!
    Boy, do I have some for Him....

    1. Sarah,
      Me too! It's hard untying the knots isn't it? :)

  9. Sounds like a book I need to read. I think I'm a little too self-aware, I think everyone is noticing my insecurities as I am. In reality, they aren't nearly as concerned about me as I am.

    I hate it when people take advantage of others just because they think they can. So glad you're neighbor walked in and was able to help you out!

    1. Alecia,
      I think that about myself too! I have to remember exactly what you said -- they aren't noticing us as much as we are scrutinizing ourselves! Thanks for your words here, friend!

  10. This book sounds amazing. I may need to pick it up and read it myself. I know from last week, till this week, I've been noticing my own insecurities and have actually started to work on them. I just loved reading this.

    Kia / The House of KTS

    1. Kay,
      We all have our insecurities, don't we? But when we push them aside, it's always for the better -- just like your new e-book! You're so brave to do that! :)


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