Tag Archives: Anger

When the Stess Becomes Evident

Our living situation, or should I say our comfortable empty nest has changed. I have always thought of myself as fairly adaptable and willing to flex and change to accommodate those things life throws into our comfortable mix. However, I recently learned how I too can be in denial.

Almost four years ago on July 4th, after discussing at length, the options for our mom, I told my sister–after discussing with my husband–that living up north with us might be a workable option. I said yes and my sister said okay and brought her up for what mom thought was her annual three-month stay in Minnesota. She always enjoyed pleasant summer temperatures and her lovely trailer tucked beneath the trees beside our home. Independent living at its best. Mom always said it was the best of both worlds. Orlando for nine months of the year and International Falls in the summer months. Life is good!

It didn’t quite turn out the way our little momma thought it would when asking my sister to make her return flight to Orlando. My sister had to be the bad girl and tell her that she wouldn’t be coming back. Bam…the first blow. We did work it all out however and our poor, little lady had to face her first winter with–us as one of the coldest in many years blew through the winter months. Apart from some physical issues she really did do fairly well. Along with her friends, we made sure that she was set with clothing to keep her warm. My little momma is only 4’10” tall, weighing in at 80 pounds. Yeah, how does that work without fat on her body to keep her warm. However, she did make it!

Blow two came in the summer when she was looking forward to moving into the trailer for three months or so. “Mom, you aren’t able to live in the trailer anymore. It isn’t suitable and you can no longer see well enough to be alone. But maybe we can find you a place in town where you might get a meal with your living plan and I can even bring you meals.

That plan softened the punch a bit. However, there wasn’t an apartment available at that time but she could be put on a waiting list to call when one became open. Summer came and went and nothing opened up until later in the fall of 1014. By then we just couldn’t see her living by herself at all. Yup, the third blow.

As we rolled into 2015 we realized we were at a crossroads with our mom. Her independence dwindling as she basically resided in our daughter’s old bedroom and our living room upstairs. “Well mom, this is home!” Our hopes were that she would be able to resign herself to being comfortable with us. But a few issues got in the way of that, including health issues and trying to make her comfortable.

I am so not a drug person. I don’t like to take them and for me, they are a ‘last resort’. With our mom, she has to use a few which I understand is pretty good for an 86-year-old today. She started itching like crazy when she was with us and we did the derm and allergist thing and you name every cream, pill, and salve in the book, all to no real avail! What were we going to do about this?

Almost every night I have helped load her skin up with of cream all over her little bony body so she can sleep through the night. She would sometimes wake up itching like crazy and be very angry. I have often wondered how much of this was brought on by her disappointments? I guess I will never fully know the dynamics. From a tiny, elderly lady who awakens to puff a half a cigarette, eat a few bites of some sugary pastry (oh how she loves her sweets!), and seldom drinks any water, I’m amazed at how well she is doing. So needless-to-say, her skin issues may never get better at this point, it is so hard to retrain a person in their 80’s!

I have shared prior to this post of how I have had to let go of some of my dreams because this momma is my top priority right now. However, there are times when you have a V8 moment and realize you have been harboring resentment and to top it off, not dealing with it! Ouch, that is a reality that I really didn’t think I would ever have to deal with.

Last early spring I started losing my hair. Now I am on a fabulous nutrition product so that isn’t the problem. I studied and looked and pondered and prayed as to what in the world was going on. Thyroid? Diet? Vitamin deficiency? Or dread, maybe…stress? Well after doing all the ‘right’ things I could think of, this was the only thing I could conclude as my issue…stress...oh how it doesn't do the body so good! It can literally destroy us when we aren't willing to deal… Click To Tweet

So I again when to my mantra of Philippians 4:6-7 and asked the Lord to show me what in the world was going on. On one of my walking routes one day it all came pouring out of me. I had to admit some things to the Lord that I really didn’t want to out of the fact that I was sort of ashamed I had harbored these feelings. After all, didn’t He tell me I was supposed to write that book and speak all over the place? But as I had to give up my space, my time and all those things that gradually took me away from my dreams, I guess I got angry. Ever heard it said that anger turned inward is depression? Makes sense doesn’t it. We harbor bitterness that grows and makes us a very angry, unhappy, unhealthy person.

Argh, I walked and cried like an idiot that day on my walk. I’m sure people driving by were wondering what my problem was. However, getting it all out on the table so to speak was so the right thing to do! I was then in for a huge blessing.

Now, you might think that when you get a dozen roses that’s pretty special right? You bet it is. But better than roses–even though I couldn’t bring them home with me–there along the road in the ditch (where I walk all the time) low and behold…a perfect dozen Pink Showy Lady Slippers (our state flower, btw.) It was just like the Lord blessed me for my honest walk with him!

I really can’t tell you just how much that meant to me. They were absolutely gorgeous! It was as if He confirmed my forgiveness by giving me this incredible gift!

Oh, friend, God is so kind and gentle, and I love this from Psalm 145:8…

“The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”

You see, I had to let go and let God fill me with His peace!

You know what? I did quit losing my hair within a few days! That is just proof that stress destroys. I believe we aren’t meant to carry bitterness and anger. And when we choose to ignore it, we will suffer because it has taken up residence in our hearts!

Friend, sometimes you just have to let it go and when you do you will be flooded with the ‘peace that passes all understanding’! I’ll take a dose of that any day…how about you?

 

Oh Momma…When you REALLY Blow It!

So it was an afternoon at the Salon, pick up pizza because mom and I would be late getting home and life would be good right? Oh so not ‘right’.

At home was a stewing guy who collided with a girl who hates conflict. I won’t divulge the situation in detail but what I do want to share is that I responded in a most extremely unChrist-like manner. I blew, completely and totally blew it!

Seems like the enemy of my soul reared his ugly head in my heart and I reacted in a crazy fashion of yelling at the top of my lungs in response to what I thought was inappropriate charges. Okay, we all have fought and disagreed at some point in our marriage, but it seems more likely during the early years. Well, we will be in it 30 years in October and frankly, I shocked myself (which will give you an inclination of just how out of control I was!)

I have written before about blocked goals and know firsthand the frustrations that come from having your best laid plans interupted! And I have also written extensively on the topic of unforgiveness because it has been a key to my ‘growth’ and spiritual maturity. Is it is possible that maybe you can even identify with an unfortunate situation like mine.

Well, we didn’t speak the rest of the night. However on my three mile walk I allowed the Lord to speak to me about what had just happened. I am so glad I live in the rural part of our community because a sobbing woman walking swiftly might give cause for concern.

Line Break

You see, I am a leader, a woman who loves to mentor and lead other women in the Christ-like manner we should all be walking in when we are His girls. I was so ashamed of myself for the way I behaved. I was ready to put in my resignation at my Christian ministry job, cancel all speaking engagements, keep walking and never come back (I have a natural inclination to run!) and surely never face the one I tangled with.

However…our loving Father, who is so gracious and kind began to speak to my heart and hear the story that I spilled out, and yes, even though I knew He was there in the midst! However, He so gently reminded me that I am not responsible for the “but he did…” in this showdown. Nope, I had to face my pathetic response, face my wrongs and ask the Lord to search my heart and show me the wickedness of my own heart. Grief, what was in this heart of mine that would make me lash out in response the way I did?

Mist rising Psalm 139.23-24

Oh friend, this was such a humbling experience. I hadn’t been in this place for a long time and I was shocked at both of our responses. I continued to allow the Lord to show me my fears, insecurities, doubts and asked to see just where was this coming from. I didn’t raise my fist to heaven and try to blame God or my guy. That’s because I knew I had to look into my heart alone and trust that God would take care of the rest.

Line Break

When I returned home the guy was in bed, as he is an early to bed, early to rise type, which meant that it was just me and my mom (who was the unfortunate witness to the entire event) left to converse. I told her I was so ashamed of how I responded and asked her to forgive my outbursts. She wanted to justify my response and I just gently said I wouldn’t discuss it any further, and that I was terribly wrong. You see so often we want to rally our troops and justify our actions. Click To Tweet I knew I couldn’t do that! I had to respond correctly as the Lord had lead me to do.

The guy had worked so hard that day that I knew he needed his sleep or I would have awakened and we could have talked then. And I had prayed for boldness to end this thing before the “sun would go down on our anger.” However I slept and surprisingly well at that. He is most often awake before I am so when I got up his first response was “Good morning.” Hmmm…I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting that and I grunted somewhat and proceeded to get busy making my muffins in hopes that we were all done and finished never to revisit last evenings main event ever again.

I was thankful that when he came into the kitchen he did apologize for his outburst the night before. To that, I was able to then reply back that I was so ashamed of my behavior. I had made up my mind that I wasn’t going to focus on him and what he did to get me riled up. No, this was about me. I had crossed the line and I wanted him to know that I knew how inappropriate it was and that I was so sorry and hoped that he would forgive me. I also told him that I loved him. And that is why this situation cut so deeply. People who love each other aren’t supposed to hurt each other like that, or at all (although it too frequently happens.)

You see, I have a small prayer group that meets weekly, and we care enough about one another’s spiritual well-being to be able to look each other in the eye and say,

It's not about them, it's about what God wants to work in you! Click To Tweet I admit, that sometimes bites! But I know it’s true.

So have you and your spouse every tangled?

How did you respond after the scenario played out?

From my perspective, here’s what not to do:

  • Don’t rally the troupes to gain support for your wound licking party. If this is about you then allow God to search your heart and be willing to take a look at the unpleasantness in your own heart. Both parties can turn ugly during a heated argument!
  • Ask the Father to show you if there is something in your heart that you have refused to give over to Him. Remember, diamonds are made from raw coal and pressure. Over time we hand Him every little bit so that He can make us more and more like Jesus.
  • Don’t focus on all that the other person did wrong in the situation. He did..she did this that and the other. This is where you admit that you are not responsible for changing the other one. That is not your job! There is no degree on wrong…it is just plain old wrong!
  • Ask the Father to show you how to humble your heart. Pride is a tool of the devil and he will certainly get you into trouble if you continue to entertain it.

Humility1

What can you do when reeling from a situation like this? Here is where you acknowledge your responsibility, humbling yourself and looking inward instead of over at the one who hurt you! Walking in humility isn’t easy but when you lay down your pride it can be done. And remember that these trials will only make you more and more like Christ, and you will be more inclined to offer grace to another when you see that they have blown it big time!

Make up your mind that the devil won’t win this battle!

 

It’s All About Me…Really?

Words of affirmationClose your eyes, stop and think…random now…where does your mind drift off to? Honestly, I sure think most about me, my world, my home, family, problems and agendas and more ME! It kind of bugs ME to have a Me mindset. After all I share my home with others and thoughts of them tend to bring ME back around to ME. I rather think that this is a natural inclination, to be ME focused. However, as a woman of God, I am learning that this journey here on earth is NOT about ME!

I may have mentioned before that when I read Francis Chan’s “Crazy Love”, it totally rocked my world…forcing me to see outside of me, myself and I. That was a good thing! But I still struggle with myself and my little world rising to the surface. There are so many needs in this world that I become very overwhelmed when thinking about my part in helping others. And what I have found is to practice looking beyond self really starts right in my own home!

As a wife, I need to build into my husband the very elements that I myself desire. What wife doesn’t want a husband who is kind to them? So it is my responsibility to respond to him with kindness. But even when he can be unkind to me? Absolutely! Ask yourself when the last time you were genuinely kind to your spouse and remember how he reacted. Especially those times when you made the choice to respond to him with kindness and inside you were wanting to do likewise!

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly. Proverbs 15:1,2

I love the verses above! What is on the tip of the tongue can sway a response every time! And making the choice to respond in kindness will always have an impact. You may not always see the response immediately but believe me it will percolate inside the recipients heart and soften instead of hardening that person’s response.

Do you find yourself sometimes wishing your spouse were gentler and kinder with his words? I have and do with my guy! He loves to be right and he loves to get me to react (and believe me, most times I do!) But I have tested this response thing and nine times out of ten, what I have found is that my gentle, kind response, diffuses his ire!

So here’s the challenge…purpose to respond differently than you would normally, put on that kindness and give it a try…see what happens and let me know how it has worked for you!

She’ll Be Comin’ Round the Mountain…

Do you ever find yourself sick and tired of going around and around the mountain and making the same mistakes over and over again and again?  Wow, I sure do and I get so frustrated with myself when I do thinking ‘haven’t I gotten this lesson yet?’ Thankfully this has ignited my desire to draw closer to God. I knew that God had something so much sweeter for my life but that I would have to jump some hurdles to get there. 

For me, it was a matter of learning to lay down my pride, and acknowledge that I could no longer rely on my own resources to keep from making the same mistakes over and over again.  Don’t you just hate it when you are in repeat mode?  You self-talk asking God to never let it happen again and then boom, repeat.  It is embarrassing to continually do, react or forge ahead and then realize that you have been on this… Click To Tweet

My tendency to be judgmental and critical of others was not going to stop until I realized that I had to make a very purposeful choice not to look at others comparing myself with them and criticize.  My ministry was not going to go forth until I was willing to be honest with my struggles and work on allowing the Lord to refine me in the furnace of His love, being content knowing that He would use me right where I was.  You see, God really wants us to flourish and grow and go forth in His name and for His purposes.  And finally that I would stay committed to relationships with Him, my husband, children, work and friends to the best of my ability…not in my strength but in His. Line BreakWhere God was and is concerned, I had to make a choice (and daily make that choice) to spend  time with Him first and foremost!  This is where I have learned the answers to the hard things involving all my relationships.  Learning to love my husband in a fresh way unlike I never had before.  Friends, it has changed our relationship!  I suppose realizing that I cannot control anybody but me is nothing really new but God made it fresh for me as I focused on what I could do to better our relationship instead of expecting and demanding that my husband needed to change.  I am only able to change me!!!  With my children it was similar in that I could not control their lives (like I used to try to do) to keep them from learning the hard way like I had to do. They have to learn their life lessons in the same way I have, through their own choices resulting in mistakes, failures and victories!

Scars 2

Work was merely a matter of being content where God had placed me.  I am not one who enjoys confrontation and a few years back we had a lot of confrontation going on and frankly I wanted out.  Not realizing that God was up to some big and exciting things that I could have very well missed out on.  So every interesting job posting that became available in town I would apply for.  But God certainly had something else in mind.  He has kept me at Psalm FM Radio to serve in the capacity of the office administration and on air since 1990. And I have now been part of a very exciting ministry including the “Vertical Connection”, my radio program.  Since 2004, I have hosted a two hour radio program to encourage listeners to draw near to the Father’s heart.

Logo for web.bmp

A side note of thanks to a former employee who saw something in me that I never dreamed I could do, thank you Gene!  We just never know where God is going to take us and sometimes He takes us kicking and screaming while saying “I can’t do that!”

These tests and trials that come through our relationships with others, whether they be Christian or not, really matter to God.  We are members of a body.  We are not all the same (thankfully) and we have so much to offer each other but more importantly people are the litmus test of getting this God-walk right!  I know we are all in process and we do not have it perfect this side of glory, but, how we treat each other is crucial from the stand point that the outside world looks at us in expectation that we know how to do it right. I think the song says that “They will know we are Christians by our love…”  and we do know how to do it right. But the question is will I choose to do it the way I have been instructed and shown from God Himself through Christ? Loving God and loving others? Or will I continue to circle around the mountain again and again never taking the next step upward? 

We can always justify our actions whether anger, jealousy, injustice or whatever other reason that is out there.  But as my dear friend and I were sharing recently, the bottom line is we are responsible for making the right choice.  By doing so we deny the flesh and by doing this we allow the flow of the healing balm of reconciliation to be applied to whatever the offense was that tore us apart. Our Father and Creator, is fully aware of our short comings and struggles.  And although we will continue to make wrong choices it is certain that we will make less wrong and many more correct as we purpose to serve and spend time allowing the Lord to change who we are into the image of His Son Jesus. 

I know how hard it is, believe me, but for me I am now at a place where I have tasted the sweet rewards of my Father when I do it right and I would rather take that next step up the mountain than let my frustrations and disappointments continue to hold me back because of repeating the same mistake time and time again, keeping me at the baseline, henceforth, going round and round the mountain!

Ephesians 5:1,2

“Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.  And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma”.

Father, You know the sorrow that plagues me when I mess up.  I can only imagine the disappointment that You must feel when I have to take the same test over and over again.  I truly have set my sites on You and I really want to show others just how much You love them by the way I live my life and treat others.  To be Your representative I ask that You give me the courage to change me and I surrender my frustrations and all that I think is justified in exchange for Your grace and ask that You would help me to humbly wear and put on Your love for others…in Jesus’ Name.