Am I the only one who struggles with my mouth totally running ahead of my brain? The only one who FEELS like yelling to the world that I'd really rather NOT be a grown-up but instead throw a monster sized tantrum? (Not that I actually DO it, mind you, but the temptation does arise on occasion...) The only one who when your teen-aged daughter has a melt-down, you join her? Yeah, well, I’ve been guilty of all of the above. I’ve really been working on some things, though, as hard as it has been, and I thought I’d share with you all a bit of what I’ve recently learned.Colossians 4:6 has me under conviction currently.
“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”Wow. When I’m in all-about-me-I-don’t-wanna-be-a-grown-up-melt-down mode, does my speech measure up to this standard???? Ouch. More importantly, what’s going through my heart and mind? If we nurse them long enough, thoughts and feelings inevitably weasel their way into words…words we eventually come to regret.
I have yet to conquer the waves of crazy feelings that come crashing over me at times, but I have been begging and pleading with the Lord to help me watch my words…to help me think through the implications of what I’m saying...to help me stick with facts instead of letting feelings cloud my judgment. All of these add up to a monumental task that is more challenging than anything else I’m facing. And being a homeschooling mom of four and the wife of a cancer fighter, that is saying a lot. But I mean it. The little foxes spoil the vines, you know…and so it is in my case. When I’m off my game and not watching, praying, reading the Word, or examining my heart, Satan attacks. And sometimes it’s a little while before I realize what is going on. Sometimes I don’t catch it until my emotions are fully engaged and it is difficult to sort out the facts. The battle can be incredibly difficult to fight, but God is faithful. He WILL provide the strength if we are willing to follow His principles laid out for us in His Word.This past week, I read a blog post written by Megan Rice on Mom Life Today. I have so appreciated this blog! Her article is specifically geared toward helping our kids work through their emotional melt-down moments, but I’ve snagged these four questions for use in my own journey.
1. What are you feeling?
2. What caused you to feel this way?
3. What is the truth about this situation?
4. What is a good response to this situation?I’ve noticed that if I pinpoint my emotions and give them a name, they shrink dramatically.
Secondly, if I look for the cause of the emotion, I usually find that the emotions I’m feeling are way out of proportion to the actual event that caused them to flare up. Sometimes this second step alone can take the wind out of the sails of the craziness haunting me.
My best bet though, is number three. What is the truth? First, what is God’s truth about His love for me? What is God’s truth about who I am? If I take a hard look at the persons involved, can I see through the haze of what Satan is tossing my way and remember the truth about the relationship? If it involves my husband, it may feel as though he has done something insensitive or hurtful, but if everything else in our relationship points to his caring for me by working hard, by providing for the family, by telling me he loves me, by his faithfulness in all ways…how CAN I really believe him anything but what he says he is! And all of my responses to anything he does that may SEEM insensitive need to be filtered through that truth. The same principle can be applied in every relationship. I need to also look at the truth in my own actions. Did I do my best in every aspect? Did I please the Lord? If so, no matter what Satan has to throw my way, it shouldn’t stick. If I have not, maybe the beginning of clearing up the emotional haze would be to do some apologizing. That can be difficult, but it can also cut the duration of a crazy period in half!In determining the truth about a situation and diffusing some of the emotion from the scenario, we can then come closer to determining what our response to the situation should be – based on Scripture…not on our own misguided desires or tendencies. 1 Corinthians 13 comes quickly to mind. Again, ouch.
Please remember that this is NOT, I repeat, NOT a process I have come anywhere NEAR perfecting. I’m totally in the learning stages with all of this. But I figured maybe some accountability could come from sharing this with you all. And maybe, just maybe it would be of some help to one of you.For my own benefit, I took the above questions and pared them down to one word each and wrote them on my bathroom mirror…along with some of my other favorite reminders…yeah, I have a large bathroom mirror! This is my list:
4. Response?Not that you couldn’t have come up with that yourselves (grin). Anyway, my experience has shown me that I need short and sweet reminders for crisis moments. I can’t read a whole paragraph or digest a chapter in a book when I’m over the top emotional, so this is designed to quickly get my brain back on track and hope my emotions quickly follow!
These verses have been my daily prayer for the past few weeks...may my heart be pure and my actions pleasing to the Heavenly Father...“Have mercy upon my, O God, according to thy lovingkindness…
Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts…
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me,
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me…
A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.”
~Selections from Psalm 51