Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Being Still: Into the Word Wednesdays: v 26 {link up}

Last Sunday's message at church has left me thinking all week.  The subject: learning to manage your emotions.  Appropriate?  Yes.  Timely?  Yes.  It really struck me because I am in a season of grief and have such a range of emotions as it is.  Throw in the day to day emotions and you've got one hot mess from time to time.
"But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control..."  {Galatians 5:22-23, NLT}
When I consider the above scripture from Galatians, I can't help think that there are so many times during the course of a day where God isn't being honored because of my emotions.  The pastor stated, "Am I living honoring the way God made me?"  When times are good, maybe.  But if there is an emotional imbalance in my life, then there's a good chance that I am not.  He also made the point that it's very difficult to find a person who reflects all of the fruits of the Spirit in their daily lives.

You may have heard people tell you that you are responsible for your own feelings.  No one made you feel the way you feel.  The pastor likened it to being inside a hula hoop.  What's inside the hula hoop {i.e. YOU} is your responsibility. What's in your spouse's hula hoop is their responsibility.  What's in our best friend's hula hoop is their responsibility.  Everyone has their own hula hoop and everyone is responsible for what's inside.  I thought this was a great visual to use.  "A victim always believes the problem is outside of themselves."  How often have I made myself a victim because I thought a problem outside of my hula hoop was my own??

The pastor went on to say "Don't let ants ruin your picnic!"  Ants??  No.  ANTs.  Automatic Negative Thoughts.  It is so easy to sit back and think of how others may bring ANTs to the picnic, but I thought to myself, there are probably plenty of times when I've done it too.  Other people aren't always the ones responsible for ruining the picnic!

The weekend message has caused me to consider various situations in my life and how things can change for the better if I can try to stick to my own hula hoop.  If I stop making others responsible for how I feel in particular situations, I can take control for myself - I am no longer a powerless victim.

I think it is very important to slow down and to try to listen to what God is telling you.  An emotional roller coaster can make you feel out of control.  It can clutter your mind so much that you can't hear God.  It can make you forget to consider Him during those times.

Right now, I am in a season of life which is, to me, very high stress.  I am managing alright, but I won't pretend that dealing with the loss of a young child is easy.  It is painfully emotional.  My life, as with most people, has other stress-causing things in it.  The message really brought home to me that I need to try to slow my brain down.  It's been working in overdrive and I am not managing my emotions very well internally.  Maybe I'm ok on the outside {most of the time!}, but on the inside, I can't shut my brain off.  The more I think about the stress-causing things in life, the more out of control it gets.

Our pastor gave us a couple simple ways to help manage emotions.  First, he said {and I'm paraphrasing here}, "meditative prayer and the gratitude exercise."  Yes, I need to slow down - Be still - and reflect and pray more.  Perhaps I need to re-focus what I'm already praying for.  What is the gratitude exercise?  Well, it is so much more than the Thankful Thursday link up I host here each week.  It's finding things to be thankful for each day - three things, three times a day.  Right now, I'm thankful I'm writing this post because I haven't contributed to this link up a lot recently.  I am also thankful for great neighbors and running water.  Second, "build a loving support system and get the help you need."  Yes!!  I could go on at length about that one, but I think it speaks volumes on its own.  He was also careful to point out that some people need medical help including medications - and that is ok!  It is ok to ask for help and to receive help.  I'm not very good at those things sometimes.

I need to learn to take more time being still and listening to what God has to say to me.


I would LOVE it if you linked up with a post about what God is showing you in the Word, or in your life. Please also stop by and see what God has been teaching my beautiful co-hosts this week: 

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes
Falen at Upward Not Inward 
Kelly at Exceptionalistic

Into the Word Wednesday Blog Hop Rules:
1. Write a post about what God is teaching you this week.
2.  Follow the host and hostess. 
3. Grab a button to put on your blog - the more the merrier!
4. Check out (and comment) other people's blogs and be blessed by all the sisters and brothers around the world!

Into The Word Wednesdays

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