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Archive for the ‘anger’ Category

I was at a pro-life conference in Mukachevo, Ukraine, a few years back, and the speaker, a leader in this pro-life organization, made a comment about our words also being life-giving.

He, and his organization, broaden the “pro-life” phrase to mean being pro life in all of life, in our words, our actions, our passions, etc.

I love pondering this. I have been mulling it over for years.

It’s so amazing the power of life and death God has put into our care and stewardship. (And I say this, acknowledging that God is all-sovereign over us all and all that happens.)

The idea of being a giver of life is much broader than just carrying a baby.

Proverbs talks about our words having the ability to be life or death. We can also kill physically or even with our anger.

It’s a life-long challenge. Will my attitudes be life-giving? My words? My actions and decisions? Having the power of life and death coming forth from us constantly is a deep well of truth and power to pore over, to drink from and live by.

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I’m reading Psalm 119 now, over and over.

Side note: You’re growing closer to God when you begin to lovelovelove passages of the Bible you once struggled to make yourself read, much less enjoy.

OK, I love Psalm 119. Dump the read-your-Bible-every-day ideal or read-your-Bible-through-in-a-year goal.

Those are good things,but Psalm 119 is the ideal goal of our relationship to God’s Word:

  • Do It. Choose It. Obey It. Observe It.
  • Treasure It.
  • Tell It.
  • Rejoice in It. Delight in It. Long for It. Seek It. Love it.
  • Meditate on It. Understand It. Diligently consider It.
  • Sing It.

Wow.

So I was struck by verse one:

Blessed are they whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the LORD. (Psa 119:1 NIV)

Blameless. Not “perfect” (because who can be that?!?)  but “complete,” full of “integrity.”  And the second line is the close-up descriptive of this blameless life—it means obeying God’s law.

So, I’m thinking, how can I make every step of my day immersed in God’s Word? So I listed  three areas where I mainly see sin struggles in my life. One is my anger and irritabilty towards my kids and my tone of voice.

So then I turned to Exodus 20 and read through the 10 commandments—God’s Law right there. And I found commandments that could apply to each area of struggle. And for my kids, I noticed the commandment,

“You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. (Exo 20:16 NAS)

And I thought, my kids are my neighbors, and do I lie to myself about them? Do I testify untruths, incomplete truths to myself about them in the courtroom of my brain? Do I let myself entertain irritated, accusing thoughts against them, and this fuels my angry tones and reactions?

Dear God! Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me Thy law. (Psa 119:29)

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A few months ago, I was contacted by the large, european fertility center/birth house here in Kiev. They had a new director and he wanted to hear my experiences with their facilities and any concerns I had.

I contacted two other american doulas who’d done stuff like this before and they came too. In our pre-discussion, one asked me what topics we wanted to mention. So I quickly wrote up a one-page deal with a nice greeting, then the good and bad points I tell clients about their birth house.

At the end of our meeting, he took that little made-at-the-last-minute paper. He showed it to the investors he had visiting that day. He later translated it and handed it out to all the department heads.

Moral: be careful what you put in writing 🙂

About discovering unforgiveness. This meeting showed me that there was unforgiveness in me toward these medical personnel. I started imagining what I would be like if we were actually going to be talking to doctors. And I was having physical reactions of anger just thinking about it. And honestly, I didn’t want to forgive them. I just wanted to be angry.

Then God had mercy on me, his little child. And I want to testify why it is important to go to church and be scripturally encouraged in the faith by others of God’s people.

That Sunday, I wanted to go to church, then leave. I had had almost no me-time the last few days, and I desperately wanted to be alone. I was there at church, and I thought, oh, the girls are in sunday school then they’ll go to awana, and andre is so fussy I can’t really enjoy the preaching, having to walk in and out of the auditorium with him, so I’ll just put him in the stroller and walk to the mall and sit and read my Bible while he’s asleep. And pray about this unforgiveness I want to keep.

That’s what I wanted to do.

But I also knew that I needed to get out of the vanity of the world and come back with God’s people and be reminded and encouraged. So I stayed.

And there was one moment, God’s Spirit just released me. “Just let it go, Anne. Your anger will only hurt everyone–the moms, the doctors, yourself.” And he gave me the freedom and power and desire to do that.

I was reminded of this moment tonight as I listen to this song. A line in it says “The broken Bread, Jesus, You teach us to forgive.”

I testify that it is true.

You’re Alpha & Omega

 

 

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patience

I had a flash of insight the other day that is helping me.

I have always thought of (or experienced?) patience as a thing that kind of walls up/holds back anger. Like, I am experiencing anger, irritation, frustration welling up in me, and patience has to try to hold it back. I guess seeing patience as the obligated sequel to that negativity. I don’t think I saw patience as its own element, just a reaction to sin.

And then I had this thought: What if there was only patience inside me?

What if anger wasn’t welling up? What if there was nothing of feeling irritated, annoyed… In the face of the same circumstances, there is just a long, slow, deliberate calm. A willingness to wait. Not passivity, but prayer. Giving up my control of the situation to God’s power.

What if there were only patience inside me?

I am not sure I can even explain it. But I think this is part of growing in love, of giving control over to the Spirit, of being  clothed in Christ.

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I’m a slow learner ;)

I’ve had this disconnect in my life between my desires for the type of family I’d like to have and the amount of heart & effort I was willing to put into my family. Lately, God’s been working in my life regarding my kids and really learning to enjoy them, to enjoy & value these days.

For example, I really want to home school. But part of me wants to give it a lick and a promise, and keep doing all the stuff Anne is interested in. But the larger part of me wants to enjoy it and invest in it. But that means I need to be willing to put aside other passions and interests, put  my heart into it, read about it, develop myself in this area, inspire my own emotional involvement, etc. Because that’s what I’m imagining and wanting it to be.

It’s the same with the type of relationships I want to have with my kids. Am I willing to circle my heart, time, desires around this area, to the exclusion of some other stuff,  in order to pursue the types of relationships I really want to have with them?

So I’m finally grasping that if these areas are of such value to me, then I need to be putting aside my other stuff in order to do it the way I sense God is leading me to do all this, and not resent the greatness of investment it’s requiring of me.

At our recent women’s conference, we had a time when we talked about forgiving. And at the end of the lesson, we were encouraged to take rocks into a little pouch symbolizing the people we were struggling to forgive. I didn’t really have any people, but I did have some resentment in life, and I finally realized what was going on: That I was upset that, in order to fulfill the roles and responsibilties in my life in the way that I want and I sense God wants from me, it’s taking much more of me than I want to give. So can I come to a place of peace with God that He’ll help me accept all that I need to invest in these areas and give up in other areas order to do this.

(I feel like i’m talking with cotten in my mouth, like, “AM I MAKING ANY SENSE AT ALL????)

Also, it’s so neat how God brings things together … my midwifery studies have led me into facilitating an online course about oxytocin. I read and am continually reading about this wonderful hormone of love, connection, bonding. It’s helping me feel happy, loving feelings for my family, something I have been kind of lacking in. So how neat is that?

OK, back to math worksheets, doing mosaic puzzles, breastfeeding, laundry, heating the soup, etc. …

😉

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“But deliver us from evil.”

I was tempted today to become bitter and angry with my husband. . . . . (Maybe with God, really?)

Vitaliy left Sunday to the rehab center (our village house), and said he’d be back briefly on Thursday before leaving again Friday for the big workday Saturday to finish laying the roof on the new building going up there.

Today is Thursday. Last night, I was starting to feel really stretched out emotionally and stuff with the single parenting. And I called V this morning to see when he’d be back. . . .

“Saturday.”

. . . . “There’s just too much work to do here.”

And I wanted to be angry. I wanted to be bitter.

I wanted to shut him out.

To not answer the phone when he called again. To not be sociable when he finally got home . . .

And so the mental conversation started . . .

From my journal:

Jesus, will you please pray for me not to be angry or bitter that V is gone this whole week? . . .

I want to be angry, but oh God, you’ve brought me so far! There should be no place for selfish anger and resentment in a person set aside for Your use. My sinful inclination is to become senseless and ignorant, like an animal. [“Then I was senseless and ignorant; I was like a beast before Thee.”(Ps 73:22)]

Oh Lord, if I can die to myself–to welcome his calls with joy and not resentment, to welcome his coming and going, to give up my rights to him as a husband and father[–how easy then it will be to die physically and go to heaven later.]

Yevegenie Rodoslavov’s wife was  left alone for years with their many children as he preached underground during Communism, and he would warn her–Don’t give in to self-pity. . . . Those are words for me now.

. . . . Lord, if I’m not to enter the evil, what’s the virtue to learn here? . . . .

Loyalty. To V, to You, to my kids.

I confess, that prayer didn’t cure me all the way. . . . But God is so merciful. He helped me. Later, Vitaliy called, so tender, and said I should hire a babysitter so I could get out. . . . And just that even helped release me from the temptation.

Thank you, sweet Jesus. How happy You were to do Your Father’s will, to give up Your rights in order to serve and bless us. . . . . You are beautiful to behold. Transform me into Your likeness, please.

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A wonderful sermon about Christian parenting (and spanking). Be careful how you spank!  Be careful how you play your parent cards . . .

Please take time to listen!

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