Relationships, Showing love

Breaking the Anger Cycle

margueriteBanana bread wafts from the kitchen. My three kids’ bellies are pleasantly full of the warm treat as the sun quiets its rays through sheer curtains. The smell of fall fills our home with hope for the new season. 

A piercing scream interrupts the sweet silence.

My youngest child’s pounding feet shake the floor as she screams, “Stop it!” 

“No, she did!” the oldest yells toward me.  

I sigh deeply.  Another day, another argument. 

Does your house sound the same? Maybe you don’t have young children, but you know these heightened volumes and tight chest all too well from your childhood or those closest to you. 

I used to join in and loudly demand the kids to stop and go to their rooms. Or even worse, I’d yell, “Don’t yell!” with no results. 

Through desperate prayer and time in the Bible, God reminded me of these wise words from the Old Testament book of Proverbs, 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).

Now, we are putting this into practice. Instead of parenting from the other room, I walk to the room they are in, get down to their level, and say, “Gentle answer.” This is our reminder to stop, take a breath, and pray for help. We are allowed to check anyone in our home with this phrase. Sometimes we immediately change our tone and peacefully move forward, diffusing the situation, while other times, a calm-down break is needed. 

I avoid arguments, but those closest to me may experience my nippy words or harsh tone which demand my way. God’s Word says to be delicate in our response. 

Calm words turn away the burning anger within. My words and how I say them can either incite more anger or diffuse a situation. Often, hurt people want to shout everything that is wrong. This wise proverb says the opposite. Instead of spitting fire, we are to remain gentle and calm. Nothing good comes from one person walking away defenseless and weak, and another prideful and outraged. Calm words turn away the burning anger within. My words and how I say them can either incite more anger or diffuse a situation. Click To TweetGinnyQuoteAnger

God brings His peace into our frustrating situations, and we can trust that He will work it out for us. 

As I taste the sweet banana bread and sip my coffee, I reflect on the impact of words. Do they cause shame and accusation or bring life? Am I helping to shift an argument to a peace-filled conversation?God brings His peace into our frustrating situations, and we can trust that He will work it out for us. Click To Tweet

How are you responding gently to anger around you? Are your words and tone soft or harsh? What strategies can you use to make your answers more gentle?

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Wholly Loved Ministries is a non-profit organization that exists to help women live in Christ’s freedom. Donate now to support our mission or contact us to learn more.

 

Meet Ginny Davidson!

Ginny Davidson's author headshotGinny is an overcomer, brain tumor survivor, wife, and mother boldly declaring God’s hope and peace. After completing her M.A. in Education from Grand Canyon University, she speaks so others can experience freedom from anxiety and life change. Whether it’s a conversation over a steaming cup of chai on her couch or sharing with a group at a retreat or Bible study, Ginny is compelled to share the message of the peace-filled life to a world of women plagued by fear. In the evenings she can be found outside with her husband and kids, attending dance parties around the record player in the living room, or highlighting a great book.

Hardships and Trials, security

Steady Souls in the Face of Uncertainty

 

Two older women with quote from post.

Mark Twain penned, “Wrinkles should merely indicate where smiles have been.” 

I hope that’s true for me. 

I’ve always smiled with my eyes. Or that’s what others tell me and probably why I have so many wrinkles showing around them. With all that is happening in the world I find myself struggling to not take it all on myself. I attempt to solve one issue, or mourn another, and cannot stand under the pressure. It’s impossible to live this way and my face speaks what’s happening inside. My brows furrow while my mind travels to tasks or worries. In place of smiles are scowls while impatience pushes aside joy.

If you’re finding yourself riding waves of concern and anxiety, you’re not alone.

The other day, months into the Coronavirus stay-at-home orders, my son started laughing in deep joy while crying tears of grief.  He swallowed hard, stopped, and said with shock, “Woah, that’s never happened before.” It hit me hard. Many of us are experiencing deep emotions washing over us.

We feel hope, grief, joy, frustration, and fear.  But we can stand firm knowing these emotions remind us of our need for Jesus. He is our anchor in the waves. We cannot anchor ourselves.We find our security in God and know He will fulfill His promises. Click To Tweet God is our certainty, our faithful anchor amidst the confusion and unknowns that flood our feeds and minds daily.

Hebrews 6:19a says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure.”

Anchor image with quote from post

When we place our hope in Jesus, we sit with confident expectation in God’s faithfulness, love, forgiveness, and the promise of eternity with Him. These truths steady our souls in the waves of uncertainty. 

When multiple emotions leave us feeling out of control, we must stand firm and anchor in God. As identifiers, our emotions can bring us closer to Him, letting us know when things need to be tended to, or surrendered. 

When multiple emotions leave us feeling out of control, we must stand firm and anchor in God. Click To Tweet

As my eye wrinkles leave coordinates of past heart conditions, I’m reminded that I can choose to praise God in hope and faith as He holds me firmly. I pray that my wrinkles of grief and anxiety are shallow, while my deeper wrinkles are of joy and peace, evidence of God’s love and faithfulness.

Allow God’s  Word to wash over you today as you cling to Him during uncertain times. 

“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’

Your steadfast love, O LORD, held me up.

When the cares of my heart are many,

Your consolations cheer my soul” (Psalm 94:18-19, ESV).

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20 Days of Relational Health Bible reading plan.

Our hearts crave deep, lasting connections–to know we are loved and belong. This Bible reading plan will help you grow in your relationships as you learn to love others well, speak and live in truth, and set the healthy boundaries that will allow your relationships to thrive.

Find it HERE.

 

Faith

Countering Fear With Praise by Virginia Davidson

 

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The CD player in our minivan is broken. It plays the same CD on loop and won’t stop without ejecting the disc and starting anew. Often my brain does the same thing with thoughts that loop and loop until I have to deal with them either in quiet prayer time or if left unchecked, in a moment of anxiety.

When my thoughts spiral out of control, I need to intentionally focus on truth. Click To Tweet

Philippians 4 is full of encouragement. If you’re at home like most of the world right now, you have the time to sit and reflect. Verse four to seven say,

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (ESV).

Let your gentleness, reasonableness, be seen by all! This isn’t always easy when we are feeling overwhelmed and out of control. We cannot control the virus painting our world sick and anxious. But we can tell our thoughts and fears to the One that can handle them. Click To TweetHe’s not shocked, He knows them already, and doesn’t turn us away. He’s our Healer, our Shepherd, our Savior. He gives us His peace, His wholeness, and guards our ever-changing emotions and thoughts.

Philippians four verses eight to nine can help us do that. It states, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you” (ESV).

It’s easy to fall into the “What-ifs”, but we are called to think about whatever is true, honorable, just, pure ... Click To Tweet Quote image pulled from post

These verses are a great reminder and encouragement. God created us, He knows where we often let our thoughts take over and loop. But Philippians 8 tells us what to think about, what to loop in our brains, the true, the honorable, the just, the pure, the lovely, the commendable, the excellent, the praiseworthy.

So as we notice the thoughts that so easily get stuck in our minds, may God graciously eject them, and remind us of all of His lovely Truths.

Let’s talk about this! Do you find yourself looping the what ifs right now? If so, join us by sharing something lovely or praiseworthy below.

Let’s share a new playlist below, not of songs, but of something lovely, honorable, and praiseworthy you’ve seen this week.

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Ginny Davidson's author headshotGinny Davidson is an overcomer, brain tumor survivor, wife, and mother boldly declaring God’s hope and peace. After completing her M.A. in Education from Grand Canyon University, she speaks so others can experience freedom from anxiety and life change. Whether it’s a conversation over a steaming cup of chai on her couch or sharing with a group at a retreat or Bible study, Ginny is compelled to share the message of the peace-filled life to a world of women plagued by fear. In the evenings she can be found outside with her husband and kids, attending dance parties around the record player in the living room, or highlighting a great book.

 

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Grace Reading Plan ImageChrist’s grace has the power to change everything. We don’t have to strive, to compete, or compare, or question whether or not we measure up. We’re enough because Christ in us is enough. The cross of Christ sets us free.

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