I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can get pretty grumpy when events become challenging in my day. When the internet goes down while I’m trying to work on my computer, I get super frustrated. When I accidentally drop a bunch of flour on the floor while baking, I get grouchy. When I get an unanticipated bill in the mail, I get really irritated. Unfortunately, when that happened in the past, if my husband happened to walk by at that particular moment, I inflicted collateral damage! Collateral damage is a military term where civilians, who were minding their own business, are injured unintentionally by a military strike. Hmmm. Yes, my husband sometimes ended up being that innocent civilian who was injured by the bullets coming from my mouth and the darts shooting from my eyes during moments of irritability!
How can you prevent this collateral damage? Here are two possible remedies:
1) Pause before you react! Before a word comes out of your mouth, pause. During this pause, remember who your enemy is. Your enemy is NOT your husband…or your children. Your enemy is Satan and he is TRYING to provoke you! 1 Peter 5:8-9 says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith…”
2) Claim two specific Bible promises and pray that God would fulfill those promises for you in this moment…Isaiah 54:17 “No weapon forged against me will prevail” and Romans 8:28 “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose“.
Most women are plagued by insecurity. As a result of our insecurity, we end up putting up with rude or abusive behavior from others. Our insecurity leads up to covet what other women have. Our insecurity prompts us to put other people down so we look better in comparison. When we are drowning in insecurity, we tend to expect a man to be the “answer”. We seek and catch a husband and then expect him to make us feel better about ourselves by constantly telling us that we’re beautiful, desirable, smart, funny, intelligent, etc. However, husbands are imperfect themselves, and something could happen to take them away from you! Therefore, a husband can’t be a reliable source of security for you.
I believe we would benefit by frequently meditating on 3 particular Bible verses. They are great reminders of how God sees us and who He is to us. The first one is a reminder that He loves us and even delights in us! This verse portrays the picture of a loving father tenderly cradling his daughter in his arms. Here is the verse. Zephaniah 3:17 “The Lord your God is with you. He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you. He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing.” Close your eyes and picture God smiling at you as he holds you. Hear him whispering those words to you. Ah. So good.
The second verse reveals that God is our loving father, so even if your own parents have let you down, God will remain faithful! Psalm 27:10 Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. God will never leave you! This makes me feel so much more secure. And the third verse reveals God as our husband and protector. Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband— the Lord Almighty is his name. Wow! The maker of heaven and earth, the commander of heaven’s army of angels is your husband. Relax. He will take care of you. Yes!
There have been so many times that I have lost my cool over a trivial mistake I’ve made! I beat myself up and feel disgusted with myself. Perhaps you’ve done the same thing a time or two. What makes the situation even worse is then we become a grump around our husband and children. Because we have worked ourselves into a foul mood, it infects them as well. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves that we need to be able to laugh at some of our mistakes.
Sometimes, we take ourselves too seriously!! Often, we feel we have to be “right” all the time. Many times in the past, my pride has kept me from being able to laugh at myself when I made an error. How about you? Are you too serious? Are you a perfectionist?
These days, I’m trying to let go of my pride and admit I’m a human being who isn’t perfect 100% of the time! You know what I’ve found? Everyone, including my family members, seems to like me better. Humility is such an attractive quality. Psalm 18:27 says “You save the humble but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.” Let’s work on being humble this week. When we mess up, and we will, let’s LOL. For those of you who still don’t know how what LOL means, that stands for “laugh out loud”. *Hope you’re laughing at yourself right now 🙂 Get it?
In a recent prayer time, God gently confronted me. He asked me this simple question. Are you going to be a slave to your to-do-list today, or are you going to focus on bringing me glory? Another way of putting this is: Are you working tirelessly to bring yourself glory as the “perfect wife’, “perfect mother”, perfect Christian, etc, or are you releasing your day to God and asking him to show you what to do and what NOT to do in order to bring HIM glory?
Oh man! Busted. To be honest, I tend to drive myself to always do more and do it better, because I want to look good in other people’s eyes. I become exhausted and stressed in the process. The good news is that God didn’t design us to be people-pleasers. Yes, we are to love people, but our focus shouldn’t be on doing whatever they want. Our focus also shouldn’t be trying to look good in people’s eyes. The Bible reminds us in Galatians 1:10 “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God?”
I am confident that if you and I were both to release our days to God and ask Him to guide us, we would find much more peace! We would be free of performance-exhaustion. We would find freedom from approval exhaustion. Instead, we would be free to follow God’s promptings, which will lead to greater joy and peace than we’ve ever known. In fact, if you listen for God’s voice, he might even tell you to take a nap or relax while listening to praise music! God’s Word promises that those who seek to follow Him (instead of following their own agenda) will enter peace! (Isaiah 57:2 says, “For the righteous man is taken away from calamity; he enters into peace.” And Isaiah 26:3 reminds us, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”
I know this might sound too simple. I know you could be rolling your eyes as you read this. But give this a chance. A huge key to regaining some of your joy during challenges or after a heartbreaking event is…to focus on the things for which you can be thankful.
All of us tend to focus on what we don’t have instead of what we do have. By doing so, we become bitter, jealous, and depressed women. Now if you actually enjoy being bitter and depressed, you just go right on concentrating on what’s wrong in your life. However, there is a better way to live. God recommends it in the Bible. It’s called being thankful for what you do have. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to “give thanks in all circumstances“. This means disciplining your mind to focus on what is good and right and beautiful. God puts it this way in Philippians 4:8 “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Do you have shelter and plenty of food to eat each day? Wow! You’re in the top 10% of the entire world! Do you have someone in your life (husband, mother, friend, child) who loves you? Wonderful! Do your legs and hands work? Can you see, hear, and taste? Thank God for the health that not everyone enjoys. Has God made himself known to you and drawn your heart to him? Awesome! That means he thinks you’re special and he decided before the beginning of the world to select you to adopt as his child!
Yes, there is a time to grieve losses in our lives. But we can’t stay camped out there! Let’s make a concerted effort to focus our minds on being thankful. Little by little, you may find your joy returning, even during hard times.