Anxious?

Hello everyone! I hope each of you are well and had a blessed weekend. I pray you are refreshed and ready for the week.

I love the Bible. It is full of stories filled with instruction and wisdom. And for the believer, victory. Several scriptures are my favorite, and many I hold close to my heart. The scriptures that have blessed me most are the ones that have walked me through my deepest valley’s. One of my absolute favorites is found in Philippians 4:6-8.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

“Finally, brothers and sisters, 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” (NIV).

This scripture is packed with wisdom and instruction concerning how we are to handle our emotions and life’s circumstances.

God tells us not to be anxious about ANYTHING. Seems easier said than done, right? How do I remain calm when everything around me is in total chaos? Well, according to the scripture, we start with prayer. God says, “pray and petition Him with thanksgiving.” Go ahead and tell God why you are anxious. He knows anyway. After you tell him, tell him you trust Him for the answer as you give Him praise.

After obeying the first instruction, God says, “He will give us His peace which transcends ALL understanding and will guard our heart and mind.” As you stand in faith and continue to pray, he will give you peace about the situation.

Finally, God says, “think on what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy.”  When thoughts come that try to make you anxious, remember to think of what is true and nothing else. As you do this, you will continue to experience God’s peace. As we follow God at His word, He will give us exactly what we need in His perfect timing.

In those moments when I find myself feeling anxious about a situation or circumstance, or when the enemy tries to convince me of anything contrary to God’s word, I am reminded by the Holy Spirit to pray and give thanksgiving to God.

Today I encourage you, that instead of allowing the feelings of anxiousness to weigh you down, do what God says. Pray, give thanks, and think on these things according to Philippians 4:8.

Scriptures
Philippians 4:6-8

 

 

Marriage Lessons-(12 week series)-Week 9

Hello everyone! I hope you had a great weekend!! Today is week nine of the Marriage Lessons. Last weeks lesson focused on “A nagging wife.” I hope you will read it.

Lesson 9. Communication is a skill and you must learn to master it daily

Communication definition: the imparting or exchanging of information or news

Fifteen years ago, when my husband and I were in marriage counseling, our counselors asked me a question. They asked, “How will I work things out when there is a conflict?” I remember saying “By communicating.” Their response was “Communication works both ways.” “And what will you do if you communicate differently?” I recall thinking, “That won’t be a problem for us, we always talk to each other.” After year one of marriage, I realized talking and communicating was two different things. Talking to each other was very easy, however, communicating our emotions meant going beyond the surface; something which was difficult for us.

Effective communication avoids confusion, misunderstandings, and conflict. In school, we learn subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic; however, we are not taught how to effectively communicate. In most cases communication is a skill that enhances over time with practice and patience.

My husband and I communicated poorly. In some ways, communicating was more of a challenge for me as I was still overcoming the effects of abuse from my childhood.

One of the first times we experienced a miscommunication was within the first few weeks of our marriage.  Usually, when I came home from work, I changed out of my work clothes and sat down for a few minutes to gather myself before cooking. One day, I was sitting on the couch when my husband walked in. He came in, gave me a kiss and went into the kitchen. I did not think much of it until I heard pots and pans. I walked into the kitchen and asked, “Are you making dinner?” He said “Yes.” I immediately got upset and walked out of the kitchen. Later that night, he noticed I was quiet and asked if I was okay. I did not want to talk about it, but I did anyway (internalizing). I said, “You made me feel like a bad wife when you went into the kitchen to cook.”  “You made it seem as if I was taking too long.” He looked at me and said, “That is not what I was thinking.” He said, “My process when I come home is to go directly into the kitchen to begin cooking.” He told me he had been doing things this way since becoming a single father.

It was at that moment I realized I needed to deal with my emotions as well as communicate what I felt instead of shutting down. I am grateful we were able to resolve the issue quickly. We learned we needed to discuss our expectations of each other to avoid other issues.

On a daily basis, we continuously work on communicating our emotions. I learned it is important to say what you mean and mean what you say. Sometimes as wives, we expect our husband to read our minds, which is a mistake because they can’t. As I learned, communication goes two ways. I encourage you to communicate with your spouse. Express your emotions, be clear, be direct. Matthew 5:37 says, Let what you say be simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything more than this comes from evil.”

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson

  1. Discuss your expectations to each other at the beginning
  2. Be clear and direct in your communication
  3. If you or your spouse has trouble communicating, ask God to help you (He will)

Scriptures
Matthew 5:37
Proverbs 25:11

Marriage Lessons (12-week series)-Week 7

Hello Family! I am enjoying this time with you. I pray you are being blessed and gaining insight into your marriage with the lessons being shared. Today is week seven of the Marriage Lessons. Last weeks lesson covered “privacy in your marriage.” I hope you will read it. 

Lesson 7. Do not compare your mate or your marriage to someone else

At one time or another have you ever compared yourself to someone else? Perhaps in terms of your appearance, status, or personality. What did you gain from it? Did you feel better about yourself? Probably not. I am sure what you learned is comparing yourself to someone else is harmful and does not add to your life in any way.

Thus, if comparing yourself to an individual is detrimental, imagine comparing your marital relationship to someone else’s. Truth is we never know what is going on in someone’s relationship. As I have stated in past lessons, ALL marriages have problems, but oftentimes we look on the outside and assume all is well. Sometimes we compare ourselves and feel we should be doing better in some way. Other times, we go so far as to want what they appear to have which is worse than comparing, it is coveting.

The famous saying, “the grass always looks greener,” is true regarding the appearance of the grass. However, underneath the greenery, you may find rotted soil. Truth is, it is deception!

After many years of going through a trial in my marriage, I got tired. Sure, I was praying and asking God when things would change, but I was still weary. I allowed myself to focus so much on what was happening that I began to compare my marriage to the “happy looking” couples. I would think, why aren’t they going through anything? Foolish right? Much later, after God delivered us, I looked back and saw how foolish I was, and you know what, the couple that I looked too divorced!

Galatians 6:4-5 states “each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.  Assume your own responsibility.”

The truth is the only person we should be comparing our marriage to our bridegroom Jesus Christ! In our marriage, we should follow God by caring for our spouse as he does for us. Christ loves us, forgives us, covers us, and guides us. If you are following the example of Christ, there is no need to compare. God’s way is the only perfect example to follow.

Unless you live with another couple, you do not know what goes on in their home. Therefore, focus on improving the areas in your marriage and do what works for your spouse not what appears to work in another relationship. Remember, the view you see in others is very limited.

My Marriage Lesson & Your Marriage Lesson
1. Don’t be deceived
2. Follow Christ’ example for your marriage
3. Appreciate the gifts and qualities in your spouse
3. Celebrate the positive areas in your marriage
5. Instead of comparing, work on those areas of weakness in your marriage together

Scriptures
Exodus 20:17
Galatians 6:4-5

 

So Emotional…

Proverbs 25:28 “a person without self-control is like a city with broken-down walls” (NLT).

We must identify why we feel what we feel and get to the root of it. As women, we have many emotions and I believe God has designed us that way. Our emotions make us unique and we should embrace them; however, we must be cognizant of not allowing our emotions to control us.

On December 12th as I was cleaning and organizing files in preparation for the New Year, I came across my mother’s death certificate. As soon as I saw it, I began to ball my eyes out. I did not expect such raw emotions to emerge and I was actually surprised. When I was done, I prayed and asked God to continue to heal my heart. Although I finished crying, I was experiencing a heavy weight of sadness for the rest of the day.

Later in the day, the Lord blessed my heart regarding another matter and I wanted to share it with my husband. When he came home, he asked “babe, what happened today” and I proceeded to share it with him. As I was speaking, I noticed he seemed “out of it” or rather disinterested. It upset me, so I stood up abruptly and walked angrily to my bedroom. As soon as I laid down on the bed the Holy Spirit said, “there is no reason to be upset with him” and I immediately knew why. Truth is, he was not disinterested, but tired and I could tell from the moment he walked in the door, but I proceeded to talk anyway. Second, what was actually bothering me is I was still sad regarding the loss of my mother. After identifying the root of why I was sad, I apologized to my husband and received the comfort I needed.

If I had not been obedient to the voice of God I would have gone to bed upset with my husband over something that did not exist. More importantly, I would have been disobedient to God. If we do not control our God-given emotions we will be ruled by them! Having out of control emotions can lead to divorce, misunderstandings, arguments, job loss, jail and saying things we are bound to regret.

How many times have we done something in the heat of the moment and regretted it later? I am sure each of us has. We must remember our emotions are valid and given to us by God. However, our emotions are fleeting and we cannot rely upon nor be ruled by them.

My prayer is each of us learns how to rule over our emotions so we can be pleasing to the Father and a blessing to those around us.

Love you all,

Darlene
#healedtospeak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Forgive or Not To Forgive…Choose

Matthew 6:14-15 “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins” (NIV).

In this week’s video, I discuss why we must forgive and the consequences of unforgiveness. When we do not forgive, we risk bitterness of soul, sickness and disease, and God not extending his forgiveness towards us. No matter the offense, forgiveness must be apart of our daily walk as it is not just for the person, but for us too.

Definition of Forgiveness – The intentional and voluntary process by which a victim undergoes a change in feelings and attitude regarding an offense, let’s go of negative emotions such as vengefulness, with an increased ability to wish the offender well.” – Wikipedia

Love you all,

Darlene
#healedtospeak