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Finding Peace When You’re a Chick in Conflict – Mentoring Moments

23 Apr

vent

/vent/
Verb
Give free expression to (a strong emotion).

Do you find yourself venting (murdering with words) when friends disappoint?

Matthew 5:21-22 (ESV)

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

“We just need to talk and air out our differences.”

“Let’s just lay our feelings out on the table.”

“I’m an open book. I want people to know exactly how I feel.”

“I needed to vent.”

Step back. Take cover. The outcome of this encounter is not going to be pretty.

All of our friendships are bound to hit a bump in the road. When our feelings are hurt, we feel that we have a right to vent. It feels goods to get it off our chest while sipping a large chocolate latte’ and recounting the whole saga to another friend. But the outcome can be a shattered relationship that will heal with a jagged scar.

Anger, hurt feelings, and disappointments often come from unfulfilled expectations or assumed intentions.

“If my friend truly cared, she would have called me….”

To View the Complete Article:Finding Peace When You’re a Chick in Conflict – Mentoring Moments.

Words That Have Shaped My Life | True Woman

28 Oct

Words That Have Shaped My Life

Posted on 10.13.11 by Barbara Challies

Solomon’s beautiful proverb tells us that wise words are like “apples of gold in settings of silver.”  I would like to suggest that wise deeds and apt responses to life situations are similarly beautiful. Let me share a few of the words of some of those who have shaped the course of my life, in roughly chronological order. Their grace has become not just my example, but who I am.

John Stott, as he preached in Toronto: “You are here so you can learn the secrets of Christian growth and living. Well, there are no secrets. You read the Bible and you pray.” Revolutionary to my husband and me.

Susan Schaeffer Macaulay at English L’Abri: “Sometimes I realize I haven’t really prayed or read the Bible for a couple of weeks . . .” (And how would you, dear Susan, with your service to all of us?) So this really can happen with a sincere Christian?  Whew! Now I can look God in the eye again.

And back to L’Abri–English L’Abri this time: “There is nothing more than Christ. No higher wisdom. Nothing more.” I finally “got it.” Sola Scriptura, knowing Christ through Scripture alone, became the bedrock of my life.

On to a little side trip we made to Oxford at this time: The porter of Magdalen College: “Yes, I knew CS Lewis. What do I remember about him?  The main thing is how he would always share the food packages he got from America during the days of rationing.” Okay, not his intellect; His character! Always ask the tailors, the grocers, the neighbors . . .

Click here for the rest of the article:   True Woman | Words That Have Shaped My Life.

Compassion Around the Kitchen Table : Mentoring Moments for Christian Women

26 Oct

Compassion Around the Kitchen Table

Posted on October 11, 2011 : Filed under Mentoring, Women of God

“I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of His wrath. He has driven me and made me walk in darkness and not in light” [Lamentations 3:1-2]

Around the kitchen table is a place of compassion because it is also a place where the consequences and complications of disobedience are revealed.

Read the rest of this short devotion here:  Compassion Around the Kitchen Table : Mentoring Moments for Christian Women.

Hugs and Affirmation

20 Oct

From “Practical Theology for Women”  – Oct 10, 2011

Hugs and Affirmation

I am reminded daily of the interconnected nature of my parenting and my theology. Last week, I was at my wits end trying to figure out how to discipline my younger son, who is not normally the challenging child in our family. He was having a hard week, acting out angrily and then throwing out emotionally charged language at me when disciplined – “I hate you.” “You don’t want to be my mommy.” “You don’t love me.” And even more disturbing – “I don’t like myself.” “I don’t want to be in this world.”

What in the world?! Where was he getting that stuff? The acting out was escalating, along with the emotional verbal aftermath. I brought this burden with me into our mom’s group Bible study last week. As we shared our burdens for our children, one mom told how she had been intentionally affirming and hugging her problem child multiple times a day and the difference that was making in her child’s attitude. I thought, could it really be that simple?! But I felt burdened afterwards that I should do the same with my son.

I knew that giving him extra hugs and affirmation at random times of the day wouldn’t change how I handled his outbursts. I wasn’t going to hug and affirm him if he hit his brother. But I was hoping that if I hugged him and affirmed him when he was behaving, then when the time came to discipline him when he sinned, he would receive it from me without going into his You-hate-me-and-I-hate-myself routine.

Click here to read the rest of this article: �Practical Theology for Women: Hugs and Affirmation.

Kyria Blog: The Neglected Spiritual Practice

12 Oct

The Neglected Spiritual Practice

Why do we so often forget the importance and power of celebration?

I was a typical new mom, meticulously recording milestones, photographing every possible facial expression and pose, and religiously recording it all in a scrapbook for my bouncing baby boy. That, of course, was baby number one.

Now I glance with guilt at my poor, neglected baby number three. Okay, she’s not actuallyneglected, but in the scrapbook arena all that exists so far is a literal scrap of paper on which I’ve hurriedly scrawled her weight and length from her first four doctors appointments. Yup, that’s it. I’ve let life’s busyness and demands completely shove aside any time for baby-booking.

I share this example because I think it reflects what many of us do in our spiritual lives.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

The Words of Our Mouth

3 Oct

The Words of Our Mouth.

Words. . .

Ever wish you could take back words you said?

Do find yourself lying awake, mulling over a conversation and thinking about what you should have said?

In frustration, has your child spewed out something awful at you or a sibling?

For over a week, it seems these sorts of issues have popped up in my world. It started with wishing I had not been such an outspoken passenger while my son drove us around in Florida, informing him of when the speed limits changed etc. Then a few days ago, I overheard my 2 1/2 year old grandson yell at his older brother, “I don’t like you!” Next, I took a break Saturday night to watch a movie—Mars Needs Moms. This cute flick opens with nine-year-old Milo saying something terrible to his mom, sending her away in tears. Finally to top the week off, yesterday my son Josiah shared a great message titled, “Words of Our Mouths.”

Ya, think God is trying to tell me something?Do you relate? By the mere fact that you’re a mom tells me that you do.

Words are tremendously powerful. They have the power to tear down or to bring healing.The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit, (Proverbs 18:21). If our words are rash, manipulative, or ungrateful, we have the power to bring harm to those we love. Our words can even do damage when on the surface they sound good. We may say thanks, but inside we’re jealous or grumbling against someone. Each day thousands of words flow out of our mouths, but we’re clueless to their effect on ourselves and others, especially those we love the most, i.e. our children.

Borrowing from my son’s message, and some things God has spoken to my heart, let’s talk about how to control our tongues.
  • Store up good things in your heart. Our words reflect what’s inside. Whatever we store up in our hearts—anxiety, bitterness, frustration, fear—will sooner or later come spewing out.

For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in him, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in him, (Matthew 12:34-35).

This takes hard work. It’s sometimes easier to look at problems, rather than solutions and good things. Knowing this, we must make a conscious effort to change our thoughts and stop ourselves before those notions come to the surface. This may mean that we have to confess some pretty ugly things to God and someone we trust so that we find healing. Suppressing our thoughts only causes a buildup that will soon explode like a burning volcano. If we want to make room for good thoughts, the junk has to come out.
  • Look on the bright side. Ask the right questions. In most situations I tend to look at all the problems. Timothy frequently admonishes me about this habit. My excuse has always been that I’m trying to ward off difficulties before they occur. This type of thinking keeps me from making decisions and it waste time. I’m consciously trying to work on this, by asking the right questions and stating things positively.
For example, instead asking, “What if it doesn’t work out?” ask, “What’s next when it works out?” Rather than looking at the problems and what could go wrong, look at the benefits. Practicing the spiritual discipline of thanksgiving can help us look at“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, (Philippians 4:8). Then our words become a well spring of life, not confusion and discouragement.
  • Slow down. Think before you speak. This takes practice and prayer. We tend to have knee-jerk reactions to situations, but it’s our careless words that tend to get us in trouble (Matt. 12:36). Filling our hearts up with good and noble thoughts can assure that at least what comes out won’t do harm. One way to learn how to do this is discuss why you said something rash.
When my grandsons were arguing their mom and I talked about having them discuss how they felt. Big brother was doing something to make little brother shout “I don’t like you!” Now I’m not condoning the little guy’s behavior or anger. However, having the chance to say why he doesn’t like his brother at the moment can help him think about his words. Instead of shouting, he can learn to say, “Please stop teasing me.”
  • Simply “yes” or “no.” This is another reminder that I frequently receive from my hubby. He says I “speak in paragraphs” and totally confuse him. Jan Johnsonstates that she realized that her “wordiness revealed a lack of trust that God would work without (her) help. While communication is important, talking has its limits. It doesn’t work if our goal is to express ourselves rather than create space for God’s grace to flow” (Abundant Simplicity). When I bottom-line things, without telling a long explanation, we tend to accomplish a lot more, and life is much more peaceful. Instructing children with short, simple statements helps them understand what we expect more than a long lengthy lecture.

For, “Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. (1 Peter 3:10)

Today on Moms Together, let’s share our struggles with taming our tongue. As my son Josiah said yesterday, it’s a small part of the body, but it’s the strongest and certainly has the greater workout. Leave a comment either here or on MomsTogether for a chance to winA Way with Words by Christin Ditchfield.

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