Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hold My Tongue {Anger Series}


I was so angry last week I wanted to yell. But…with yelling usually comes saying things I shouldn’t. (I kind of know this from experience.) So, before I went huffing and puffing into the next room, I prayed.

I asked God to hold my tongue and not let me say what I was thinking. And then I asked Him to help me calm down and diffuse the emotions that were overcoming me.

I didn’t always know to do this, to ask God to keep me from speaking. And even though I know it now, I still don’t always want to pray first because it means thinking first and speaking second.

Or maybe not speaking at all.
A gentle answer deflects anger, but harsh words make tempers flare. Proverbs15:1 NLT
My words were going to be harsh. Anger does that. It makes us act in ugly ways. But, we can learn to control it…if we want to.

God created us with emotions, and anger is a human emotion. It’s not a sin to be angry, but how we act while angry can be sinful.
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians4:26-27 ESV
Acting and speaking out of anger fuels the fire in a disagreement. It keeps it going back and forth, and no one wins. Except the enemy. Satan loves it when we give him an easy way in, and uncontrolled anger is an open door.

Whatever I was angry about last week was not worth it. I stayed where I was until I felt calmer. I was still angry, but not like I had been. I believe God answered my prayer by keeping me still and my voice silent. It’s a prayer I’m trying to pray more often.
A fool is quick-tempered, but a wise person stays calm when insulted. Proverbs12:16 NLT

This post begins a new series titled Anger…regaining control. I’d love to hear your feedback. Whether it’s a quick temper or feelings built up over the years, do you struggle with anger?

I don’t have a specific time frame for how long this series will run; we’ll just see how it goes. (Please note: I’m not trained in anger management, counseling, or anything in between. I’m just writing from my own experiences and what God is showing me through His Word.)

In Christ,
Laura 

Friday, May 20, 2016

God’s Strength to Persevere


I drove home the other day almost in tears. No reason really. Just. Life.

You know those days? You’re handling what comes your way without upset, taking the unexpected issues in stride, keeping up with the schedule, and then…you hit the point when you realize just how tired you are, physically, emotionally, even spiritually.

Yep, that was me. Tears and driving don’t mix, so I talked to God. And one word was His only answer.

Persevere.

It was His gentle reminder. Persevere is my One Word for this year, but I haven’t been thinking about it much. Just trying to do it.

Now I can’t stop thinking about it in very specific ways.

Persevere—through the tough days that string together for too long.

Persevere—in holding on to hope, when it seems others have given up.

Persevere—in following Jesus, especially when I know I’m under spiritual attack.

Persevere—when it feels like it would be easier to quit.
As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy. James 5:11 NIV
In God’s reminder to persevere I felt comforted. And strengthened. I realized that it’s not enough to keep going on my own. I need to lean into His strength…and His compassion.

In Christ,
Laura  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Leave a Legacy of Faith


How do you hope to be remembered someday? Whether it’s your children, family, co-workers, or the person you met one time, what would you like them to remember about you?
I know I’ll be remembered differently depending on how close I was to that person. For example, my daughter will remember me in personal ways from our time spent together, while a co-worker might only remember me from the office environment.
As I’ve thought about this, I’ve realized that the greatest legacy I can leave my family, friends, or someone I meet once in my lifetime is my faith.
Legacy, by definition, is something handed down or received, often from an ancestor or predecessor. Among the synonyms for legacy is gift. (dictionary.com)
The greatest legacy or gift I can leave to others is the way in which I live out my faitheveryday, with everyone.

I'm sharing this post over at LifeLetter Cafe. Please follow me over to continue reading...Leave a Legacy of Faith.

In Christ,
Laura 

[This post originally appeared at 5 Minutes for Faith in 2012. Photo credit: FreeImages.com]

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Small Steps Are Big


“The master was full of praise. ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!’Matthew 25:21 NLT

We like to skip the small stuff and move right to the big, don’t we? Small steps take time, and that’s time we don’t want to “waste.” We want to move to the end result—the bigger office, the better promotion, the nicer house that’s not quite affordable…we like to get to the big ending, and the faster, the better.

But lately, I’ve been noticing the small stuff more—the small goals I reach, the quiet opportunities I’ve been given, the small steps outside of my comfort zone that stretch me just the right amount.

Small steps are good. In fact, the smallest steps can be the biggest leaps of faith.

I'm so excited to be guest posting today over at TheLaundryMoms.com! I hope you'll join me there to continue reading my post...Small Steps Are Big!

In Christ,
Laura 

Photo credit: TheLaundryMoms.com