"Joy is not the absence of suffering. It is the presence of God."

Friday, July 18, 2014

Faithful Friday: Anger - a Silent Villain

When Noah was little, he was obsessed with super heroes.  But he didn't just want to watch or read about them, he wanted to BE them.

His imagination would run wild, along with his chubby strong legs, as he'd throw a blanket on his back and turn into a caped crusader.  Our bar stools became skyscrapers, couches turned mountains, and his furry friends were victims needing rescue from evil villains.

Oh, how I miss those fun days of jumping into his adventures and escaping reality.  In Noah's land, there was always a happy ending!

Of course, there was a super hero he liked to become on not-so-good days too.

The Hulk became very popular when he was about three years old. Noah's favorite line of the big green guy was, "You're making me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry."

Only he changed it to, "My getting mad!  You not gonna like this!"

With a scrunched up face, he'd clinch his tiny fists, saying the line in kind of growl.  One couldn't help but laugh, which of course, would only make him madder.

Last night, Noah climbed in bed with me, since Tim was working late.  He'd been holding in some anger, more hurt really, from something said to him as a joke.  But because he didn't deal with it, the hurt festered and grew until he found himself angry about a silly situation.

Though I'd had plans of getting to sleep early, we ended up chatting for nearly two hours.  Granted there was much more conversation on my side, but God did open up an opportunity for me to share with him about the grumpy times in life.

In fact, as He often does, God brought to light a similar situation I'd had myself last week.

As I was "preaching" to my son about being quick to forgive, God showed me an area where I'd let the same thing happen and began to work on my heart to make it right.

As I shared with Noah last night, it is so easy for us to respond in anger.  It's our human nature to get mad, hold grudges, and fail to see the good in people.  The more we sit and stew on it, the worse it becomes.  And Evil is ready to pounce on those moments to fan the flames of anger and make them stronger.  Anger can often be a silent villain, lurking and growing, spreading and attacking an otherwise gentle heart until POW! you explode.

Years and years ago, I waited on a cute little couple in a small cafe, who were celebrating 60 years together.  Myself newly engaged, I asked them how they lasted so long.  Their words of wisdom are something I try to carry with me even today.

"Don't go to bed angry.  Tell each other 'I love you' every day."

But that nugget doesn't have to only be used for your spouse.  God reminds us to love everybody. Yep, even those sneaky, pesky villains.

If someone has come to mind in the course of reading this little post, it probably isn't coincindence.  Use the opportunity of today to set things right, after you're prayed-up of course.

Cuz, as this momma often says, sweeping anger and troubles under a rug eventually leads to making one trip and fall!

Be slow to anger, quick to forgive, and eager to love, friends.  
Sending you much JOY this Friday.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Faithful Friday: Scripture Challenge

There's a thing going around Facebook right now where someone challenges another to post their favorite scripture.  So far, I've not been tagged.

But it has had me thinking of what my "one scripture" would be.

Scanning back through Faithful Friday posts, I came upon the very first one I wrote.  (aww)
No surprise, it contains one of my favorites, Philippians 4:13.

It has been a significant verse in my life and one I've turned to often.

Choosing only one verse though seems somewhat impossible.  To quote a favorite, really depends on the situation.  If you twisted my arm and made me pick, right now in my life, it is from Nehemiah and pretty much sums how I've survived the past few years.

"The joy of the Lord is my strength!"  Nehemiah 8:10

Having so many to choose from is the wonderful thing about scripture.  God has stacked so many beautiful words of wisdom in the Bible.  Some are tried and true and others specific to certain times of life. Regardless, I've never met a scripture I didn't like.

No matter where you open your Bible, God has a message for you.  
It's something He and I were talking about yesterday.

You see, I was chatting while driving through the countryside and asking Him to help me find more time to spend in His word.  Throughout my life I have peaks and valleys where I do amazingly and terribly all in what seems one breath.  I know I've been lacking in this area, due to recent job changes (and summer timing) but I didn't want to just make excuses.  Whenever I lapse, something within pushes me to make a change.  My soul needs God's word.  Regularly.

I prayed for a window of opportunity to be shown to me.  A time of day I could be consistent, no matter what life threw my way.

Last night, terrible nightmares attacked me.  Probably some of the worst ever.  I fought back with songs of praise and scripture.  Some even mumbled out loud.  (I can only imagine this story from Tim's side!)

Needless to say, it was a night of much tossing and turning.  At one point, I considered just getting up and then recalled my prayer request.  Did God have a message for me?  Lack of sleep made me too lazy to get out of bed, so instead I returned to Him in prayer.

This morning, the sunlight, a beautiful song, and scripture came to me.  In my dream, I was singing a song, "Jesus, Come to me...."  In fact, it stuck with me heavy enough that when my feet hit the floor I grabbed a pen to start jotting it down.  Maybe someday I'll share it with you, if it ever gets completed.  A songwriter, I am not.?

Once writing it down, I opened my Bible to the scripture that was also on my heart.  Some of the same words were contained on those pages!!

Didn't enjoy the nightmare, but oh, how I love hearing from God!

Wishing you a Joyful-Scripture-Filled weekend, friends!

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