Saturday, March 2, 2013

What to Say When You Don't Have Anything Nice to Say

Today was a down day... a down in the dumps day... I didn't feel like being nice. I didn't want to speak kind words. I just wanted to be left alone... but I'm Mom, and I don't get that luxury.

"Mommy!! She hit me!!!"

"She hit me first!!!"

"Because she was playing in the toilet again!!"


"Uh-huh! LIAR!!!"


This had been going on all day long. I would nip it in the bud, take care of the problems and the problem behaviors (I thought), and go back to my housework only to have to repeat the cycle minutes later. Being 30 weeks pregnant and sick, I already felt like a seething teapot, and this was added to the mix. I felt like busting out with an explosive, "SHUUUUT UUUUP!!!!!" I wanted to just knock their heads together tell them how wrong they were and send them bed for the rest of the day... or to Grandma's. Instead, I felt that convicting touch of the Holy Spirit. I heard His still, small voice whispering in my  heart, reminding me to be kind and compassionate, to be tender and affectionate, and to show the great love of the Lord. So... I took a deep breath and handled the situation (for the umpteenth time) the way God said to... with love.

I often fail in this area. I often let my tongue get in the way. I often say things I regret, things I wish I hadn't. We all have...

So... What DO you say when you don't have anything nice to say?

That old adage comes to mind, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all." Most of us heard that saying over and over and over :) growing up. 

Not only is it better for those who have to listen to us if we keep our mouths shut, not only is it better for us since we won't have to remove our foot later, but Proverbs 17:27, 28 also tells us that "zipping your lips" is the wise thing to do and will keep us from looking like a fool! "He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding."

The Bible teaches us to study out our answers before we give them. Study your words. Are they pure? Are they helpful? Are they necessary? Are they kind? Will you give them in the spirit of love? Proverbs 15:28 says, "The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things."

Remember that one word can change a heart. One unnecessarily harsh tone can crush a tender spirit. One moment of unguarded lips can ruin your testimony, damage your ability to witness, and make a person feel unneeded, unloved, and unwanted. "Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof." (Proverbs 18:21)

What do you say when you don't have anything nice to say? --Nothing!

How do YOU keep from saying words that you'll regret? I usually sing, since that usually calms me down and clears my mind. All of us need help in this area. All of us need the extra ideas. What do YOU do? Please share! :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Angry Discipline Breeds Angry Children

undefined"O Lord, rebuke me not in thy wrath: neither chasten me in thy hot displeasure. For thine arrows stick fast in me, and thy hand presseth me sore. There is no soundness in my flesh because of thine anger; neither is there any rest in my bones because of my sin. For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as an heavy burden they are too heavy for me." (Psalm 38:1-4)

This verse really stuck out to me during my devotions yesterday. It didn't stick out because of the writer's obvious distress at the Heavenly Father's anger, but rather because of the application that can be drawn from the verse... the application to the manner in which I discipline my own children.

I remember being confronted with the anger of my father as a child. I remember how it affected me. I remember the fact that everything else fled from my mind except the fact that I had made Daddy angry... again. The punishment no longer mattered. The reason he was angry fled from my memory. All I could think of was that Daddy was mad...

I wonder if the same is true for our children...

My husband and I try to never discipline in anger. If we're angry, the punishment either waits until later, or the other parent deals with it in our stead. The ultimate goal of discipline is to instill self-discipline. Discipline is a vital part of training up our children in the way they should go. If we discipline in anger, if we can't control ourselves, how can we possible teach our children to control themselves?

If our children perceive that they're being disciplined because we're angry, then the training moment is lost. Just like we did when we were younger, children tend to focus on our anger rather than what they did wrong.

Just as there's a right and wrong way for our children to obey (submissively or with an attitude), so there's also a right and wrong way for us to discipline our children (in a right spirit or in anger). Be careful! And... Remember, "You reap what you sow"! If you sow anger, you're training your children to be angry as well.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Defeating Debilitating Depression

beauty girl cry Stock Photo - 15895881"I struggle with depression."

Have you ever battled depression... whether due to circumstances, health, hormones, or just life in general? Have you ever noticed that the inner turmoil we deal with spills out and affects our every day life? Have you ever realized that depression not only affects our mood and temperament, but also our home? It doesn't only affect us, our children, and our spouse, but the cleanliness of our home as well.

Our inner mood shows up in our surroundings. A happy and joyful spirit produces a clean home, just as a clean home creates a happy a joyful spirit. The reverse is also true. I've noticed that the state of my home often reflects the state of my spirit. If I'm depressed, I get behind in my domestic chores, I have a hard time keeping up with the messes my children make, and my home gets cluttered and... well... messy. And, of course, my messy home makes me even more depressed. It's a spiraling effect that can just get worse and worse if it's not pounced on and corrected.

How do you correct depression? How do you fix the way you feel? We can't... but God can! Here are a few steps to overcoming depression:

1. Decide why you're depressed. Usually depression stems from feeling sorry for ourselves or out of guilt. Depression could be caused by a sin that we are in bondage to and having a hard time breaking free of. It can be brought on by loss--whether of someone close to us, of our health or independence, or of finances or things. Many things can be a source of depression. What's yours?

2. Connect to the Life Giver. Jesus tells us that He came that we might have life "more abundantly" (John 10:10). Depression in no way resembles abundant life. In fact, it drains the life out of you. You cannot overcome depression without the help of Christ. Are you connected to Christ? To get connected to Christ, you must:

* Know you are a sinner. Everyone sins (does bad things). --Romans 3:23, "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;"

* Know there's a price, or penalty, for sin and that penalty is death in an eternal Hell. --Romans 6:23a, "For the wages of sin is death;"

* Know that Christ, God's Son, paid that debt for you when He willingly died on the cross. --Romans 6:23b, "...but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." and Romand 5:8, "But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

* Know that there is only one thing you have to do-- believe. --John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." and Romans 10:9, 10, 13, "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved: For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation... For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved."

If you know you're a sinner and can't get to Heaven on your own, if you know you're on your way to a Devil's Hell, if you know Christ died on the cross so you can go to Heaven instead of Hell, and if you want to place your faith and trust in Jesus and accept the free gift He offers, just tell Him!

3. Allow Christ to comfort you. He is the God of all comfort. --Psalm 55:22, "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved."; Matthew 11:28, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

4. Allow Christ to remove your guilt. --I John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."; Psalm 103:12, "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed out transgressions from us."; I John 3:20, "For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things."

5. Change your stinking thinking! Realize that whatever you perceive as God doing TO YOU, He is actually doing THROUGH YOU to help you to grow and to give you the ability to help others. --Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose."

Change your thinking to reflect what Christ would have us to think. --Philippians 4:8, "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue; if there be any praise, think on these things."

6. Take steps toward healing even if you don't yet feel it inside. We all know depression leads to a disordered home and that a messy, disordered home leads to depression. Get up and force yourself to clean your house. Get someone to help you if you need to, but get it done. Just simply having clean, ordered surroundings can make a big difference in your mood!

Get your thoughts off yourself and onto someone else. What can you do for another person? Can you bake a batch of cookies for your neighbor? Can you cook a meal for a sick friend? Can you call and cheer up a home-bound senior? Can you take a needy teenager out shopping? Can you write a card on condolence to a grieving family? Doing something for someone else will make you feel better.

When you give your depression to God, you'll feel lighter, freer, better. Your home will start to reflect the order you feel inside. Your life will feel more complete. Trust in Him. Give Him your burden, and let Him work through you!

Do you know someone who is depressed? Do you struggle with depression? Can you think of other things that can be added to the list?