"Home is the nicest word there is." ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder
In love with Jesus. Wife to my best friend & man I love more than life. Mama to 4 amazing God given blessings. Proud Homemaker & Homeschooler. Living life with it's ups and downs and blogging about it!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Being Real

The past few weeks have just about done me in. Claire is finally almost potty trained (quite successfully, Thank you God) and does very good except for brief bouts of crying because she "wants to be a baby". She is having this seperation anxiety thing and wants me to constantly be playing with her or holding her. Which would be fine except that my littlest baby girl, Lily, is going through a MAJOR crisis with temper tantrums! She screams when she doesn't get fed fast enough, when something gets taken away from her that she's not supposed to have, when she is just not getting her way. She screams and I mean loud and for a long period of time. She is also getting in the annoying habit of throwing chewed up food out of her mouth. What to do about this? We have been removing her from the table and placing her in her walker or in her crib until she calms down and stops screaming. It seems to work somewhat; maybe I just need to give it longer?

Anyway, it is supposed to rain again today. We are under Flash Flood Warnings and Charlie worked 2 days last week and probably won't work the rest of this one. Financially, we are sinking, FAST. So, that has led to major stress and some decisions we are struggling to make ; that we need to make and have just been putting them off for a long while. So, our marriage is feeling some strain.

Also, I am anemic. I am exhausted and sometimes things are fuzzy and I just do what I have to do and then I sit down before I pass out. I don't get much done and it is depressing me to live in such a cluttered mess. Also, I don't have much help (almost none). My Mom helps me but no one else volunteers to or even offers to keep the girls so I can rest. And yes, I am pretty upset about that. I have kept people's kids through the years multiple times for them and they never even offer to watch mine for even an hour or so. And, if you want to see them so bad, you are most definitely welcome to call and come get them. Hey, I have given you plenty of breaks through the years, why not return the favor? (Not talking to you, Sis, I know you would if you didn't live 3 hours away).

Sorry for the rambling, I know that I am stressed. I never get to read the Bible anymore because I can't get up before the girls, I am too exhausted. I go to bed at 10 or 10:30 to spend time with Charlie and I try to read but I am so tired I usually just end up putting it down. Various other things contribute to my stress at not being close enough to Jesus right now and I am just about to lose my mind trying to deal with everything.

Please just pray for me regarding my depression and anxiety and physical tiredness (and spiritual). Please pray for my husband that he make the right decisions to lead our family during this time. Please pray for financial relief. Pray that I may have the clarity I need to get back on track as a follower of Christ, wife, mother, and home manager. Please just pray for me right now. I am feeling so stressed that I cry many times a day.

I am not putting this out there for pity. I just feel raw today and need to get it out. I need your prayers. I need you to lift me and my family up because right now I just don't have the strength to do it myself.

Thank you and God Bless you all. Hope you have a blessed week.

Love, Julie

*My friend, Denise, sent this to me the other day and I want to share it with you. Hope it helps you like it is helping me.

How to Avoid Bankruptcy
Mary Southerland

Today’s truth
Proverbs 25:28 Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control. (NIV)

Friend to Friend
It is not enough to acknowledge the presence of negative emotions or even understand why they exist. We must take action. If we don’t, negative emotions will take control, a dangerous proposition for any woman. We must not only be able to manage negative emotions in our own lives, we must be able to react correctly to negative emotions produced by the sometimes abrasive behavior of those we call family and friend. The seeker watches carefully, curious to see what happens when the pressure is on.

So many women are imprisoned by feelings of inferiority and the results are always disastrous. Constructive criticism is perceived as an emotional attack. Jealousy burgeons as others receive the accolades we desperately crave.
Decisions are made and a course of life is determined so that fragile egos are fed, excluding God’s plan and purpose. Comparison reigns as a false idol attempting to validate worth and success. Inferiority crosses over to pride and sin reigns.

On the other hand, we can put negative emotions to work in our lives. Every woman knows that emotions can be like runaway horses. You are trampled by a friend with a hidden agenda, kicked in the gut by a family member, thrown by the lies of a trusted co-worker or crushed by a lack of integrity and character in those in authority over you. Emotions can easily stampede out of control and into sin.

The success of emotional integrity lies in the one who holds the reins. We must constantly choose to surrender every emotion to the supernatural control of God because when we do, the Holy Spirit empowers that choice, produces control and transforms emotional bondage into emotional freedom. Learning to control anger is a crucial life lesson and one that we need to master.

The people around us want to see what happens when life pushes our buttons or squeezes our emotions. While God created us with the capacity for emotions, it is our responsibility to control them instead of allowing them to control us. When Jesus saw money-changers desecrating the temple of God, He was furious! Yet, He modeled the right way to harness emotions and use them for good. I have heard many Bible teachers and preachers attempt to soften the response of Jesus, but the truth is - He was irate!
I can almost see His face shrouded in plain old fury as He contemplated His options. If I h ad been in His place, I can tell you that those wicked men would have been toast! But before Jesus faced the intruders, He stepped aside to braid a whip - not because He had completed “Whip Braiding 101”, but because He was taking the time to harness His emotions. Jesus then used that harnessed anger to drive the money-changers out of the temple, correcting a wrong. We choose where to invest every ounce of emotional energy we possess. Like Jesus, we must learn to invest wisely, in order to reap the benefits of healthy emotions, harnessed and trained by godly discipline.

Emotional bankruptcy is too often responsible for the destruction of a life. We must intentionally monitor emotional withdrawals and the impact they will have on our lives. There are certainly emotional withdrawals that are good, right and ordained by God. I will never forget the night we found a broken and defeated young pastor standing at our front door. With tears streaming down his face, John told us that his wife was having an affair and wanted a divorce. Certain that his ministry was doomed, this precious and gifted servant poured out his pain and defeat. For months, Dan and I ministered to this stellar young man, loving him, encouraging him, making him part of our family while he tried desperately to save his marriage.

When it became clear that his wife was determined to leave him, we repeatedly assured John that God would once again use him for Kingdom work. Today, that once broken young man is married to a beautiful, godly woman who adores him and has two incredible children.
The church he now pastors is exploding in growth, changing lives and impacting the world for Jesus Christ! The time and energy we poured into David was a worthy emotional investment, to say the least, and one of our greatest blessings in ministry.

However, some emotional deposits are not good, right, healthy or God-ordained! Life is jam-packed with lifeless places in which to invest emotional energy. There are those who look to us to be their faithful savior or always available crisis manager. That job belongs to God alone!

We all know about bounced checks. For the life of me, I cannot figure out why banks don’t adopt my obviously superior philosophy about checking accounts. It goes something like this, “As long as there are checks, there is money”. Sadly, my current bank is rather narrow-minded in this area, so the reality is that my checks will bounce when our bank account is overdrawn and out of balance. The same is true in life.

We constantly need to check our emotional balance, guarding the emotional withdrawals we allow and diligently making consistent emotional deposits. Prayer, solitude, Bible study, friendships, service, accountability and a guarded thought life are just a few of the deposits that can make the difference between emotional health and emotional bankruptcy. Emotional imbalance occurs when we operate in our own strength, doing our “own thing” instead of wholly depending upon God and living in the parameters of His will.
When we abandon all that we are to His strength, purpose and power, the Father deposits everything we need to accomplish every good work He created us to do.

Let’s pray
Father, I praise You for giving me the gift of emotions. Help me learn how to manage and control those emotions so that they are assets instead of liabilities. I want to become a godly woman of discipline but I can’t even start that journey without your power. I choose to spend time in Your Word and in prayer. I submit my emotions to You and ask that You use them in my life for Your glory. And may others see and know You are God. In Jesus’ name. Amen

Now it’s Your Turn
Take a few minutes to make a list of the top five emotional responses common in your life. What one of these emotions do you experience the most?

Beside each emotion, write one habit you can incorporate into your life that will enable you to control that emotion.

Identify the activities, relationships or habits that drain you instead of replenish you.
Eliminate those that are negative.

Keep an emotional diary for 5 days. Record any emotional outbursts and the reason behind those outbursts. Surrender each emotion to the power of God.


Darcy said...

Hi Julie,

Oh how I wish I was closer so that I could help you out and give you a much needed break! I know how it feels to be overwhelmed and have no one to help with the children. My closest family is over 10 hours away and I have had many a day when I wish there was just someone to watch the kids for me so that I could get done what I need to so that I don't feel like I am always behind with things. I will be praying for you and your family.


In Light of the Truth... said...

Aw, honey, I'm so sorry to hear how down you are! But thanks for being real about it so we can pray for you! I do understand some of what you're feeling! Being a mom is soooo hard EVERY DAY, and I wish I could give you the break you desperately need and deserve! I'll be prayin! HUGS!

crystal said...

Hey sis,

I wish I could be there to help. I wish I had the money right now to drive three hours and get my precious nieces and give you a break. I would do it...cause I know how hard it is to do what you are doing. I know because I was there....with no mom..Yeah Momma 2 helped out alot when I was pregnant with Alaina, but then with Jason, I was pretty much by myself unless Iasked for help! That was the key there, I had to give into my pride (and you know how hard that is for me to do..) and ask (gasp...get my breath back) for help! Me needing help..now that is funny..lol. So yeah I know how you feel! And aside from some miracle happening where I could drive down there, all I can tell you is that you will come out stronger because of this...You WILL!!!! It will be tough, Youll bawl, pull your hair and scream and throw fits...but you will be stronger...that I can promise..cause your my sister and I know you and you can do this. I know that reading the Bible is important, but maybe that time with the girls in the morning is better spent right now praying and giving it all to God! But as in your words now that I have wrote a novel,,,I will go. I will email you later, I am still fighting my migraine and my computer time is almost up...

Love Ya
And all the support I can send from this far away...


Denise said...

My sweet friend, I wish I lived closer. If I did, I would love to watch the girls for you as often as possible, clean your house for you, cook for you, anything you needed. Sorry that you are feeling so tired, frustrated, stressed, and depressed. Keep leaning on God, He will not let you fall. I will not stop lifting you way up in my prayers, I pray for many financial blessings for your family. I love you.

AmyD said...

Just got to read your recent posts. I will continue to pray for you throughout this pregnancy. Pregnancy is exhausting, especially being anemic (I can relate). Thanks for posting the devotional on emotional bankruptcy. I really needed to hear that today.

If we don't find Him in the small things, how will we ever find Him in the big ones? ~Elisabeth Elliot