Honor Your Feelings

Love

Your feelings can help you navigate boundaries. When you are feeling violated, your throat may get tight and may be signaling to you of a boundary issue. Spend time searching for answers about your feelings. Find answers when you are unsure of what to do. This is my discovery of a situation.

I turned to friends asking them about my character. I searched in my Bible, read a book by Dr. John Townsend and Dr. Henry Cloud. Boundaries: Updated and Expanded Edition. One idea struck me of how the Bible commands us to humble ourselves. They write that “If you do what you are able – confess, believe, and ask for help – God will do what you are unable to do – bring about change. (1 John 1:9; James 4:7-10; Matt.5:3, 6).”

My heart has been heavy with a situation I know needs changed. After a few days of processing how to deal with this situation, I heard the words in my mind, “Die to sin.” Initially I was thinking it related to jealousy. That didn’t feel quite right but it was the only thing I could come up with at the time that made sense. Later, after much more reading about boundaries I came up with my truth that I wasn’t jealous; I had exercised poor boundaries. When we are not equipping ourselves with knowledge around how to navigate this world, we fail ourselves and others. Natural instincts and learned behavior regarding boundaries can only take you so far in your growth and maturity for Christ-like character and holy living.

I am rejecting a place where I feel so much animosity. I am searching to find out how to protect myself in these kinds of experiences. I want to learn more about my character development. I acknowledge my intentions are not to hurt. And I am praying that God will reveal to me what I need to know and do, so that I honor my values. I do not want to hurt anyone and somehow I feel like I am. We can’t expect our character or other’s to be like Christ’s but we can strive for it to be, forgiving ourselves and others of our shortfalls.

Much of what I am reading relates to what I am experiencing. I am uncomfortable thinking that I was judging someone and confirm that it is rather discernment and is so crucial to our well-being so that we are not lead to sin. What I discovered in 2 Peter 3:18 “….they lure back those into sin, those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception.” This struck a chord with me. As I strive to be without sin, I need to have places I am learning in to be nurturing. We can all be sinners and you can choose to be with groups that are respectful. If they are not, it is okay to leave.

I discovered that in this environment I was feeling enmity. That was the first word that came to mind. I looked it up and enmity which in the dictionary I used says it is a feeling or condition of hostility; hatred; ill will; animosity; antagonism. Animosity is what actually describes how I was feeling in this situation. Animosity is a feeling of strong dislike, ill will, or enmity that tends to display itself in action: a deep-seated animosity between two sisters; animosity against one’s neighbor.”

Well, I don’t want to have that feeling or do I like that feeling! So what I learned in boundaries is that you have to remove yourself from it. I was not comfortable talking with this person. I don’t trust them and I fear that they would try and twist my truth or tell me they are sorry and continue with the behavior. I had removed myself for a few years in this situation and felt discord thinking I would never go back.

I went back. When I did, I felt the same way again. 2 Peter 2 also tells us that you are a slave to whatever controls you. I won’t be controlled by feelings that leave me distraught. I can’t change the person causing me this pain, so I leave. I feel like I have the skills now to carry forward in this type of situation. This is where one can feel joy except in this case, I don’t yet because I have another lesson to learn. I am joyful in that I have learned how to confront the issue next time I have this experience with someone. But in this situation I have no trust. That is the part that I need God to reveal to me next. I now need to know how to leave someone without ever feeling guilty because I didn’t give them a chance to hear how and why what they did caused me animosity. But….I do believe in my heart that they do know. And I will never be sure. But I do know that God will reveal to me what I need to do. Forgiveness has always been there and much love for this person. I just can’t take this hardship any more. There were many times they crossed boundaries. Had I had the skills and knowledge to exercise my boundaries in a constructive way I would have. But frankly, I felt like I was already up against a defiant person.

So then I go on to read 2 Peter 2 and it says that when we “get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, we are worse off than before. It would be better to have never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the proof of this proverb, “A dog returns to its vomit. Proverbs 26:11 and another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” I was feeling the same feelings over again. I could not handle it! So the best thing for me to do was to leave. Clearly things had not changed.

I encourage all of us to ask for help! Understand that we are all sinners and that we all have a responsibility in our conduct. I am not perfect and I am trying to change my ways. The point here is that if ever any of you are feeling like you are being mistreated or in a situation that is causing you to sin – leave. Young readers, ask an adult to help you. Find someone you can trust and tell them!!! I am thankful that as I seek God’s instructions that he leads me in such a way that he does not want me to condemn anyone rather know the truth and follow his commands to help yourself from committing sin. That is where you can find freedom that is also referred to in 2 Peter.

There is a full reading in the Holy Bible. Anything you need to know about living out this life as a Christian is in there. We can only be perfect in our maturity level. Christ calls all of us believers to excel, rise above mediocrity and to mature in every way to become like him. I encourage you to be patient in learning what you are curious about. We can’t expect others to be perfect but we can recognize when environments are not healthy for us. Pray for God’s will on earth as it is in heaven!

May you find helpful information here and if I have misconstrued any of God’s Word, I pray that He will be your teacher in setting you straight or me straight. When we seek to understand His commands, we really do find freedom. I pray that I don’t trip anyone up from being a Christian. I confess that my behavior does not reflect that in which I strive to be like. I have much more to learn. I also know that I can walk beside this person that I have strife with and I vow that I would support them if ever they asked me to. Time does heal all wounds. I have been through many excruciating acts of forgiveness and this one is different from the others. I actually am thankful for this lesson and strife because I know it is only purifying my heart. But I encourage those with my story to be overcome with the truth so that you may at least try to live your life out according to which we are to conduct ourselves.

God will take care of us if we allow him to. I love the discipline I receive from him. I really do experience the freedom when I do. I hope that you are able to go in peace to love and serve the Lord! ~ Susan Husa

Don’t Make Your List Your Master

dental and PTWith my eyes closed, the warmth of the covers embrace the new day. “Good morning dear Heavenly Father!” As I pray in thanks for a new day, it is not long after that I am pondering tasks for the day. Sipping my cup of “joe”, I relish the moment of peace and quiet. Centered In-Christ, I think about the list of things to do for the day. Somehow within the time I start thinking about all that I need to do and want to do, I lose my grounding and fall easily into such a negative mode! I think, “Where did my Father go?” Well, “He never left!”

Staying grounded is more of a question of, “Where did my thoughts go?” Sometimes homemaking can seem so arduous and isolating. I do love the autonomy though of being a homemaker and leading the charge. It’s the self-discipline that I continuously bargain with every day in my thoughts, my feelings of being overwhelmed and my actions that prove it. Without discipline I lose focus. Subsequently, lack of prioritizing and follow-through results into negative thoughts. Keeping perspective is challenging while being productive in the home.

Staying productive throughout the day is certainly attainable. There is only so much time in a day to devote ourselves to the purpose of our being. Planning your work and working your plan is an idea I learned many moons ago. Ya think I might use that! I love making a list to start my day and marvel at how many times I am distracted just trying to accomplish and focus on one of the tasks. A productive homemaker is one that continuously realigns their priorities throughout the day. Read that again!  Each day the demands of motherhood can move us off-track of what we set out to do.  Making a plan and having some “wiggle” room can alleviate a lot of unwanted negative emotions.  Knowing that your focus on your list will require flexibility.

Let’s simplify “productive.” Make a list of all the things you want to have done. Organize it into three groups, 1) tasks that need to be done today, 2) tasks that take more than one day and 3) tasks that require someone you hire, for example. The list of tasks on your daily list may include, prayer time, assemble lunches, make appointments, shop for project supplies, schedule/research vacation, call/read for advice, make dinner, shop for the week, clean floors, brush cat, family meeting, date with spouse, child or friend, help with homework. Tasks that take more than one day may include, plant a garden, hang collage of pictures on wall or perhaps build something. Tasks that require hiring someone like a remodel or home maintenance project.  Now go back over each group assigning tasks from each one to your daily list. Keep in mind things like phone calls, interviews and trips to stores. Each item listed requires an action from you to complete the project. Since you only have so much time in one day, only add what is doable in one day. This process helps you visualize what you can complete each day without getting overwhelmed with the whole picture. Looking at your list may seem overwhelming but it allows you to look at all the things you see as being important or of interest to you in your life.

There is only so much time in one day. Making that initial list is going to be key in showing you how much you would like to get done. This is your reality check!!!  Breaking that list down so you have manageable time each day to complete each item contributes to establishing self-discipline and direction. As you practice this routine, what you can accomplish in a day will become more realistic. Your choices each day become more directed and purposeful.  This process shows you what you choose to incorporate into your day. Whether it is perusing the internet, social media, caring for your family and home or a hobby, these priorities you are choosing give you a perspective of what you value.

Align yourself with your Master! (Caution: Don’t make your list your master) Make your list, refine your list, and move forward giving thanks throughout your day as you serve your Master, extending grace as it is given to you. Practicing these simple ideas may assist you in your selfless acts of love resulting in peace within yourself.  Being mindful and at peace is then projected in everything you do.

May your day be filled with laughter and love as you complete each task you have put before you. Be thankful. Share your discovery with others on this post so they too can overcome the idea that we don’t need to make our list our master!

Happy homemaking today!