A Gift

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Have you ever received a gift that was very special to you? Maybe it was not necessarily because of the price tag, but more the thought that was put into giving the gift.

Recently I’ve received a very precious gift; a gift that has cost me a lot of patience and faith! It’s a very different kind of gift; it’s pure and tender; a gift I’ve been praying for well over a year.

When I was a young girl, my grandfather found a little silver ring. He had it polished up and had my initials engraved inside. I wore that ring everywhere and I was forever loosing it. Once the neighbor boy had it on his pinky finger. He kept telling me that it was his. I instructed him to look inside the band and it would show my initials. Sure enough, they realized it was mine and returned it. This ring has been through marriages, births, miscarriages, divorces, deaths, moves, job changes and all other crazy life events. No matter how many times I’ve lost this precious ring, it has alway shown up. I now wear it on my pinky finger.ring

Like my love for God; He is always with me through my up’s and down’s and even when I feel like I’ve lost Him, He always shows up. With a little prayer and faith, things can change.

As I’ve been praying for this new precious gift to finally arrive in my life, I’ve had to make some discerning choices. I no longer experience my life as a doubtful woman but rather a woman of faith and orderly direction. This new gift is so much better than a piece of jewelry; it’s the gift of love and acceptance for who I am. Thank you God.

If you could receive a gift, what kind of gift would it be?

If you could be a gift to someone, what would that gift be?

Psalm 71:8, “My mouth is filled with your praise, declaring your splendor all day long.”livingbygracepic.jpCome join us on livingbygrace.

You Really Made me Angry…Beth Farley

I’m angry and that’s it!

How may times have you walked away from a frustrating situation or person with that attitude?

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Why are we so afraid to be angry? We tell others that we are “no longer angry” with this or that. Well let me tell ya, I’m angry right now and I believe it’s okay to be that way. Why do we have such an issue with being angry? And, there is a variety of reason’s as to why we hide it.

We don’t give ourselves permission to allow anger to come into our awareness at first. As Christians, we feel we are not supposed to be angry and we are supposed to give it all to God and poof!!! It’s gone. Well, it doesn’t work that way.Bible_paper

In my Understanding my anger sometimes doesn’t go away; it sits in layers under the surface, waiting of me to become ready, safe, and strong enough to deal with it. When I am strong enough and ready to deal with it; I most often learn something really healthy and wholesome about myself.

I come to understand that I may want to punish them or myself. I come to understand that  I might want to act out inappropriately with  them or myself. It brings me into focus of my repetition of unhealthy behavior. It allows me to forgive and let the person go that is causing so much pain in my life.

We have the right to be angry. I am overwrought about all of the killings in this country. I fume about fellow Christians being killed for their faith. I am outraged that our children can’t be safe in schools any more. I am bristling that we still do not have a cure for cancer. I am boiling about poverty and children going without shoes. What does all of this anger do to me?

It makes me struggle but not succumb to it. It brings me to my knees in prayer for  situations that I need to pray about. It makes me realize that sometimes there are no “quick fixes” to right the balance. Although I want to raise my fist in protect, a multitude of problems will relate to my immediate impulse to lash out. My anger is warranted but not necessarily helpful.

What can we do?

In the short-term anger state you can:

1. Restore yourself some resemblance of control: in other words, it’s okay to be angry but you are not in control of their actions, only your feelings. Don’t allow the anger to take you to a place where you suddenly feel out of control.

2. Relax as the anger is the emotion that prepares your entire body for the fight vs. flight syndrome. Find a way to discharge this non-productive “fighting energy” before you do anything else.

3. Pray: Bring the anger to God. Allow Him to soothe your soul. Allow Him to bring scriptures to your heart and mind so that you will be armed when the enemy wants to attack your emotions. Pray about the situations that are making you so darn mad.

4. Re-Assess: Go back and get yourself a good look at the situation that proved the anger. Try to take a different, more positive, perspective. Ask yourself some questions about what is making you angry. Don’t assume that there are any right or wrong questions either. Re-focus your attention on what’s good, peaceful and right in your own life. A more level-headed assessment of the situation of what triggered your anger is essential to eliminate it.

Everybody has to deal with anger from time to time. No one is exempt.

There is a scripture that I really love and try to adhere to:

Ephesians 4:27-27, When angry, do not sin, do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]. Refuse to give the devil any opportunity to get a foothold in your life through anger. {Amplified}

All anger, regardless of its cause, has the same effect on our lives. It upsets us, causing us to feel pressure. Don’t keep it locked up inside or pretend it doesn’t exist. That’s very dangerous to our health. Most of the time we’re only hurting ourselves, and the person who angered us isn’t even aware of it.

Ask yourself, “Are you going to allow him/her to make you feel bitter or better? I am striving for a positive way of processing my anger. What works for me may not work for you, so it’s important to find your own, healthy way, God’s way for you to overcome your anger.

What are you angry about today? Is there someone you need to release?20150717_185259-2