temper

I have a temper. There I confessed…we can be done here, right?

Probably not.

I have been slapped for my hateful words.

I have manipulated others to get my own way when I’ve been angry.

I have been justifiably called a bitch when my temper flys.

I have incited angry words in others based on how I blew up at them.

I have punched concrete walls.

I’m pretty sure at some point I’ve broken something.

And at this point…some are thinking, ‘What is she? Jeckel and Hyde? She is always laughing!’

But I’ve not always been the person I am now. Everything above all happen during what I like to call BC. ‘Before Christ’ in my life.

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There are times when my anger sneaks in subtle ways. For instance, when Duke lost earlier tonight…there was a hand slap on the table with a loud ‘Ahhhh! Seriously?!?!?!?’ Then an immediate, ‘I am being ridiculous. Get it together, now.’

After Jesus flooded my soul…I quickly saw what effect my temper had on others. Not to mention how incredibly selfish and manipulative it was toward others. Nor did it allow me to listen to someone else and see their perspective.

Embarrassed…I was incredibly embarrassed when I saw how childish losing my temper really was.

Here is some wisdom I have gained from James:

‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.’ [James 1:19-20]

My tenancy to lose my temper is about me and my selfish wants. I am hurt. I am defensive. I’m not being heard. I’m not being treated fairly. See a trend there? I make it all about me. And it’s not about me…it’s about pointing to God and his Kingdom.

Obviously, I am not perfect AND I’m a redhead AND I’m half German…so I still struggle to keep a lid on my temper.

But I find when I can put the other person first (admittedly not always) and really listen, then I communicate better and see both sides. I set my desires aside, be quick to listen and slow to speak…and normally I can get my anger to dissolve.

No matter what I do though, basketball drives me crazy sometimes…oh, and injustice seriously pisses me off. That WILL get my blood boiling…no matter how much I try to listen! And somehow I think God’s with me on that one.

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happy

mar 11 - happy Strength

Today I am happy.

An unnatural happiness, actually.

It could be because a week from tomorrow I leave to go see my amazing best friend in Utah. (Photo on right from the last time we got together in Utah…expect greatness in a few weeks!)

Or because our church was so full of vibrant, beautiful life last night at the Bible Series viewing party.

Or I could be still on cloud nine from Duke beating North Carolina last Saturday. (If you missed that game…I’m sad for you. No really.)

Or because my friend just accepted a dinner invitation, and she knows how much I love being in community around tables.

Or because I am looking forward to meeting with the zaniest group of ladies who are on fire for serving others and spreading what I like to call the ‘propoganda’ tonight.

Or it could be because I didn’t get enough sleep last night.

Or maybe even because this slice of pizza I am eating right now has extra olives. It is always the small things, after all.

But today those things are just happy contributions to my Monday.

Today happiness comes from the pure, sweet Holy Spirit filling my soul.

Laughter bubbling easily from my lips.

Easy going nature fully restored.

Songs are heard through my office door as I cannot contain my worship. (I’m not sorry if I’m annoying you! Worship with me!)

This Lenten journey started 27 days ago…27 looooonnnng days ago.

Before this journey started I never imagined I could stick with blogging every day. It takes its toll, and at times I want to throw the towel in…ok A LOT of times. Then my stubborn side kicks in and I get my blog posted before I go to sleep for the night, which I count as that ‘day,’ by the way.

But over halfway through this Lenten journey there are so many amazing things happening.

I am in scripture more and I am LOVING being in God’s word again, with passion instead of obligation.

I am listening more. God still speaks…we just never make room to listen.

I am worshipping more, since I gave up ‘secular music’ for Lent. Check out the ‘Jammin’ tab at the top of the blog and you’ll see what I’ve been worshipping to this Lent season. I’ve actually been jammin’ today all by my happy little self. (My boss walked by and said, ‘Well, aren’t you the songbird today!’)

I am uttering prayers more consistently than usual.

I am being more intentional.

I am being more like the person God desires me to be…and that feels pretty damn good.

Endnote: I was going to find the ‘perfect’ scripture for the Rethink Church word today, ‘happy,’ but then I decided God’s people reflecting his joy is the best visual of ‘happy’ scripture out there.