For this week’s Monday Minute, we are thrilled to have guest Kelli Baker share with us these three steps for flourishing despite our feelings.
Celebrating Peace in the Midst of Frustration
by Kelli Baker
In life, we are all faced with situations that cause our minds and thoughts to take us on a roller coaster of emotions. How do we simply get off the ride when we feel ourselves spiraling and lost in these thoughts? It is essential to first recognize the thought that begins the roller coaster ride. In 2 Corinthians 10:5, we are directed to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” In order to flourish in the midst of frustration, you’ve got to have a plan of action for when these thoughts and feelings begin to creep up. Here’s a simple process to find the peaceful and gentle spirit that God calls us to have.
Remaining mindful and observant of your thoughts is the first step. Making it a priority to be present and recognize when these thoughts pop into your head is key. Meditation is an excellent way to practice this skill. Then, decide what you will do with those thoughts and feelings when they arise.
3 Steps for Flourishing Despite Our Feelings
When I am feeling frustrated or overwhelmed I will:
Be still and wait patiently for the Lord to intervene. (Psalm 37:7)
- If you can just stop whatever you are doing and take some deep breaths, you will allow the space for God to enter and speak to you in His small still voice.
Think about the good things in these situations. (Philippians 4:8)
In the middle of frustration, it can be difficult to not focus on what is frustrating you. However, shifting your focus can help you respond in a more productive manner. One example I have is when I am dealing with my very emotional and passionate son. He is almost six and has a tendency to overreact about mundane things. He will go into a tailspin of anger and frustration.
If I am not present with my thoughts, then I can get caught up in the tailspin. Often times, I find myself focusing on the negative behavior. Instead, when I shift my focus to the true, noble, pure, and admirable aspects of my son or the situation I am better equipped to handle it as God would have me. Numerous times in the Bible it says that God is slow to anger and rich in love. Isaiah 12:1 shows us an example of how God turned his anger away and responded with comfort. The ESV version says it like this: “For though you were angry with me, your anger turned away that you might comfort me.” Thinking about the goodness in the situation can help change your thought pattern and get you off the nasty emotional roller coaster in your thoughts.
Respond with kind words. (Proverbs 16:24)
It is so easy to lash out and respond with mean and hurtful words when we are caught up in our thoughts. However, we can become more like Christ, when we are able to respond with kindness. The bible talks about the power of the tongue. Proverbs 18:21 (ESV) says that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” Then in Proverbs 16:24 (NLT), it says, “Kind words are like honey, sweet to the soul and healthy for the body.” When you respond with kind words, you are helping to build others up rather than crush their spirit.
So, when you are feeling overwhelmed and burdened by your thoughts, stop and take a moment to reconnect with the Father. Think on the goodness of the situation. Then respond with kind words and celebrate knowing that God is strengthening you in times of frustration.
Prayer for Flourishing Despite Our Feelings
Dear Lord, fill us with your hope, joy, and peace and teach us to trust in you more so that we may overflow with hope and forever be found flourishing despite our feelings by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name. Amen.
Verses to Ponder
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13 NIV)
Please visit our Health Resources Page for more information on flourishing in health!
Written by: Kelli Baker
About the author: Kelli is a former airborne soldier who now supports her husband as he serves in the Army. They, along with their two children, are currently stationed at Fort Gordon, where Kelli is an active member of their local PWOC chapter.