Why I Am Pro-Life…

I have always been raised with an anti-abortion outlook because of being raised in a Christian family.

However, just because I was raised a Christian doesn’t mean I actually was a Christian. I had to choose to have a relationship and believe in Jesus as my God. And although I made that decision at a young age, I continually study God’s Word and I love researching culture, history, archeology, and science that affirms my faith.

In the same way, when it comes to abortion, I have researched from a medical perspective and from a personal experience perspective. I have several friends who have had abortions and they either regret their decision and are pro-life or they do not regret their decision and are pro-choice. I have had many debates with the friends who are pro-choice but even though we disagree, we still have great friendships.

Due to a recent conversation with a friend, I started to think about why I am pro-life. There is not one defining moment. Instead there are several circumstances throughout my life where I have had the opportunity to contemplate the pro-life perspective. The following stories are some of the significant experiences that contributed to why I am pro-life. For further reading about the truth of abortion you can go to my list of blog posts relating to the topic (including my opinion on if the mother’s life is at risk). After reading the following stories, I would love to hear your input and opinions relating to my experiences. Feel free to comment respectfully. Any rude and inappropriate comments will not be posted.

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twinsI was first exposed to “abortion” when I was around age 5. Although, I fully did not understand what was going on until later. My mom was pregnant and while she was doing a marching band performance during a pro-football game half-time show she started bleeding. Her doctor recommended a D&C (dilation of the cervix then scraping or suctioning out the tissues inside the uterus) because he thought the baby was not going to survive. My mom questioned if this was an abortion and the doctor decided to do an ultrasound to confirm his suspicions and reassure my mom. He immediately was able to see why my mom was bleeding. He saw that the baby was tearing off of the uterine wall because a second baby was pushing him. He told my mom that if one baby died, the chances of the other baby surviving was slim. He put her on strict bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. She was in and out of the hospital and consistently being monitored as high risk. My mom, family, & friends prayed fervently over the babies and they were born one month before their due date and survived. I would not have my brother and sister if the doctor had not done an ultrasound that day.

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I lost my virginity when I was in college and still living in my parent’s home. I went into panic mode not only because I had been planning to wait until marriage but also because I imagined how getting pregnant would affect my entire life. I assumed that everyone around me would judge me for not being the good Christian girl that I claimed to be. I assumed I would be asked to leave my parent’s house.  I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to finish college. I assumed that I wouldn’t be able to financially support myself. A couple of days later, I called an OB-GYN office to ask how long it would take for me to know if I got pregnant or not. The nurse gave me the usual “based on your period” response and she recommended Plan B. She told me it would keep me from getting pregnant if I had not yet conceived but she could not assure me that if I had already conceived that it would not cause a miscarriage. I told her I needed to think about it and I would call her back if I decided to make an appointment. I never called her back. I decided that because I made a stupid decision, I would hope for the best but I would have to live with any consequences. I could not justify causing an abortion even if I did not know for sure if I was pregnant. A couple of weeks later I was relieved to know that I was not pregnant. Shane and I got married several months later in August 2002.

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2003-2004 I was working as a nurse (LPN) at an OB-GYN doctors office. At the time, the office had 9 doctors and a Nurse Practitioner who were apart of the practice. When I went to the office for my interview, the head nurse saw, under volunteer work, on my resume’ that I had gone to Brazil for church mission trips and she assumed that I probably would be against abortion. During the interview, she confided in me that there were a few doctors in the practice who sometimes did surgical abortions at the surgery center. She also said that on occasion, some of the doctors would give abortion causing pills in the office. She made it very clear that the nurses who are morally against abortion could ask another nurse to take over during the time these patients were in the office. I really wanted to be in the OB-GYN field so Shane and I prayed about it and decided that I should still work there. When I was hired, I confirmed with the head nurse that I was very against abortion and that I would not participate in it at all.

During my time there, I cared for women during their pregnancies, including when they miscarried. I remember one woman came in to confirm her miscarriage and brought the passed tissues in a baggie. I think that she was about 11-12 weeks along. The baggie was given to the nurses so that we could send the tissues to the lab. In the bag, there was a perfectly round circle of tissue (about the size of a half dollar). The nurses gathered around and we held it up to the light. We could see an amazing outline of a baby. I will never forget that image. My heart ached for the woman and for the tiny baby that I held in my hand.

Several months later, one of the doctors had given a teenager (I don’t remember how old she was but probably 17-18 years old) the abortion causing pills. She went home to complete the process but the pills did not work properly so she came back into the office. The doctor completed the process in the office. We heard the girl’s cries of pain from down the hallway. And of course, it was the responsibility of the nurses to send the tissues to the lab and clean the instruments used during the procedure. I was not prepared for the wave of emotions I felt. I was angry at the doctor who did the procedure in the office. I was in shock that it had actually happened the way it did. I felt bad for one of the other nurses who had no clue that some of the doctors did occasional abortions. I resigned later that week making sure my boss knew that I felt that the whole situation was completely unacceptable.

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16weeks500x379In February 2005; I found out that I was pregnant. I had always wanted children and was very excited. I called and told a lot of my family and friends as soon as I found out. My excitement was soon crushed with pain and bleeding. At first the doctor didn’t say for sure that I was having a miscarriage. But as a nurse who had worked in the OB-GYN field, I knew what was going on. In my pain and while I was still hoping for the best; I wrote a poem called My Valley. We chose the name Kendal during this time, based on the poem which I wrote “as I walk through the valley of death”. In one name book; the meaning for Kendal is: “Ruler of the valley.” When I found out that I was pregnant again in November of 2005; I was cautious and did not let everyone know. So when I miscarried again; I did not have to explain to a lot of people who offered their congratulations like the first time. During that time and for several months after; our marriage was in turmoil and we almost got divorced but during the time we were trying to reconcile we got pregnant for a third time in May of 2006 and Kendal was born 9 months later. I believe that God used that pregnancy to keep us together.

During my time of grieving, I found it very difficult to read articles or hear news related to abortion. It physically & emotionally hurt to know that there were babies being discarded when there were people like me who wanted a baby so badly. Yes, I was eventually able to have my own children but there are many couples who for whatever reason cannot have children and would give anything to adopt and love an unwanted baby. Some day I would love to do the same.

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Audrey was induced and born in 2009. I had a smooth delivery but after the epidural wore off and I tried to get out of bed for the first time, I started hemorrhaging and passed out. The doctor determined that I had retained placenta and they manually tried to get it out. I was in extreme pain and went in and out of consciousness. I stayed in the hospital an extra day because I had lost a lot of blood and they were making sure that I wouldn’t need a transfusion. At my 6 week postpartum exam, I was still bleeding on a daily basis since the delivery. The doctor scheduled me for an ultrasound which was several weeks later. The ultrasound showed that I still had placenta in my uterus so she gave me Misoprostol (abortion pills) in order to cause my uterus to contract and hopefully expel the remaining placenta tissues. I cannot emphasize enough how incredibly painful this process was. I was in a lot of pain for several days that even Percocet could not alleviate. I have experienced the physical pain of abortion without actually having an abortion.

When this process did not work, I ended up having a D&C to scrape the retained placenta out of the uterus. This procedure is often used after miscarriages and for 1st trimester and some 2nd trimester abortions. I had general anesthesia during the procedure. Unfortunately, anesthesia is often not used during abortions. When I went to the doctor for my follow-up, he did an ultrasound to make sure that the procedure worked. It did not. There was still retained placenta tissue still visible. So I had a second D&C (the doctor used an ultrasound during the procedure to confirm that it was completely removed). Finally, after 6 months of bleeding, medications, surgical procedures, pain, depression, etc, I was able to recover from Audrey’s delivery.

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This section was UPDATED in January 2017 to include experiences/information that happened after this article was originally published:

One question that often comes up in my discussions/debates about abortion is about birth control. I personally have used several methods of birth control throughout my life. My belief after much research is that if it can prevent conception that it is not causing an abortion. If it is preventing a fertilized egg from implanting then it is causing an abortion. Most hormonal methods of birth control when used correctly do a combination of preventing fertilization and preventing implantation. SO there is no guarantee that it will prevent fertilization. For that reason, my husband and I decided that we would go off of birth control 3 years ago and do natural family planning & withdraw (neither of which are 100% birth control but we were ok with it if we should get pregnant). As far as Plan B goes, if it is taken immediately after the rape happens then I would assume it would prevent fertilization and therefore not cause an abortion. If the woman waits then there is no guarantee of that. So, my opinion on that is pending each particular situation.

While off of hormonal birth control, I miscarried two more times (this makes a total of 4 known miscarriages because of pregnancy tests that confirmed the pregnancies). This emotional roller coaster caused a stronger desire to have more children. So, I started researching adoption. During Fall 2015, Shane and I started the state’s CYFD foster and adoption process of applications, background checks, and classes. Half way through the classes schedule, Shane felt very strongly that it was not the right timing for us to foster and/or adopt. I think he was overwhelmed by the process. There were unknowns coming up for his military career and with our financial situation. I actually was going to continue the classes without him because I was so emotionally wrapped up in the process but just before the next class, I decided not to go out of respect to Shane. I cried for days.

In February 2016 (around the time we would have completed the CYFD classes), I had another positive pregnancy test. About a week after I took the test, I had went to the Emergency Room for bleeding and cramping. My ultrasound did not show a pregnancy in the uterus so the OB doctor suspected an ectopic pregnancy. He was very concerned for me and offered the option of termination to prevent tube rupture. I opted to tolerate the pain and wait. I knew the exact day we conceived based on how I tracked my cycle & sex with natural family planning so I knew that the pregnancy was still very early. I was under strict orders to rest and return to ER if pain got worse. Two days later, I had another ultrasound which was still inconclusive. I was still bleeding and cramping but my quant level had not decreased even though it was low. We waited again. Four days later we repeated the ultrasound and a sac was seen in the uterus. At that point, it was confirmed that I did not have an ectopic pregnancy but miscarriage was still a possibility.

I started a routine of having ultrasounds every 4 weeks throughout the entire pregnancy (most women have 2 ultrasounds during their pregnancy, one in the 1st trimester to confirm implantation and one around 20 weeks for anatomy scan). I also had a full work up to see if there was a reason for my past miscarriages (they did not find anything). I was very sick with dehydration, non-stop nausea and vomiting, weight loss, etc. until around 14 weeks. I continued to cramp and bleed until around 20 weeks. Every ultrasound I had showed a healthy and growing baby even though my body was not tolerating being pregnant very well.

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Had I terminated with the initial hospital visit, I would not have my perfect son, Kaleb, today.

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*END UPDATE*

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Sometime in 2010, I started this blog website. I used my writing to help me get through some difficult times in my life and marriage. I started interacting online with other bloggers and following pages that interested me. A few of those blogging friends kept me updated on abortion related statistics, politics, news, etc. Although I have always considered myself pro-life, I started feeling burdened to be a voice for the unborn. I started posting about abortion on my blog and on facebook. I started having real conversations with friends who disagree with me in order to know their perspective. I had a desire to help women who are contemplating abortion or who have had them in the past.

When we moved to New Mexico, I found out that there is a Pregnancy Resource Center in our town. They provide free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, STD testing, counseling, resources, classes, etc. to women and girls who have unplanned and/or crisis pregnancies. I have not yet been able to volunteer directly with the clients (due to timing and other commitments) but I have taken the peer counseling training, have helped raise money, helped with the fundraising banquets, participated in awareness runs/walks, etc.

My hope is that someday I can truly make a difference in the life of a woman with an unplanned pregnancy. There are other options available to women that are not often talked about (adoption and keeping the baby). There is counseling, resources, and help available for women who choose options other than abortion. And there is counseling, resources, and help for those who have had abortions in the past. My purpose for being pro-life is not to condemn or judge those who have had abortions but instead to help others see that there is value to all life born or unborn, young or old, etc.

Have you taken the time to think about why you are pro-life?

Why I Do Not Read Erotic Fiction

I tend to read secular books that are controversial so that I can be prepared when I get into a discussion about them. I try not to completely judge a book based on what people say because a lot of people refuse to read (or insist on reading) a book… just because of the hype. Even Christian books throughout the ages have been judged poorly when they first were written (C.S. Lewis fiction, The Chronicles of Narnia, for example). I’ve read The Davinci Code, the Harry Potter series, Twilight saga, The Hunger Games trilogy, and several other controversial books. I don’t care for some of them and others I have no problem with. No matter what my view is on these books, I can have a knowledgeable discussion about each of them should they come up in conversation. The same goes with movies. I will often watch a movie just because it is controversial so that if someone asks I can give my honest opinion. And just to be fair, I have also read “Christian” books that many Christians love which I personally feel should never have had a Christian label due to bad theology (for example The Shack-see my review here).
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When it comes to the above mentioned books, I find that people question whether or not I should have read them. Yet, often they still come to me to get my opinion about books or movies on their radar. Generally, instead of saying “yes or no” about whether they should read or watch something, I will just tell them what the book or movie is about and let them make their own decision based on their convictions. If they ask questions like, “Isn’t there a lot of witchcraft in that book?” or “Do you think the book could lead someone astray?” I will answer truthfully.
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All that being said, there are some types of books and movies that I will not read or watch.
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One type being horror, where the sole purpose of the book or movie is to instill extreme fear. I don’t mind most thrillers like murder mysteries, crime drama, or suspense (like Frank Peretti books or Morgan Freeman movies). I just don’t like to fill my mind with books or movies that have no other purpose than to cause extreme fear.
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Another type being erotic, where the sole purpose of the book or movie is to arouse a person sexually. Which brings me to the purpose of this blog post… A facebook page that I follow posted the following article I’m Not Reading Fifty Shades of Grey. The author lists four reasons why she is not going to read the book Fifty Shades of Grey both from a personal and biblical perspective (I highly recommend that you read this article because she discusses more reasons than I plan to list here). On the facebook post, both sides were discussing if the book was appropriate to read using the same arguments that people use for other controversial books/movies (“it is not biblical” or “it is just a fiction story”). I have not read this book but I gave my opinion. Someone who has read the book accused people of being judgemental. Personally, from reading the posts, I did not feel that anyone was being judgemental but were just stating their opinions based on what they believe to be true according to the Bible. I believe that it is okay to discern whether or not you should read or watch certain media. It is also okay to state your opinion and/or debate as long as you do it humbly. I do not know if the accusation was aimed at me or someone else but it prompted me to want to elaborate on what I was saying in the discussion. So here is my opinion…
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Unfortunately, even in the Christian community, there is a problem with pornography addictions. Marriages have hit rock bottom or have even lead to divorce because of this problem.  Most people associate pornography addictions with men but women can be addicted to porn as well. Many people also associate pornography with magazines or movies but I believe that erotic romances should be added to that list.
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One online dictionary defines pornography as the following:
1. the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2. material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3. the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction
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Most women are not stimulated by photos in the same way that men are BUT we are stimulated by words and attention. This is one reason why women are more prone to having an emotional affair with a man who gives her attention and says all of the right things. When it comes to books, most avid readers would admit that they get caught up in the story as if they are apart of it. Readers can imagine the scenes, conversation, and actions as they are reading (even if they have never seen the movie that was made for that particular book). Most readers agree that books are generally better than movies because of the amount of detail given in a book that would be impossible to show on-screen. My husband (who is not a reader) thinks it is hilarious when I am reading a book and have tears flowing down my face. He also thinks I’m crazy if I am reading a book and bust out laughing. My point is, a book can bring out just as many emotions as a movie can: joy, sadness, anger, fear, love, lust, etc.
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Most Christians would agree that adultery is a sin. The Bible takes it one step further and says that lust is also a sin:
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28)
“For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.” (1 John 2:16 KJV)
So, using the above scripture as guidelines, read the following Amazon description of the book Fifty Shades of Grey. Then, make an informed decision on whether or not you should read it.

“When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires.

Erotic, amusing, and deeply moving, the Fifty Shades Trilogy is a tale that will obsess you, possess you, and stay with you forever.”

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Bottom line is, I have not read this book and I don’t plan to because of the erotic label. I have read books and have watched movies in the past that I never should have read or watched. I have learned from my mistakes and I don’t want or need to fill my mind with images and emotions that are not pleasing to God or my husband.
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Here are two great resources for dealing with sexual temptation and sin:
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457981: Every Woman"s Battle with Workbook: Discovering God"s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment Every Woman’s Battle with Workbook: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment

By Shannon Ethridge / Random House

457974: Every Man"s Battle with Workbook: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time Every Man’s Battle with Workbook: Winning the War on Sexual Temptation One Victory at a Time

By Stephen Arterburn & Fred Stoeker / Random House

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She’s Gonna Blow: Underground Issues (Ch.4-Part 2)

Thank you for your patience over the past few months when I took a break from this study. I know that several of you (and me too!) have been looking forward to the continuation of this book (and chapter). Please Note: Due to the length of this chapter; it is divided into two blog posts. Click here to read Part 1.

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Why do we blow up the way we do? Let’s continue with the remainder Underground Issues that may influence us as Barnhill describes them in chapter four.

4. Mounting Pressures: Cheerios Between Your Toes: There are several things that are just as annoying and frustrating as stepping on a pile of cheerios in the middle of the night.

The Family Schedule: “Most moms…seem to be incredibly busy people with…long list of places to go, things to do, and people to see.” Its no wonder why these moms and their children are wiped out after a busy day. When we allow the busyness of our schedules accumulate it adds unnecessary pressure on husbands, children & moms.

Finances: Julie quotes her friend’s father as saying. “Money isn’t important as long as you have it. When all of sudden you don’t have it–then it becomes very important.” Living pay check to pay check, supporting children, and figuring out the financial priorities for your family always adds to the daily pressure.

Discontentment and the “Shoulds”: “a feeling of discontent is almost alway a first step toward a full-blown eruption. Whenever I start thinking that I am not good enough, that someone has it better than I do, that my children don’t measure up, that my life just hasn’t turned out the way I wanted…it won’t be long before sparks begin to fly…The world should treat me better. I shouldn’t make mistakes. Other people should behave the way I want them to.” Our expectations of how things should be can create many added pressures to life.

The Problem of Inappropriate Guilt: The mothering guilt of what ever happens to our children is “my fault because I’m the mom” would be an example. We are responsible for our children and their upbringing but when the guilt of not being a perfect mom overwhelms us it adds to the pressure.

Anger at People Who Are Not Your Kids: “Yes–we do let our anger toward our husbands [bosses, mothers, etc.] get misdirected toward our children, who happen to be handy and rather defenseless targets…The longer we go along with unresolved anger toward anyone, the more likely we are to unfairly unleash that anger on…our children.”

5. Your Precious Little (or Big!) Trigger Points: CHILDREN! “I have come to believe that in most cases the immediate cause of angry explosions is…well, a child…What is it about our children that sets us off so easily?”

The Things They Do: “In the deepest part of our mother brain, we know that “kids will be kids,” that it’s normal and even healthy for them to make mistakes and act immature and even get themselves into trouble. Yet, those moments when they do just that can trigger such frustration–and lead to volcanic responses from us.” Disobedience which leads to injury, tantrums at scheduled nap times, disrespectful attitudes, fighting with siblings, etc. are all among the list.

The Things They Say: The continuous shouting of “Mom!,” a smart-aleck remark, an argument, a debate, a complaint, etc. all have a way of scraping at our nerves. “There are so many ways our children communicate to us that can trigger potential eruptions, from the first “waaaaa” of infancy through the “whys” of toddlerhood and on into the innocent or defiant “whats” of later childhood and adolescence. The real trick is learning to listen past all those annoying communications and hear the real message behind them, which is “Mom, I love you and I need you.” If we could hear that every time, we could reduce a lot of the pressure potential in what our children say!”

The Way They Are: Do you have a strong willed, high-spirited, self-determined, independent child? Do you have a quiet, detail oriented, emotional child? Do you think any of your children need to be fixed? Slow Down! instead of speeding up, Eat More Slowly! instead of gobbling, Use Indoor Voice! instead of talking loudly, Quit Wiggling! instead of moving constantly, Stop Crying!, Stop Whining!, the list goes on. How many of YOUR strengths and weaknesses do you see in your children? Barnhill quotes a speaker as saying, ” God did not give you your son [or daughter] so you could ‘fix’ him or whip him into shape. God gave you your son [or daughter] to make you more like Jesus.”

Lately, my “Cheerios” have included frustration over our schedules and finances. As some of you may know, I have been trying to homeschool my soon to be 4 year old who has no attention span for school or anything else. I am not very consistent so it make it worse and my husband’s constantly changing work schedule doesn’t help either. Also, in the past 2 weeks, everyone in the household being sick with stomach bugs. Last week, the girls and my husband had a 24 hour stomach bug separately on 3 consecutive days. I got it earlier this week then the girls got a new bug and have been sick for the past 3 days. After 2 weeks of being the one who gets up in the middle of the night to clean the vomit and diarrhea off of children, clothes, beds, and floors–it is no surprise that I caught the second bug too. Equally as frustrating is, again, my husband’s work schedule which causes him to be at work or sleeping during the times I need his help. As far as finances go, we don’t have extra money since coming back to the US because we are getting paid less than we were overseas. Wondering if the savings money we have been dipping into will last until Shane makes rank and we get our tax refund is definitely pressure in our house.

Barnhill points out that “Doctors have noted that children tend to throw temper tantrums for the following reasons: ~They are angry or frustrated because they can’t have something they want. ~They want to get what they want by themselves. ~They want attention. ~They are tired, hungry, or irritable.” How many times are these the reasons why I am blowing up? Pretty often! I think that I need to focus my attention on myself sometimes instead of throwing my frustrations on my children for having the same emotions I do. We all need grace. God is always faithful to extend his grace to me; I need to learn how to extend it to my children sometimes.

Do you have a close friend, spouse, or counselor whom you can share your struggles with? I have been doing the She’s Gonna Blow study with a couple of close friends. We read the chapters then e-mail each other our responses to the questions. We pray for and encourage each other frequently. If you do not, I encourage you to find someone who is willing to hold you accountable with your anger. The more I get angry, the more I get angry at myself for getting angry. Sometimes having someone that I can call to let them know I blew up (again) and then have them pray for me is the best way to move towards healing.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

By Julie Ann Barnhill / Harvest House Publishers

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I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.

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She’s Gonna Blow: Underground Issues (Ch.4-Part 1)

Please Note: Due to the length of this chapter; it is divided into two blog posts. Click here to read Part 2.

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Why do we blow up the way we do? Barnhill describes some of the Underground Issues that may influence us in chapter four.

1. Down Deep: Like a volcano we all have a “mantle” (“where the heat and pressure are strong enough to bring rock to the melting point”). Issues include “what we were born with and what has happened to us in the past.” On top of that we have every day stressors: schedules, finances, relationships, and our roles as women, mothers, wives, & workers. Then we have trigger points which for most moms can include our children (who either intentionally or unintentionally find our weak spots).

2. Pressures From The Past: In the beginning of this section, Julie Ann describes painful memories (and lack of memories) of her pre-adoption life as well as a confrontation that occurred after she was adopted that forced her to face the past. “Chances are, your anger toward your children has its deepest roots in underground issues from your past. Any traumas you experience in your early years–a divorce, a sibling’s illness or death, or just painful misunderstandings–are sure to play a significant role in your own family further down the road of life. And if you were abused, the stakes get even higher.”

3. Pressures From Within: These include our physical makeup, our temperament, and our thought processes. Some of these are natural and others are learned. Being a woman adds other pressures such as PMS, pregnancy, & menopause which all “have the ability to affect the way she responds to her children” or husband. These pressures should not be excuses for bad behavior and angry blow ups. But, “the more we can understand ourselves and make adjustments in the area of our weaknesses, the more effective we will be as mothers” and wives.

I was raised in a Christian but very dysfunctional family. As the oldest of 4 kids I had to grow up way too quickly while we dealt with severe illnesses, divorce, remarriages, constant moves, financial insecurity, and a whole lot more. Both of my parents were constantly angry and yelled a lot; either at each other or at us kids. I swore that I would not be angry like them with my children but I am. My mom was very good at encouraging us to pray and read scripture. She often posted scripture around the house which is something that I do as well. I continually turn to prayer after I have an angry blow up.

I tend to react according to the amount of sleep I get. I am a light sleeper so almost anything will wake me up in the middle of the night. I do my best work at night (after the kids go to bed) so I tend to stay up late. I get my best sleep in the morning hours. Unfortunately, when Shane goes to work I have to get up with the girls and end up loosing my prime sleeping time. When Shane is home in the mornings I try to catch up on sleep. I also try not to make my schedule super busy throughout the day so that I don’t add to my fatigue.

Barnhill asks the question: “Do you have any anger about the way God made you?” In a way I think that I do. I don’t understand why he has not healed me from this. I know that he wants me to conquer my anger but it is hard for me to see how he is helping me change (with the exception of making me aware of how bad it is). This has been a continual battle for me.

Chapter 4 continues in Part 2.

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Order at Christian Book Distributors through the following link!

I get credit for all purchases made through my CBD links!

She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

By Julie Ann Barnhill / Harvest House Publishers

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I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.

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Blog Updates!

Congratulations Fiona & James on the birth of Lilian Angela!!! Lily was born 4:53am on Friday, August 13th. You may remember that I featured Fiona as a guest writer during my Mother’s Day series. She described her experiences as a first time pregnant mom (“mum”-in Australian). If you missed her post; check it out here. Next step is trying to convince her to write about her first few weeks of motherhood 🙂

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The Countdown has ended and we have arrived in North Dakota! God has blessed us from the moment we arrived (more on that soon)! We are in a new home but we are still waiting on all of our belongings to travel here from Japan. We have been told that our express shipment with all of our clothes, all of our kitchen, homeschooling materials, and the girl’s beds will arrive next week. Of course we were originally told that they would arrive this week…so we shall see 🙂 The large shipment which has all of our furniture and everything else could take up to November to get here. I am praying that it arrives much sooner! In the meantime, we are living on borrowed air mattresses and minimal kitchen supplies along with what we packed in our suitcases. We have bought a few things that we know are not coming in shipments but without the furniture our house is mostly empty. Shane’s parents are coming for a visit tomorrow and staying for a week. Hopefully they won’t be bored out of their mind!

My biggest concern about moving here was the climate…and yes it has been a shock! The first day here it was ND’s hottest day (upper 90’s) of the summer which was perfect for us; but it went downhill from there. We are now in the 70’s in durning the day and lower at night. I have already turned on the heat and don’t plan to turn it off any time soon. I have collected basic items such as candles, flashlights, batteries, etc. in case of a power outage this winter. We still need to stock up on can goods and extra water though.

If you missed my posts about our moving journey before arriving to ND check out the following: “You Are God Alone”The Countdown BeginsThe Countdown Continues.

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The Anger Series will continue soon (now that we have internet in our home and are starting to get into a normal routine). If you have not already; be sure to catch up with the previous posts in the series which are all listed here.

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I look forward to getting back into the blogging routine! I’ve missed being at my computer!

She’s Gonna Blow: Warning Signs (Ch. 3)

In chapter 3, Warning Signs, Julie Ann Barnhill discusses “How to Know When You’re Gonna Blow.”

“There are warning signs and signals for just about everything that can be potentially dangerous. Train whistles and crossing lights caution motorists to slow down and be observant. Tornado sirens drone loudly… However, unless you’re trained to recognize these warning signs, they are ineffective in helping you remain safe and protected. You have to know the warning signs that spell imminent danger–especially when you’re the one in danger of exploding in anger.”

Warning Sign #1: Swarms of Smaller Earthquakes

The author talks about everyday things and chores which may not cause an explosion themselves but together they build up until the explosion finally happens. She says that “…hours before Mount Saint Helens erupted on May 18, 1980, hundreds of small earthquakes were recorded in the state of Washington…”

Laundry Room Rumbles: Piles of laundry all needing to be washed, dried, folded, and put away.

Kitchen Quakes: Crusty dishes, crumbs on counter, spills on the floor, etc.

Technology Tremors: Loosing reports before they were saved on the computer, messing with vacuums or other appliances that won’t work, etc.

Workplace Woes: Dealing with supervisors, stressors, and pressures at work before going home.

These are some but definately not all of the possible “earthquakes” that could be present any given day. Barnhill suggests finding a way to put visual stressors (such as the piles of laundry) “out of sight until you can do something about them.” She also suggests reflecting on Jonah and his complaining when he should have been thanking God. “Instead of fretting over the problem, try thanking God for the gift of the computer or the washing machine, which has saved you so much trouble in the past. A little perspective and a little gratitude can really help you keep your cool!”

My main “earthquakes” include:

~ When my girls are getting into or doing something that they know they are not supposed to do (as in they have been told repeatedly and disciplined for it in the past)

~When my girls argue, fight, hurt each other, don’t share, etc

~When things do not go as planned

~Lack of sleep

Warning Sign #2: Sulfur Dioxide Emissions

“As a volcano nears eruption it will release toxic gases that can endanger human life and health.” Here she discusses body language and speech such as: angry retorts, sarcasm, and little barbs. She recognized the toxicity of her speech when her son started to repeat her facial expressions and speech.

I would like to add swearing to the list. I find it absolutely insulting and rude when I hear others swear around me or at me. Yet, it is a habit that in today’s culture is generally socially acceptable. Although there was a time where I would never swear; over the years certain words became habits. Not in everyday language but when I am angry or I hurt myself it is easy for me to say them. This is one habit that I definitely do not want my girls to pick up.

Warning Sign #3: Physical Swelling of the Slope

“As a volcano nears eruption, its sides will start puffing out from the pressure inside… It simply doesn’t look right–and experts know that funny appearance spells trouble.” The author goes on to describe a story where her anger became visibly apparent to everyone around. Her husband saw the warning sign and did what he could to calm the situation.

When I am starting to get angry; I feel like I am boiling inside. I am pretty sure that my face gets red and my eyes show intense fury. My mom has always said that my face generally says it all before I speak. You know the saying, “If looks could kill…” I generally feel like I have been attacked in some way (Shane says or does the wrong thing, Kendal refuses to obey, Audrey is screaming because she doesn’t want a nap, etc.).

One thing that I have been doing (mainly within the past month) to keep me from exploding is listening to praise music. For some reason the calm worship music helps to keep me more relaxed and peaceful. I can’t say that it 100% has stopped me from exploding but I can say that the explosions are few when I have the music playing in the background. This may work for me because I sing along with the music which keeps me in a worship mindset. I am relaxed so it takes longer to get me to the point of blown out anger.

At the end of this chapter, Barnhill suggests that after an explosion happens to stop and write down what happened right before the explosion. This may help you recognize triggers to your anger so that you can avoid those triggers in the future. I have slowly started to do this but it has not become a habit for me yet so I often forget.

What are your personal warning signs and what things have you learned to do to help diffuse your explosions before they happen?

(P.S. this question is NOT rhetorical! I really would love to hear what others do so that maybe I can learn some more tips to incorporate into my life.)

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She’s Gonna Blow: Real Help for Moms Dealing with Anger

By Julie Ann Barnhill / Harvest House Publishers

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I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.

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Freedom From the Spirit of Anger-Part 2

To recap; here are the main outline points from yesterday (See Freedom From the Spirit of Anger-Part 1 for more on each point):

1. The Bible mentions both personal and impersonal spirits.

2. We must “try” the spirits coming from our and other people’s spirits to make sure they are of God.

3. There is a great possibility that we may not realize it when our spirit is putting off the wrong spirit.

4. Victory in the area of the spirit others sense coming from you is more important than victory in the area of actions others see you doing.

5. There is no Biblical justification for either anger or a spirit of anger.

Continuing the sermon Freedom From the Spirit of Anger by Dr. S. M. Davis; we finally address a couple of the statements that Christians often use to justify their anger.

Two questions that are commonly asked by people who defend anger are:

1. “But didn’t Jesus get angry?”

  • The following words occur a total of 584 time in the Bible: Anger, Angry, Wrath, Wroth, Fury, Furious, & Indignation. 470 of those times (80%) appear to be God’s wrath (Numbers 11:10, Joshua 7:1, 2 Samuel 6, 1 Kings 14:15, 1 Kings 16:33, Isaiah 30:27, etc.)
  • The only time that the Bible says that Jesus used anger was in Mark 3:5: “He looked around at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.”
  • Jesus seemed to get angry most at hypocrisy. Twice Jesus seemed to be angry when he cleansed the temple (John 2:12-25Matthew 21:12-17). Jesus seemed to get angry at the Pharisees in Matthew 23.
  • Isn’t Jesus our example? In most areas; yes he is our example. But there are a couple of things that Jesus did; that if we are wise, we probably won’t try:

1. Jesus, in a weakened state after 40 days of fasting was lead directly in the presence of Satan to be tempted. Jesus proved that He is God; we would probably prove that we are not God. Only two chapters later (Matthew 6:13) Jesus said that we should pray “lead us not into temptation” The best way to deal with temptation is to stay away from it.

2. Another thing that Jesus did that we should not do; is use anger. God’s anger is spiritual and produces justice. Man’s anger is carnal and produces injustice. God can righteously get angry; and then righteously take action that man cannot righteously take because man isn’t God.

  • The purpose of wrath is vengeance. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19 (KJV)
    • Vengeance is not given to us. Ezekiel 24:7-8
    • If a parent spanks a child while angry; he has not disciplined the child. He is carrying out vengeance upon the child. He violates Genesis 18:19, Luke 1:17 which require that a parent be just. This can easily cause a child to be disobedient or rebellious.
    • When a man is defending his family he needs courage and discernment not anger. Angry people act out of rage instead of reason.
    • Anyone who says anything in anger will probably say the wrong thing. But if they do say the the right thing; it will probably be said the wrong way. (Proverbs 14:17)

  • What are the results of an angry spirit in the pulpit?
    • Continual strife among pastor and deacons, pastor and people, and people and people.
    • Empty pews and people going to churches that don’t preach the Bible.
    • A plague of anger is spread throughout homes, businesses, and society
      • “Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” Proverbs 22:24-25
    • Vengeance is being handled by someone not Biblically qualified to handle it.
    • It causes us to lose the battle to spread God’s truth among the nations of the world.
      • The fruit of the spirit is most powerful when it is presented with the fruit of the spirit; not anger. (Love, Joy, Peace, Long suffering, Gentleness, Goodness, Faith, Meekness, and Temperance).

2. “How about the verse that says, “be ye angry and sin not?” Ephesians 4:26 (KJV)

  • Notice first the number of clear scriptures that say to get rid of anger completely. One of them being only 5 verses away.
  • Notice secondly that the Greek verb tense for “Be ye angry” is a present-passive imperative.
    1. Present = Now
    2. Passive = You are being acted upon
    3. Imperative = Command
    • Meaning= There are going to be times when you feel something or someone working on you to make you angry. Recognize that! Don’t let it happen. Don’t sin by getting angry.
  • You may not be able to stop the initial emotion you feel that leads you into the sin of anger. But you can with God’s help; refuse to be angry, to express anger itself, or allow anger to deepen and turn into wrath.
  • The problem with the world’s reasoning that its okay to get angry:
    • Anger is not something you can properly control. You can’t have “a little bit” of anger. You cannot have a little adultery, a little idolatry, a little murder, or a little anger.
    • The world’s reasoning about controlling anger causes us to miss God’s way to control anger.
      • ” It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and an angry woman.” Proverbs 21:19 (KJV)

 

10 Steps to Conquer the Spirit of Anger

  1. Recognize the problem and its seriousness.
  2. Desire the victory enough to cry out to God.
  3. Repent of the sin.
  4. Confess the sin of fore-fathers and ask God to break any curses coming down the generations.
  5. Ask God to take back the ground Satan has taken because of anger.
  6. See the connection between anger and lust in Matthew 5:21-32.
  7. Watch for people and things that are gong to come your way to make you angry.
  8. Purpose to enter the presence of family members and business associates with praise.
  9. Ask God daily to fill you with the Holy Spirit and to produce the fruit of the Holy Spirit in your life.
  10. Make yourself fully accountable.

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This sermon (both Parts 1 & 2) caused me to completely change my views on anger. For most of my life; I believed that I had every right to be angry for the bad things that have happened in my life. I used the exact arguments that Dr. Davis addresses in this sermon to justify my anger. I said to myself (and others), “Jesus got angry so it must be okay.” I most often am told that it is okay to have “righteous anger,” or “anger is not a sin but what you do when you get angry can be sin,” “you have to release your anger in a healthy way,” etc. I lived and believed these statements and I never stopped being angry! I never got over my anger so it turned into bitterness (I will address a sermon on bitterness in the near future). And now I am the wife and mom who is angry and bitter.

Only by God’s grace did I recognize the ugliness my heart and only through His power am I slowly changing. I started to look at my anger as sin. So now I know that I am wrong and that I need God’s forgiveness every time I get angry. I am not judging anyone else to determine if anger is sin for everyone. Maybe it isn’t; I don’t know. That is between each person and God. I just know that God’s Word spoke to me on a whole new level when I heard the message of this sermon. It wasn’t until I started facing my anger as sin and stopped justifying that I began to really dealing with my problems with anger. Don’t get me wrong. I still have a long way to go. I still have to break all of my bad habits and start replacing them with new ones. This is still a daily struggle for me but God is the Potter and I am the clay. He is still molding me and making me into the woman that He sees in the completed picture.

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Freedom From The Spirit Of Anger by: Dr. S. M. Davis

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I would love to hear your thoughts and stories if you have ever dealt with anger in your life!

Please feel free to comment on my posts and/or e-mail me at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

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You can find links to all posts in this series on the Anger Series Index page.

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