1 Samuel 18:7-9 - As they danced, they sang: "Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands." Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. "They have credited David with tens of thousands," he thought, "but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?" And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.
In life there is always a trade off:
Yet, you wonder.
Why are there so many trade-offs in life?
The answer may lay in the way you look at your life. You may feel like you have every reason to be bitter, but who does that help? Certainly not you. It only deepens the sorrow and may make you want to give up.
Life is full of trade-offs, but that doesn’t mean that your life is completely an unfair gathering of pain and suffering. Psycologytoday.com shows us in their article, “Life is a Series of Trade-offs,” that trade-offs mean that you have the chance to show the world that though there are trade-off, there is freedom to be found if we can accept life on life’s terms.
The article above provides a way that we can find a balance in our lives. Focus on what you can do. What you will receive, if you take the step that has a trade-off.
The Bible verses above takes place when David was anointed the future king of Israel. The positive trade-off was that he gained popularity with the people. However, David’s successes were causing the current king, Saul, to felt threatened and he tried to kill David. But it didn’t stop David from believing in the future God had promised him. We too, can feel the rush of being “chased after” by the negatives of a trade-off. Trust that God will help protect you while you wait for the positive of a trade-off to become stronger than the negative just as God did for David.
Genesis 15:13 - Then the LORD said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there.”
Beneath your feet the ground begins to move. You try to find something to latch onto, but nothing is within reach. Everything seems far away like as if you’re on a desert island and the sand is slowly slipping down all around you.
You open your eyes and the sandstorm swirls all around you making your eyes sting. The visibility is almost zero. You hold up your hand and cannot make out its edges.
You open your mouth to cry out for help, but your voice gets swallowed up in the sound of the raging sandstorm.
Nothing seems real. Nothing seems to makes sense. Nothingness opens its mouth and swallows you.
Uncertainty. The unknown. Life is like that sandstorm whirling all around us. So few things are sure. So few things stay the same, like the shifting sand on a desert island.
Your uncertainty feeds your anxieties. It moves them into a giant, shapeless sand dune. Fear wants a way of escape, but depression stopped caring a long time ago.
It’s important when battling mental illness that some kind of parameters are set up. It can be as simple as making a list of things to do each day. That way you have something to work towards finishing.
Leaving a small calendar sitting out on your desk or on a kitchen counter can help you make plans as you write on it the dates of doctor’s appointments or those with a therapist. Though an appointment may get rescheduled, you’ll still be able to have an idea of what you know is coming up.
It can also help to keep the furniture in your home in a set place. Knowing where things are in your home and keeping your list and calendar up to date can provide some solid ground to walk on.
Find some other methods to deal with uncertainty in the article, “7 Ways to Deal with Uncertainty So You Can Be Happier and Less Anxious,” on tinybuddha.com, such as replacing expectations with plans and preparing for difficult possibilities.
One thing you can know is that what God says is certain. If he says he will do something, he will. Take a look at the Bible verse above. Though the Israelites were going into exile because they had disobeyed God over and over, they could know for certain that they wouldn’t live in an unknown land forever. When the four hundred years were up, God would rescue them. God can rescue you from your fears of the unknown and help you find some certainty in a world that is ever changing.
Proverbs 16:7 - When a man's ways are pleasing to the Lord, he makes even his enemies live at peace with him.
Here we go again – Your family is trying to make up their minds about what they’re going to do as you approach a family event.
You’d like to give your opinion and tell them what you want to do, but it’s like as if you’ve shrunk to the size of a peanut and nobody is paying attention to you. Sometimes it feels like they stomp on the peanut and sweep the crumbs out the door.
Why is it that you always have to give up what you want and concede to everyone else’s wishes?
It may be that while you were growing up you found it easier to be a people pleaser and let your wishes go.
It happened through grade school.
It happened through high school.
It happened through your marriage.
And it’s happening now with your adult children and siblings.
Is it wrong to express what you want? Should you push your will onto everyone else’s to get your way? Is there a better way to communicate your desires? Let’s find out.
First, what you want does matter. Each person in a family has something worth giving. Yes, and that also means you.
Second, it may be that people push you aside because you’ve never expressed your wishes. Your family may think that you’re fine with whatever everyone else wants. Maybe they do care, but they don’t know there’s a problem.
Third, you don’t have to be afraid of expressing what you want and receiving a “no” answer. If you gradually increase expressing your desires, it may be that your family will not only hear your take on the matter, but they may run with it.
Find some more ideas on how to communicate your desires in the article, “15 Ways to Express Needs and Desires,” on vincegowmon.com, such as be calm and ask for what you want more of instead of less.
With some communication advice under our belt, we can then begin to improve on expressing our needs and wants to others while also being willing to listen to theirs. This will help us to keep our relationships growing and open instead of animosity taking over, and causing us to feel like the enemy even to our family. As the Bible verse above talks about, God can make even our enemies be at peace with us and no longer be our enemy.
Genesis 1:26 - Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
We all know that pets can have a positive effect on our emotional and physical wellbeing. They can bring us comfort by laying in our lap, calm our anxiety as we pet them, and when we give them love and affection our stress level can go down.
Therapy dogs are trained to be in tune with their owner’s moods and will help them through the emotions from strained relationships, abuse or health conditions.
Service dogs help people with disabilities perform tasks such as opening doors, when their owner can’t.
However, did you know that we can have an effect on our pet’s wellbeing? An owner of a therapy dog may take the dog for a walk when they are upset which helps the dog’s physical wellbeing as it gets exercise. Service dogs are also taught by a cue from their owners when they are on or off duty, so that the dog can have a break from its duties.
Also, there are pets who have been mistreated by past owners that show signs of fear, anxiety, worry and excitability just as we can. We can help a mistreated pet’s emotions by showing them kindness and taking clues from the pet on what we may need to avoid should it cause the pet to become upset.
So how do we find a balance between our emotional wellbeing and our pets? On npr.org the article, “Pet Therapy: How Animals and Humans Heal Each Other,” discusses how pets are helping humans with both emotional and physical difficulties, and about ongoing research that is geared to find out how the animals are benefiting from their interactions with humans.
It is up to each of us who have a pet, service dog or therapy dog to treat them with care. We benefit from their help and it’s up to us to treat them as the loving companions that they are. And as the Bible verse above states, God placed us over the animals to rule them. But God also expects us to be responsible for their wellbeing. Handle them with care.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.