Psalm 13:2-3 - How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?
I have far too much, and many have far too little.
Do you ever wonder why you live in a clean home? Why you have trees, green grass and beautiful roses to look at instead of only dirt? Why do you have food on your table for three meals a day, while others are happy with only one?
I try to figure out how to balance things in my mind, but somehow the words, “I’m sorry,” spill out of me many times a day.
It happens in the grocery store when I almost run someone over with my cart, because I’m moving too quickly and don’t bother to slow down when approaching an aisle.
It also happens when someone tells me a difficulty they’re going through and I express, “I’m sorry.” But after I say those words, the person will say, “Why are you apologizing? It’s not your fault I’m sick,” or when someone recounts to me about running low on money, or when someone tells me how badly someone else treated them, I say, “I’m sorry.”
A told a friend what I’ve been facing by saying, “I’m sorry.” So, we both decided as we continued shopping that we’d see just how many times I said that I was sorry. I caught myself over and over saying I was sorry. And my friend caught me saying it too.
So here I am trying to figure out why I keep saying that I’m sorry so many times in a day.
One possibility was asked recently. Are all of the “I’m sorry”s caused by my feeling I need to apologize for my very existence?
Do you ever devalue yourself? Do you see yourself in a good light or always the bad?
Wikihow.com, in their article, “How to Stop Apologizing,” gives some thought as to why we may be apologizing, such as figuring out who you apologize the most often and eliminating residual guilt.
When we have a better handle on what we think of ourselves we can then move on to working on replacing “I’m sorry,” with something more appropriate such as thanking others for what they do for us.
Just as the psalmist in the Bible verses above, the psalmist talks about how he’s wrestling with his thoughts day after day and has sorrow from it in his heart. You also may want to get rid of these thoughts, but it doesn’t happen overnight.
Be patient with yourself. It may take you some time to improve what you think about yourself and to also improve your communications with others. If I could do it, so can you!
Proverbs 17:27 - A man of knowledge uses words with restraint, and a man of understanding is even-tempered.
Do you know someone who has an even-tempered personality? What exactly does that look like? Someone who stays calm in stressful situations, doesn't fly into a rage, lets the little things go and doesn't get ruffled or annoyed easily, and doesn't get excited over everything.
So, how many of you out there fit into this description? Not many, right? Usually I don’t get ruffled or annoyed easily, but I easily become disturbed; not calm, but anxious.
Find some tips on how to be calm in wikihow.com's article, “How to be Calm,” such as avoiding negativity and trying aromatherapy.
Also, as the Bible verse above says, restraining your words by not immediately responding in a negative fashion can help you understand things better and can cause you to be even-tempered.
Psalm 55:12-14 - If an enemy were insulting me, I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend, with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship at the house of God, as we walked about among the worshipers.
You’ve been best friends with someone for some time now. You value that person and they value you.
But what happens when another friend does something that your best friend doesn’t agree with. Agree is a rather mild description of what they think.
So here you are caught in the middle between two of your friends. You respect what both friends believe. Maybe you even agree with your best friend, but you’re willing to take a look at both sides of the story.
Your best friend is unwilling to do the same. So they approach you and inform you that they no longer feel that they can be your best friend because you’re still hanging out with the other friend.
Wait a minute. You’re not the one who did something wrong. You’ve never done something that would offend either one.
But your best friend gives you an ultimatum – either you stop associating with the other friend or they will end your friendship. This isn’t fair. Your heart feels like it has been dragged over hot coals.
What’s a friend to do? Read the article, “How to get Over Losing a Best Friend,” on wikihow.com to find some suggestions such as consider getting to know some of your current friends better.
You aren’t the only person who’s been hurt by a friend not wanting anything to do with them anymore. Be a friend and help another person move on like you did.
We can also find the strength to move forward with our lives by looking at the Bible verses above. King David had a close friend who turned on him when things were tough. You can read his pain in each word. It is our closest friends who can hurt us the most. Remember though that you have a friend who will never insult you or leave you – Jesus. He knows what it’s like for everyone to leave him as his disciples did on the night Jesus was arrested and then crucified. Let what Jesus went through bring you comfort because he knows what we’re going through.
Job 42:2 - I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted.
I open the door and slide in behind the steering wheel. I start my car and begin driving to my destination. Everything is going fine, as I drive down a straight section of the road, but then an unexpected curve comes into view and I can feel my car start to skid. Soon I find myself off the roadway and heading towards a tree. I step on my breaks trying to get the car back under control, but it’s too late. I manage to avoid the tree only to end up careening down the hillside.
This can be the story of your life. You think you’re doing okay going down that easy straight patch, but then a curve comes out of nowhere such as an accident leaving you disabled, a diagnosis of cancer, or a loved one being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
There’s also just the simple one that I’m going through right now. I placed a call to my physician’s office and left a message for them to call me back only to be waiting over two hours with no call. I guess you could say that my patience is being tested. So this frustrating thing can become something to make me stronger if I will allow it to.
So how do I deal with the pit in my stomach feeling when things are beyond my control? The article, “9 Things to do When you Feel Like Life is Getting out of Control,” on bustle.com may give you some ideas such as taking some time to be alone.
My favorite way to deal with feeling like I'm losing control is to pray and meditate on Bible verses. When I pray my focus goes away from what's causing me to feel like I'm losing control and back onto seeing that God is in control.
Everyone feels stressed out from time-to-time. Select one or more of the suggestions in the article above and see those out of control feelings float down stream.
Also, don’t forget that nothing takes God by surprise. There is no curve in the road that he doesn’t know is there.
As the Bible verse above says, none of God’s plans can be thwarted. He does as he pleases and no one can change what he started. So the next time you feel out of control when facing that curve, know that God’s already gone before you. He will calm you and get your car back on the road. And nothing is going to change that.
Select the link below if you’d like to take a test and find out what makes you feel out of control.
Deuteronomy 32:10-11 - In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye.
So it looks like it’s that time of year when your family goes on a spring get away. Is it off to the ocean to play in the waves? Or off to the mountains to go camping? No.
Your vacation has taken you out into the middle of the desert far from towns and people.
There are two kinds of deserts in the mind – one you’ve created of your own making and one that draws you away without your permission.
The desert you create can feel like a vacation. It may be hot but in your mind you see it as an opportunity to do away with clutter and focus on what’s most important to you.
But the desert that draws you away is very different. You’re deposited there with a heavy load and it’s difficult to find your way back home.
A desert can be abundant and flourishing like the cactus that blooms after a rainfall. Animals come out in abundance also, finding an oasis that the rain formed filling their bodies with life-giving water.
A desert can also be absent of almost all life. The wind blows the desert sands into sand dunes and also makes it difficult to see.
But both deserts hold an opportunity – no matter what kind of desert you’re in you have the choice to fear it or embrace it. Know that the desert can teach you many things.
It’s in the heat of the trial, in the emotional pain that wants to control our life that we can learn from the desert.
So what can we learn about the desert? The article, “When God Takes You Through the Desert,” on theblazingcenter.com gives some insight, such as deserts reveal what's in our hearts.
Remember, that God will find you in your desert. He will whisper his love for you even when the sand is howling. He can reach down and shield your eyes, care for you and guard you.
Are you ready to face your desert?
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.