Tag Archives: Emotions

Got Post-Christmas Blahs?

26 Dec

There’s a funny “Day after Christmas” poem that might describe many homes in America:

‘Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house,
Every creature was hurting — even the mouse.
The toys were all broken, their batteries dead;
Santa passed out, with some ice on his head.

Wrapping and ribbons just covered the floor, while
Upstairs the family continued to snore.
And I in my T-shirt, new Reeboks and jeans,
Went into the kitchen and started to clean.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the sink to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the curtains, and threw up the sash.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a little white truck, with an over-sized mirror.
The driver was smiling, so lively and grand;
The patch on his jacket said “U.S. POSTMAN.”

With a handful of bills, he grinned like a fox.
Then quickly he stuffed them into our mailbox.
Bill after bill, after bill, they still came.
Whistling and shouting he called them by name:

“Now Dillard’s, now Broadway’s, now Penny’s and Sears;
Here’s Levitz’ and Target’s and Mervyn’s ~ all here!!
To the tip or your limit, every store, every mall,
Now chargeaway-chargeaway-chargeaway all!”

He whooped and he whistled as he finished his work.
He filled up the box, and then turned with a jerk.
He sprang to his truck and he drove down the road,
Driving much faster with just half a load.

Then I heard him exclaim with great holiday cheer,
“Enjoy what you got … YOU’LL BE PAYING ALL YEAR!” (1)

And then there are all the “returns” after Christmas.

Brian Bill dealt with this by quoting a poem by Dave Veerman called “Many Happy Returns” ~

“‘Twas the day after Christmas, And all through the room
Strewn wrappings were crying For use of a broom

The children were scattered, The friends’ gifts exploring,
Since now most of theirs Were broken or boring.

All tummies were stuffed From the fabulous feast;
Leftovers would serve For one month at least.

And mama and papa Were countryside ranging,
Those unwanted gifts Returned or exchanging.

Yes, Christmas is past With its bustle and noise,
Sales and carols, Santas and toys.

Decorations are packed, The Yule tree’s discarded.
The holiday’s over, Just as we got started….” (2)

It’s so true … if we’re not careful … all the post-Christmas bills and returns will get us down (unless, of course, we paid for it all with cash and chose perfect gifts).

Sometimes, as hard as we try, Christmas is disappointing. It’s like the child who opened all his gifts and then declared, “Is that all there is?” Or maybe there are some relationship problems. Or maybe there is so much activity and you run on adrenaline … and then you crash.  (I know it’s only the day after Christmas… it might take a bit to catch up with you!)

Here’s how I’ve always dealt with post-Christmas blues Continue reading

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How 2 B an Optimist in a Crazy World

29 Mar

A group of elderly Jewish men meet every Wednesday for a coffee and a chat. They drink their coffee and then sit for hours discussing the world situation. Usually, their discussion is very negative.

One day, Moishe surprises his friends by announcing, loud and clear, “You know what? I’ve now become an optimist.”

Everyone is totally shocked and all conversation dries up.

But then Sam notices something isn’t quite right and he says to Moishe, “Hold on a minute, if you’re an optimist, why are you looking so worried?”

Moishe replies, “Do you think it’s easy being an optimist?” *

Optimism_HappyFaceIt’s indeed tough to be an optimist if you look at global mayhem for long. This past week, I (Dawn) got so stressed and negative about the news on television (which I watch a lot to help in research for my day job), that I jumped up and grabbed the remote. “That’s it for today!” I said.

Wars, earthquakes, a tsunami, radiation in water, food shortages, financial meltdowns, government overspending and waste, dead birds and fish, leadership vacuum, cultural moral decay … you name it! The world is a scary place these days.

A quote by blogger Robert Brault made me laugh last week:  “The average pencil is seven inches long, with just a half-inch eraser ~ in case you thought optimism was dead!”

That helped me laugh and re-think my anxiety a bit. It’s true, isn’t it? Yes, the world is falling apart. Yes, there are many reasons to become pessimists. But this world is not the whole story.

Because the Christian has an eternal perspective, there is hope beyond today! The scripture that speaks to my heart today is a verse often used during the Easter season: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” (1 Corinthians 15:19). Other versions say, “most miserable.” It’s so true. Without eternal perspective, some things on earth just don’t make sense.

This sinful world is spiraling toward the Last Days, and Jesus told us we could expect many signs to arise together as His return draws near (Matthew 24:33-34; Luke 21:11, 25-26). Paul spoke of creation “groaning and travailing in pain” (Romans 8:22); and Jesus spoke of “birth pangs” that increase in the End Times (Matthew 24:8).

Jesus also told his disciples that they would face suffering, but suffering has purpose in the economy of God.

I think of Joseph in the Old Testament. He had many reasons to become a pessimist, but Continue reading

More than a ‘Mood Ring’ (Part 2)

23 Mar

In Fantastic After 40, Pam Farrel describes the domino effect of allowing emotions to control our lives ~ soon our emotions run rampant!

Question: How many women with PMS does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

Answer: One. One! And do you know why it only takes one? Because no one else in this house even Lightbulb_smashedknow how to change a lightbulb. They don’t even know the bulb is burned out. They would sit in this house in the dark for three days before they figured it out. And once they figured it out, they wouldn’t be able to find the lightbulbs despite the fact that they’ve been in the same cupboard for the past 17 years. But if they did, by some miracle, find the lighbulbs, two days later the chair they dragged from two rooms over to stand on to change the stupid lightbulb would still be in the same spot! And underneath it would be the crumpled wrapper the stupid lightbulbs came in. Why? Because no one in this house ever carries out the garbage! It’s a wonder we haven’t all suffocated from the piles of garbage that are 12-feet deep throughout the entire house. The house! The house! It would take an army to clean this house … *

(Sounds like there’s a wee bit of anger mixed in with that moodiness, don’t you think? I imagine this moody woman smashing a lightbulb!)

In the last post, we discussed some of the reasons for moodiness, and saw that there were many various causes ~ some physical, some emotional or mental, and some spiritual.

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a moody person is “subject to depression, gloomy; subject to moods, temperamental; or expressive of a mood.” That’s a pretty wide spectrum. Some people don’t like their own moodiness, and others with physical problems struggle with moods; but some say, “That’s just the way I am,” leaving others to deal with them. And heaven help us when we deal with teenagers’ fluctuating moods!

So, how do you respond biblically to a person who is moody?

(1) Give them lots of love and grace. Many times when a person is moody, they are not likely “themselves,” so don’t take what they say too seriously when moodiness makes them lash out. Keep your distance for a while, if the moodiness includes anger. Offer consolation, but not in the heat of the moment. Give the person time to calm down a bit, and then, with compassion, try to get them to open up. Listen, and don’t offer advice at this point unless asked. Be tender and selfless. Do not judge them. Think of many of the “one another” scriptures ~ so many of them will help you respond correctly.

(2) Guard your own heart (Proverbs 4:23). While you can be empathetic, don’t allow your own mood to mimic theirs.  Ask the Holy Spirit to give you a spirit of kindness and  inner joy, and practice self-control. On page 149 of Fantastic After 40, Pam recommends remembering the acrostic C-A-L-M to Continue reading

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