Don’t Get Emotional| By Makayla Durapau

Did you know that God has emotions?

When He sees us,

or thinks about us,

or hears from us,

or looks at us,

it makes Him feel something.

How cool is it that we can affect the heartstrings of the One that created us and everything around us?!

Spending time with Him and having a relationship with Him makes His heart glad even more so than it does ours.

Honestly, I do not feel like emotions get enough appreciation.

I have learned a lot of times that emotions indicate the state of your heart, your motives/intentions, and even the state of your relationships, both with other people and with God.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not like to talk about emotions, or even what is causing them in the first place. This is mostly because emotions are messy. They are not always wrapped in neat little boxes that can be neatly unpacked and neatly set down somewhere to look pretty or be practical. They do not wait to make themselves known until it is convenient for you. They do not say their peace, then tidy up and go home. Sometimes, they spill… everywhere.

They act irrational.

They demand to be heard and seen.

Sometimes our emotions get, well, emotional.

That does not mean that we should stuff them down and suppress them. It also does not mean we should let them sit in the driver’s seat of our lives and dictate our response to everything life throws at us. However, it does mean our emotions are indicating a deeper reason than simply “I feel angry” or “I feel hurt” or “I feel sad”.

It is kind of like with babies. When they cry, they do not do it as a hobby. They cry because there is something deeper that is bothering them like hunger or needing sleep. Likewise, our feelings many times will let us know that there is more going on than just feeling like you want to cry or feeling like you want to punch the lights out of someone/something.

As a Christian, one of my greatest passions/desires is to see people set free from the bondage in their lives, specifically when it comes to emotional and spiritual freedom. One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 61:1, which says,

“The Spirit of the Lord God is on me, because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and freedom to the prisoners;” Isaiah 61:1 (CSB)

I had seen this verse before, but it was not until about a year ago that it really leaped off the pages to me. To me, it speaks of how we are to take up the mantle that Jesus left his followers. God wants to use us to reach the poor, heal the brokenhearted, liberate those in captivity, and free those who are being held prisoner. As believers, we have been enabled to do this with the help of HolySpirit.

One thing that really strikes me about this verse is that to accomplish these things, you have to get your hands a little bit dirty. To free prisoners, you have to go INSIDE the prison. To proclaim liberty, you have to OPEN your mouth. To bring healing, you have to get CLOSE to the one who is hurting. To reach someone, you have to take the risk of CONNECTION. Jesus has not called us to a life of seclusion, reclusiveness, or exclusiveness. He has called us to a life of inclusion, closeness, and connection; both with our creator and with other people.

When we look at the Bible, we start to realize that we are called to love ALL people at ALL times (John 13:34-35; Matthew 22:39). I Peter 4:8 says,

“Above all, maintain constant love for one another, since love covers a multitude of sins.” I Peter 4:8 (CSB)

When we are looking at others through a lens of love, it is easier for us to give others grace in our interactions with them (Proverbs 10:12; James 1:19). Peter knew that when you let love guide your interactions with people, you are more likely to see them how God wants you to see them, and less likely to see them how the devil would like you to see them. It means that despite what they might have done, we still see them as someone Jesus was willing to give his life for. Someone that God wanted a relationship with.

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Mama Knows Best

This week we wanted to take a break from our regular posting schedule and pay homage to our amazing mothers by sharing some of the advice they shared with us throughout the years.

And from Unveiling Eden to you, Happy Mother’s Day!

 

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Growing up I was a total daddy’s girl. As the years have gone on, I have clung to my mother. Not only because she’s a woman and her perspective has been key in my growing up, but I recognize the wisdom she has that I didn’t always appreciate as a teenager.

One of the most amazing lessons my mom taught me as a child was that other people’s prejudices towards me should not affect the way I treat that person or the way I feel about myself.

Growing up in the late 1990s and early 2000s as a young black girl in the South definitely had its drawbacks. Although I did not experience the same racism like generations before me, I definitely did experience it.

My mom’s words after I experienced racist behavior towards me has spoken volumes to me throughout my life, and I often reference this conversation as an adult.

She told me, “when you go to school, you treat her exactly the same you would anyone else.”

After all, it is the golden rule.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you…” Matthew 7:12

Another piece of advice that my mother gave me after my first breakup was, “Never date the same guy twice.” I know this advice isn’t true for everyone, but it definitely gave me perspective moving forward.

She did not say much after that comment, but she gave me an assurance that once out of the relationship you were able to see things that you couldn’t quite see in the relationship and to remember why that relationship didn’t work out the first time after all.

IMG_5587Growing up, I didn’t truly appreciate or cherish my mother the way I do today. Of course I always loved her and we had a good relationship, but it wasn’t until I became a mother myself that opened my eyes to what mothering really takes.

I remember right when my first baby was born, I became overwhelmed with love and appreciation for my mom. Just the fact that while sleep deprived, she nursed me, bathed me, and held me close to her when I cried moves me to tears. We do not really remember those years, but they are huge.

Being a mom myself has also shown me that although she is a mother, she is still a person, one with weakness, but also great strength. I am beyond thankful for her and everything her life teaches me. She is woman that is quick to listen and slow to speak, choosing her words wisely. Regardless if she is tired or not, she works extremely hard and always keeps a good attitude. She is prudent in finances and always displays humility. She is truly a treasure, and I am proud to call her MOM.

I challenge you to find the treasure in your own mother, and let her know, because she deserves it, and she loves you more than you know.

 

IMG_5601.PNGThe older I get, the more I truly appreciate and admire my mother. The strength she has demonstrated in her life and the efforts she has made to improve her character each day is a true testament of the love of God in her heart.

Over the years, my parents have had their disagreements just as all couples have throughout their marriage. However, no matter how hard times got, my mom held to the standard of never saying a negative word about her husband to those around her.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29

Sometimes in life, we face hard times and want to vent to others about those who have wronged us. But sometimes this can be so harmful to a person’s character.

My mother always said, “You see your husband’s worst and his best, and love him for it. Your friends and family do not have that privilege and will only be able to judge him based on the words you say.”

Because you love your husband, you will be quicker to forgive and forget his wrongs. However, a family member or friend who cares for you will judge your spouse based on what you share. If the only time you mention your husband is to bad mouth him, those people will always have a bitter opinion toward your spouse, my mother told me.

When I became married myself, I realized how much strength it took out of my mom to never complain about my father. Even as those around her complained about their own husband, she did not participate.

I am beyond grateful to have had this example from my mother to carry over into my own marriage.

I Refuse: When Life Tries To Steal Your Joy| By Tori Savoy

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“For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace;” Isaiah 55:12

Joy. It is a feeling that seems so simple, yet the pressures of life somehow seem to complicate it.

How many times have you begun a day with the intention of having a joyful attitude? But then, you get stuck in traffic, arrive late at work, deal with an angry customer, spill food on your brand new blouse, forget an appointment you have, and anything else to spoil your day. Now joy is the last word in your vocabulary, and your attitude is stuck sour.

When me and my husband were dating, I went through a rough time in my life. Being happy did not come easy with the hussle and bussle of college, a full-time job, and the dwindling relationships I was dealing with. However, one day he said something that stuck with me.

“God has given you joy. Refuse to let the Devil take it.”

In that moment, I realized that joy is gift. And just like Christmas or birthday gifts, this gift is free regardless of where my life is at the time.

Our joy should not be dependent upon our surroundings because our source of joy is God, not the world and certainly not the Devil. However, the Devil will try to use the things of this world to steal this great gift we have been given. He knows that nothing can stand in our way if we learn to have joy in tribulation.

God’s word says to “Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say, rejoice” (Phil 4:4 ESV).

It does not say rejoice when life is splendid. It says to rejoice ALWAYS. Even when it seems as if life is completely against you.

There’s a song we use to sing at my church until we could not sing anymore. The lyrics state “I refuse, I won’t let nobody steal my joy!”

So I challenge you. Don’t let anybody or any circumstance steal the joy that Jesus has given to you as a free gift. You wouldn’t take your most treasured Christmas gift and throw it in the trash just because you had a string of bad “gifts”. So why throw away the precious gift of joy God has for you? Remember, although sorrow lasts for the night, joy comes in the morning.