Archives for August 2013

Defusing A Tense Situation

Had to pass this on…so good!
Jun 30, 2013 01:00 am | Anabel Gillham

I can do all things through Him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I was fixing supper and had everything pretty well under control so I decided to step out front and see how Bill was getting along in the “bicycle repair business.” He’s quite a “handy man.”

As I stepped out the door, he looked up and said, “Boy, am I glad to see you! I need some help.” Now, through the years I have learned one thing very well: I do not “help” Bill the way he likes someone to help. I may hand him the hammer the wrong way, or get the wrong screwdriver, or set the ladder up wrong, who knows — it’s just wrong! My emotions start going up and I wish I had stayed inside and stirred the beans.

He’s all crouched down in an awkward position and says to me, “I need you to shim this screw right here.”

Shim? Shim? Well, there’s Shem, Ham, and Japheth — that’s the only “shem” in my vocabulary.

“I don’t see what you mean, Honey.”

He can move only his little finger, so pointing as best he can he says, once again, “This screw. I need you to shim it for me.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

My emotions are doing quite well on their upward climb — probably three-quarters of the way to being completely undone. He finally gets me to understand (increased decibels and terse statements, guaranteed to prod the emotions in their upward climb).

So now, I’m on the pavement, holding the screwdriver (shimming), and he’s in the garage getting whatever mysterious thing it is he needs to complete his repair job.

What’s going on inside of me? Bad things. I want to let him know he has hurt me, and several destructive ways to do that are suggested to me via my thought-life: “I just never do things to please you, do I?” (I’ve chosen that one many times before, and I know the results: another ruined, tension-filled evening in the Gillham household.) But another thought comes to me — obviously from a different source — a balm, a positive statement, muttered through gritted teeth no doubt with emotions stomping their feet, demanding that I retaliate. The thought? A rather nauseating one. “It amazes me, the way you can fix these broken bikes, Hon.” (I decide to use the balm instead of the bomb. It wasn’t easy.)

You talk about defusing a tense situation! Even now, in retelling the story, I get a surge of relief. Those few words set me free. (Of course, Bill was oblivious to the proceedings that were going on inside me where the emotions had reached the pinnacle and were screaming for vengance!) That statement was not easy for me to make, and there is no way I could have made it outside of the power that is mine because of Christ.

Letting Him do it for you works such miracles. Opting for the first “vengeance is mine” choice seems harmless, but one time plus another time equals two times, plus several more times equals many times, plus many more times equals hundreds of such “little” episodes, which equals untotaled hours of tension, which equals divorce. They build. You store them up and then regurgitate them, and as you dwell on them, your emotions climb higher and higher and when you have a confrontation — even a minor one — out they all spill!

The bicycle story had a happy ending for both of us: I didn’t get depressed out of my tree and Bill had a renewed sense of competency — his ability to repair a broken bicycle. Oh, joy!

Letting Christ live through you to defuse a volatile setting isn’t easy — but oh, how wonderful! Instead of setting off the fireworks and causing a runaway fire with disastrous results, you can enjoy the sparklers together!

Moving Into Your Future


Jon and I have been having many discussions about our future this summer.  We have had decisions to make, about his business, about my work life, and about where we want to be with our time, family, and finances.  After much thinking and talking we think we have things “figured out for now.”  Yet, throughout all, our prayer to God has been, “Please direct us in YOUR path.  Give us wisdom.  Show us the doors you want us to walk through and close the ones you don’t.”

I want more than anything to have wisdom from God.  For with wisdom comes the ability to choose the best (not necessarily the easiest) path for my life, the path that stretches forward before me with just the right amount of shade and light. One that I can walk with confidence knowing that God has plans for me along the way, and things to teach me.  To be honest, I don’t know if the decisions Jon and I made will lead us on the right path.  Our best laid plans may not really be the best, or possibly they are.   But we will continue to pray and stay tuned to that gentle whisper or nudge that we have come to recognize as God’s voice in our lives, and as we journey,  we will ask for courage to turn our heels in the dirt and head a different direction if led.

This is a devotional from Stormie O’Martian that speaks into my journey, and maybe yours:

Moving Into Your Future

“Lord, I ask You to be in charge of my future.  I don’t want to dream dreams if you are not in them.  I don’t want to make plans that you will not bless.  I don’t want to work hard trying to harvest something that will never bear fruit because I did not receive the seed from you.  Help me not to waste valuable time getting off the path and having to come back to the same place again.  I do not want to get to the end of my life and regret the time I spent not living for you.”  The Book of Prayer, p.241


What You Say Matters

Hello Friends!

Wow, it’s been a busy summer and I can’t believe it’s almost time for the kids to head back to school.  Speaking of kids, I came across this article by Dannah Gresh.  She is a wonderful author who writes books for parents of teen boys and girls:



She’s really listening to me!? I know-I know, it might not seem like it since you have had to tell her to clean her room 23 times today – to leave her brother alone 34 times… But she is listening to you. She listens closely.
She listens when you look in the mirror and complain about your hair and your wrinkles. She listens when you say you are fat and ugly. She hears you put yourself down. She also knows that her mom loves her and wouldn’t lie. So don’t be surprised if she begins to believe the negative things you say about yourself. That’s what you’re teaching her to believe about herself when she’s older.
As James chapter 3 reminds us, our tongues – our words – are exceedingly powerful. This power could be used to revive and refresh a weary soul or it can be used to set someone’s world on fire. The real challenge comes when we are speaking to ourselves.

Society tells women that they are only as valuable as their external beauty, all the while setting a standard of beauty that is out of the reach of everyone – including the celebrities. No one is crueler or more critical to us than the reflection we see in the mirror.


This way of thinking and of speaking must stop. As women we have been made in the image of God. Perfectly Crafted. Wonderfully Made. Dearly Loved. How dare we insult God’s masterpiece – how dare we belittle His work in front of the eyes of our daughters!


You and I don’t wish to have this self-loathing mentality take root in our girls. Mom, we have to be her role model. We must believe what God says about our beauty – we must speak it boldly. Next time you look in the mirror say, “Thank you Jesus, I AM HOT!” Try it, I dare you!


We can accept the fact that we were created as a definition of God’s beauty. We are an example of His handiwork. Moms, we must honor and respect our bodies as they are perfectly crafted by God Himself. When your daughter looks at you, she sees beauty. She wants to be like you someday. Don’t be the source of the lies she believes about beauty. She’s listening.

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