What are You Relying on...Faith or Feelings?

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What are You Relying on...Faith or Feelings?

Having one of those PMS days? I know all about that, unfortunately.  One of the most important lessons I’ve learned over the years is NOT to rely on my ‘feelings’. I’ve historically been one of the more emotional types. I've always had to sort of 'ignore' how I feel and get past it. In a way, hitting ‘menopause’ has been one of the most blessed events of my life! Hurrah!! Now I get to sit and ‘stoically’ respond to the ups and downs of life without looking like I’ve lost my mind.  I look pretty mature no matter what the circumstances… So this is how the male world feels?! Wow..awesome!

You just can’t imagine how hard it is to ‘look’ like a mature responsible adult  when you cry about absolutely everything!  Does your family have to ask, “Are those happy tears or sad tears Mom?”  Poor Tim…I don’t know how he has managed to stay sane while living with my hormonal ups and downs.  Whether happy, sad, angry, or tired..I’ll probably cry.   He and Eleanor  (of Sense and Sensibility) have a lot in common.

Hormone days, as I call ‘that time of the month’ are the craziest of all. I only have ONE hormone day so it's not a crisis for me. But it always catches me by surprise because it really is a crazy day. Thank goodness..I don’t get mad as I know some women do, but I will cry at the absolute drop of the hat. Like Marianne, I just weep and weep…  The funny thing is that after years of this cyclical event, I’m now no longer ‘caught off guard’.  How do I know nothing is wrong? Ah..I just know.  I began to realize, early on in my married life, that if I was suddenly overly upset or anguished about something and knew that I normally wasn’t upset about the issue…then it must be ‘the day’ or fast approaching. It helped me to separate true issues that needed to be resolved over just the emotional upheaval of my hormonal roller coaster ride.  It makes sense to mark the day on a calendar..and then warn the whole family…hormone day is coming? Watch out…it’s ‘that time of the month’.

It might be good to note here that we women probably need to remember that having a PMS day is no excuse to let our hubby or family ‘have it’…just because we are feeling bad. I had that little ‘talk’ with Rebekah when she was eleven.  For some totally unexplained reason…she just about pummelled her little brother Christian. All he was doing was waving monopoly money in her face…over and over again. Normally, she would just laugh it off and make him stop. But that day…well..he got more than he bargained for.    I quickly realized that Rebekah must be on the verge of that hormonal transition that we women all make around that time of life. So we had ‘the talk’. Yes, you  may feel like walloping your brother more than you normally do..but we musn’t give in to those feelings. 

We’ve learned to give ourselves a ‘time out’ from normal life at times like that. Kind of like the werewolf who locked himself in at night so he wouldn’t ‘wreak havoc’ while in his ‘wolf’ form, I’ve sometimes been tempted to do the same thing myself. Ha!  What I have done is make a point of not making any decision or even allowing myself to THINK about anything truly important at that time.  That’s a good rule of thumb period. If you are upset…then put off those big discussions and decisions for at least 24 hours.  And don’t have major discussions with dear hubby at night. Bad idea.  You’re both tired. Wait till morning! Things look so much brighter and reasonable in the morning!

Why did the Lord orchestrate the arrival of menopause to coincide with the hormonal upheaval of puberty in five teenagers? I don’t know…except that he may just have a strange sense of humor..or maybe he wants to show just how awesome and powerful he really is! Tee-hee! If He can keep us all loving and gracious in the midst of that storm, which he has, then He’s pretty awesome right?  I do know that it has been during this last few years of family ‘hormonal’ stew, that I’ve learned to walk a lot more by faith..and less by my feelings.

by Rebekah

I’ve had to live more on my knees…and I’ve learned NOT to trust my judgment so much. I’ve learned to pray truly in faith..knowing I just couldn’t do it on my own. It’s so hard to be ‘objective’ when emotions are overwhelming you.  That’s why I’ve learned to ‘love the Lord with all of my mind’. I’ve finally learned that what I think is going to overflow into how I feel.

 8“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,   
         Nor are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD.

9“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,   
         So are My ways higher than your ways   
         And My thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9
As Flylady says so well, we need to get rid of ‘stinking thinking’.  That’s what devotions are all about…renewing our mind. God’s ways really aren’t our ways, nor are his thoughts our thoughts.  It really doesn’t matter how I feel…what matters is what does the bible say. What is the truth?  If he says it, that really does settle. No need to worry about how I feel.  God is there..unchanging..faithful…loving me, loving my family, caring for us in every way whether it ‘feels’ like it or not.
All of this ran through my mind during my devotions today. I got away to spend time with the Lord and didn’t feel anything…at all. But I did it anyway. I read his word, I worshiped him, I prayed about everything that needed to be prayed about, and I just sat there in His presence knowing that he really was ‘present’. So what if I didn’t ‘feel’ anything?  It doesn’t change the facts. God is there…listening and always will be.  Sometimes, I’m really grateful that I have these times of feeling nothing..however much they may be hormonally related..because it gives me a chance to truly walk by ‘faith’.   As Bill Gothard said, “Sometimes, reading God’s word is like cereal…dry..but nourishing!”  So true…

Today I was reminded to meditate on his word, pray, and love him…with all my mind…as well as with all my heart.  Just like water and sunshine cause  a plant to grow…basking in the sunshine and watering of the Lord’s word and presence will help me grow too.  I don’t have to see it happening…I just know it. :o)

Isaiah 55:10-11

10“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,   
         And do not return there without watering the earth   
         And making it bear and sprout,   
         And furnishing seed to the sower and bread to the eater;

11So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth;   
         It will not return to Me empty,   
         Without accomplishing what I desire,   
         And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Love, Donna

Linking with Spiritual Sundays

For more devotional entries visit my journal, Thoughts of Home
or my daughter's journal Life of Light


Hills N Valleys said...

I have a scattering of "online" friends (many I have also met irl) that I so wish were my REAL neighbors. YOU are one of them. (of course I haven't met you irl though;) I have suffered through PMSDD...it's gotten better though..and most likely I'm in the perimen age. Normally I am as cool as a cucumber...but before? I warn my husband...and my daughter. I've used it as a time to talk about IT to my daughter as I do not normally cry...except with pms. Any major (there has been very few in 20 years) disputes dh and I have had can be linked to THAT time.

I'm not pmsing right now but it IS one of those on your knees times for hubby and I. I feel like we have been drawing nearer to God ove the last half year and "outside" forces just aren't likin' it. As they say in the Veggie Tales...God is bigger than the boogie man. :D HE is in control.

PS- I'm praying for your young man fighting for our country!

Kerrie said...

First, let me say this is a great post but a surprising Sunday topic-ha! In this day of medical advances, one does not have to suffer from most hormonal maladies. If you do not have a sympathetic doc, find one, preferably another woman who will advise you on the best approach for YOU and while none of us like to take medication, sometimes it is necessitated in instances of chemical imbalance (which likes to rear its ugly head monthly!) God does work through physicians and we thank him. Hugs to you Donna♥

Donna said...

Hi Kerrie, I hope I didn't make it sound like it was a TERRIBLE PMS day...it's just that when you feel perfectly normal 29 days out of the month, it's always surprising when the tears hit you on the 30th day.

The fact that I cry so easily, or used to, is just my temperment and doesn't have anything to do with hormones.

But I will say that I do now take some natural hormone medication to help offset the surprising lack of emotion that hit me about three months ago. To me, this is all just another stage of life and not a big deal.

Why talk about this? Because I felt that it's important that women who do struggle in this area recognize that, being emotional (at least most of us are) has some inherent weaknesses that can affect our relationship with those we love and with the Lord.

Whether you have one bad day or a whole slew of them.., it's a common malady and one I thought might be worth talking about with my readers. :o)

Frankly, to me, any trial whether physical or mental..is a great topic for Sunday. The Lord will help us through any trial. And yea for medicines too!

Frankly, most of my friends have agreed that while hormonal treatments work to some degree..they are all rather unpredictable. You will still have some ups and downs.

But my point was simply that whether our emotional struggles are hormone related or not..we need to rely on the the truth to guide us,not our feelings. :o)

Thanks for reminding us about the medical options!

Donna :o)

Maria Killam said...

Donna, I have just had a few of those days, I can do either, cry or have a fit :)
Great post, great reminder to know that feelings come and go and don't mean anything!!

Anonymous said...

I like how you tell it like it is. Amen, Sister!

Sherry Southard said...

I found your post humurous and so very true. Your words will help many women.

Anonymous said...

Reading your post makes me realize how glad I am that my PMS days are over. That's one of the few things good about growing older. I know these thoughts you have expressed here will be helpful to lots of younger women. I do think prayer and Bible study help a lot. God is in control of our lives and will be there when we call to him.

“There's nothing half so pleasant as coming home again.” ~ Margaret Sangster

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