In Others’ Words: Adjusting our Emotional Tides

Watching the tides

For me, it seems I always come back to gratitude. 

There are certainly a lot of other emotions that demand my attention — wanting dominance in my life. And yes, I started to list them off and then deleted the list because why name all the emotional ups and downs I experience any given day?

Disappointment can be one of the most unrelenting of emotions — even when it only whispers in my ear, “Don’t you feel bad that (whatever it is) didn’t happen?” Disappointment just doesn’t want to let go, does it? And disappointment can become discouragement.

But gratitude . . . 

Gratitude weakens disappointment. Being grateful for any and all things insists that disappointment move on.

  • Be thankful for the sunshine or rain — whatever your preference.
  • Be thankful for the chance to walk and talk with a close friend or a spouse.
  • Be thankful for a decadent slice of cheesecake or a fresh piece of fruit.
  • Be thankful for a nap or the quiet hours of the night (or morning) to write … or read … or paint … or hold an (at last!) sleeping baby.

And yes, it’s true that when gratitude replaces discouragement, love also shows up. We can love ourselves again. We can love someone who disappointed us — or who is disappointed in us. We can speak a loving word to another person who needs to hear one because they, too, might be struggling with discouragement.

In Your Words: What do you do to overcome discouragement? 




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  1. August 31, 2017, 12:17 am   /  Reply

    Today was dreadful, and tomorrow will be worse.It will end in soul-destroying retching, and the vomiting of blood.

    I will scream myself to sleep. Not cry; scream.

    And I am grateful for this, because pain is the only key to compassion without condescension. There are so many people in the world whose lot is far worse than mine.

    I have a dry place to sleep, and food, and quiet entertainment, and a purpose in caring for my dogs. What ore could one ask?

    I am so greatly blessed; it is hard to keep my feet on the ground with such favour.

    • August 31, 2017, 4:45 am   /  Reply

      I admire how, in the midst of your pain, you choose to be a man of compassion and a man of gratitude.
      And I know your dogs love you — and that you have saved them from abandonment.

  2. August 31, 2017, 5:57 am   /  Reply

    When facing discouragement, and having to unexpectedly change locations by 50 miles for a possible month due to home water damage and repairs did test me in that, I am thankful to recall many situations I know of and pray for due to mission trips, and also rehearse how God ALWAYS eventually turns the “trial” outcome into something different but better, which helps me relax, be grateful, and see what He will do next.

    • August 31, 2017, 6:18 pm   /  Reply

      Dee: I read about your unexpected move while I was traveling back home today. I am so, so sorry about the water damage — and for how that has unsettled you and others. I admire how quickly you are choosing to be grateful and to trust God in this.

  3. Paula
    August 31, 2017, 9:03 am   /  Reply

    When faced with discouragement, I always have to look to Christ”the author and finisher of my faith”. If He is in control then He knows what is best for me and those around me. I must completely acknowledge that He is in charge ! It is not easy sometimes. But it is a fact that I have come to rely on. Blessings!

    • August 31, 2017, 6:19 pm   /  Reply

      Paula: Hebrews 12:2 is such a wonderful anchor verse. Thank you for reminding us of it today.

  4. Andrea Cox
    August 31, 2017, 12:30 pm   /  Reply

    Such rich truth. Thanks, Beth!

    How do I battle disappointment? I let myself be disappointed for a few minutes (because it’s healthy to process even negative emotions). Then I remember that God has the best plans for me. I cling to whichever verses have stood out to me that week… or an old favorite.

    One such verse for me this week is Philippians 4:11-12 (NKJ):
    “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.”

    This one, of course, brings to mind the rough times Paul had. He was nearly stoned to death, imprisoned, shipwrecked, threatened to be murdered… and on and on it goes. But he was also witness to lots of miracles (including his own conversion and healing from blindness afterward) and great times as well. When I think of all he went through — the trials and the joys — then I think that I can handle my “little disappointments.” In comparison, they are just a drop in the bucket rather than a full deluge. And yes, that brings me around to gratitude. Not only that my disappointments are small and sort of easy to set aside, but also that men and women as courageous and faithful to God as Paul have left behind proof that the hard road can successfully be traveled. That stirs up my own courage, my own faith, my own confidence that God will help me through whatever trials and joys come up on this narrow road I’m walking.

    How is it that I further define my own testimony when I’m responding to your blog articles, Beth? God really helps me grow here. 🙂 Thank you for providing that safe place where I can talk stuff out and find my words to express how God has changed me for the better and filled me more with Himself.

    • August 31, 2017, 6:21 pm   /  Reply

      Andrea: Thank you for the reminder that, yes, it is okay — good, even — to admit that we are disappointed. But rather than clinging to that disappointment, we cling to the Truth of His Word.
      And I’m thankful, too, that you are encouraged here. I appreciate your honesty — and I am sure it encourages others, too.

      • Andrea Cox
        August 31, 2017, 11:29 pm   /  Reply

        Beth, your comment just made me want to hug you. (((hug)))

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