How’s everyone doing?  I believe this may be week 10 or 11 of our quarantine.  I was so proud of Tim and myself because we were doing so well for several weeks.  I would encourage others, but I was smart enough to tell them that they can repeat back to me what I’m saying to them when we hit a wall.  All of a sudden everything is getting on my nerves!  Sometimes when I am writing my humor kicks in.  When I entitled this blog irritability I almost wrote irregularity.  LOL

I then thought, I think I see a connection between these two.  Bare with me.  I’m in rare form today.  Irritability and irregularity can have the same problem.  They are backed up.  Is anyone laughing with me?  At least for me, when I get irritable, it’s because things have been bothering me for a while and I have been stuffing it down instead of processing my feelings.  Now as a counselor I should know better.  But as an imperfect counselor with withdrawing flesh patterns and a dose of self protection, I can experience a little passive aggression sneaking in at times.

So how do you handle irritability?  It’s so important to take a step back and ask Father, “Hey Lord, where is this coming from?  Where is the root to these emotions?  Have I felt like this before?  Am I not setting good boundaries?”  And then sit still and listen!  There is a reason for these emotions.  Could it be because you are tired?  Of course!  But it also could be more than that.  When these things happen it is a great opportunity to grow.  But you first need to know what the real problem is that is causing such a reaction.  Could it be because you are fearful?  Of course!  It’s not like fear isn’t in the air these days.  So if Father shows you it’s fear, I would encourage you to look into God’s word for comfort.  I would also encourage you to talk to someone about these feelings.

If you have followed my blogs very long you know that I talk a lot about walking by the spirit and not the flesh.  Let’s see if I can make these thoughts more simple.  Walking after the flesh is the patterns that we learned growing up to take care of ourselves, apart from God.  It could be perfectionism, procrastination, anger, pride, mask wearing (no pun intended), using religion, arrogance, self depreciating, buying things to feel better, sleeping too much, watching too much t.v. etc.  If you are a believer then the spirit of the Living God lives in you.  We can allow Him to live through us or we can live in our own strength.  I prefer the first.  You see, we were never created to handle the types of stress and pain this world offers.  When we act as if we have no need for God things always disintegrate and usually brings pain.  I use to think coming into a relationship with Jesus was all about going to heaven.  I now know that I need a whole lot more than just eternal security.  I need help today!  I need to be rescued from myself at times.  I need to experience the victory and success that is guaranteed in God’s word when I walk after the Spirit and allow Him to live through me.  The Spirit produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  This is found in Galatians 5.  It also says if you will walk after the Spirit you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh.  So there must be intention.

If this is your first time hearing these thoughts you may want to whisper a prayer similar to this one.  God, I know I can’t handle this _________ in and of myself.  I know that you are my Savior and that you live in me.  Please help me to yield to your Spirit that is in me and to allow you to handle _________ through me.  Help me to hear you, follow you and live my life dependent upon you.  Help me to be a shining light to others while honoring myself and allowing you to heal my wounds. Amen

One of my favorite things to be reminded of is that our flesh is not our identity.  God gave us a new identity at salvation.  We are a son and daughter of the King, we are holy and righteous, we are loving and forgiving, we are secure and worthy.  So Heavenly Father, remind us of these truths every day.  Help us to live consistently with who we really are on the inside.  The real you and the real me is one with God and capable of being kind, patient and trusting.  I love it when a good friend sees my flesh and says, “Hey Rebekah, that’s not who you are!”  What a great reminder!  It truly helps me shift my choices and to experience peace.  Romans 8:6 tells us, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.”