Emotional Wellness

Calm Waters Bless Everyone!

Reading time: two minutes. The best water analogy I can think of for Emotional Wellbeing comes from Psalm 23: "He leads me beside still waters.  He restores my soul."  Emotional wellbeing is about managing the turbulence that surrounds us so that it doesn't penetrate the inner life.  Quiet waters in the soul are good for everyone. Today I want to suggest what I've found to be the greatest cause of my own internal anxieties when it comes to managing conflict. Read More

Baptized Arguments!

Happy Valentine's Day! Reading time: two minutes. I hope you and your beloved have a good argument today.  I mean a really good argument.  Or maybe I should italicize that differently: a really good argument. I suppose it's possible that on a day like Valentine's Day a couple in love could go the whole day without any argument at all.  It's possible.  One of you might be out of town or something. The reality is that most every day we'll do something to irritate one another, just enough to elicit a snippy, biting or sarcastic remark that changes the atmosphere of the home.  That's normal.  That's who we are.  The bigger issue is how we move from there through the disagreements and arguments and back to a peaceful and loving "WE" oriented relationship. That takes a good argument.  Let me explain. Read More

Best Advice from You! Emotional Wellbeing

Reading time: two minutes. "Hmmm.  That's very interesting."  Those are four words I've heard from many of you over the years as we've discussed handling our emotions in high stress moments of anxiety. When someone shares an opinion that is clearly loaded with emotion, and when the impulse that surges up inside is to respond with a similarly emotional outburst, sometimes (usually!) the best response is a pause for quiet reflection, triggered by those four little words, "Hmmm.  That's very interesting." Churches are like families: they are very emotional places.  How we handle all of the passion and the emotional outbursts will go a long way to determine the atmosphere of our homes and churches. Read More

Simple Emotional Wellness: Four Words!

Reading time: two minutes.  I don't want the topic of self-care to become burdensome or overly complex.  I like the Lutheran Wellness Wheel because it gives us a simple handle on eight aspects of wellness.  I've gotten good feedback on this "four words" series.  Which four words are at the heart of emotional wellbeing, at it's most basic and simple?  I think I'd sum up emotional wellbeing with these four: "My problem is me."  Diagnosis is always the first step in treatment.  I'd love to be able to blame my sour moods on the weather, the government, the latest Cardinals loss or the bad service at the credit union, but those minor irritations can't drain me of the Spirit's gift of joy. Read More

Concordia Means "Harmony"!

Reading time: two minutes. I'm posting one last blog on my experience at the convention.  Five weeks is enough!  I can't wrap this up, however, without talking about emotional wellbeing.  The greatest portion of our emotional upset, I'm convinced, comes from broken relationships.  My friends in counseling tell me that most of what they do is coach people through relational hurt: conflict, misunderstanding, and bitterness that leads to anger. I think most of us in the LCMS are concerned about the emotional state of our church. Read More

Risen and Brand New... Emotional Wellbeing!

Reading time: two minutes.  Easter people expect the risen Christ to show up in the most unexpected places and at just the time when we need Him.  The Incarnate Jesus did that beginning at Bethlehem and continuing all the way to the Emmaus Road and His visit with Saul on the way to Damascus. Churches are emotional places; too often emotions of the unhealthy variety.  Paul listed them as "bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice" (Ephesians 4:31).  That's just the time we need Jesus to show up, and you know what?  He does! Read More

When Jesus Appears... In Harmony!

Reading time: two minutes. I don't know what kind of presence the devil has at your house, but I do know he would love to set up camp there.  He would really enjoy an invitation to be a permanent resident, stirring up trouble in your home, in your family.  Maybe the presence of Satan in your home is like that of the annoying mosquito in the summertime, that tiny little buzzing sound that is nothing dramatic, but just a steady, droning, agonizing buzz that disrupts what is an otherwise peaceful quiet.  Maybe his presence is an earthquake that threatens to tumble every last brick from it's place and topple your house.  What I do know is that "one little word can fell him."  Should we send the devil on his way today? Read More

A Prayer for Emotional Wellbeing

Praying time, less than three minutes. When our emotions get the best of us, we suffer for it.  The healing love of Christ is for the restoration of our bodies, our souls and our spirits.  I'm praying that you know that healing love this week! Loving Father of all mercy, how glad I am that You want only the very best for me. No matter how I wander, You invite me back.  No matter how I act in ways that hurt myself and those I love, You bring restoration and healing grace. You make everything new again.  I need a new beginning. Read More

Emotional Wellbeing and Genesis 50

Reading time: less than three minutes. There's a collective wisdom among brothers, or at least, there should be.  I've got three brothers.  None of us is a genius of any sort, but between the four of us, I bet we could work our way through just about any life situation.  Before my parents died, I think they felt pretty confident that our family would do just fine after their passing. I think Jacob felt that way about his sons, but maybe even more so because of his son Joseph.  As we work our way through Scripture passages that exemplify each of the aspects of wellness depicted in the Lutheran Wellness Wheel, the story of Joseph and his brothers says "Emotional Health" to me. Joseph knew how to clear the emotional atmosphere through gracious, undeserved forgiveness.  That's emotional wellbeing, and we could all use a good dose of it. Read More

Healthy Churches Clear the Air!

Reading time: three minutes. I have a natural aroma, a scent all my own.  It's not that pleasant, but I'm learning to deal with it pretty well.  I'm not talking about body odor.  For that aroma, a daily shower with some de-odorant soap and a quick smear of de-odorant stick and I'm set to face the public. The natural scent that follows me around that is much more deeply a part of me than my body odor is the smell of filthy rags.  It's the fragrance of the underside of a sheep.  It's the aroma of my natural tendency to say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing, think the wrong thing and usually at just the wrong time. Fortunately, we have a Good Shepherd who is familiar with the smell of sheep, and willing to wrap them around His shoulders and carry them home. Read More

Emotional Harmony Is the Power of WE!

Reading time: less than 3 minutes I don't claim to be an exorcist, but I know how to stop the devil in his tracks.  Three little words: trust, respect and love.  He hates that. Conflict is tearing apart way too many of our congregations.  When we talk about emotional wellbeing here at Grace Place Wellness, we focus on clearing the air, refreshing the atmosphere that's been clouded by anger, resentment, hostility, gossip; basically the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20-21).  It's in our broken relationships that the devil gets his foothold (Ephesians 4:27). Harmonious relationships that exhibit a high degree of emotional wellbeing are Satan's bane. He hates when that happens, and runs from love like crazy. Read More