Tag Archives: Anger

“Would this be a good time for deep breathing Dad?”

So the other night Brynden (our 13-year-old) and I were headed to a dad/son gathering when he mentioned that his neck has been sore whenever he stretches it. I’m no doctor but he is healthy in every other way so I suggested that it might be tension or stress.

Supreme_pizzaHe tends to get worked up rather easily and is just a couple of months into a new school semester after two and a half years of homeschooling. It was his idea and we believed he was ready but he was still fairly nervous heading into it.

So we talked a good 10-15 minutes about learning to relax.

I explained that it’s not that uncommon for most people to get tense without even realizing it but that our body feels it and lets us know with little aches and pains. I mentioned that clenching or tightening our shoulders is a biggie and could easily cause the kind of neck soreness he was describing.

When I talked about being intentional with learning to relax he asked if that was why I did stretching every morning. I told him it was and explained that stretching is half of it while the other half is breathing deeply while doing them to help push oxygen all through the body.

I even mentioned learning to be aware of certain situations that make us tense and being careful to practice deep breathing whenever we felt the tension building.

About that time we pulled into a pizza place to pick up our order.

Five of the pizzas we ordered were ready but they had forgotten to cook the sixth one. I don’t eat pizza very often so when I do I make sure to get at least one that I especially enjoy. Guess which one they forgot to make? Yep! My favorite.

We substituted a couple orders of bread sticks but I was ticked. When we got back in the car to leave I growled and yelled “Dang it! That makes me mad!”

That’s when Brynden, in a matter-of-fact sort of way, asked:

“Would this be a good time for deep breathing Dad?”

“Yes! Yes it would! Thanks!”

[In… out… in… out… slow it down…]

When I talked with Brynden about learning to relax I hadn’t planned on having to practice it so soon, but it was good to know he had been listening.

I know… it was only pizza. But the point is that we all need to learn to be more intentional about relaxing. Perhaps that is a part of why David wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Psalm 46:10)

Some of us wear hurry and stress like a badge of honor even though it tends to destroy our health and attitude.

May our breathing today be slow and deep no matter what we are facing. And remember, nothing we come up against is a surprise to God; and He is still on His throne!


© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.



Filed under Adversity, Anger, Frustration, God, Health & Wellness, intimacy with the Lord, Relationship with God, Religion and Spirituality, Rest, Trusting God

One way to deal with frustration

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right. Strike that! When was the last time you had a day when nothing seemed to go right?

Yesterday was one of those days for me. I actually woke up early and was excited to get the day underway. But it went downhill as soon as my feet hit the floor. I’ll spare you the details but it was definitely a “two steps forward, three steps back” kind of day.

I tried taking space. I tried talking with God. (more like grumbling at God) I even downed about 8 oatmeal/butterscotch cookies. Didn’t work, but they were good. And oatmeal is healthy right?!

If I still had hair I would have pulled it out!

So when I got home that evening, Susan and I took a bike ride. That was a big help.

Fresh (though humid) air, the chance to chat with Susan and a beautiful sky as the sun disappeared into the horizon.

No big spiritual insight here, just the observation that sometimes a good physical workout does more to put things in perspective than anything else.

Go ahead. Get active.


© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.


Filed under Anger, Frustration, Health & Wellness, Life in General, Recreation

I turned all kinds of livid!

It started out as a good day but didn’t stay that way very long.

It occurred a couple of weeks ago while Susan, my wife, was still out-of-town. In her extended absence, the kids and I have been sharing the responsibility of taking care of Thor – our (her) Yorkie.

I was walking up to the kitchen sink and for some reason glanced into the Laundry Room. Something shiny on the floor caught my attention so I went in to investigate.

Turns out Thor had used the tile floor in the Laundry Room for his bathroom. I was not a happy camper. But then it got worse.

It was obvious that he had done this more than once and it took me about 15 minutes to clean it up. Then I saw it!

Just as I was finishing up this first area I noticed another one. Please understand that the use of “area” indicates multiple accidents over a wider region of the floor than the term “spot” which would indicate one singular event.


I was still hot from the discovery of the initial area so finding this new area made me livid!

Livid: to be very angry, furious, enraged, up in arms, beside yourself, incensed, fuming, outraged.

Yep! I turned all kinds of livid.

Everything cleaned up just fine but it took me a couple of hours to let go of the anger and regain a balance of my emotions. All this from a bladder deposit from a 4 pound over-grown rodent? No. It was more about the inconvenience to my agenda.

It was a Friday, typically my day off, and not how I was looking forward to enjoying my day. In case you missed the operative word in that last sentence, it was “my” day.

On work days I tend to talk with God before I even get out of bed. I tend to remember that He is the center of life and the day should revolve around His purposes, His plans.

I wish I had gotten angry over something more important, more noble. But it is a relatively new tile floor. One I installed last summer, tore up a week later and put down again. Ok. That’s still not a good reason to get mad.

The honest truth is that when we enter a day with the mindset that it’s all about us, it doesn’t take much to set us off. And when that happens we are just that much further removed from living the day in rhythm with God.

So, what about today and your agenda? Who does it belong to?
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.


Filed under Anger, Choices, Divine presence, God's Will, Priorities, Surrender

Time for one more holiday gift

The old adage “It’s more blessed to give than to receive” is especially true for this gift. And its the gift that never goes out of style or needs to be exchanged because it didn’t fit. I’m speaking of the gift of…


Many of us are still weighed down by bitterness and anger and hurt feelings over something that happened in the past. And the other old adage that “Time heals all wounds” is a lie. Only forgiveness heals all wounds. And only God can enable us to extend it.

Most of us know that as followers of Jesus extending forgiveness is not an option. And yet we wrestle with it perhaps because we misunderstand it. Ron Edmondson offers this list of seven things forgiveness is NOT.

Forgetting – When you forgive someone, your memory isn’t suddenly wiped clean of the offense. I know God could do that, but it seems that would be the easy way. I suspect God wants forgiveness to be more intentional than that.

Regaining automatic trust – You don’t immediately trust the person who injured you when you forgive them. That wouldn’t even be logical. Trust is earned, and they must earn trust again.

Removal of consequences – Even though you forgive someone, they may still have consequences to face because of their actions.

Ignoring the offense – You don’t have to pretend nothing happened when you forgive. The reality is an offense was made. Acting like it never occurred only builds resentment and anger.

Instant emotional healing – Emotions heal with time. Some pain runs deep and takes longer to heal.

Restoring the same relationship – The relationship may be closer than before or not, but most likely, it will never be the same.

A leverage of power – Granting forgiveness does not give a person power over the person being forgiven. That would violate the entire principle and purpose of forgiveness.

God knew this would be an issue for us. That’s why Jesus includes forgiveness in his sample prayer for the disciples (Matthew 6) and then follows that prayer up with another admonition to forgive in order to experience forgiveness from the Father.

Who do you need to forgive?


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Filed under Anger, Christmas, Forgiveness, Loving others

A question as we head into Christmas

Here’s a question we all need to ask ourselves from time to time: Why do I have so much? …We need to slow down occasionally and force ourselves to wrestle with that question.

Why? Because a consumer-driven culture keeps us laser-focused on what we don’t have, and focusing on what we don’t have leaves our hearts vulnerable to greed… If God has blessed you with more than you need, it’s so that you can share your abundance with those who have need. Embracing that simple truth is the key to ridding your heart of greed.

Guilt is conquered with confession. Anger is conquered with forgiveness. Greed is conquered with generosity. Generous giving will break the grip of greed on your life.  So whether or not you think you have extra, give and give generously.
~ Excerpted from Enemies of the Heart by Andy Stanley

Let’s be honest. Few of us will spend money this Christmas on things that we really need. Most of what we buy will fall under the umbrella of want.

Why not challenge your family and friends to sort through their stuff prior to Christmas and give away 4 or 5 things that others can use. Places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army are great destinations for such things.

And who knows, sorting through all our stuff might give us a deeper appreciation for the priceless gift of Jesus this Christmas!



Filed under Anger, Christmas, Forgiveness, Generosity, Greed, Guilt, Stewardship