ANGER MANAGEMENT

ANGER MANAGEMENT

ANGER MANAGEMENT by Annalisa Morris Blonde, blue-eyed, 5′ 1” (on a good day), with a white, lop-sided, toothy smile: my appearance wouldn’t seem to strike fear in most or intimidate many. Small in nature, but tougher and bigger than I look, I think I’ve often surprised new people with my gusto or aptitude to speak my mind. My friend, Krissy, and I used to joke that meekness was not in our nature and everybody just needed to get used to that. In the past few months, I’ve thought more on my attitude, personality, and kindness, wondering if I was lacking in some ways or a little rougher than I used to be. Considering myself of the emotionally healthy sort and always seeking to improve, I’ve been aware of the places in my heart that feel hard or angry, rather than tender or sad. Swearing has become more fun or truly satisfying than it used to be, and I’ve found my patience to be less than at work, with friends, or with my more difficult family ties. None of these really connected or seemed out of the ordinary. And maybe I’m not all that bad. My friend Ryan and I were laughingly discussing how we aren’t really the “nicest” people, and my roommate Annmarie said, “You guys are nice, just your own unique brand of nice.” I’m not sure if that’s a compliment, but I’ll take what I can get. In all my life, I never thought of myself as an angry person. I think that I grew up wanting to keep peace and emotional balance. I was the sensitive...
VULNERABILITY

VULNERABILITY

By Annalisa Morris The safest place for my heart to be is open. Open to God, open to people, open to what I’m feeling and what my process is. Vulnerability is the key and vulnerability is a process. The process of realizing things about myself, letting myself change and edit, being ok with where I’m at, even when I’m in the middle. I get to know in the core of my being that I will be ok, even in the hardest parts, by being honest with myself, with God, and with people. Here’s the thing about me: I really know how to be myself. I am who I am no matter where I go or no matter who I am around. This only came from me learning to be ok even when I wasn’t ok. I had to see that my hard or negative feelings have value and are worth understanding. By being vulnerable with how I felt and what I was going through, then getting acceptance there, I could be secure in being me. And even when I didn’t get the validation or acceptance I wanted from people, I realized I got more than enough grace from God and could give it to myself. When I started to like myself, being vulnerable wasn’t scary. I knew how God and I felt about me, and so I knew I would be ok no matter what. Vulnerability wasn’t really an option for me at first. I’m not good at hiding what I’m thinking or feeling, even to a fault. I wear my heart on my sleeve and give it so...
DOING SINGLENESS WELL

DOING SINGLENESS WELL

People are always writing about how to do relationships or dating well, but the truth of the matter is that more people are single than connected. Who’s out there to speak to us single people? Well, I’m here to represent. Being a self-appointed expert of singleness, (I’ve spent 26 years of my life happily and unhappily single) I think I may have something to say on the matter of how to accept and enjoy this phase of life. People are always asking me, “Annalisa, how do you make singleness seem so easy?” or, “How could you be so gracefully single?” Ok, no one’s ever asked me that, but maybe they will after hearing these tips: Embrace it: Once you get married, you’re (hopefully) married forever. So make an effort to do the things that may be more difficult once you’ve settled down. Travel, spend endless amounts of time with friends, be spontaneous, and live that YOLO lifestyle. I’ve found that I appreciate my singleness most when I spend my money. Most married people need to check in with each other when spending money, something I will cheerfully submit to when I’m there. For now, I blissfully check in with myself, and I’m usually ok with my semi-frequent, frivolous purchases. Don’t torture yourself: If the rom-coms, pinterest boards, or hanging with a certain person is not helping you stay content, then don’t put yourself in that situation. You have to see what’s right for you and what you can or can’t handle. Only you can determine that and only you are capable of holding yourself to it. Enjoy the process:...
PAIN DEMANDS TO BE FELT

PAIN DEMANDS TO BE FELT

As Christians, we can sometimes deny or push down pain because we think it shouldn’t be a part of our lives. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Christians shouldn’t be depressed. That’s just a lie so don’t believe it. All true sentiments, but not always helpful for someone going through the process of pain. Our hearts are fragile and precious things. Worth guarding, protecting, and caring for at all times. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” If everything flows from our hearts, I believe we need to listen to our hearts, take time to care for them, and not suppress the pain or emotion that comes from them. Real or perceived things can cause pain. There are days when no matter how many times you tell yourself that something is a lie, and therefore it shouldn’t cause you any grief because of that, there remains real pain that needs to be walked out of. The process of pain is something that each human goes through at some point. It’s a journey of walking out of your feelings rather than pushing them down into a dark corner, hoping they’ll never resurface, while it actually leaks out with every step. However, when you do let your feelings be known, that is not permission to hold others responsible for them. You are the only one responsible for your feelings. Let me repeat: the only one. While you discover your feelings, you get to invite God into those areas of your heart, and then you get to forgive yourself and others....
COMMITMENT

COMMITMENT

Commitment is a lost art among our generation. With our instant-microwave culture, when things don’t entertain or please immediately, it’s easy to move on to the next thing and desire the latest and greatest. As a child of divorce, it was hard for me to see that relationships could last beyond disagreement. Love isn’t measured by how much you fight, I would even argue that you need to fight for what you care about. Holly and Jason Lomelino played a big role in helping me realize this and helping me see what a marriage can really look like. Here in this excerpt from “They Ruined Me,” from The Family of God, I illustrate this talking about my experience being fathered and mothered by them:  “I was stunned that Holly and Jason would commit themselves to me and my dreams without even knowing me. They had a faith in God like nothing I had seen before, and they were choosing to pursue covenantal relationship with me simply because He said so. Jason took on a fatherly role, always wishing to guide and protect me but never afraid to push me beyond my comfort zone. Holly was quick to nurture and care for me while also sharpening me with her honesty and wisdom. I began to hang out with their family more and to see what it was like to genuinely live life with them. I think I’ve learned more about God from watching Jason interact with his daughter Hope than any workbook or sermon could ever teach me. I learned from Jason and Holly what covenantal love looked like where...

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