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Fighting Weeds of Discouragement
Written By
Jennifer Slattery

Have you ever looked at your children and thought, “Wow, that is just like my husband!”? I’m often tickled by the little mannerisms my daughter and husband share. I am even more amused at family reunions when I see my brother and sister-in-laws walking the same way, using the same phrases, hand motions and facial expressions. Most of the time, these little quirks are endearing, but there are other times when habits, attitudes and behaviors learned are not so charming, like when my daughter throws a Jennifer-sized fit!

I’m an emotional person by nature. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I cry at commercials, laugh out loud at knock-knock jokes and at times, allow my emotions to take control. Perhaps it’s the writer in me. Going from devastated to elated at the drop of a hat has allowed me to dive deep into the emotions of my characters. Although I doubt those on the receiving end would view my emotionalism in such a positive light.

When I was a little girl my parents often told me the poem about a little girl with a Jekyll and Hyde personality. It goes like this: “There was a little girl who had a little curl, right in the middle of her forehead. When she was good, she was very, very good, but when she was bad, she was horrid.” As an adult, I wonder if images of me, face to the floor, kicking and screaming, flashed through my parent’s minds every time they recited this verse.

As an adult, my knees are no longer bruised from red-faced temper-tantrums, and for the most part, I keep my bursts of frustration in check, but a while back, I noticed another crippling emotion settling in it’s place. Even worse, it has stretched its entangling roots into the heart of my daughter. This nasty weed that tries to crowd out the still, soft, encouraging voice of God is the weed of discouragement. Upon realizing this, I became amazed at how, as an athlete, I could push through the most difficult physical trials, sprint up the steepest hills, swim against rough currents, all without a hint of discouragement, and yet I crumble at the slightest provocation in so many other areas of my life. Perhaps it was a tight schedule with a long list of to-dos, or perhaps an unkind word received when I least expect it, or maybe an expectation unmet. But regardless of the cause, sadly, I often responded the same. With defeat, quickly throwing up my hands with an “I can’t do this” response. And even more sadly, my daughter, who watches my every move like a tender fawn learning to run, began to sprout the same weeds.

I soon realized I needed to teach her how to kill them.

I decided to handle these pervasive emotions as I would any other weed: with weed killer. I refused to entertain them. I refused to feed them. I began to deal with them quickly, swiftly and fully. Like powerful weed-killer, I replaced those negative, self-defeating thoughts with Words of truth found in God’s Holy Word. And I began teach my daughter to do the same. And wow, what a difference that has made!

Jennifer Slattery is the marketing manager for Clash of the Titles. She writes for Christ to the World Ministries, the Christian Pulse, Internet Café Devotions, and Samie Sisters and has written for numerous other publications. She also works for Tiffany Colter, the Writing Career Coach, as a professional manuscript evaluator and publicist. You can find out more about her and her writing at her devotional blog, Jennifer Slattery Lives Out Loud. You can find out more about her critique and publicity services at Words That Keep.

Jennifer, thank you for being my guest for Thursday's Treasure. What a tremendous blessing you are to me and to my readers. Such wise words for us to carry in our hearts. What we do in moderation, our children will do in excess. We must be the role models Christ is calling us to be. Thank you for the reminder to look inside my own heart, where change must begin.

Friends, I encourage you to check out, Jen's blog. She is a gifted writer with a passion to serve the Lord in all she does. Each and every time I visit I am blessed with a treasure of my own for the day!


{amy} said…
I can definitely relate to you going from devastated to elated at the drop of a hat (& vice versa)! I've been working on replacing the negative thoughts with the truth of God's Word! I'm glad to know I'm not alone in this!
Thanks for stopping by, Amy! And way to go!

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