Fighting Frustration

lightstock frustrated momWe recently ordered these awesome cabinets to be installed in our bonus room. They are this smoky kind of wood that gives off an “old west” charm.

I’ve been counting the days. Seriously. 

Plus, my Aunt and Uncle are coming in from California in about a week, so I really wanted this room to look finished. Guess what? I got a call on Saturday from the salesman telling me the too-cute glass doors that sealed the deal? They didn’t arrive with the shipment. As a matter of fact, they don’t even make the doors I ordered.

Really!? That’s not what you told me four weeks ago. 

Frustrations come in all shapes and sizes. My cabinets couldn’t be less important, especially if you’re waiting on test results, or you’ve lost your job, I know this. But, how do you handle it when what you expected doesn’t happen? How do you deal with frustrations?

Pastor Rick Warren gives five great tips below on how to handle frustrations when they come. And, they will come…

  • Ask yourself, “Did I cause it?” The Bible says, “A man reaps what he sows” (Galatians 6:7b NIV). We are frustrated by many things in life because we bring them on ourselves.
  • Ask yourself, “What can I learn from it?” Romans 8:28 says, “In all things God works for the good of those who love him.” There are many bad things in the world, but all things work together. God can even take the negative and turn it into a positive if we let him. Use irritation as an opportunity to become more like Christ.
  • Thank God in the situation. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 says, “Give thanks in all circumstances.” You don’t have to be thankful for a bad situation, but you can be thankful in a bad situation. Frustration may be a blessing in disguise.
  • Turn the frustration into a funny, humorous event. The Bible says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). A sense of humor is God’s antidote for anger and frustration.
  • Ask God to fill you with his love. Why? Because 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “[Love] is not easily angered.” Love is self-giving, not self-serving. We get irritated because we think everyone and everything has to revolve around us. Love concentrates on the other person.

Jesus faced constant frustrations, but he never got irritated. He always made time for people. We get so preoccupied with our own things that we forget that people are the priority in life. – Rick Warren

Great words right there. As far as my cabinets go, no I didn’t cause this problem. I guess I can learn to hold on to “stuff” a little more loosely and thank God for something better I may not even be aware of. How can I make this situation funny? Hmmm…..I’ll work on that and get back to you. 

Our Family Would LOVE Your Prayers

eric blogI write books, articles for magazines and for three online websites. Still, I don’t get very personal  very often. My family has never asked me  to honor their privacy, I just do. But, hands down, my BIGGEST online/social-media-hater would have to be my brother in law. He hates it.  He seriously HATES it. 

I’d never think to post about him.. Any other time I’d respect his privacy–but today is different. Today we need your prayers. Today he’s having brain surgery.

Why am I taking my life into my own hands? As you can tell, I made sure to find a photo that didn’t show his face. I’m no dummy! Why do we love him so much? My list below might explain it.

  • If anyone in our extended family is a “favorite”  it’s Eric.
  • Eric never sugar coats anything. He is honest and shares the truth–always in a hilarious way.
  • He’s a great Dad and a loving husband. My sister and Eric began dating when they were 14yrs old.
  • He is a gun-owning-deer-hunting-American-loving man with a heart as soft as a marshmallow that’s been sitting in the summer sun.

This photo is from the birth of their third daughter quite a few years ago. God knows Eric looks tough on the outside but there is no one more suited to care for a house full of women. He is the glue that holds them all together.

Would you please take a minute and pray for this person we love so much? We want him around for a long, long time. My sister and my three nieces could use your prayers, too. Thank you for taking the time for us today. 

I mean that from the bottom of my heart. 


Blessed is she who believed… Luke 145

Freely Give

freely you have received - joannekraft

A dear friend and I were hanging out, recently. She reminded me of the words of Jesus in the Book of Matthew, “Freely you have received. Freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

It impacted me more than she knew. To be honest, it was the spark I needed to begin writing again. Writing without fear of man holding me back. Writing for no other reason than to pour out all Jesus has poured in. When you’re a writer or use social media on a day to day basis, it can be easy to fall into the trap of keeping alot of things to yourself. I mean, it’s already been said before, right?

I’ve even come across people who don’t help others make connections, hoarding them, instead.  I believe God gives each of us a job to do. Nothing man tries to keep to himself will stop His plans from succeeding.  The only one who can halt my own purpose is me, by not exercising the very gifts He has placed in me to do.

When I connect people and it helps their ministry or job goals then I believe that was my part to play in God’s plan all along.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

Whether you’re married or single, have a houseful of kids or watch Gilmore Girls reruns with rocky road Haagen Daas, all of us have been given much.

If you’re struggling through a painful patch right now, take a second to breathe in and breathe out. Even you can find a tiny patch in your heart that has received something from someone.

I pondered on this verse a bit and realize there’s not much I don’t do without expectation or hopeful kudos. Making my kids lunch, or like I mentioned on Monday –cleaning out the kitchen pantry, no matter what I do I expect my family to notice. (By the way, Paul STILL hasn’t seen the pantry.)

 What if I freely give today without expecting? What if I remembered sacrifices by others that have put me where I am today.

  • Parents who cared and nurtured me into adulthood.
  • A grandmother who pours her love into me, even at 94yrs old. 
  • Friends who listen to me drone on and on about the same issues and never tell me put a sock in it.
  • Children who love me even when I traumatize them with chores and don’t give in to smartphones.
  • A husband who works very hard and lets me do what I love. 
  • A Savior who loves me so, that He would die in my place…even when He didn’t have to. 

Today I’m going to perform an experiment. For 24hrs I plan on giving freely of my time, my energy, my words and my heart. After all, I’ve received much. Care to join me?

Two Questions I Ask My Husband DAILY

marriage holding hands. joannekraft.comSo often, I voice my opinions and air every single solitary thought in my head—out loud. It reminded me that of those two questions I try to ask Paul daily. Two simple things I believe can help change your marriage.

Heading up to his office, I brought him a steaming cup of tea and threw my arms around his neck. “What can I do for you today?” (Question One)

“Nothing. I’m fine.” He smiled and hugged me back.

Sacrificial Love

            When was the last time you asked your husband what you could do for him? I mean seriously asked him if there’s anything you can do? My question was recently answered with, “Well, the pantry in the kitchen is really bugging me. Do you have time to clean it out?”

   He might as well of asked me to stick bamboo under my fingernails.

Guess what I did this morning? Yep. The pantry. You know what? It wasn’t too much of a hassle after all.

Maybe you’re thinking,  Ask him? What about him asking me? I’m the one who works all day and picks up after him so he can come home from work and sit on the couch the rest of the night. Why doesn’t he ask me for a change?

            Sacrifice must begin with someone. Why not you? Jesus is my example when I don’t feel like doing one more thing for anyone.

God so loved the world that He gave His only son. John 3:16

            When I think about what’s been done for me, the least I can do is ask Paul what I can do to help him today.

Question Number Two

“How can I pray for you today?” My husband is not the first to pray out loud or to think about praying for others first. Yes, he will lead our family in prayer from time to time but it’s not his go-to gift. That’s where my second question comes in. When I ask him how I can pray for him, it reminds him we’re a team. It tells him I’ve got his back.

When I’m faithful with these two questions, it sets the tone for our day. But, I must warn you…the longer you make this your daily routine the more your expectations of him may trip you up. Just because you’re finding ways to bless your man doesn’t mean you should keep a scorecard reminding you or him of all you’re doing. That’s a bad idea.

    When I ask these two questions and follow through with no expectations of my own, I’ve discovered what I’ve really been doing is laying a brick by brick foundation for a strong marriage.

What do you make sure to do for your husband daily?

When was the last time you stopped and prayed for him?

Share some marriage wisdom below.

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