Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old

Having a Cheerful Attitude

June 17th, 2013

How many of you struggle just to be cheerful? I know it can be hard. Sometimes I will start out my day purposing to be cheerful, but it takes constant thought and effort to continue with being cheerful. As soon as something goes bad, your cheerfulness suddenly spirals downward and you are no longer cheery, but a grumpy mess. A friend of mine says that she starts out each day reciting Psalm 118:24: “This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

This verse starts out by saying that we should be glad and rejoice because the Lord as made this day. This morning, I started out by going for a walk/run with my dad and then sat outside to do my devotional. It was wonderful just to be able to sit outside and marvel in God’s creation. The sun, just coming up, warm on my face, the birds twittering to each other in the trees, and a cool breeze sometimes flipping the pages of my bible. Starting out my day like that, I can’t help but rejoice! The Lord made all the creation and has given it to us to enjoy.

Now, how many of you girls have heard of Pollyanna? I bring her up because the second part of Psalm 118:24 says that we are to “be glad in it.” Pollyanna always saw the good in everything and was glad! Read this excerpt from the book: “Pollyanna has ‘an overwhelming, unquenchable gladness for everything that has happened or is going to happen. At any rate, her quaint speeches are constantly being repeated to me, and, as near as I can make out, just being glad is the tenor of most of them.'” How often are we glad or cheerful about everything that has happened or going to happen? Are we cheerful only during the good and fun things? Or do we try to find the good in the bad?

Proverbs 17:22 says, “A joyful (cheerful) heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” By having a cheerful attitude, we feel happier and everyone else around us feels happier too. But if we have a crushed spirit instead, no matter what happens, whether good or bad, we will be depressed and grumpy.

So throughout this week, try to be glad in all circumstances. Rejoice in God’s creation that he has made and live your life with a cheerful attitude!

 

Writing and Thinking

June 11th, 2013

My new favorite place to write and think! 🙂 My sister and I just recently switched beds so that now I sleep on the top bunk. I think I like writing up there more than sleeping, if you can tell from all my papers I have up there.

“We who live in quiet places have the opportunity to become acquainted with ourselves, to think our own thoughts.” Laura Ingalls Wilder

 

 

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Pinpointing Our Anger

June 10th, 2013

Anger–a strong feeling of displeasure aroused by wrong. What makes you angry? Typically it is someone or something that has hurt you or done wrong by you. Our natural tendency is to lash out, stomp our feet, yell, and to become irritated. Why? Because that is our emotions, our flesh swelling up inside us.

Proverbs 29:22a says, “An angry man stirs up dissension.” When you become angry at a person, doesn’t the other person tend to become angry too? It just goes downhill from there, until someone apologizes.

In order for us not to begin this mess anyway, James reminds us that we must be slow to anger. Not all anger is bad, for there is such a thing as righteous anger, but it is the selfish anger that is wrong.

Righteous anger is like what Jesus displays in Matthew 21:12-13 when he clears the temple of the money-changers: “And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all who sold and bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. He said to them, ‘It is written, “My house shall be called a house of prayer,” but you have made it a den of robbers.'” No doubt Jesus was angry if Matthew tells us that he overturned tables and rebuked the people.

Just like at times when we can also show righteous anger. When someone abuses the name of our God or breaks one of his commandments, we show righteous anger.

Selfish anger is when something upsets us and we want to get angry in order to put the other person down. Selfish anger is when a little sister or brother annoys you or an older sister or brother tells you what to do. Selfish anger is when someone else gets praised and admired and you are left in the corner. Are you getting my drift? Selfish anger concerns you whereas righteous anger concerns God.

As we go through this next week, lets stop and think where our anger is being directed and if it is hurting or putting someone down.

“Know this my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20.

Enjoying the Beauty of Life

June 8th, 2013

“The true way to live is to enjoy every moment as it passes, and surely it is in the everyday things around us that the beauty of life lies.”  -Laura Ingalls Wilder

How often do we stop and admire the everyday things around us? Do we take time to look at that butterfly on a bush or admire the colors on a flower that is blooming? God’s creation is so intricately created. Every leaf on every tree was put right where it was suppose to be. The different shades of purple were exactly the shade the crocus was meant to be. Those are everyday things and that is where the beauty is. We need to enjoy every moment of our life, admire its beauty, and not let it pass by us.

Book-Review Friday

June 7th, 2013

One thing that I noticed in my growing up years is the limited amount of good Christian books for girls that will build their faith and enforce good morals. So, in order to promote that, I will be providing book reviews on Fridays (hence the heading) which I found to be very uplifting and good reads.

One great series that I came across was the A Life of Faith books by Martha Finley. These books are consisted of four series of books; three of the series are all linked together by a family connection. Millie Keith is where we will begin this review.

Millie’s Unsettled Season (book 1) is about a 12-year-old girl whose family has just decided to move from her beloved home and friends to the plains of Indiana. Millie struggles with her feelings of anger, disappointment, and hurt about leaving her friends and wanting to stay, but her Aunt Wealthy teaches her that she must always trust the Lord. Throughout this book, we are shown how Millie deals with everyday situations that each one of us must face. Her devotion to the Lord and her trying to be like him is an inspiration to all girls!

This series is actually out of print, but there are some copies available on Amazon or you are welcome to borrow mine. This is defiantly a must read book, sure to strengthen your faith and help you grow in the Lord!

What are Emotions?

June 3rd, 2013

Emotions are the feelings that bubble up inside you for any given occasion. As young girls in the pre-teen and teenage years, emotions are a constant struggle. One minute you can be soaring high feeling happy and giddy, the next you can be on the ground feeling lonely or angry.

Because emotions are so tricky (believe me, I struggle with them myself), I thought of doing a devotional series which I wrote that would touch on a different emotion each week throughout the summer. And  what better day to do it than a Monday. From my experience, Mondays are just blah. So, I am beginning a ‘devotional Monday’ with the hope that you will be able to start out the week right thinking about your emotions.

Now, back to our emotions. Have you ever thought “Why do I even need emotions? Most of the time they just get me into trouble!” Well, a few weeks ago I attended a conference session which was focused on the heart. The speaker said many helpful things, some of which I will share with you now:

  • Our heart is a factory that produces emotions
  • We are wired to have emotions
  • God wants us to use our emotions to glorify him

Even though we are made to have emotions, we cannot let them control us because they can be very deceiving. Sometimes our emotions will tell us what we want, but we know that we don’t NEED that particular item and that would be our emotions being deceptive, which is why we don’t want them to control us.

Instead of using our emotions to hurt others or put people down, we need to try to remember to use our emotions to glorify God. By using our emotions appropriately, we can show others that God lives in us and that is our testimony!

A dear friend & mentor showed me Psalm 19:14 when I was in a bible study learning more about emotions. It reads:

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Ps 19:14 ESV

Before you let your emotions take a hold of you, ask yourself “Is this pleasing and acceptable to God?” If not, curve the emotion so it doesn’t take control of the situation. Don’t intentionally hurt another person, even if they have hurt you. Talk through that emotion with someone whom you trust. Use your emotions to glorify God and ask God for help each day to help you control them.

 

 

Something to Think About: How many times could you change the outcome of your day just by concentrating on your emotions? Instead of ending down, could you end high?

Rachel Rittenhouse

Christian fiction for ladies young and old