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For Teen Girls: A Quiz and An Invitation

  • Do you sometimes have a hard time making decisions?
  • Do you regret some of the decisions you’ve made recently?
  • Do you sometimes upset people by what you say/post?
  • Do you worry you aren’t smart enough, or do you even sometimes feel stupid?
  • Do you wish you weren’t so moody, or didn’t feel so much?
  • Do you have a hard time explaining why you’re so upset?
  • Do you find yourself in your own “protests” (organized or not) because you’re so unhappy with the way things are?
  • Do you sometimes feel angry for no reason at all?
  • Do your parents (especially your dad perhaps) complain that you are making no sense?
  • Do you either run away from conflict, or find yourself constantly in conflict?
  • Do you have some relationship struggles, or wish you had closer friendships?
  • Do your parents accuse you of being selfish?
  • Do you sometimes act “cold” towards others, or want to avoid emotions all together?
  • Do you feel like you’re not a good-enough Christian?
  • Do you have a hard time taking the blame, or feel criticized a lot?
  • Do you get your feelings hurt all the time, or wish people would do a better job understanding you?
  • Do you wish you were more mature?
  • Do you know what it feels like to be burned-out or depressed, or wish you had a better way of handling stress?
  • Do you struggle with motivation?
  • Do you have a hard time sleeping?
  • Do you have a lot of worries or fears?
  • Do you feel like the world is really unfair?
  • Do you like the idea of becoming Emotionally Intelligent?
  • Do you find yourself taking this quiz because your parents asked you to?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are invited to know more about having a High EQ – Emotional Intelligence.

Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:

If you decide to explore Emotional Intelligence, you can choose how you want to do it:

1) Privately – You can have as many or few EQ meetings as you desire (or as your parents have asked you to have), at the location you prefer – in order to learn how to simply become more emotionally mature. And you can do it alone, or bring along your sis or bestie if you want to. You won’t regret learning about Emotional Intelligence (even if it wasn’t your idea) because you’ll be happier.

2) Socially – You can host a gathering at your house with your favorite snacks and friends – with Jen Hughes bringing special activities focused on the concept of raising Emotional Intelligence. That way everyone in your squad will benefit, you get all the credit for bettering girls, and you have another excuse to have fun together.

3) Actively – You can make a difference in your generation: Post this article on social media to give others a chance to raise their EQ too.

To request any method of learning how to raise your EQ score, text Jen at 678-463-1978 or email Jen@KeepingRoomChristianCounseling.com

Because of Deborah’s (emotionally mature) reign over Israel…the land had rest for the next forty years. (Judges 4, 5

“Good & Angry” – A Book for Everyone

Don’t bristle when you read this, but Executive Director of the Christian Counseling & Education Foundation, David Powlison, believes everyone has an anger problem. And in his book, “Good & Angry, Redeeming Anger, Irritation, Complaining, and Bitterness” he not only makes his compelling, Biblical argument, but provides explanations and action steps that help you solve a problem you may not have even known you had:

Section 1. Anger happens when there are things that need to be made right – which sounds like a good thing. However, the common reaction to injustice is usually non-productive anger.

Section 2. Anger does not happen to you; it is something you do. It’s your desires, values, beliefs, fears, etc. that cause your anger to break out into behavior. Interestingly, it’s God’s loving anger on your behalf and mercy for everyone in the situation that sets you free from the need to be angry.

Section 3. Anger is disorienting, and leads to unreasonableness. But when you untangle your anger, you gain ability to see your sins accurately and become capable of viewing others’ sins charitably. Fortunately, there are 8 powerful questions you can ask yourself to take apart your anger and put yourself back together:

  1. What is my situation?
  2. How do I react?
  3. What are my motives?
  4. What are the consequences?
  5. What is true?
  6. How do I turn to God for help?
  7. How could I respond constructively in this situation?
  8. What are the consequences of faith and obedience?

Section 4.  No matter the cause for anger, this Biblical method applies to them all:  1) The things that cause the deepest angers call for a serious deliberation of the 8 questions; not simply forgetting and moving on. 2) And the things that cause everyday angers require these 8 questions to be put to work repeatedly until old habits are broken. 3) Also, anger at self can run far off the rails until you get your standards straightened out. Again, mercy and those 8 questions are needed. 4) Finally, anger at God is not the perfectly acceptable emotion that the self-help culture promotes. Rather, such rage is birthed from a misunderstanding about who you are and who God is; yet by His mercy an opportunity awaits you to seek a healthier soul.

Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:

Still not sure you need to read this book? The questions below can help you decide. Just answering yes to one of them could indicate that this tool would be helpful for you.

  • Do you have unmet expectations that frustrate you?
  • Have you been deeply wounded and are still waiting to be understood?
  • Have you been wronged and are waiting for justice to be done?
  • Are your circumstances dragging you down?
  • Do you feel like control is slipping through your fingertips?
  • Would you be described as moody?
  • Are any of your close relationships not as close as they could be, especially because you don’t want to get hurt again?
  • Are you surrounded by multiple negative or non-Biblical influences in your life?
  • Does your first taste of anger quickly bring on anxiety, depression, or unhealthy coping?

This writing is not a short read, so a disciplined idea is to read through the book with a friend or trusted advisor to help you finish the task, remain honest, and apply what is learned.

“For the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:20

4 Perfect Things to Do When You Haven’t Been Treated Right

Be careful. It is hard not to retaliate or seek justice when you’ve been wronged. And you’ve probably even been told that it’s your right to punish those who hurt you. Then, of course, social media makes it seem so normal to lash out against your offenders, or to even take them down. But all of this can lead you in a bad direction. And even if you don’t fight your cause very hard, anger can remain at a simmer if you aren’t on guard.

  1. It’s not your job to respond. When Paul writes to Timothy that Alexander the coppersmith did him great harm, Paul didn’t even begin a new sentence before he quickly said, “…the Lord will repay him according to his deeds.” (2 Tim. 4:14)
  2. Don’t insist that others take up for you. When no one defended Paul, he emphatically asked the Lord not to hold it against them. (v. 16)
  3. Use wisdom to know when and how to warn others. Paul was right to speak out about Alexander because the man’s actions opposed the gospel. But he didn’t elaborate unnecessarily, nor did he throw him under the bus. (v. 15)
  4. Know your true Defender. Paul had no doubt that the Lord would strengthen him to carry out His message, rescue him from any and all evil deeds, and bring him safely into His kingdom, for His glory. Declaring his beliefs was a reminder to him and to others who his God is. (v. 17, 18)

Jen’s Keeping Room Tips:      

Let this passage of the Bible be your “victim mentality” prevention plan…make you a more forgiving person…improve your relationships…help you focus on what you’re to be about…and foster a closer walk with God.  

How to Pull Yourself Together when your Emotions Take Over

You’re so mad, hurt, or stressed that you can’t see straight. You can’t think logically. And you forget to focus on what you told yourself was important. You want to let the Lord help you, but at the time you can’t concentrate on Him more than a few seconds before you start replaying the situation in your mind again. It might seem useless to try, but there are critical things you can do to recover.

Keeping Room Tips:

Start speaking His language. Think of simple yet powerful words you can repeat in your mind (like mercy, love, faith, grace, hope, strength, etc.) until you feel the tension loosen in your body. Or you could check out the list of His words in Isaiah 11:2. This practical application of Philippians 4:8 will help you stop wailing and start productively expressing yourself.

Shift your thoughts from the current impetus to a bigger picture. You can pick one small thing or start a list; just think about what He has done and is doing for you until you recognize that His work is grander than the current matter. Organize your mind with a Titus 1:1-3 eternal perspective to be able to stop throwing a fit and start crawling over to Him.

Give Him a chance to treat your condition. Open up your Bible or Bible app and expect to receive a personal message. As indicated in Acts 6:4, Scripture is a ministry at work for you. This Word of God that Psalm 119 so beautifully reveres will help you stand up with Him again.

Activate your plan. Don’t return to your circumstances without a way to endure them. For example, if He speaks to you through Proverbs 17:9, then your plan is to be a promoter of love by choosing to no longer be offended. Really believing in the goodness of God’s Jeremiah 29:11 plans for you will help you walk back into the fire.

Don’t rely on will power. Don’t tell yourself you will handle things better from now on. Instead, abandon your will power to receive His power. Utterly relying upon Philippians 4:13 strength in the midst of intense feelings will balance your emotions, leading you to maturity and victory.

Dealing with Your Anger (Specifically in Parenting)

Especially if your kids are older, or if you have teens, at some point you may have found yourself in a situation where you felt more anger towards them than you ever thought was possible. The explanation could likely come from two factors: 1) you have been unable to control their behavior or 2) they have not met your expectations. In either case, before you expect positive results to come from engaging with your kids and teens, it’s best if you take the time to deal with your anger and develop a plan to keep anger away from your parenting endeavors.

Keeping Room Tips:

 Ask yourself how you can focus less on controlling your teens and older kids, and more on encouraging them.

  • Every single day, make sure to encourage your teens, no matter how they respond. (Heb. 3:13)
  • Say much to encourage and strengthen your kids. (Acts 15:32)
  • Encourage, comfort, and urge your teens to live lives worthy of God. (1 Thess. 2:12)
  • Use words and verses of Scripture to encourage your kids and teens and to give them hope. (Ps. 130:5; 1 Thess. 4:18; 1 Pet. 4:11)
  • When you correct your kids do so with encouragement, patience, and careful instruction. (2 Tim. 4:2)

 Ask yourself how you can redefine your expectations in order to position them to succeed.

  • Starting with Ephesians 6:4 (“Parents, do not exasperate your children”), examine your expectations to see if they are reasonable and grounded in grace according to the remaining tips.
  • First thing every morning, give your kids over to the Lord and then worship Him. (1 Sam. 1:27-28)
  • Never comparing them to one another, delight in each of your kids as a unique, hand-made child of the Heavenly Father, knowing that God has an individual plan He intends to work out in their lives. (Ps. 138:8; 139:13)
  • Memorize and live by John 8:7-11 so that you can create a safe, motivating, influential relationship with your kids and teens, and leave the results up to Him.
  • Rather than dwelling on the shortcomings of your teens, be more focused on modeling for them the ways that God and His Word help you deal with your sins. (Ps. 119; Heb. 4:12)
  • Remind yourself that God’s story of faithfulness in your life is far more important than your story of how your teens treat you. (Deut. 6:20-24)

Click here for more tips for working through your anger.

“Man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.” (James 1:10)

Dealing with Your Anger (Being a Good Manager of your Emotions)

Contrary to common thought, there are not simply 2 categories of anger – people who have it and people who don’t. Rather, anger is an emotion that most people, including generally sweet and gentle women, or quiet and reserved men, experience at various levels from time-to-time. Anger is a strong emotion that serves as a sign of something taking place inside the heart.

Keeping Room Tips:

1)Take Jesus with you and dig beneath your anger to find the source of your feelings, such as hurt, unmet expectations, disappointment, pride, a desire to control what can’t be controlled, etc.

2) Check to see if your anger is sometimes demonstrated in the form of passive aggressiveness. This inadequate attempt at managing anger often occurs when someone doesn’t feel permission to be angry, or doesn’t know how to express or process anger. Some examples include using manipulation in order to control, or making painful verbal comments instead of communicating feelings.

3) Once you’ve identified the activities of your heart, ask the Lord to do His work inside you so that you can change, grow closer to Him, and bring Him glory.

4) Research what Scripture teaches about emotions and anger. For example:

  • Psalm 4:4
  • Psalm 103:8
  • Proverbs 15:1
  • Proverbs 25:28
  • Galatians 5:13-26
  • Ephesians 4
  • James 1:19-27
  • 1 Peter 5:6-11

5) Then obey when He leads you to take action such as:

  • applying more self-control
  • taking a personal “time-out”
  • engaging in relaxing activities or exercise
  • finding forgiveness
  • applying grace
  • growing in patience & understanding
  • nurturing difficult relationships
  • seeking healing
  • replacing negative thoughts with truth
  • praying for your hurt to heal and your responses to change

6) Discuss this plan as a family and encourage one another in efforts to understand and respond well to anger.

7) If your anger results in explosive verbal responses, consider finding a counselor or accountability partner to help you find peace, along with improved health of your relationships.

“Refrain from anger and turn from wrath.” (Ps. 37:8)