from Rachel: Fire in the Closet

What does James 4:1 say about our fiery potential?

“They ‘come from desires that battle within you.’”

What kind of words ignite your anger?

“Mostly actions spark my anger, but I do feel righteous indignation over false accusations, especially when my self-defenses are dismissed without the slightest consideration.”

What situations trigger frustration or ignite anger?

“(above example)
“near collisions due to carelessness of other drivers
“occasional petty little things Randy or Daniel will do (e.g., frustration from frequently wet counter top; rare near miss of seat being left up; a few weeks ago Randy suddenly beginning yardwork without a word of warning or request)”

What does Proverbs 15:1 say results from harsh words?

“They stir up anger.”

Can you think of a time when the gasoline (harsh) words you spoke to yourself stirred up your anger? Describe that time:

“Only maybe a little in the last example on the previous page. I always putter around the yard weeding, pruning or at least getting the sticks out of the way while Randy mows, and he had thought the grass wouldn’t dry enough that day… I jumped in and curbed my annoyance by singing some of our courtship songs.”

What settles you down when you feel angry (besides chocolate)?

“songs, prayer (games, TV)”

Pen some of your water words below.

“I did the best I could
“I’ll try to do better next time
“I don’t have to be perfect
“Other people are imperfect, too”

Dearest Rachel –

I know I remember times that you were upset when I would get to work around the house before you had a chance to do what you considered to be ‘your’ part. Perhaps I didn’t realize just how much you disliked it when I took too much initiative – although it seems that you recognized that your irritation was inappropriate, and did what you could to mitigate against it. It’s interesting to think that our mixtapes would be a source of calm for you, with regard to dealing with your irritation with me.

For what it’s worth, when I read about this, I remember you telling me about it, which I appreciate – as much as my behavior messed with your ‘system’ (such as it was), at least you neither held it inside yourself (letting me know how you felt about the situation, and granting me the opportunity to apologize, rather than leaving me wondering why you might be upset at me) nor really held it against me (realizing its relative unimportance).

Then again, I don’t remember the exact circumstances; but I do remember how you used to prefer to get everything picked up out of the yard before I went out and mowed. And I know I experienced your irritation about this more than once, because I didn’t see the need to ensure that everything got picked up beforehand. I wonder what you would think about the fact that we have a lawn service now, and never really have to deal with getting things picked up anymore.

Anyway, honey, thank you for being patient with me about my impulsiveness when it came to getting this stuff done, and finding ways to work out your irritation.

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I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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