Immanuel Journaling

“I’m fine,” we say. Men especially do this to be “strong” — much to the disappointment of family and friends (especially women!) who want more connection. Burying emotions is actually a weakness that disrupts life and ministry. Bill Gaultiere and John Loppnow, fellow pastors and counselors, share how they connect with their emotions and with God. John introduces “Immanuel Journaling” as a tool for self-awareness and prayer.

Relaxing Your Monkey Brain

Our thoughts can be “like monkeys jumping around in a banana tree,” Henri Nouwen writes. (The full quote is in our article on “Solitude and Silence”.) Have you noticed any monkeys jumping around in your brain? Do you find yourself over-stressed, distractible, irritable, judging yourself or others, or anxious? That’s the impish monkeys! They screech…

Is it Good to Vent Emotions?

Dumping on people it’s not helpful! Effective listening enables people to feel cared for and to take personal personal responsibility — it doesn’t “fragilize” them. We discuss an example in parenting. Bill’s Bible study and reflective meditation from Habakkuk helps us be strengthened in faith through venting emotion wisely.

Hurricanes & Hearts of Empathy

What’s God doing when hurricane’s hit? How do we deal with hardships? We go to Jesus together. We validate the emotions and offer empathy. We may need to re-think our perspective and faith and do some training to learn how to live and react to trials from within the spiritual reality of the Kingdom of God.

The Emotionally Reluctant Person

A woman asks, “How can I help my husband share his feelings?” We all have family members or friends who are reluctant to share emotions. Maybe you are too! Here’s how to invite people to be emotionally vulnerable and draw them into the grace of Christ. In a replay of a conversation from the past, Kristi uses empathy to draw out Bill when he was an emotionally reluctant husband.

Communicating Emotion to Invite Empathy

Often in marriage or another relationship we think we have an intimacy problem when really it’s more about a boundary problem. Boundaries between people get blurred if either one tries to share their “feelings” by sharing their perceptions of the other person. This blurs boundaries and leads to conflict. Instead, if you share your personal…