What Are You Feeling?

Passport pictures are definitely not Glamour Shots.

I went in recently to renew my passport; I needed a new photo.

It wasn’t a pleasant experience.

I tend to smile when a camera faces me. I don’t have an easily accessible straight face. For passports, smiles aren’t acceptable. For some reason, it messes up facial recognition. I had to retake the thing many times because when I was told, “Don’t smile,” I grinned. Or started laughing.

The photo that finally passed muster was rather evil-looking. I was working hard at not smiling, so I grimaced.

Not my best shot.

When one-year-old Kolly had to be taken in for her passport picture, she was worse than I was.

Babies aren’t going to smile just because you want them to. It’s easier to make them cry than grin.

Kolly’s first photos had her winking her left eye–no one even knew she could wink. She either winked or cried. All the photographer wanted was a straight face. Once the tears stopped, the grins came.

Not what was wanted.

Showing emotions is something that many find a challenge. The freedom to express what we feel is part of our life story; the opportunity and ability to share how we feel is developed through our interactions with others as we grow up.

The Bible mentions emotions frequently because God Himself is full of emotion. He cares for us deeply, pouring out His love on us so we can have the capacity to love others. He is full of compassion and mercy, but He is also just and perfect in truth.

Jesus Himself experienced all the emotions we’re confronted with. He felt joy when He was around His friends Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, yet fear confronted Him in the Garden of Gethsemane before His crucifixion for He knew the pain He would confront. He felt despair when He looked at the people who wouldn’t consider His hope for them. He knew anger when those who sold animals for sacrifice disrespected the Temple by making it a marketplace. He longed that we would experience the wholeness of His love and faithfulness to us.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23

Our emotions are barometers of what’s happening inside us. Giving them space to be felt, respecting them enough to name them, and dealing honestly with them frees us from being overwhelmed by them.

We become all that God has intended us to be as we appreciate our emotions–not become controlled by them.

There are three ways to deal with our emotions: ignore them, redirect them, or embrace them.

What are you doing with yours?

4 responses to “What Are You Feeling?”

  1. What a riot! Those baby faces. So many out-there emotions. 😁 I am on a life-long journey of learning to trust my emotions to Jesus – like every other part of my life. Not easy, but the best way accept them as part of my design and let Him direct them in healthy ways.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a hoot, isn’t it, to see the unabashed emotions of a baby who doesn’t care a flying fig what others think? To have that kind of openness and honesty is incredible. But then, that’s the journey, isn’t it?


  2. Susan Allendorf Avatar
    Susan Allendorf

    Dayle, I always look forward to your blog posts. Each time I look forward to what your grandkids are up to, and it’s fun to see how you use that to move into a teaching moment. Love the pictures with Kolly!


    1. Aw, Sus, it’s so good to hear from you! Know you’re thoroughly missed! And thanks so much for reading my stuff–that’s a gift from you, my friend.


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