The Power of a Relational Brain

The Power of a Relational Brain

2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness, Therefore I will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me.

December 2, 2019, brought our first snowstorm of the year. We had anticipated 12-16 inches of snowfall. We woke to several inches of beautiful white fluffy stuff

After our five-year absence from winter, I stared out the window in disbelief. The beauty consumed me. My heart overwhelmed with gratitude to God. The snow on the branches was breathtaking. 

The snow continued all day. By 10 am our lights began to flicker and within minutes we lost electricity. Cooking our lunch on a camp stove we enjoyed the nostalgia of the moment.

Just two months prior to this we had sold our home in Florida anticipating traveling and camping as we went. Our neighbor had given us the stove thinking we could use it.

After hours with no electricity, the house began to chill, and our food began to warm in the fridge. We carried all the freezer food to the porch where temperatures remained in the 20’s.

Lanny spent hours in an attempt to repair our generator, which hadn’t been run in 5 years. The generator was now working, but the refrigerator and furnace were not.

For those of us who live in the north, we understand that clean up after 16 inches of snowfall is a lot of work. We are blessed to have a large plow. Our drive was almost cleared when Lanny noticed hydraulic fluid spraying from one of the hoses. We would need to address it later as we were out of daylight and the temperature of our house was in the 60’s and dropping fast.

By 9 pm Lanny had repaired the furnace. After 12 hours of outage, our electricity was restored. Our fridge continued to warm so we took all its content and put them on the porch.

Lying in bed we reflected on our day. Understanding the power of staying connected during times of stress I smiled as I thanked Lanny for all he had done to keep us comfortable. We reflected on all the snow he had been able to remove prior to the hydraulic hose blowout. We both enjoyed the memory of our yummy lunch cooked on our gifted camp stove. Our food was cold in containers on our porch with God’s natural refrigerator. I smiled as I reflected on my fleece-lined pants, I was able to wear for the first time.

Appreciation creates joy and joy allows our brains to stay connected with the ones we love even in the midst of stress. 

 Learning the skill of quieting our body and mind when overwhelmed or disconnected from those we normally enjoy being with helps build joy and keeps us connected. Shalom my Body helps quiet our bodies and moments of appreciation quiets our mind allowing us to return to joy which enables our brains to stay relational. Knowing others are happy to be with us creates joy in times of distress. 

I am thankful to Life Model and Thrive Training where I am learning these life-giving skills. I am so thankful to God who says, I will never leave you nor forsake you. Deut. 31:6b

We can not will our minds to think positive thoughts but by staying relational through quieting and appreciation we are able to reflect on all we have been given rather than what we feel is being taken from us at the moment.

I recommend Thrive Today training to anyone seeking to grow their joy levels and desiring deeper connections with God and others. Another great resource is Transforming Fellowship by Chris Coursey which teaches the nineteen skills that make relationships work.

What are you grateful for today? What helps you to stay connected to those you love during tough times? 

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8 thoughts on “The Power of a Relational Brain

    1. Thank you, Tim. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. I’m excited about spending more time with you and Stepanie. I love you, my brother.

  1. What an introduction to Northeastern PA🙂. You both had all the tools needed to help you deal with it in a graceful way!

    1. Yes and thank you, Susie. The work continues as we realized a few days later that the circuit boards on both our dryer and dishwasher are blown. Lanny is still working on both of them. It’s been so fun to see God continue to put His shield of protection over us even in tough times. He is our rock and we will not be shaken.

  2. I can see and Lanny getting through that as calm as you were whenever I saw you both at our Ormond Farmers’ Market. You have God’s Peace all over you, no doubt tempered from all the years you’ve waited on Him and trusted His leading through Jesus sacrifice and sending Holy Spirit to lead you both and guide you into His truth. You see the supernatural in situations that our natural eyes cannot see. God Bless you both as you have this time to spend with your Dads and cherish every moment! See you again soon, love and hugs!

  3. Your post is so timely as I’ve been feeling an extra challenge in staying relational with our son, D., during the stressful times of parenting a young child.
    I find such insight when you wrote how we can’t will our minds to stay positive but that “Appreciation creates joy and joy allows our brains to stay connected with the ones we love even in the midst of stress.” The truly Lord shows us how to stay IN the relationship through the stress with appreciation and that deepens our relationships. Thanks for sharing your heart!

    1. Thank you so much, Janice, for reading and encouraging. You are a beautiful mom.
      Keeping our appreciation high and our joy levels up is key as we stay relational with our little ones (and big ones).
      I only wish I was introduced to some of these truths earlier but I am so thankful for God’s faithfulness. His timing is always perfect.

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