Dealing with the Feeling

I must confess to a little ritual I have in the winter season.

Early in the morning, I have my coffee. I carefully add boiling water to the powder. Yep. Powder. I am very fond of Cafe Vienna, an instant coffee that is out-of-this-world good. My father told me he is ‘addicted’. (Guess who introduced him to it!)


In the evenings, I always grab a blanket for my legs, and I make a cup of tea to warm up. I enjoy the smell and the taste as I sip and relax.

Both of these wonderful drinks require boiling water. I’ve had many tea kettles in my day. All colors, all designs. But after burning through more than my share, I don’t buy any replacements unless it whistles.

Unfortunately, I had a bad habit of starting up the gas flame and then wandering away to do…whatever called me at the moment. I can’t see the stove from any other room, so you know. Out of sight, out of mind.Β The water boils, the steam soundlessly pours out of the spout. And I’m still paying bills or reading my book.

Pretty soon I start to smell something bad. Oh boy. Once again, the pot is ruined, and I came very close to a dangerous situation.

So now – only whistling tea kettles. I need to be warned when the water is roiling and moving and steaming. It’s too bad I had to learn my lesson by ruining so many pots, but I’m glad the problem is solved.

I wish I had as perfect a solution to another burning problem. My reactive emotions.

Feelings, like anger, should wear bells around their necks, don’t you think? And anger’s not the only one who needs a collar. How about jealousy, embarrassment or anxiety? I realize these emotions are good, they serve a purpose. Just like my boiling water.

But unattended, they can spill over on others. Or if I hold on to them, they can hurt me, burning away in my stomach.


Take embarrassment as an example. If I drop my lunch on the floor in the middle of Panera, or realize my shoes don’t match, I’m going to be keenly ashamed. If I recognize that, and deal with it right then and there, I can push past it and reset. If I don’t deal with it, and push those feelings away?

It’s like ignoring my tea kettle. The heat still has to escape, and so do my feelings. If I don’t face my emotions, I’ll either overreact to a small problem later, or need to down a handful of TUMs. Neither one is a great option.

Strong emotions, like the whistle on my teapot, exist to tell me that something needs attention. Once I deal with the situation, I won’t need that emotion anymore. So instead of silently bottling my emotions up, I can face them, and forget them.

On to the more positive things in life. Like that cup of coffee…


Surrounded by the Spirit on Facebook




75 thoughts on “Dealing with the Feeling

  1. Great advice, Ceil! Pent up anything is neither healthy nor productive. And yes, I agree – wouldn’t it be great if we had an early warning system when those unwanted emotions are about to surface? Oh, well, at least we can ask for God’s help in dealing with them.
    Blessings and have a great week!

    • Hi Martha! I sure wouldn’t mind having a little beeper or something on my emotions. Kind of like when trucks back up.

      I just have to try and be a grown-up, and take responsibility for it. I have been pretty good at mashing down my feelings, and believe me, it’s not a great way to go.

      You have a great week too! Enjoy your vaca πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Ceil! Warning sounds for tea kettles or dryers are a good thing! I really miss having an end of cycle buzzer on my dryer (mine simply doesn’t have that option). And yes, it would be nice if our emotions had some way of warning us before something extreme happens! Yet, we can be aware inwardly of what is going on if we simply take time to listen to our inner dialog. Dealing with our emotions in a timely manner is well worth the time.


    • Hi Kim! It’s funny you should mention a dryer buzzer. We just got a new one, and the buzzer is so loud! You’d love it πŸ™‚

      Listening to ‘inner dialog’. I like that idea! I am a great lover of silent prayer, and certainly I could listen to some of the chatter before I settle into the silence. Great idea, thank you!

      Blessings to you on the week ahead,

  3. I am learning the same thing. Communication is key, whether it be in our own minds or with another person who is “driving” the emotion.
    We have a whistle on our kettle, and it scares me every time I hear it. But it’s so necessary.

    • Hi Kathleen! I’m glad I’m not the only one dealing with this challenge. Being willing to talk about it, either to myself or another person really does help. Not to mention giving the situation to God if I can’t seem to settle it on my own.

      Many ways to do it, if I’ll just be sure and deal with emotions, not just ignore those signals. Even the scary ones. (I’m just happy for my whistler. If I didn’t have it, things might get even scarier around here!)

      Have a restful night,

  4. Yes and amen. Let’s hear it for paying attention to what’s percolating inside, naming it for what it is without shame or blame, and releasing it wisely before its roots settle in deep.

    Meanwhile, I’ll have a mug of decaf tea, Ceil. With a heaping spoonful of honey …

    On the other hand, how ’bout a glass of iced tea with a bit of sugar and lemon …


    • Hi Linda! Those tea and coffee times are so relaxing, aren’t they? I don’t know why… I look forward to my coffee time!

      With your counseling background, I’m sure you’ve seen your share of bottle up emotions. In my case, it never is a good thing. Let it go, deal with it, move forward. That’s the best way to go!

      Wish we could have a spot of tea together on the beach. Ahhh…

  5. Okay, my friend, I guess I will need to try your morning brew! You give it such high marks. I confess to not being loyal to just coffee or just tea. I love them both and have a great variety of teas to enjoy (largely loose leaf). I just finished one called Banana Foster! (Yum). Your post comes on the heels of a sermon this morning based in 1 Cor. 3. Our pastor was looking at the immaturity of the church at Corinth and symptoms which indicate we are still infants in our walk with Him. It was a convicting message as is this. The point our pastor led us to was how much did we love, not just those with a “my” in front of it like spouse, child, friend, etc. Our emotions are indeed warning lights on the dashboard, but I have been gently reminded that I should not condemn my failings in these things and rather seek His help at being a better lover. So enjoyed reading this with my tea before I finish dinner this evening. Love and blessings to you! Pam

    • Hi Pam! I surely don’t want anyone to feel condemned by what I write, so I’m glad you didn’t feel that way. We all need reminders from each other, and I think experience in life are excellent teachers. The good Lord knows how many teapots I have charred on my way to finally figuring out what I needed. I think all of our spiritual life is like that.

      Just keep trying until we crack our code. Then comes the next thing!

      I hope you like Cafe Vienna. I would love to share a cup with you!!

  6. So true, Ceil. Learning to recognize and deal with emotions before they intensify is so important.

    On a side note, I use an electric kettle–it shuts itself off once the water boils. πŸ™‚

    • Hi Pam! I hate to sound like I live in the stone age…but electric kettle? I don’t think I’ve ever seen one. I do remember electric pots to make Ramen soup in college. Is it like that? Knowing me, I’d get back to it when all the water cooled off!

      I can learn a lot from you my friend! Not only spiritually of course, but temporally too πŸ™‚

      Have a peaceful night,

  7. Oh oh…so guilty and I sure understand where your coming from…btw I loveeeeee CafΓ© Vienna and the other one, CafΓ© Mocha something.

    Keeping you in prayer, sweet friend…and thank you for keeping it real…PS Umm…still snowing, LOL.

    • Hi Linda! It’s good to see another Cafe Vienna fan! I just love that stuff.

      Thank you for your prayers and good words about the theme for this post. We have to keep it real, right? I know you do the same my friend. And it’s still snowing??? Ugh. It got to 70 degrees today. But snow is in the forecast. It’s just crazy weather here…

      Have a peaceful night,

  8. Such a healthy perspective here, Ceil. Emotions are a signal telling us we need to deal with something! So much easier to do sooner rather than later.

    I love your teapot story. I just burned one up myself last month!

    • Hi Betsy! Isn’t it the WORST? I think I’ve burnt no less than three of them. I think my husband was in despair! Thank goodness for the whistling teapots. They really saved me. And they gave me a good image for addressing those emotions that want to boil over too.

      Have a peaceful night,

  9. Ceil: I understand your problem with tea pots. I have one that matches some Corelle ware. It’s pretty but it’s put away. I bought one that has a whistle on it. But I need to get back to using it. The bottom was messed up or my burner bibs on my stove need to be replaced. (Been meaning to do that but I haven’t gotten it done.{Sigh}) I can see the stove from our couch in the living room.So, I can watch it from there. I like hot chocolate(especially with whipped cream on top.) I also drink herb tea.

    • Hi Cecelia! I don’t blame you for trading to a different pot. I hope you can get back to it soon though, it sounds like you miss it. The ones I burnt, I threw away. No more ‘non-whistlers’ for me.

      Love the idea of hot chocolate, especially the whipped cream. Yum!!!
      Evening blessings,

  10. You are so very right, Ceil, about those pent up feelings. Anger is a biggy with me. I remember long ago my OB-GYN telling me he use to get migraines like me and realized he was angry and not dealing with it! That was my homework to do too! I like everything about this post and the way it’s written. So very cute and not a downer at all but life giving. Doesn’t everyone need a teapot that whistles so we can multi-task? I do. Have a super week. Hope the sinus problem is all gone.

    • Hi Mary! I like your take on my ‘spaciness’. Multitasking!

      What a great insight by your doctor. That’s really growing in knowing yourself, and then being able to make strides to change what needs to change. That’s why I’d like an alarm on my emotions, it would really help me in calming myself.

      My sinuses are status quo. I think the ringing in my ears is a little less? Either that, or I’m getting used to it. I remain in hope. Thank you so much for your concern, and even remembering that I have that problem!

      Monday blessings,

  11. I love this analogy! SO true, dear friend. I love those kinds of coffees, too…in fact, I don’t think I have ever met ANY coffee that I don’t love! Thanks for sharing these wonderful thoughts. πŸ™‚ I am praying for you and trusting God to heal the ringing in your ears. May He bless you abundantly.

    • Hi Cheryl! Thank you for your kind words about the post. It’s always nice to find another coffee lover too. It’s such a place of bonding, isn’t it? Sharing some coffee across a kitchen table, or a coffee shop table…

      Thank you for your powerful prayers for my healing. I still have the ringing, but I think it’s a little less loud, which is a truly great thing. I keep up the exercises, and still hope in the Lord. Please don’t stop praying!!

      Monday blessings,

  12. Imagine … you could take out, delete entirely, one emotion from human nature. One feeling … Which will it be? Hatred? Anger? Jealousy? Which emotion?

    What will you have left? A race of people unable to feel that emotion you took out. You will in fact have altered human nature.

    But God did not want that. He created humanity with all its emotions as we know them. And also gave us responsibility to deal with them properly.

    Great post once again, Ceil. Thank you for making us think.

    God bless.

    • Hi Victor! What a great question that is! I wonder what I would pick… But then again your point about having people walking around like they’re lobotomized or numb is kind of scary.

      God did create us with our emotions, and it’s just like me to want something that’s a challenge to just go *poof* and be gone. But that’s not much of a solution is it? My emotions are here to stay, and I need to learn to deal with the feelings in a positive, loving way.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment (as always!),

    • Hi Alice! How nice to see you here today!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. I know I have a lot of work to do to turn my emotions into signposts, not an instant reason to react!

      Hope you have a blessed Monday, in spite of cold and clouds πŸ™‚

  13. It is so easy to boil over if we aren’t careful. I’ve been an impulsive whistler too many times. (That sounds strange written out. I was trying to do a creative metaphor. Well, it’s too early in the day to think of another one!)

    Peace is so valuable in our lives. It is so, so worth it to keep, isn’t it? There is just too much sorrow in losing it. Sigh…

    You keep him in perfect peace
    whose mind is stayed on you,
    because he trusts in you. Isaiah 26:3

    • Hi Sandi! Actually, I liked the ‘impulsive whistler’ metaphor. That could be a whole new post…crying wolf, getting upset at nothing, not trusting. I kind of love that actually.

      Yes! Sorrow in losing peace. That is so true. I read somewhere that peace is like tea in a cup, and you have to carry it around with you all day. You have to stay steady so the tea won’t slosh out, and therefore lose your peace. I like that metaphor because staying steady all day means being peaceful in the face of any emotion. Quite a challenge!

      May my mind always be on the Peacemaker, as I keep trying to live in trust.

  14. Good connecting lesson Ceil. Although I must say you really neeeeed prayer. That coffee junk is just too much. πŸ™‚ Love the lesson on emotions and dealing with them. Thanks.

    • Hi Bill! I take it you are not a coffee drinker?

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. I know I have miles to go to rein in those pesky emotions. And I keep trying, even as I realize that I need them. They point me to issues I need to address.

      Monday blessings!

  15. Good analogy (I love my tea kettle)
    A book by Barb Raveling called “The renewing of you mind project” has helped me deal with my emotions better. Her book has helped me identify what I am feeling and why I am feeling it and take it to God. Her book helps me see things as God does and to see myself as Hod sees me. It’s a really great book.

    • Hi TC! I ordered that book last year when I broke my leg! I have it, but I didn’t really get too far into it. Sounds like I should pick it back up. Thank you for mentioning it in your comment. πŸ™‚

      I’m so glad the book helped you with your feelings, and how God sees you. I’m sure the peace that came to you was so comforting!

      Monday blessings,

  16. This is such great advice, Ceil. We really do need to get our emotions out, don’t we? I’m afraid I’m often too much of a stuffer, but I’m working on it. πŸ™‚

    I used to have a whistling tea kettle, but I graduated to an electric one that shuts off when it’s done boiling. It’s safer and faster. The whistling kind is a much better example of releasing emotions though. πŸ™‚

    I hope your sinus infection has cleared out and that ringing will leave, too!

    • Hi Trudy! That’s a great term…’stuffer’. I didn’t realize how much I stuffed down instead of facing and releasing. It’s not a good thing, as I certainly found out.

      You are the second person to mention the electric pot. Sounds great! I’ll have to put that on my shopping list πŸ™‚

      Thank you for asking about my sinus/ear situation. It’s really about the same. I keep doing my exercises though, and have hope. Please keep praying for me.


    • Hi Hyla! Thank you for your kind words in response to reading the post. I just thought about all that pent-up steam, and my thoughts naturally went to emotions. Gotta get all of that out!

      Thanks for visiting today πŸ™‚

    • Hi CeeCee! Thank you so much for visiting here today! I’m so glad you liked the post and blog too. I always thought the design was pretty simple, so I really appreciate your lovely words.

      Have a peaceful afternoon!

  17. Ceil,
    I appreciate your comparison and for allowing me to remember to give the same attention that I’d give to my equally appreciated boiling coffee or tea (I love mine as well) to my feelings. Not only is it better for others, it’s better for us too!

    • Hi Sydney! Oh, I completely agree. And TUMS consumption would definitely go on a downward slide!

      Thank you for visiting here today πŸ™‚ It’s great to meet new blog friends!

  18. I love that you wrote about coffee too! It’s funny- in the UK almost everyone has an electric kettle. I think I’ve only ever met one person who had a stove-top kettle that whistled. I didn’t realise that was such a big cultural difference!
    You make a great point about emotions. It is far too easy to ignore them and eventually let them boil over. Much healthier to recognise them and deal with them.

    • Hi Carly! Two commenters talked about their electric pots, so now I am familiar with them at least. It is interesting how different we all can be from country to country though!

      Thank you for the kind words about the post. I really want to work to not have my emotions squished all down, ready to pop. Ugh. Never a good thing.

      Happy Tuesday πŸ™‚

  19. I think this post hits home for all. This past winter, David and I made a Consecration to Mary. With that, I had been learning to give to Mary and try not to worry. There were abundant blessings, until I forgot one day to do it. One day lead to another. You know where I’m going. It really, really takes so much effort to “deal” with it at that moment. I’m glad to know I’m not the only one. Thanks for the great reminder in your post today!

    • Hi Patty! It’s so easy somehow to forget to pay close attention to every day life. I read another blog post about being ‘intentional’ and I think that’s true with our emotions too. I catch myself doing things out of habit or reaction…neither are a good basis for good and holy decisions.

      It’s such a challenge for me to stop and actually feel those blessings, see them, appreciate them. I know God doesn’t stop gifting me when I am in a spiritual coma. I’m the loser because I don’t see them. I can make a great start by paying attention to my emotions!

      Have a great afternoon Patty, thank you for your thoughtful comment,

  20. Oh, so wise, Ceil! I’ve thought this same thing many times–I can’t hold my negative emotions in, or they’ll make me sick. I can’t spew them on those around me or I’ll ruin relationships. I must bring them to the feet of Jesus and ask him to heal whatever in my causes the pain.

    Grace to you,

    • Hi Jen! Thank you for your kind words about the post. Seems like you and I are on the same page. Emotions are so powerful, but they are like that for a reason. Not to overreact, not to hold in, but to tell me something’s up. I have to pay attention!

      Your step of taking them to Jesus is such a good one. We have them because He gifted us with them. He’ll certainly know the best way to proceed.

      May you be abundantly graced too my friend!

  21. How I wish my damaging reactions had an alert whistle, or at least a little bell! Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a pleasant sound to alert us to the chaos that is sure to come? Love this post!

    • Hi Andrea! YES!!! I definitely want a back up beeper (like the sound the trucks make when they are in reverse) when I’m about to pop. It would help me a lot.

      Thank you for your kind words about the post, and visiting here! I look forward to getting to know you better πŸ™‚


  22. I do love this analogy. Sometimes I have fear of my emotions, when they get really strong and I don’t know how to dealt with them so they don’t burn something down later. Really is where God has me learning lately so your post is very timely!

    • Hi Lynn! I think everyone can relate to feeling that way. Emotions are supposed to tell us things, but their strength can be intimidating. What a blessing to know that God is helping you!

      Have a peaceful evening my friend,

  23. Ceil, I just love reading your posts. You always have such a good analogy to accompany your lessons. Since that’s the way my mind works, too, I always gain added insight because of your day-to-day examples.

    Funny, just this morning I read another blog post about tea kettles being forgotten and burning up. This person forgot to turn hers off when she left the house, and used the lesson to be grateful for God’s protection (the house didn’t burn down!!)

    I can apply that thought to yours – as we must turn to God to protect us from the bubbling emotions that often threaten to overwhelm us. Sometimes I find myself on a slow simmer, but that isn’t good either. A constantly simmering kettle will never allow me to enjoy the tea!!

    Taking good application from this – for I am a little teapot.


    (P.S. I also love a good cup of coffee, too!!)

    • Hi Sharon! “here is my handle, here is my spout!”

      We do have similar styles of writing, allowing life to teach us, right? Your comment on the ‘slow simmer’ is such a good one. Makes me wish I had included that in the post. Maybe we think milder emotions don’t need our attention, but as you said, it keeps us from joy! And in the end, we’ll end up dry and burnt out…

      God bless you too! Let’s keep writing about our day to day πŸ™‚

  24. Such a great illustration and yes me too only whistling tea kettles. I love having an image to hold onto and this certainly fits.

    • Hi Jean! I love images and stories too. It always helps me connect to a wider truth. The Lord knows I have trashed my share of tea pots! I think He wanted me to know there’s always a solution if I’m willing to change things, if only a little bit.

      Have a wonderful day my friend πŸ™‚

  25. I love the comfort of warm tea or coffee, too..and have burned my tea pot! I also know the bursts of anger, or when jealousy sneaks in the back door. Love this post and how you help us look at those mindless things we do everyday! Lovely post!

    • Hi Kathy! I am learning that a lot of us have burnt our tea pots. I am not alone!

      Thank you for your kind words about the subject. I have always found that my life is a huge field of lessons and love from the Lord, even tea pots πŸ™‚

      Have a blessed Wednesday,

  26. Oh Ceil, do I ever get this message! It’s so important to allow our emotions to be felt and expressed so we don’t *boil over*. I was just witness to that very thing on my trip with my sister and my step mom. It can be dangerous, if we let our emotions stay buried. Thank you for this reminder today, my friend.

    • Hi Chris! I remember you writing about your upcoming trip. I hope it went well…I know you were concerned about it.

      Allowing connection and resolution to emotions is the hallmark of an adult. I need to keep working on that so I win my ‘adult’ stripes!

      Wednesday blessings,

  27. Did this post ever hit me. A few hours ago my brother blew up at a cousin and told him he has over stayed his welcome in my mother room. who is just a few hours from leaving this world. We have all knew that kettle was going to blow, we have all been walking away from it busying ourselves with other things. I don’t think it will blow again as we are watching carefully to make sure it doesn’t (he, my brother) blow again. Great post sister, really great.

    • Hi Betty! Oh my goodness, what a situation! I’m so sorry about your mother, you all will be in my prayers. Certainly this is a very hard, sad, pressure-filled time for you. Thank you for sharing this, I think anyone could relate to the feelings of your family.

      God bless you all as you travel this tough road together. May God bring you His peace.

  28. Ceil, love the analogy here. So funny….Our pastor just preached on how if we don’t get a grip on things then things will GRIP us and quickly. Such a wonderful message for me to read today Ceil. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    • Hi Cindy! How nice to see you today!

      It’s so true that what we can’t seem to manage in ourselves will just end up managing us. It’s that constant power struggle. Who’s in charge? I have to be!

      Hugs and blessings right back πŸ™‚

  29. What a wonderful post and such a great reminder Ceil!

    Have you ever read Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero? That book (and the accompanying study) really revolutionized the way I dealt with my emotions. I often felt like if I shared how I felt (particularly traditionally “negative” feelings), it would make me a “bad” Christian. Yes… I have to regularly recite Romans 8:1 because I still struggle with self-condemnation. Anyway, Peter’s book helped me realize that hiding my emotions was worse – because by not dealing with them, I was letting them create sinful attitudes in my heart and mind – which spilled out into my life. Boy did it challenge me – it still does!

    I love your analogy with the tea kettle here – perfectly describes these feelings we have.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Hi Jennifer! Oh my gosh, it’s been too long πŸ™‚

      I haven’t heard of that book, but a friend of mine has a blog called “Healthy Spirituality”, so I wonder if she has? It sounds like a really good book and subject. I do think getting out all those feelings is the only way to avoid a meltdown later. Isn’t it wonderful to have a book change our lives??

      Hope you’re having a wonderful Thursday,

  30. That is just about the best description I have ever heard for the reasoning behind dealing with our feelings and emotions now, and instead of pressing “ignore” on them, they need to be dealt with immediately. You have shared an incredible analogy that works Ceil! All of us face emotions that come to us not welcomed and unexpected, but by the grace of the Lord, His spirit is given to us as the whistling bell in our hearts to alarm us and warn us.

    I sure do love that powdered coffee too, but it has been a long time since I’ve drank some. I just may go and buy some for a treat. I’d forgotten until you reminded me just how good it is to sip on those coffees!

    How are you doing with your ear trouble? I am continuing to pray for you, and I believe for a complete healing for you! Much love and hugs to you today!

    • Hi MM! Thank you! I really liked the idea of the steaming teapot, especially because I have caused a lot of them to be damaged.

      Ears are about the same…but I am still hopeful. Thank you SO much for your prayers, I really cherish them. I know that God is listening, and thats all I can really ask. Please don’t stop!

      Love and hugs right back my friend,

    • Hi Anne! I’m glad you liked the post today. I think we all struggle with our emotions, and sometimes just ignoring them seems like the best course of action.

      I’ve learned that’s usually not the best way to go!
      Have a wonderful weekend,

  31. This is such a perfect analogy, Ceil. Oh how I can relate. My emotions boil over in scary ways at times. I spent years stuffing them down with food and am just now really learning how to deal with them before they come to that awful head. Thanks for this reminder, my friend! You are so right to deal with these things as they come up. Don’t let them continue to gather :).

    • Hi Candace! Your series on food issues has really shed light on my own struggles. I didn’t think of that when I was writing this, but habits can come out of ignoring emotions too. And they are usually not good ones either.

      Thank you for adding to the conversation!

    • Hi Susannah! You have ‘boiled down’ the whole point of the post, that’s for sure. Yes! Our emotions are gifts to us to let us know something isn’t right. I have to deal with the problem ASAP. Don’t want anything to get out of hand!

      Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend πŸ™‚

  32. Perfect analogy! I tend to be a stuffer with my emotions and they do tend to effect me physically if I don’t find a way to release them. Thank you for reminding me to let go of the emotion after I am finished with it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *