3 Ways To Boss Your Heart Around


I caught my heart heading to the pit of discouragement for spring break. It was supposed to go to the beach with my family and me, but it was not cooperating.

We had been hit by one emotional and financial crisis after another. A close friend had just found out that, after a year’s worth of abdominal pain, extreme fatigue, and an undiagnosed illness, she had a large tumor that appeared to be ovarian cancer.

Earlier that week our upstairs air conditioner broke, again. And a week later, we were told our international adoption expenses would not apply as a deduction that year, which meant we owed significantly more on taxes than anticipated. Yet, our savings had been depleted by adoption expenses and failing air conditioning systems.

My heart was overwhelmed. My spirit was depleted. And my body was completely exhausted.

I couldn’t stop worrying about my friend. I couldn’t stop fretting over our finances. And I couldn’t stop wondering, “How am I supposed to rest and relax on vacation with all of this happening?”

Although I had packed my bags for the beach, my heart decided it wasn’t in the mood and started marching straight toward the pit.

I didn’t want to go on vacation, but I didn’t want to camp out in a place of despair either. I knew somebody needed to take charge of my emotions, and my husband knew better than to try. So, I decided it was time to boss my heart around!

King David was really good at getting bossy by telling his heart and soul what to do. In Psalm 103 he starts out with this:

“Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name.” Psalm 103:1

Nothing in me wanted to do this, but even in the midst of my turmoil and troubles, I told my soul to praise the Lord. And I had an attitude about it, too.

This was no “sweet bedtime prayer” talk to my soul. No, I needed a deep-down, preach it to my inmost being sermon: “Renee Swope, GOD IS GOOD no matter what your feelings are telling you!”

Then I bossed my heart with some more Truth and pulled it away from the pit by telling myself to “forget not ALL his benefits” {Psalm 103:2}. Next, I followed King David’s lead by walking down memory lane and reminded my heart how good God is at being God: the One who . . .

Forgives all [my] sins and heals all [my] diseases,
redeems [my] life from the pit
crowns [me] with love and compassion,
satisfies [my] desires with good things
so that [my] youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
Psalm 103:3-5

No matter what the answer would be to my friend’s diagnosis, or how costly our air conditioner was going to be, or how much we owed on taxes — my soul needed to do this. And, my emotions eventually got in line and filed behind my words as they led my heart out of the pit.

My circumstances didn’t change, but my perspective did when I re-directed my thoughts and my focus, which then re-directed my emotions.

Are there circumstances that have pulled you into a place of discouragement? Do you have concerns that are causing your thoughts to head down a path of despair? I pray you won’t go there….

Join me on (in)courage, where I’m sharing the rest of my story and 3 steps you can take to “boss your heart” into a good place. Click here and let me know how I can pray for you to be brave and a little bossy with your soul this weekend! 


About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.