What Triggers Your Emotions?

What triggers your emotions?

by Jan Cox

When my husband and I took the boat out the last time this year, we noticed a number of “deadheads” in the water. Deadheads are logs that had sunk for many years but then lifted to the surface of the water. They lie just below the surface – very hard to see, but certainly not good for the boat or motor to hit.

There used to a sawmill on our lake and those logs are just starting to pop up. As these logs decompose they generate methane gas and when that gas reaches a certain level the logs rise in the water. When on top of the water the methane is released and the log sinks down again.

Sometimes  buoys are tied to help you see rocks under the surface but these deadheads move around and are hard to mark.

Think of yourself. Your emotions are under the surface – ready to come up to the surface. What triggers your emotions? They are like deadheads. Until they come to the surface no one can see them.

I am thinking of negative emotions for this post. Anger is an emotion that sits below the surface. Can you think of what triggers your anger? If so take a good hard look at it. Then pray for the Lord to help you overcome that and control that emotion when the trigger happens.

Here is a poem that I wrote a few weeks back when I felt overwhelmed one afternoon. I had done too much; rushed; and then tried to continue with more things on top of that.


Look at the time
Thoughts fly in all directions
Don’t stop
Just continue to do – do – do
Everything at once.

Suddenly smell burnt beans
Yes I burned the beans
But no time to think
Yell – frustrated.

S – T – O- P
Short prayer

Reboil more beans
Watch the pot this time
Get ready

Sit down to eat – say grace and thank You Lord
Rest and eat



Father I know my emotions can be triggered easily. Help me to see what triggers them and learn to control my emotions. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.

Continuing in the Count – Blessings to 2000

            • a great piano teacher
            • cutting down the nine barks in the garden
            • actually warm – 18 degrees
            • editing my media kit
            • playing different games with hubby
            •  vibrant colours of the trees
Fall in Haliburton
            • meeting people online
            • Bryce in the ball pit
            • oh the weather is awesome
            • helping in the garden
            • wonderful women at Bible Study
            • God speaking through His Word
            • Men of Integrity (new group in Haliburton) – 110 men attended the first meeting
            • Women’s Day Conference – Grow Up
            • friend comes to the conference


            • reacquaintance with Michelle Sim
            • memories of Deb Pugh – her laugh especially and her hugs – she always remembered my birthday day – now a book about her last months with cancer – Dear Deb by Margaret Terry

            • learning to still my thoughts before God
            • new words keep coming to me – buds, quicken, life – (you would think it was spring not fall)
            • a new era of hearing from God
            • Revival!
            • walk in the Sculpture Forest
            • good aching muscles
            • a friend who is stretching me 
            • working together
Kimberley, Jan and Janet
            • great contemporary service – The Instructions
            • thinking and thinking
            • deer for my guests
            • visit to my sister
            • seeing my niece and grandnephew
            • finding a good crockpot book
            • making a slow cooked recipe for oatmeal
            • playing with grandbaby at 6am
            • folded laundry
            • a print of a photo of butterflies from my daughter – awesome!
Beautiful print from my daughter – can’t capture the colours or sharpness.
            • a delicious crock pot dinner – healthy – did take a while to prepare
            • a big kiss from my grandbaby
            • peaceful drive home in the dark – through the trees – high beams illuminating the trees
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Janis Cox - Author and Illustrator

Jan, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. She has published two devotionals and a number of articles for magazines and a Bible study. She is owner of Under the Cover of Prayer and moderates the site. Jan has completed a children’s book called Tadeo Turtle. She is the watercolour illustrator. Word Alive will be publishing this story and it will be available October 2012. See more about Tadeo at Jan’s Website.



    1. Thank Always Alleluia,
      I can feel things come to the surface now and manage most times to squelch them before they rise to my mouth. Practice. Practice. Practice. Always good to be aware.

  1. Jan, I love this analogy and how wonderful that your meditations on this subject inspired poetry! These things that lurk under the surface–they are dangerous, aren’t they? Good thoughts.

    1. Thanks Laura,
      Yes we really know what lurks under the surface but always seem surprised when it rises to the top. Prayer and constant vigil are important to keep tabs on our “deadheads”.

  2. The deadheads illustration works in many ways…may God hep us to be fully alive in Christ and not a deadhead in any way!

    1. I love that – “do not be a deadhead!”. I will try to remember that. I always see you so at peace – not letting things frustrate you. That is amazing and I am trying to do that more and more.

I love to connect with you.

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