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More Meaningful Together

“Happy are those who mourn; God will comfort them!” – Matthew 5:4 GNT This verse from Jesus’ sermon on the mount sounds like an oxymoron. Right? Can the path to God’s comfort and joy really begin with mourning? Can joy and sorrow even co-exist? My experience has been that they cannot only co-exist, but they are more meaningful together. I was terrified the first few times I attended GriefShare and know how hard it can be to push through feelings…

What is Mindfulness?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 “Mindfulness” is one of those words that has become trendy in the past few years, particularly as discussion of mental health has increased in the public sphere. But what is it? Put simply, it is the practice (and it does take practice)…

You’re Invited

I was pouring out some pent up emotions (and tears) in prayer on my walk the other day. I noticed I’d been trying to live bootstraps pulled up, marching forward right over my heart. I know that is not the Father’s heart towards me, so I decided to declare the truth to my heart by praying through Psalm 23. When I came to “my cup runs over,” I “looked” inside my cup. It was empty. A tear fell to the…

I Can’t Cheer Them Up – When a Loved One Struggles With Depression

  I lift my eyes to the hills – where does my help come from?  My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2 Watching a loved one struggle with depression is a frustrating, often exhausting battle. For many of us, our natural inclination is to try to “cheer up” someone who appears unhappy. For someone with depression, this is not always possible, and the effort involved can leave caregivers feeling exhausted, frustrated, and emotionally…

Dealing with Grief

November is one of my favorite months of the year, as it ushers in a season of reflection; most needed moments to pause and count our blessings during Thanksgiving before the frenzy of the Christmas season.  It always seems to be a month filled with nostalgia for me.  As I watch the leaves fall from the trees, I tend to slow down a bit more and think about the fact that those leaves were once the source of nourishment for…

Suicide and Teens

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10 If you’re a parent of a teenager, you are faced with innumerable challenges every day. Parenting a teen in the age of smartphones, social media, and internet is incredibly difficult and downright terrifying. Bullies, harmful internet content, and comparison-driven social media can now reach…

Unloved

Have you ever been in a Bible class when the teacher asked you to name a Bible character you admire? Maybe you wanted to be strong like Samson or a skilled warrior like Joshua. Maybe you wanted faith like Abraham or Mary or passion like Peter, even in his missteps. I’ll bet that you never thought, “I want to be like Leah.” A few years ago, someone sympathetically told me that’s who I reminded him of. Leah. Yep, the ugly…

Suicide-Who Is At Risk?

Suicide – Who is at risk? The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Psalm 34:18 Robin Williams. Anthony Bourdain. Kate Spade. Ernest Hemingway. Virginia Woolf. More than likely, you recognize at least one or two of those names. If not, you would surely recognize some of the dozens of others that appear after a quick Google search of two words: “celebrity suicide.” Celebrity suicides garner national attention, many express heartbreak over the…

Growth-What I’m Learning about My Purpose

Each of us is born with a unique life purpose.  For some of us, our purpose in life is obvious and clear. Some of us are born with a set of talents and through persistent practice, we develop our talents into skills and it may help lead us to our purpose. Yet for others, myself included, it isn’t easy to identify your purpose.  We are told to find something you like and pursue it with a passion.  I like a…

Spiritual Dimentions of Trauma

In my work as a mental health counselor, I have come to realize that trauma is not just an isolated event or a series of events that people have to deal with but that there are spiritual dimensions of trauma.  Some facts that inform this concept are: • The well known and widely accepted notion that we are not just human beings having brief moments of spiritual experiences; we are spiritual beings having brief moments of human experience. • The…

“Roads in the Desert”

I don’t like asking for help. I have a couple of theories on this. The first is easier to digest: we Southerners are raised in such politeness that we are always willing to offer help and generally reluctant to accept it. There’s a charm, an old-fashioned chivalry in that belief. My second theory, though, is strikingly less noble: I am either too proud to ask for help or too fearful that I will ask too much–or worse, that I will…

Love in the Time of Corona – Family Edition

We’ve been dealing with this whole COVID-19 business for several months now, and though society might not be as tightly restricted as it was a few months ago, the strain continues to wear on us, and through us, our families. Initially, we operated in what was almost a state of shock, every decision geared toward survival. Gradually, we have begun the scramble toward normalcy, but it has been made clear that that journey will be a long one – more…