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    Why You Need to Put Yourself in a Time-Out

    Have you put yourself in a time-out lately? If your kids are grown you probably haven’t used that term in awhile. Even if you have young children you’re probably thinking I’m asking that question wrong. Kids are put in time-out, not grown-ups. Possibly you have neither kids nor nieces nor nephews and have no idea what I’m talking about. A time-out is the imposed temporary suspension of activities for a short amount of time with the intent of calming, reorienting, or disciplining a child.  Why am I asking if you (as an adult) have had a time-out lately? Consider your current need for quiet and refreshment for your soul. Do…

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    More Than Just a Day for Chocolate

    Do you happily celebrate Valentine’s Day or bitterly avoid it? In years past I revolted against this “Day of Love.” The only benefit in my opinion was the half-priced chocolate offered the following day. You might have mixed emotions the same as mine. But this year I propose a solution to transform this “Hallmark holiday” from one of stress and sadness to fellowship and friendship: Celebrate like a Mexican. Mexicans see February 14 as El día del amor y la amistad (The Day of Love and Friendship) and share cards and small gifts with close friends, family, and coworkers. Yes, much of the United States’ Valentine’s Day marketing has made…

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    Find Healing for Hurting Hearts

    What’s on your New Year’s Resolution list? If your list is a lot like mine, it includes returning to pre-holiday healthier eating habits and making time for exercise several times a week. Those are common resolutions regarding physical fitness. Not so common are resolutions pertaining to our emotional fitness. But I have a book recommendation that might help with your 2020 emotional goals: Healing Every Day: A 90-Day Devotional Journey by Mary DeMuth.

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    The Gift of “God With Us”

    A wailing scream pierces the air. The new mother cries tears of sheer exhaustion and joy. The father stands speechless, astounded, holding a wriggly bundle in his arms. Mom and dad lock eyes and they silently ask each other, “What should we name him?” (Para español, lea abajo.) A name means something. Depending on the culture, a name implies family respect, honor, and tradition. In the Latino culture, for example, parents typically name their firstborn child after the father or mother. If the father is Luis, the baby boy is Luis. If the mother is Elizabeth, the baby girl is Elizabeth. In doing so, the parents preserve their family legacy.…

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    Give Thanks In…

    At the height of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln formally scheduled Thanksgiving for the final Thursday in November. He implored all U.S. Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation” (History of Thanksgiving). With Thanksgiving just 17 days away, families and friends are making preparations for food, festivities, and football. We excel at making external preparations. But are we preparing internally for Thanksgiving? Are our hearts ready to give thanks? With the political intensity of the last several months, it’s easy to forget that…

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    How to Maintain Hope Amidst Closed Doors

    When you’re navigating a season of closed doors, it’s hard to have hope. Every door of opportunity that closes feels like yet another letdown. If you’re really honest, every closed door feels like a letdown from the Lord.  The year 2016 was such a season for us. My husband and I were pursuing the possibility of having children, both biological and adoptive. Given our marrying later in life, we had our ages working against us. But we tried to have a biological child anyway. What happened, as a result, was a difficult season of infertility and loss. The door of having a biological child had closed. Concurrently, we pursued domestic…

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    Journey With Me to Ephesus

    This month I take you on a photographic tour of Ephesus. The city of Ephesus was the capital of the Roman province of Asia (Asia Minor, modern Turkey). It was an important political, educational, and commercial center as it was the gateway to Asia. It was a strategic military location and the hub for caravan travel. Ephesus was also known for the temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World (Acts 19:35).  (To learn more about Artemis, please see the blogs linked below.) As it was such an important commercial center and located on the coast of the Aegean Sea, it was an affluent city. Its markets would…

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    Practicing Gratitude—A Challenge

    A recent leadership conference I attended focused on gratitude. The Chief Executive Officer of the company thought correction in how some members were running their businesses was needed, and therefore spent at least twenty to thirty minutes discussing: How to get gratitude, How to practice it, and How to extend it.  When a CEO of a multi-million dollar company spends that amount of time on any subject, it’s evident that it’s important and is an issue in today’s world, or in that company at least. As it turns out, expressing gratitude (i.e. giving thanks) was an issue in the ancient world, too. The Psalmist and the Apostle Paul spent considerable…

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    How to Stay Married While Navigating Infertility

    “Fifty percent of our infertility patients end up getting a divorce,” the nurse explained, when I questioned what I thought was a peculiar portion of the hospital’s legal paperwork. At that moment I was surprised to hear the statistic. But with raised eyebrows and a let’s–just–get–on–with–it mentality, I circled the appropriate decision for which one of us would be given custody of our frozen specimens “should divorce occur” and I went on with my day. A few months later, however, as my husband and I struggled to overcome our intense grief over a double infertility loss, I remembered her words. I then understood perfectly well. Infertility, miscarriage, and loss can…

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    How to Embrace Necessary Change

    Seasons of life change, careers change, organizations change, and relationships and friendships change. Change is—as they say—inevitable. How do you deal with change? Do you embrace it, reluctantly (and stubbornly) submit to it, or run full-speed in the opposite direction of it? I’m a loyal person by default. Perhaps you are as well. I’m loyal to good people, good organizations, and good products. There’s nothing wrong with loyalty per se, except when that loyalty exceeds the season for which that allegiance is needed. Thus I find I struggle with change.  Well-known author, leadership coach, and clinical psychologist Dr. Henry Cloud believes that if we do not embrace necessary change (i.e.…