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    Covid-19: In the Flood with David

    How are you doing, ladies? Whether in Albania, or Jordan, France, the United States, India or elsewhere, we face a common enemy. Not Satan, the biggest enemy, no. This time I write of COVID-19. Unlike the onset of the tornado that slashed through my community several months ago, no warning sirens scream, except an occasional ambulance. We cannot hunker down in a basement or bathroom and wait for the storm to pass. Instead, most of us live in worlds shrunken to the size of our houses, apartments and gardens, and possibly our workplaces, isolated from family and friends. And still, like rising water, the enemy slowly floods community after community,…

  • Girl on bridge

    Forced Sabbath

    “Normal” used to mean a good night’s sleep of six hours and falling asleep during prayer. Normal meant unfolded laundry, unmade beds, and unfiled papers on my desk. Normal meant a twenty-minute dinner with my husband eating take-out in front of the TV. The receptionist called eight days ago to ask if I wished to reschedule my doctor’s appointment. Yes, please. The office lies in the heart of the city with the second highest confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state. She asked if I’d like to reschedule for a time around Easter. I replied June or July. She laughed out loud. Strange. I hadn’t cracked a joke in two…

  • Heartprints,  Uncategorized

    Pandemic: Fear, Fun, or Fatal

    Growing up is hard enough. A child’s body, world, and language is in a constant mode of change. Facing change causes a certain level of anxiety all on its own. This generation is now facing a pandemic. We’ve been told that most children are not at high risk, but we know that some are. Wondering if it might be them can be truly terrifying for some children. Do you know what is going through your children’s minds?

  • Engage

    Theology of Self-Care

    Is self-care selfish or unspiritual? Some churches and Christian circles say “yes.” And while today’s popular self-care strategies may have a bent toward self-serving interests, a biblical perspective of self-care is holistic, worshipful, and others-centered. Self-Care Involves All Aspects of Ourselves God designed us as complex, whole persons (Ps. 139:13–16). We do not—like a computer or machine—consist of parts, but encompass spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, psychological, and relational aspects in our intricate design. When we take care of ourselves, we can’t just target one aspect of ourselves. We need take a holistic approach to self-care. After my husband and I married, I moved from Lubbock to Dallas. In Lubbock, I…

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    Self-Care for the Whole Person

    “Read your Bible and pray more,” I heard over and over again growing up in the church. And I did. It helped fill my mind with truth and connect me with God. But it didn’t stop me from becoming depressed during my senior year of college. When my doctor diagnosed me with depression, I first thought, “No way. Not me. Christians don’t get depressed.” As if she could read my thoughts, my doctor, who knew I called myself a Christian, said, “Depression doesn’t mean you don’t pray enough or love God enough. Depression involves physical, chemical imbalances in the brain, and it commonly creeps up in busy, stressful periods of…

  • Engage

    The Thanks Giving Key

    A few years ago I was invited to go on an overseas mission trip. This journey was to a country on the other side of the world with a foreign culture and language, and would take almost 24 hours to get there. No doubt many of you readers have done the same, and know the planning, anticipation and excitement of such a trip. Still, it’s not unusual to have a little nagging insecurity regarding the unknowns, and that was how I was feeling. I would be traveling alone on a long leg of the trip, navigating an unfamiliar airport with a tight connection and felt a little uneasy about it.…

  • Heartprints

    3 Ways to Seek Peace When You’re Anxious

    This blog post comes from the frontline of anxiety. I stopped today numerous times to focus on breathing because of a tight chest of emotions.  Letting the peace of God rule in our hearts sometimes takes more work than reciting a verse we memorized. Do you ever feel so anxious you want to scream or hide? Here are 3 ways to seek peace when you are anxious: 1. Name. Put a name to your anxiety. Anxiety is a red flag that something needs changed or taken care of. What is it? We can’t change or take care of a feeling. 2. Pray. After you pray, pray some more. When anxiety clenches…

  • crying woman

    From Fears to Tears

    In a previous blog post, I’m Scared, Lord, I wrote about my apprehensions concerning my upcoming hip replacement surgery. My doctor was cheerfully confident that I would not experience the post-operative pain I was afraid of, but I was all-too-aware of my potential complications. As a polio survivor, I’m twice as sensitive to pain as those whose brains were not infected by the poliovirus. On top of that, I was extremely aware of the fact that my severely arthritic hips had become basically frozen, leaving me with a limited range of motion. I knew that the surgeon and her team would be moving my legs in all kinds of unnatural…

  • Fearful woman

    I’m Scared, Lord

    My daughter-in-love recently sent me a video of my son introducing their new Golden Retriever puppy to a swimming pool in which he coaxes little Judah, “Don’t be scared! Bohlins don’t get scared!” . . . While I’ve been working on this blog post about being scared. Well yeah, sometimes we do. For four years I’ve been living with the pain of severe arthritis and the late effects of polio (muscle weakness, pain, and fatigue). In a few weeks, Lord willing, I will have hip replacement surgery. When my husband had his hip replaced, he was in excellent physical condition and his experience was as close to perfect as you…

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    “Mommy, put your phone down”

    “Mommy, put your phone down.” My 21-month-old looks up at me, his small hand tugging at mine. His words sting a little—because I know he’s right. Far too often I’m working on my computer or looking at my phone. I’m flipping laundry or washing dishes. I ignore his gentle tug and peering eyes, pressing myself to get more done.   I call it necessary multitasking. He calls what it is—distracted, busy, and disengaged. What if I—what if we—stopped for just a minute to see the good things staring at us? What if we put away our phones and paused in our to-dos to listen, laugh, and be led by little hands?…