• Engage

    Self-Care for the Whole Person

    I’m excited to have Victoria Monet guest blogging for me this month. Victoria is from Georgetown, Texas. She loves her husband, son, dog, and impacting others’ everyday theology through creative writing and teaching. She writes poetry and topical articles on her blog “Theology Reflected.” “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…

  • 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…

  • Engage

    “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?…

  • Engage


    Every time I step into the airport security line, I feel a little sick to my stomach. There’s something so unnerving about the possibility of having my bags searched. I know these practices keep our skies safer, but they still intimidate me. Fortunately I’ve only been escorted from the line once.  After a spending a week in Minnesota with a girlfriend—enjoying a reprieve from the Texas summer heat—I packed my suitcase and prepared to re-enter the hundred-degree temperatures of my home state. Before we left I picked up a wild rice pancake mix for my parents made from the famous Minnesota staple. As my bags passed through the x-ray machine…

  • Engage

    Evangelicals and The “Happy” Imperative

           Some grow up convinced that feeling unhappy, uneasy, and uncertain is unnatural. American media promotes that being uninvited, unattractive and unintelligent is unnecessary. Even some evangelical circles will contend that feeling unwanted, unworthy, unlovable, and remaining unmarried is unacceptable.        Expectations for happiness run high for many evangelicals. Some even believe a marriage that does not offer a lifetime of bliss has no purpose. Well-meaning Christians sometimes nudge unhappy spouses towards divorce in the name of, “God wants Christians to have happy marriages.” But in Sacred Marriage, Gary Thomas contests that God intended marriage to cultivate holiness more than happiness.        But some…

  • Engage

    This is Your Brain…On Stress

    Those who grew up in the 80’s can’t forget this gem of a Public Service Announcement: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dk9XY8Nrs0A While the war on drugs continues to rage on, another battle happens almost every day in traffic jams, breakrooms, and around dinner tables: the battle within the brain as it deals with stress. According to the American Psychological Association, the stress situation in America is “chronic.” That’s putting it mildly. Many would say modern-day Americans are the most collectively stressed-out population in history.

  • Engage

    The Tapeworm Gallery: Freedom

                I see you signed up for another round of Celebrate Recovery at the church two towns over. Still angry and bruised, ha? I knew it. I think you should do CR again. It worked wonders the first time—especially for that anxiety and depression. So go ahead and rehash all your resentments, guilt, shame, anger and fear that stem from your wholesome childhood. Because I enjoy watching you run in circles. I meant to ask, how’s your narcissistic mother doing? Tell her hello for me. And that I said, “Thanks,” for leaving you emotionally emaciated.             I get why you don’t feel like praying. Talking…