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.…
The Brain on Stress
Those who grew up in the 80’s can’t forget this gem of a PSA: YouTube 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. Could we really be worse off than our ancestors, who dealt with things like tribal wars, natural disasters, and animal predators? Several MD’s answer that question with a resounding ‘yes.’ Their reasons merit another…
Don’t Be Anxious?
Living our best life––or at least a life characterized by peace, joy, and healthy rhythm––has never been more difficult for many working women. Myself included. Are we doing something wrong? How do we experience peace in anxiety-riddled days...
My mother recently wanted to recount a tale of terror to me about something tragic that happened to a child. I know her intention was teach me a lesson through a cautionary tale, but in reality I just didn’t have the ability to hear a scary story involving young people. Often, my Mom misinterprets my attitude and believes I am too cavalier. In reality, I can be crippled by fear. I heard myself saying, “Mom, if you think my lack of interest is a result of some apathy I have towards my children, or an inability to worry, it’s quite the opposite. There are days when I worry about my…
A Theology of Sleep
It’s no secret that Americans are chronically sleep-deprived. The problem isn’t relegated to just the United States; it seems our neighbors across the pond also suffer from a “global problem of insufficient sleep.” Researchers contributing to a 2014 BBC article named the significant consequences of getting less than 7-hours of shut-eye on a regular basis: depression, heart disease, cancer, and obesity, to name a few. No surprise there. But I was startled by the reason the researches gave for our propensity to deny our body clocks: arrogance. In Reset: Living a Grace-Paced Life in a Burnout Culture, David Murray boldly states, “Show me your sleep pattern and I’ll show you…
The incidence of depression, anxiety and suicide has skyrocketed as the isolation and life-disruption from Covid-19 has ravaged our world. I wrote this post in April 2013. Over the weekend, Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church in California, author of The Purpose Driven Life) and his wife Kay revealed that their son Matthew had taken his life after a lifelong struggle with mental illness. In an email to his church, Pastor Warren wrote, “[O]nly those closest knew that he struggled from birth with mental illness, dark holes of depression, and even suicidal thoughts. In spite of America’s best doctors, meds, counselors, and prayers for healing, the torture of mental illness…
Different but the Same
Most nights I go to bed anxious. Anxious about the turmoil across our country and our world. Anxious about the place where my little boys will grow up and the challenges they will face. The past few months have shocked us with pain, turmoil, and anger. They have marked us and made us. Life will look different, even after we return to our normal routines. As I worry about the unknowns ahead, I’m reminded that Solomon told us, “There is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9). Our problems are unique, but they are not new. Just take a look at the Bible’s history. Anger turned to murder within the…
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,…
“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…
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?