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    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…

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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…

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    This is Your Brain…On Stress

    Those who grew up in the 80’s can’t forget this gem of a PSA: 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. 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…

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    That Time I Burned Out and Almost Moved to Tahiti

    “I’m worried about you.” My friend’s voice was soft, but her tone was intense. Much like my life felt. Intense. “You’ve lost the ability to relax. You’re totally stressed. You’re physically present but emotionally out of it.” Internally, I began my usual round of excuses. It’s just a season. Life will slow down after XYZ…I’ll show them I can handle it all… But deep down, I knew there was no ‘after,’ no ‘season’ with a definite end. Running myself to the ground had become my practice, my way of life. Now that way of life was impacting others. I could no longer continue this path and expect to maintain any…

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    Five Ways to Avoid Compassion Burnout

    The world staggers under the weight of tragedies. Our earth sloshes through floods in Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and areas of the United States. Hurricanes shred buildings in the Caribbean and the U.S. Fires continue to char parts of North America. Mexico is reeling from a massive earthquake. Man-made dangers loom as well: threats of nuclear strikes weigh on minds while the blood of Rohingya people flows in Myanmar. Worldwide, refugees number in the millions. I find it easy to feel numb after reading and hearing about all this suffering, all these needs. The scope of the suffering seems overwhelming. How do we maintain a tender, compassionate heart in the face…

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    SPENT – Replenished, Restored – Moments in the Life of Elijah

      The lack is so impacting that you don’t think you can keep going. You want to give up. You may have even decided to give up and in the most extreme of moments you make the decision TO give up. You have had it – the pressure is too great. For whatever reason you can’t go on. Maybe you did not plan well; maybe you are a player in circumstances beyond your control; maybe you made some really bad choices and now have to live with the consequences. Whatever the cause and whoever is responsible the fact is that you are done. You absolutely have nothing left to give…