10 Things Not to Say to Those Who are Hurting and Distressed

two mugs in a living room

The world is hurting. Again.

If we’re honest, we’re all having a difficult time with something right now. And after everything we’ve experienced in the last two years, how could we not?

Maybe your heart is broken by what you see on the news. Or you’re feeling the financial pressure with rising prices here at home. You may be worried about your job, your family, your health. Anxiety and depression could be taking a toll. Or loneliness is growing because your friendships don’t look the same anymore.

It’s likely we’re all a bit more overwhelmed and overloaded than before.

Yet in spite of all we’re enduring, I’ve heard people say these things as of late… Continue reading

Why You May Be Feeling Disconnected These Days

Blog post about how divisiveness is driving our disconnection

Lately, interactions with others have felt more like a cold shoulder than a warm hug. Quarantine may be long gone but loneliness hangs around my soul like a morning fog.

These last 18 months have been hard on us all. Though we’ve regained a sense of normalcy, it feels like something has shifted at its core – society and relationships don’t feel the same anymore.

Perhaps this pandemic is just revealing what was there all along: that having friends and having community is not the same thing. That in the past we replaced meaningful connection with social gatherings and surface-level interactions. That the bonds we thought we had didn’t run very deep.

Being physically together yet emotionally empty can leave you feeling very lonely. That’s because loneliness is not a lack of company but a lack of connection. Being disconnected hurts so much because we were created to connect.

These days, I’m learning that hardships were intended to be lived and shared within community. But this hardship seems to be pulling people apart, not together.

If I’m honest, the world does not feel like a safe place right now. The divisiveness is further driving our disconnection. And the church does not seem to be helping. Continue reading

3 Ways Christians Can Respond to the Upcoming Election

With prying eyes, I watched as my ballot joined hundreds of voices in the locked blue box. Safely secured in the vault, it waits for Election Day. As I exited the polling station into the frigid October air, my sigh of relief mingled with the uneasiness in my heart. 

This time, the future of our country, constitution and liberties could very well be at stake. If certain politicians have their way, this could be the last election where my vote counts in a flyover state. 

How easy it is to forget the privileges we all share. The blessings we reap from the many lives who have gone before our time. 

Clutching the wool scarf around my neck, I thought of my grandfathers before me. The one who sailed the Mayflower in search of a better life. Another who, fleeing religious persecution, came to America to freely worship God and till his own land. Still other grandfathers bravely fought in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars so that we could be free and equal. Their legacies weigh heavy on my mind as I ponder the next four years.

As a Jesus follower, it is challenging to know how to respond to the mixed bag of emotions this bitter campaign evokes and the uncertainty that lies ahead. 

Continue reading

60 Ways Jesus Loves You Even If Others Don’t

For some, Valentine’s Day is not always a happy one. The pressure to fit a year’s worth of romance and love into one day comes with its own set of expectations and disappointments.

If you’ve been jaded by relationships, you may feel broken-hearted, embittered or let down by love.

But at the risk of sounding cliche, there is someone who will always love you well.

Jesus loves you. Perfectly. Always. Forever. Regardless.

Maybe you’ve heard it so often that its meaning and impact has faded over time. Perhaps your own wounds, experiences or relationships have tainted your view of God and His love for you. If others have rejected, despised, blamed, ridiculed or abused you, you may fear Jesus will do the same.

But Jesus loves you differently. The way He treats you and interacts with you is not the same way others do. Continue reading

How to Recover Your Christmas Spirit

For some, the anticipation of Christmas is not always pleasant. With calendars stuffed to the brim with trimmings and festivities, suddenly the merry season doesn’t feel so bright.

Somewhere between November and December, I morph into a crazy person filled with comparison and complaint. With parties to plan, cookies to bake, stockings to stuff and gifts to wrap, my spirit of thanksgiving can easily turn into the most primitive bah humbug.

So when my husband asked how he could unsubscribe from my RSS feed of complaint this year, it left me with a sobering thought.

I was the grinch stealing Christmas this year. Continue reading

3 Cures for Comparison

3 Cures for Comparison how to stop Facebook envyYesterday was a down in the dumps kind of day.

I was tired. Our summer has been full of non-stop activities, busyness, and stress.

I felt overwhelmed. My last few days were engulfed by piles of laundry, chores, work, errands, packing lunches, and scraping together dinners.

I also promised myself that I would accomplish my personal goals for the week. But an upcoming road trip + daily responsibilities left me with a bad case of the blues.

So naturally, I did what any of us would do. I mindlessly thumbed through Facebook.

And then I saw her life. You know the one.

Continue reading

13 Things Strong-Willed People Won’t Do

13 things strong willed people don't doStrong-willed people get a bad rap. They can be seen as stubborn, dominant, unreasonable or headstrong.

But are they, really?Dealing with a strong-willed spouse or child can be quite challenging. Our marriage is more unique in that we have not one, but two strong-willed individuals (how’d that happen?!). And odds are high we will end up with strong-willed children to boot.

If you fail to understand your strong-willed spouse or child, it can easily lead to power struggles, conflict and misunderstanding of character. Continue reading