2 Ways to Overcome Your Fear This Week

2 ways to overcome your fear this weekDon’t worry. Easier said than done.

Especially for me. I come from a long generational line of worriers. Anxiety and fear have been constant companions for most of my life. Fretting has become a common pastime around here.

How about you this week?

Because every time I turn on the news fear is being magnified. We fear terror. We fear race. We fear other religions. We fear diseases (Zika? Anyone?). We even fear the upcoming election.

I even find myself worrying ABOUT WORRYING.

Seriously? Continue reading

3 Critical Reminders About Pain & Suffering

3 critical reminders about pain and sufferingAt some point in our lives we will all experience a tragedy, a physical illness, the death of a loved one or the loss of a dream.

In these moments, doubts and questions will arise. How could this happen? Why me? What did I do to deserve this? How am I ever going to survive this? Where is God in all of this?

I have been there. Three times, in fact. Continue reading

Being an Introvert was My Excuse to Disengage

why being an introvert was my excuse to disengageIf snuggling with your computer or a good book sounds like your idea of a fun evening, chances are you may be an introvert.

But that doesn’t mean you are shy. Or a party hater. Or that you prefer to live in a closet.

Contrary to popular opinion, many introverts are actually outgoing, creative, and possess a high-functioning inner world. This inner world is an introvert’s best kept secret; a treasure trove just waiting to be discovered.

But seldom will it be shared.

Too many encounters with humiliation, failure, or rejection over time will cause introverts to shut down and close up shop. Out of insecurity, we will draw the shades and remain indoors.

Over time, we will become content to disengage with our world.

I know because I’ve been there. Continue reading

Why You Must Uproot Your Weeds

why you must uproot your weeds for successful life changeI love gardening. Creating our own patio retreat has provided a personal oasis of beauty and sunshine while the birds gather above in magical chorus.

This week I sank into the cushions, iced coffee in hand. As I breathed in nature, my eye caught a glimpse of a disturbing sight.

Weeds.

My ultimate arch enemy.

The one thing I hate even more than dirty dishes.

Sticking out like a sore thumb, those gnarly little rascals were ruining my view. Gleefully basking in the sunlight, they made themselves right at home as if to spite me. I’m pretty sure they were smirking as they burrowed their roots even deeper. Continue reading

67 Reminders When You Feel Like God Doesn’t Care

67 reminders when you feel like God doesn't careI’ve been a Jesus-follower long enough to know that the Christian life ain’t all rainbows and sunshine. It’s a journey with mountain top experiences and their valleys below. And in those valleys, the struggle is real. Sometimes in long seasons of suffering, it can feel like God is silent and far away. And you find yourself wondering, Does He see? Does He even care?

I wrote this for a dear one of mine who has been suffering in the sea of adversity; drowning in wave upon insufferable wave. At times it seems unfair. Unjust. Undeserved. Left with a broken heart and a million unanswered questions.

In our darkest moments, it can feel like God has abandoned us. Or that He has turned a deaf ear to our prayers. Or that He isn’t moved by our tears. But just because we feel that way, does not mean it’s true.

Because He is there. He does see. And He deeply cares. Continue reading

His & Hers Survival Kit: how to bug-out when you’re feeling stressed

His and Hers Stress Survival KitThe other day I was sitting at the table recounting all the current and upcoming events that were making me frazzled. Upon hearing my complaints, my husband grabbed a piece of paper and pen and began to write. After a minute of silence, my curiosity got the best of me.

“What are you doing?”

He slid the paper across the counter and grinned. I glanced down and laughed as my eyes caught hold of the first line: Eat a donut.

In a matter of seconds, my action-oriented husband had created a little go-to list for when I’m feeling blue.

Brilliant.

Wouldn’t it be grand if we had a bug-out-bag full of ideas on how to get out of dodge when our days go south?  Continue reading

4 Ways to Hijack Your Stress Response

4 ways to hijack your stress responseOur current season of life can be summed up in one word. Stressful. We barely meet ourselves coming and going. Come to think of it, this season has been on repeat a lot lately. As in the past four years.

When words like “exhaustion” and “burnout” become part of your normal vocabulary, there’s a problem. “When we are overwhelmed with excessive stress, our life becomes a series of short-term emergencies.” We live from one crisis to the next. We lose our ability to be present and enjoy the moment. Go at full speed for too long and the crazy train is sure to derail.

The good news? You don’t have to live this way.

Stress is a choice. It’s optional.

Sound crazy? I thought so too. Until I did a little research and was shocked by what I discovered. Continue reading

The Masquerade: why you must remove your mask

why you must remove your maskAs a homeowner, I look forward to trick-or-treating every year. My husband and I carve pumpkins, grab our favorite TV show, and wait with anticipation. While I’m not a fan of Halloween, I do look forward to the doorbell ringing and greeting a cast of characters with handfuls of sweets.

Rain or shine, today we will be the ones on the sidewalk going door to door with Iron Man and Superman leading the way! And while I feel like a kid again and have eagerly packed “goodie bags” for such an occasion, the activity conjures up another mask in question.

This mask is not for kids. And it is not reserved for special occasions. In fact, it seems to be worn throughout most of the year. This mask hides flaws. It misrepresents. It is the paraphernalia of an act, one that has been performed throughout the years. This mask is worn for others. This mask is mine.

Getting me to admit my masquerade has been a long time coming. I felt the effects long before I recognized the cause. Even as these words leave my fingertips, my heart flutters a little with insecurity. But I’m going to be honest with you. Because maybe you’re like me. It all started a couple months ago with Donald Miller’s book, Scary Close (awesome read, by the way). Within the first few pages I knew I had a problem. Like the author, I have been an actor on the stage of life. Performing for others in order to receive the applause of acceptance and affirmation. I rehearse my lines so I can deliver them with ease. I disguised myself and therefore deceived myself.

Maybe you do this too. Perhaps you’re an actor on your own stage, performing for the people in your life in order to get something in return: significance, love, acceptance, forgiveness, recognition, fame, fortune, the list goes on and on. Somewhere along the line we’ve all learned that we aren’t enough. That there is something wrong with us. So we overcompensate. We carefully craft a mask to wear that we know will be pleasing to others. As Miller says, we all have an ace card that, when all else fails, we know we can play with success.

It got me thinking. What is my ace card? And what’s yours? What mask have I worn over the years that has yielded positive results? That has given me the affirmation I always wanted? And then it came to me. While yours may be intelligence, humor, money, or service, mine is Continue reading