Navigating Anger and Blame

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Adversity, loss and grief are a part of life. And so is getting mad.

Chances are high that you’ll experience anger before this crisis is done. And far too often, anger gets a bad rap. It can be easily mishandled or misunderstood.

Growing up, I believed it was better to “be nice” than to be angry. I thought that expressing any kind of anger was automatically wrong and harmful. So when I was bullied by kids at school, I never confronted them or stood up for myself. Over time I learned to suppress my anger with good behavior and a happy face.

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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

Finding Joy in the Midst of Pain

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For many of us, the changing season ushers in a renewed sense of thanksgiving. But what happens when your season of change is marked by pain? When you don’t feel very grateful?

As we approached Thanksgiving, I felt anything but thankful. A serious illness had darkened my door, filling me with disappointment and heartache over what was being lost: hopes, dreams, expectations on how life would be. Yet it was in this difficult season I learned two important lessons about gratitude, discovering that hardship, not happiness, is the forerunner of joy.

Is your season of thanksgiving overshadowed by pain? Are you looking for a way to harvest more joy in your life? Join me on (in)courage to read more and discover how you can find joy in the midst of your hardship!

 

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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.

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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

4 Excuses That Will Keep You from Helping Others

4 excuses that keep you from helping othersDon’t do what I just did.

I was standing in the aisle at Walgreens perusing Mother’s Day cards when I heard her. A distressed, elderly woman in tears because she was lost and couldn’t find her way home.

Seeing her distress, my heart surged with compassion and concern.

But what did I do?

Nothing. Instead of lifting my voice or offering a hand, I sifted through each logical reason excuse while the entire episode played before me. Should I help? Should I say something? Should I get involved? Someone else should probably handle it.

In truth, the store clerk got involved and she likely made it home just fine. But I sure didn’t.

I saw the need. But I didn’t respond to it. And it disturbed me greatly. Continue reading