How to Be Thankful When You’re Feeling Blue

The last few weeks I’ve been preparing for the holidays. Mentally, that is.

Just this week my state registered a 39% positivity rate for COVID-19. Illness in my community is so widespread that the Department of Health developed an entirely new category of measurement.

As our cases surged, my heart sank. A “critically high” spread meant I would be home for the holidays. It meant more confinement. Less gathering.

Maybe you can relate. Across the country, cities are mandating that families forgo the festivities and guests this season. For most of us, this holiday promises to be different. Complex. Confusing and discouraging. 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. 

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Quarantine Emotion #8-9: Navigating Fear and Uncertainty

Don’t be afraid. Easier said than done.

Classified as a mass threat, this pandemic has given us plenty to worry about. And now that communities are reopening, a second wave of uncertainty builds as we brace ourselves for whatever comes next.

When I sat down to write this post I didn’t think it would take me an entire week. What started out as a quick tutorial turned into a personal wrestling match that forced me to examine the source of my own fears.

Fear is often pitted against faith as if they were bitter rivals. Christians who struggle with fear and anxiety during this time can easily feel judged, shamed, dismissed or misunderstood by other believers.

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Quarantine Emotion #6: Navigating Survivor’s Guilt

Sometimes I feel like I’m in a lifeboat watching the Titanic sink. Thousands have died and lives continue to be disrupted while I sit safe inside my home.

My heart breaks for those who have suffered the most from this pandemic. Our family members in the New York area have surely witnessed and experienced things that are far removed for our experience here in the remote north.

Knowing that others are suffering and grieving while I’m relatively okay overwhelms me with a sense of guilt. Continue reading

How to Successfully Navigate Your Emotions During Quarantine

Today is day 35 of quarantine. The only escape from the four walls of my home has been the daily walks around our neighborhood. When it’s not snowing. Otherwise my life has revolved around deliveries, disinfecting groceries, catching up with family online, and drinking way too much coffee. There’s only so much I can clean and organize before I go crazy.

If that’s not enough, I’ve been experiencing quite a range of emotions lately. Maybe you have too. I’ve been cheerful, anxious, productive, lethargic, stressed, content, hopeful and heartbroken all in the span of a week. The last 35 days have been a roller coaster and I’m ready to get off this ride.

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Becoming Your Husband’s Best Friend: 29 manly date ideas

When it comes to hobbies, my husband and I are as opposite as they come.

At the beginning of our relationship, he would often ask if I wanted to do physical activities together: tennis, hiking, kayaking, swimming, jogging, biking, camping, soccer, etc. But in my ignorance, I shot them all down. 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

How you can prepare for emotional disasters

how to prepare for emotional disasterLast week my cousin spent the day chasing plywood and supplies all over town in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. Store shelves were sparse, gas stations drained, and Home Depot was like Black Friday with the amount of frantic pushing and shoving.

My cousin spent nearly 24 hours securing windows and battening down the hatches. He was just praying his home wouldn’t blow away.

When faced with a natural disaster like the one we saw last week, one thing is for sure. People spring into action. Survival mode kicks in. Some evacuate. Others brace for a fight. But one thing we all have in common? Continue reading