Nurture

Seven Things to Do When You Feel Discouraged About Weight Loss

Self-Care Sundays For the next eight months, I’ll continue the MAPS theme from my Write 31 Days Challenge. I strongly feel that in our self-indulgent culture, we often lose sight of the difference between nurturing ourselves and indulging ourselves. Occasional indulgence won’t hurt anyone, but a steady diet of indulgence that overlooks actual self-care can leave us feeling empty and confused. The acronym MAPS stands for Mental, Academic/Artistic, Physical and Spiritual-the four areas of our lives that we need to…

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Why is the World So Full of Violence?

Why is the World So Full of Violence? The second month of 2018 has only reached its halfway mark, and already five schools have come under attack. Gun-wielding people bent on violence and destruction steal the innocence of children and communities. Why? I confess that as a teacher who works with traumatized children, I often wonder if when this could happen to me. They say that hurt people hurt people. And traumatized people traumatize people. I wonder what I would…

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Have You Ever Regretted Taking a Trail?

Hitting the Wall at Eight Thousand Feet “I think I’m going to barf! I need to lay down.” “Seriously?” Sarah slowed to a stop and looked back at me. “Shouldn’t have eaten those cherry-flavored licorice vines,” I muttered as I dropped my camera pack to the ground. “My throat is killing me. I need water.” “I have about a teaspoon left,” Sarah said as she handed me her water bottle. “You can have it. I feel fine.” “Thanks.” I sank…

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The Incredible Responsibility of Privilege

Camping on the School Lawn? “Mr. Ojeda gave me permission to camp on the school lawn over home leave,” one of my students declared earlier today. “Ha!” I responded. “I don’t think so.” The sentiment behind the fib catches my breath tonight as I ride down the road, our RV trailing behind us, to enjoy a few days of camping in a warmer climate. My student wanted to stay on campus rather than go home for four days. I grew…

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The True Meaning of Surrender

Feeling Like Jonah Now I know how Jonah felt. When the dean of students sent out a pleading email asking for all female employees to gather at the girls’ dorm, I shuddered. She needed our help to eradicate an invasion of…lice. I’ve lived through three personal lice invasions when our girls were still in elementary school. They brought it home twice, and I brought it home once. I got it from students at the public school I worked at when…

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Let Light Transform You From Bleh to Beautiful

I love hummingbirds—small, speedy, colorful and difficult-to-photograph birds that measure from 2.75 inches to 5.5 inches in length. These measuring-spoon sized avian acrobats act like California Condors when defending their territory from foreign invasion (i.e., other birds approaching ‘its’ feeder). I feel tired just watching a hummingbird. Their hearts can beat up to 1260 times per minutes (a cardiologist’s nightmare). They excel in foreign acquisitions (they build expandable nests out of insect and spider silk). A hummingbird can consume up…

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Six Ways to Simplify Your Mornings

Night Owl or Early Bird? Do you love to wake up before the sun? Maybe you prefer to stay cocooned under the covers until the last minute. Either way you can simplify your morning routine so that you’ll have more time for what you love best. Personally, I enjoy waking up before everyone else and having quality quiet time. But getting up early doesn’t insure that I’ll have time alone if I don’t take a few steps to simplify my…

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The Things that Motivate Me to Leave My Comfort Zone

Can a Bird Motivate Me? “There’s a rare bird in Anchorage,” I said. Pedro rolled his eyes. “It’s a hawfinch,” I explained. “They live in Europe.” Pedro may have sighed AND rolled his eyes. “I suppose you want to go look for it?” I grinned. “Absolutely! While you hang out with Laura, Louis, and Abel, I’ll just pop into Anchorage and pick up some things at Costco and look for the bird.” “What about the weather?” he asked. “No snow…

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FaceTime Acts as a Bridge to Relationship

Real vs. FaceTime When I arrived in Palmer, AK after midnight, my daughter stood on the porch in the freezing cold awaiting our arrival. Wonder of wonders, she held our grandson in her arms. “He lost his Baba today,” she explained, “and he can’t sleep.” Baba, a stuffed ruby-throated hummingbird that I purchased for him back in April, had become his cozy of choice. And when a 17-month-old loses his cozy, the world seems wonky, indeed. I didn’t know how…

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What If? A Different Kind of Story

What If? If Jesus came to earth as a baby now, how different the story would be. Jesus, born to an unwed mother living in the projects. Would Mary post a selfie on Instagram with the hashtag #youwontbelievewhatjusthappenedtome #imagonnaglorifythelord just moments after Gabriel leaves her tiny, top-floor apartment? Imagine Mary trying to convince her family these days that the “Holy Spirit overpowered me, and I’m pregnant with the Son of God.” Nope. Not a single soul would understand. In a…

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