Tips and Tricks for Your Next Extreme Hike

This edition of Self-Care Sunday focuses on physical wholeness. One of my favorite things to do is set a goal for an extreme event so that I have a reason to get up and exercise every morning. I’ll share what I’ve learned about extreme hiking. Two Days After As I crawled to the bathroom on Tuesday morning, my husband’s words mocked me, “Are you sure you aren’t having a mid-life crisis?” My ankles and calves hurt so much, that crawling…

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How to Turn a Burden into Blessing

A Turn in the Trail The trail twists and makes another turn, I lift my eyes, hoping to see the narrow, wooden building perched on the edge of a cliff. Three-mile Resthouse seems further away than the sign had promised when I left Indian Garden. I leaned on my hiking poles, hoping to ease the load on my legs by doing some of the work with my arms. When the building came into view, I heaved a sigh of relief…

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Photography, the Other Art

Not Everyone Can Draw Not every month has five Sundays, so I’ll take the opportunity to explore the other A in MAPS (you can find more about this series here). Last week, I shared how having a learning mindset helps us conquer things we thought we couldn’t do in our younger years. Today I’ll share some tips for upping your artistic quotient with photography. Next week, I’ll tell you about my latest physical challenge. Artistic expression baffles me at time.…

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How to Release Racism From Your Life

Release. Relinquish. Give up. A furor on the campus of a small Christian university has brought home, once again, the power of ignorance to hurt and shame others. The scenario? Five students with facial masks (apparently charcoal masks), had their photo snapped. The owner of the phone posted the photo on Snapchat and added the university’s logo filter and the hashtag #PrettyHurts as well as the word Wakanda. Racist or ignorant? Overt racism or an innocent moment wrongly interpreted by…

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Why You Should Know the Effects of Depression In Teens

  We highlight mental self-care the first Sunday of each month for Self-Care Sunday. Today, I’ve invited one of my students to share her opinion paper with you. Cherie Whitney wrote this as an assignment for her English class, and she has a powerful message about depression for parents and teachers. Why You Should Know the Effects of Depression In Teens by Cherie Whitney I think adults should know the effects of depression. Most adults seem to ignore that someone…

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What Happens When You Settle for a Theory Without Investigation?

Never Settle for a Lack of Knowledge The whole Flat Earth Theory started me thinking about how, throughout history, people have espoused theories without testing them for truth—and ended up hurting other people. Take the theory that North America only had a few people living on it in the 1400s and needed a new race to settle and tame the land. I learned that theory back in grade school, and nothing in my high school or college classes taught me…

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Five Routines to Deepen Your Spiritual Life

Routines Build Relationships Face it, without routines in relationships, the relationship would slowly dry up. Back in the days before Internet, when Pedro and I first started dating, we wrote to each other on a daily basis during the long summers we spent apart. Those letters represent a routine of communication that built our relationship. We didn’t write flowery poems or repeat the same sentiment over and over again. We just shared with each other how our day had gone,…

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Four Surprising Reasons that Make Birding a Sport

My History with Sport Last week, I wrote about how birding can stave off Alzheimer’s disease and keep a person feeling young (ish). I also made the bold claim that birding is one of the biggest sports in the United States. In this edition of Self-Care Sunday, I’ll explain what qualifies birding as a sport (stop giggling). First, let me explain my relationship with exercise and sport. I may have run a half-marathon and a marathon last year, but let…

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The Perfect Prescription for Tired

What Wears Me Out Tired creeps into my bones. Projects. Meetings. Frustrating reports that I have to do and re-do because the manual doesn’t give clear instructions. Grading papers. More meetings. Preparing for classes, but always just one step ahead of the students. Did I mention meetings? People wear me out. Cold, dry days and freezing, dark nights march across the calendar. An occasional stunning sunrise breaks the monotony. Pink and gold fluffy sunsets yield no rain, though. The lawn…

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The Importance of Speaking Well of Your Children

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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