Nurture

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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The Only Decorations You Need This Christmas

If Only My House Looked Like That! I clicked the link to visit my neighbor at a recent blog party and felt as if I’d entered an alternate universe. The blogger had thrown up some photos of her house and the decorations she had lovingly arranged for the Christmas season. This gal LOVES Christmas decorations. Each of her nine Christmas trees (yep—you read that correctly) would make Martha Stewart weep with joy (or envy). I did a mental inventory of…

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What Should You do When Disaster Lurks Near?

Disaster Might Lurk Nearer Than You Ever Imagined Three years ago, I never would have imagined that disaster stalked. Sure, I knew Sarah, our youngest daughter, struggled with depression and an eating disorder. But I didn’t know how near disaster lurked. Back then, my knowledge of mental illness could fit within 140 characters. Today, I could write a book. Sure, I’d heard about things like schizophrenia and psychosis. Mania was something that people back in the 60s experienced when the…

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The Familiar Sizzle of Lefse Makes the Holidays Rich

Lefse The familiar soft sizzle of lefse hitting the hot skillet grabs my attention. I stand outside of my parents’ trailer under a shade canopy. The sun’s rays still reach my legs below my knees as I take my turn at the propane stove. My mom forms walnut-sized balls of dough and Sarah learns how to roll the lefse out to an even thickness and correct size. My mouth waters in anticipation. For the first time ever, we prepare our…

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Grace Camp for Grownups

  A Grace-Filled Camp for Grownups! I’d love to introduce you to two ladies who embody my philosophy about physical wholeness. Sara and Becky believe that building a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t focus on losing weight. Losing weight happens when we build a healthy lifestyle. And like me, they believe that spiritual wholeness and freedom in Christ helps us make healthy choices (and feel great along the way). Ask yourself if any of these scenarios sound familiar YOU: • have tried…

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Ignorance is no Excuse

Ignorance is no Excuse I have no excuse. Last week I stood on my soap box and railed against the church at large—especially those churches or congregations that pulpit-shame the mentally ill. I have a darker side to my story. While I don’t have a pulpit from which to shame those struggling with a mental illness, I HAVE used Christianity to shame someone. Even worse, I shamed my own daughter. I have no excuse. Other than I had no idea.…

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I’d Rather the Church Remain Silent

It is Better to be Silent… I read a heart-breaking post on Facebook this evening. A woman attends a church where the pastor—whose qualification consists of a seminary degree—has pulpit-shamed his congregation into abandoning their medications for depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses. The woman fears for her friend, who followed the pastor’s counsel and has slipped further into depression. I cannot remain silent any longer. Churches should stay silent on the issue of mental health rather than diminish the…

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Standing in the Need of Prayer

Standing in the Need of Prayer Oh, Lord, I need you. The ragged woman on the street corner with the ‘Please help’ sign, did she park her Mercedes around the corner, wanting to gull the masses instead of working an honest day? Oh, Lord, I need you. The girl on crutches, clumping towards class, again. Has she injured herself for real? Or does she just need attention because of the gaping holes in her life? Oh, Lord, I need you.…

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Start Your Journey to Wholeness Today!

jour•ney—noun, verb: passage from one place to another; to travel over or through. Your Journey Starts Today! I confess, I find it difficult to sort out selfishness from self-care in this busy world where so many things cry out for my attention. One thing I do know. On this journey we call life, we have to take care of ourselves, but learn not to indulge ourselves. If we fail to take care of ourselves, we won’t have the energy or…

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