Five Minute Friday

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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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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How to Overcome Roadblocks in Your Journey

o-ver-come • verb: to get the better of: surmount What do You Need to Overcome to Find Wholeness? On our journey to learn how to properly nurture ourselves, we often hit a wall or roadblock that seems impossible to overcome. I believe that while weary travelers often start a journey to wholeness by working on mental, academic/artistic, or physical challenges, each of those journeys will eventually lead us to our need for spiritual growth. Why? Because at some point, we…

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Discover the Why Behind Your Workout Style

dis-cov-er • verb: to see, find or become aware of something for the first time Discover Your Wounds In order to nurture yourself properly, you need to discover areas in your life that need healing. Although I hold no degree in psychology, counseling, or psychiatry, I’ve lived long enough to know that anyone over the age of ten (and many times younger), needs healing of some sort. Let me tell you about a wound that kept me from enjoying physical…

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Think You’re Not Creative? I Invite You to Reconsider!

Cre-ate• verb: to produce something new by using your talents and imagination. Today I invite you to look at the other half of the A in MAPS—an acronym to help us remember how to nurture ourselves. Have you ever noticed how the letter A has two sides? We’ll call those two sides Academic and Artistic. Notice how both sides start at the same point and have a bridge in between them? Just like the letter A, we each have two…

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Find Your Pod, Tell Your Story

Sto-ry • noun: an account of incidents or events We can nurture ourselves through story—both by sharing our story and listening to other people’s stories. Find Your Pod, Tell Your Story The captain of the whale-watching tour ship called out over the loudspeakers, “Look to nine o’clock and you’ll see a bottlenose dolphin!” The passengers rushed to the port side and crowded eagerly around the railing. “Do you see it?” I asked one of my students. “Over dere,” he said,…

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