What Exactly IS Mental Wholeness?

whole•adjective :having all the parts: not divided or cut into parts or pieces From Repression to Revelation I grew up in an era of repression. Self-repression, that is. If one had a doubt or a problem, one kept quiet about it. Sure, the characters on the Bob Newhart Show talked about mental health (but mostly as fodder for comedy). People didn’t go to counselors, they went to shrinks. In fact, the origin of the word ‘shrink’ is ‘headshrinker.’ In other…

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31 Ways to Nurture Yourself

nur-ture • noun : the care and attention given to someone or something that is growing or developing The Dangers of Forgetting to Nurture Yourself During my first caregiving journey, I learned the hard way what happens if a caregiver doesn’t take care of herself (or himself). For ten months, I lived in a whirlwind of what-ifs and ‘your-husband-might-not-make-its.’ During that time, I thought I had everything under control (with God’s help, of course). My kids ate, I knew where they were…

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I Confess (and I Hope I’m Not the Only One)

I Confess (and I Hope I’m Not the Only One) Around me, young people jumped to their feet as the song leader strummed and a young lady whispered to her companion behind me. I loved that the youth had so much enthusiasm that they voluntarily stood up for the praise song. That started the first tear. I confess, I get weepy over good praise songs. The second tear slid down my face as the lyrics worked their way into my…

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Overlooking the Plain is Overlooking the Plan

A Plain Bird I spotted a bird sitting on the curb across from my house as I headed out the door for a run. Never one to miss a photo op with a bird, I ran back inside for my camera. I thought that perhaps the resident juvenile Cooper’s Hawk had dropped by for a visit. Focusing the lens, I called out to my youngest daughter. “Sarah!  It’s not my hawk, it’s a roadrunner!”  We took turns looking through the…

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No Kid is Hopeless (They Just Need Support)

A Must-Have Book if You Want to Understand If you’ve never read The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, go buy a copy and read it. You’ll understand the word support if you do. You’ll understand a hugely underrepresented and misunderstood slice of the population by the time you reach the last page. I read the book (along with Navajos Wear Nikes: A Reservation Story by Jim Kristofic) before I interviewed for my current job. I…

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Who do You Work For?

Work and Junk for Jesus I work at a mission school—in the United States. Three-fourths of our budget comes from generous donors who believe in what we do to bring hope and healing to Native American young people. Occasionally, though, we have to deal with Junk for Jesus. A friend of mine who worked at a hospital in Haiti for two years shared the term with me a few years ago as we compared mission stories. “When we arrived, they…

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Fall into the Pages of these September New Releases!

The Space Between Words September 5 Michele Phoenix The story grabs the reader from the prologue, where we learn about Adeline Baillard, a French Huguenot in the 17th century France whose life hangs in the balance. Fast-forward more than three hundred years to the eve of the Paris attacks, where we meet Jessica, an American tourist. She and her housemate Vonda have come to visit their other housemate, Patrick, who has taken time from his business to attend art classes.…

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Why I Failed to Raise my Kids

To Guide or to Raise, that is the Question I used to think that my husband and I would ‘raise’ our children. As if they had tender shoots and fragile roots and would produce a crop one day. We took a parenting class. I read books and prayed a lot. I learned to mean what I said, and not make threats I didn’t want to carry out. Parenting did not come easy for me. Raising kids required much more than…

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From Marathon to Puny in Three Months

My Puny Body I sucked in deep gulps of air, and kicked my foot out of my toe clips. Whew! That hill grew since the last time I rode up it, I thought. My gelatinous legs could barely support me as I dragged off my backpack and dug around for a protein bar. “Let’s go!” Pedro called out to the group of students in front of me, and they all took off down the trail. I continued to cram my…

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If Only God Would Speak

I realized that I haven’t explained the whole Five-Minute Friday thing at this blog for a long time. Every Thursday night, interested writers may log on to Twitter and search for the hashtag #fmfparty at around 6 PST. You may lurk, say hello, or just introduce yourself and the gang will strike up a conversation. About an hour after the party starts, our fearless leader, Kate Motaung, will announce the prompt for the week. Twitter falls silent as everyone rushes…

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