Mar 2020

Compare and Contrast

Most of us are in the habit of constantly comparing ourselves to each other. Here's how to make comparisons that help instead of hurt! I've learned to take the crazy out of comparisons starting with understanding what the word compare really means. It's not what you think!

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Love says, “Decide”

And in this season of love cliches I want to talk about the four decisions that have helped me win at love. Let me tell you about the word DECIDE.  You'll be surprised at what it means. This is what I’ve learned about winning at love. We must make hard choices. Because love says, “choose me.” “Be ridiculously, all consuming, can’t live without it, in love for this moment – or this lifetime.”  

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Got Resolutions?

It’s January, and I’ve received quite a few posts about resolutions: how to make them, keep them, and improve on them. So, just when I was about to post my views on resolutions I decided to start over and talk to you about the second wave of the year –the time when resolutions are abandoned and we quietly get on with our same old lives. I read the 2020 most popular resolutions and saw that many of them involve living with greater purpose. Even exercise goals are ultimately about living with greater dedication to life. I’ve often been asked how I’ve changed so much in my life. Apparently I am not who I was 20 years ago, or even one year ago. There’s so much hype about how to change that I thought I would share what I know to be true – three things I know for sure – about positive change.

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Gift Giving

It’s December, and I’ve been having trouble sleeping. I think I’m worrying about this upcoming Christmas season. I love Christmas and all the reasons I celebrate. But last night, a 7 pm caffeinated cappuccino kept me awake and I started watching the Hallmark Christmas channel. True story: I watched 3 Hallmark Christmas movies in a row – which are really the same movie with different actors in different locations.  But they’re all about hope and wonder. So I wondered if I could ever be like the […]

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What Are You Hungry For?

I think I know what tastes good. You probably do too. Well, we need more than physical food to satisfy our true hunger. Potato chips and chocolates taste great in my mouth but if I only put food in my body I get a different kind of food poisoning with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Even if I feel full I go to bed with an overall feeling of emptiness and then my sense of self-esteem spoils - launching a cycle of eating more chips, chocolates, and chocolate covered potato chips. So how exactly do you feed your soul? And will you notice a difference? DEFINITELY!

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Wonder Woman and Apple Pie

Labels are powerful. Labels are pretty hard to resist. They’re useful because they help us make sense of the world. They help us quickly decode what’s inside –so we can decide if we want something or –someone. Labels attempt to quickly categorize people to justify if we accept or reject them. Sometimes they hint at someone’s true story and other times they’re really misleading. Labels inevitably compare one to another, implying who is better. Labels enter a room before we get to know each other. They take us on a journey to a destination of either feeling superior or inferior. And labels rob us of our inherent value proclaimed in the Psalms: we are all wonderfully made.

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What do you EXPECT?!!

Where do expectations come from and how do they become so deeply ingrained in our pursuit of self-worth?  Parents, pastors, peers, and the voices in our head have persuaded us that if we do THIS we will get THAT. This can definitely motivate us, just as it can set us up for disappointment. And disappointment often begs the question, “Why risk being hurt or being a failure again?” Isn’t it easier, and safer, to lower our expectations or give up all together?    Here’s the secret I’ve found to dealing with disappointment. I’ve discovered a space in between what we expect and what we get. This space is mind-altering and life-changing. This space is called “NOW” where we simply appreciate the life we have in that moment. 

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The overwhelming never-ending power of the SMILE

The first week of August celebrates National Smile day, and this has me thinking about living a good life and how to help others live better too.  People, like YOU, can bring out the best in me. And when I know that you can bring out the best in me this acknowledges that there is already good valuable stuff inside. Sure, external people, places, and things can make me feel better, but God hardwired me at the moment of creation with good valuable worth.    Imagine our self-worth as a kind of soft-ware God installed in us. And when we power up with it we are able to connect and interact with each other with crazy-good results: we bring out the best in each other.   And this brings me back to National Smile week. Smiling releases a flurry of feel good hormones that elevate our mood, decrease stress and reduce anger. And when people see our smile they have brain neurons, called mirror neurons that suggest they smile back.   I love how this day illustrates Sir Isaac Newton’s famous law of motion: For every act there will be an equal reaction. The iconic set of swinging silver balls, called Newton’s cradle. It demonstrates how this law works. Whenever we set something in motion (CLICK), there will be a reaction, (CLACK) – for better or worse. 

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Breaking Free From a Painful Past

I’ve watched the Disney movie, Frozen, with my nieces over and over. Elsa taught the world to sing, “Let it go! Let it go! But her song advised us to “turn away and slam the door…” I wish that helped! The belief that we can make our bad memories disappear by slamming the door on them is a fairytale. Out of sight is not the same thing as being out of pain. Slamming the door on bad memories can leave us numb or humiliated. And then something happens that reopens the door and, wow, we have to face and feel the sting all over again. So how do we transform the memories of painful experiences into something not just tolerable but life-affirming? The pain from our memories will stay with us until it has taught us what we need to learn. So rather than pushing them away I’m suggesting the opposite: Lean into them just long enough to discover their lesson. I promise you, the lesson isn’t going to be that you’re alone or a failure. It’s probably going to be about your worth and future success.

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Anger: Beauty and the Beast

What’s the role of anger? Here perhaps is the role of anger: it should wake us up to what else we’re feeling that we wouldn’t otherwise pay attention to. Anger is like the orange warning light inside your car that says, “Something else is going on. Look inside!” Anger with its big loud mouth, shouts over our other feelings which are big feelings but don’t know how to speak up. Anger can be an important voice –just not the only one. When your world simmers or boils with disappointments it may be an unintentional bad habit to let anger take charge and steal the show. Look behind and under this strong emotion and encourage those vulnerable emotions out of hiding. Because whatever you're feeling - it all matters. Because you and me, and we, all matter.

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