Growth Posts

Downsizing Christmas

Downsizing Christmas

I’m no humbug, but I have to admit that I occasionally have trouble enjoying Christmas.

I’ll admit changing the station when “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” croons from the radio, as sometimes it just makes me angry.

For our family, December is often one of the hardest months. All the pressures of gifts, coupled with illness, together with the fact that I’m married to a high school basketball coach make the holiday season a bit of a trial for me.

Wrestling with the 3 A’s: Anxiety, Approval, Abandonment

Wrestling with the 3 A’s: Anxiety, Approval, Abandonment

No matter who you are, I’m willing to bet you struggle with what I call “three A’s.”

Just when you think you’ve got life figured out, or you got today’s check list done, sneaky Satan will up the ante by suggesting to you that perhaps you need to worry and be anxious, or that you should look to others for approval, or that the people you care most about have really abandoned you emotionally.

3 Steps to Refocus Your Life on God

3 Steps to Refocus Your Life on God

I recently read a great blog post by Michael Hyatt on the problem of drifting away from your life’s focus. It reminded me that not only can we drift away from our life plans–work, family, creative endeavors, for example–we can also drift greatly from God, and quite possibly, the two go hand-in-hand.

What does it look like when we drift from God? Is this perhaps one of the biggest ways or areas we drift from in our lives? Perhaps when we recalibrate ourselves to be in tune with our Savior, then setting our life’s goals and priorities become that much more clear.

Waiting Faithfully [Poem]

Waiting Faithfully [Poem]

It’s no small task to wait faithfully (and patiently) for God’s timing in your life; when to get married, when to start a new career, when to buy a house, when to move, when to give up, when to say ‘no,’ when to start over–the list is perpetually long, and most of us wrestle with our confidence in the Lord’s timing and our understand of it at one point or another.

My Jewel [Poem]

My Jewel [Poem]

The past may hold us,
the future may change us,
yet something binds,
it holds and secures—

Memories, old and new,
combine to seal
and hold tight the grip—
the years cement.

5 Life Lessons from The Music Man

5 Life Lessons from The Music Man

The story of Harold Hill, Marion Paroo, and all the townspeople of River City, Iowa in the classic music by Meredith Wilson’s The Music Man is one of near disaster and certain redemption. What could have ended with tar and feathering, lost money, and broken dreams in fact, ended in love, forgiveness, and changed hearts and attitudes towards, well, traveling salesmen among other things.

The Lost Art of Thank You Notes

The Lost Art of Thank You Notes

My grandmother practically lived to write thank you notes, or so it seemed. Upon arriving at her memorial service at her senior residence this past February, the music director, David, who played several hymns during the small gathering, shared after the service that he had never received so many thank you notes, and so many from one person.

The Best 20 Minutes

The Best 20 Minutes

You could take a power nap.

You could scoot over to Starbucks to get coffee.

You could even get one more load of laundry started, or maybe do the breakfast dishes.

You could check your email, or watch a couple of YouTube videos

I Need Help (and so do you)

I Need Help (and so do you)

I can’t do it any longer. I can’t do it alone, and neither can you.

I’ve tried to make it all come together perfectly, but I can’t.

After Job Loss and Brain Surgery

After Job Loss and Brain Surgery

Having just undergone my sixth surgery, clearly I’m qualified to write about the healing process. My first taste of major surgery was thrust on me at the youthful age of 25, and it was brain surgery at that.

‘Pink Ladies’ Form Friendship Late in Life

‘Pink Ladies’ Form Friendship Late in Life

It’s never too late to make a new friend, or to visit someone you love and make lasting memories, or so I learned. It might seem that by the time you’ve landed in a senior residence facility you might have made all the friends you’re going to make in this life. But this wasn’t true for Elaine and Betty, who met eight years ago when they moved next door to one another at Brookdale-Arlington (formerly Town Village), a senior living community, in Arlington, Texas.

Your Plans, My Plans, and God’s Plans

Your Plans, My Plans, and God’s Plans

Everyone makes plans they set out to accomplish – from small daily goals on up to career-long desires that take years of planning to execute.

Growing Through Failure in the New Year

Growing Through Failure in the New Year

Here we are at another year, the clock still ticks onward, seconds lead to minutes, which add up to hours, days and weeks. Although most of civilization aims to focus on accomplishments and goals for the New Year, how would it look differently if we were to measure our lives in terms of overcoming failures?