DEPRESSED? LAUGHTER HEALS YOUR SOUL

I laughed until I cried, as I listened to Chonda Pierce talk about depression. Not that the topic of depression is funny, but I think she deals with the subject in an honest and very humerous way.

If you are clinically depressed, and then … you make a living as a stand-up comedian, that’ll pretty much throw a kink in your job. You guys really wouldn’t have bought a ticket to see me stand here and cry for two hours. I don’t know, maybe you would–this is kind of a sick crowd here today.

Learning to laugh at my weaknesses brings healing to my soul, too. For instance, I’m just now able to laugh about my some of my own emotional limitations–like the many times I locked myself in the bathroom for a good cry when my kids were younger. Or the time my husband found me on the floor, in a fetal position, crying because I had made a “B” in a conversational Spanish class. And I was almost 50 years old at the time!

Seriously, who cries over a “B” in Spanish? Uh, ME! 

And who locks themselves in a bathroom and cries over spilt milk? Uh, ME!

And who goes into a tizzy, after they realized that they’ve made another impulsive commitment that they can’t keep? Uh, ME! 

So, you see why I love to hear Chonda Pierce make jokes about her battle with depression. Maybe we all need to not take ourselves so seriously and start trying to find the humor in the mirror. [What else can you do with the wrinkles, gray hair, and the extra pounds?]

Anyway, laughter works for me! And sometimes it comes in handy. Like when one of my writer friends calls, upset over a rejection letter. I remember my reaction to rejection letters. Or when my daughter Tara, who has FIVE kids, calls me from her closet, crying. I see myself as a young mom, crying in my closet!

So, the next time you’re temped to make another impulsive decision, just stop first and try to see the humor in the situation. It could save you a lot of grief, time, or even money! 

Keep laughing!

Have you ever laughed at yourself? 

 

Growing Old with Grace

Looking into the Mirror

My heart races, waking me from a sound sleep. Anxiety attempts to overwhelm me. When I look into the mirror, I see the face of a mom and a grandmom.

Age takes it’s toll on my confidence as I remember my youth. And the reality of it all hits me right in the heart.

Will I let the enemy of my soul win? Not today.

Today I will choose to speak truth to my soul. And I’m overwhelmed by God’s peace, calming my fears and offering me His love and forgiveness.

Why do I need to forgive myself? What did I do? Nothing. Age is a natural process.

What can I do to get my mind off of this birthday? Read, write, cook, clean, or pray?

I also choose to reject the negative thoughts piercing my heart and mind. Instead, I will embrace the truth.

I will extend grace to myself. I will remind myself that Lord is with me. And this promise brings peace to my soul.

So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16 ESV)

As I look in the mirror again, I remember all of the blessings that the Lord has given me over the years. And those memories remind me of the blessings of motherhood—a son, a daughter, a son-in-law, a daughter-in-law, and seven wonderful grandchildren.

And my firstborn just turned 45!

Do you have any tips about growing old gracefully?

Sifting and Winnowing

Lessons in Life and Work

My heart pounded as I braved my re-entry into my writing space. I simply did not want to work on another uninspired blog post. Why, I didn’t know. But I knew I needed to identify the source of my resistance to what I’m passionate about—writing.

Image/KarenJordan

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Staying on Course

When You're Tempted to Quit

I failed to consider the length of the trail when I started walking it.

Temptations and expectations. I had hoped that a two-mile, brisk walk along a wooded path overlooking a beautiful golf course near my home would clear the cobweb of worry from my mind. 

Instead, my impulsive, adventuresome nature ignored the signpost, describing this four-mile loop through the challenging hills and valleys in Central Arkansas.

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Impossibilites

5 Spiritual Truths

Photo/TaraRossSometimes God leads us to do the impossible.

As I waited for the sunrise to go for my walk, it started raining. I thought, Oh, no! If I don’t go for a walk now, I won’t get to go at all today!

Simple problems. Sometimes even the simplest challenge can seem impossible at the moment. I also realize that my emotions can cause me to exaggerate my problems at times.

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Are You Listening . . . Really Listening?

Four Tips to Improve Your Listening Skills

I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen. ~Ernest Hemingway

How important is listening to you? How do you know what someone wants or needs if you don’t listen carefully to them?

Consider these four ways to improve your listening skills.

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Six Promises When Words Fail Us

Help, Hope, Assurance, Peace, Confidence, and Rest

What do we do when we don’t know what to say or pray?

Where can we find the words to express our thoughts and emotions?

What can we do when life places us in unbearable circumstances? Where can we go? Who do we run to? What should we cling to when we’re drowning in a sea of our sorrows? And what can we advise others who may be walking through a difficult life crisis?

As a writer, my words often fail me when I don’t know how to respond to a difficult issue. And when a friend or family member faces a tragic loss or painful failure, mere words seem inadequate to express my emotions and concerns.

Now, after surviving many trials and crises in my own life, I do know who to turn to when a crisis hits close to home. And I know who I can cling to when I’m overwhelmed by confusion and doubt. I have discovered peace and rest in a storm.

Are you searching for the words to express your thoughts or your faith? God’s Word offers us the promises we need to encourage others.

  1. Help. The Lord promises to help us when we don’t know what to say or pray. “… the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Rom 8:26 NIV).
  2. Hope. The Holy Spirit offers promises of hope, even if we never understand why these things happen. “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom 15:13 NLT).
  3. Assurance. God’s Word provides the assurance that Jesus will bear our grief and carry our sorrows. “He suffered the things we should have suffered. He took on himself the pain that should have been ours” (Is 53:4 NIRV).
  4. Peace. God’s Word can speak peace to the storm ravaging our dreams. And He promises to throw us the lifeline of His Word. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7 NIV).
  5. Confidence. We can have the confidence to know that in Christ, we will survive. And we can expect Him to provide the power we need to overcome any circumstance in our life if we trust Him with the situation. Healing and hope for the future can be found in Him. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14).
  6. Rest. In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus said, “Come to me, all who are tired from carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. Place my yoke over your shoulders, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble. Then you will find rest for yourselves because my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (NOG).

Show, don’t (just) tell! As you tell others of your faith, don’t forget the power of your story. As we share our own faith stories, we invite others to see, feel, and experience what we have experienced.

Are you facing a loss, a failure, a decision, or some other difficult situation?

I pray these promises from God’s Word will also give hope to you and others who may be suffering under a heavy burden.

Remember, the Lord knows your needs—even better than you do. He understands. And He wants to assure you of His presence right now and in all the days of your life.

How has God’s Word helped you through a difficult situation or as you responded to someone else in crisis?