The Waves of Faith

We were supposed to be in Costa Rica today, enjoying a trip my husband won at work. You still can’t count on travel yet. The timing would have been an extra gift because we celebrated our 28th anniversary a few days ago. Measuring years is strange because it can feel like only the number changes. Well, OK, the outside everyone else sees changes, too. I feel the same inside. In that amount of time married, we’ve obviously experienced the natural ebb and flow of love, contentment and patience. While ours is a good marriage, it isn’t always bliss. That’s normal for relationships, and since I’ve been in a relationship with God 36 years—I can tell you there are ups and click to continue reading…

Analyzing the Average Four–The Imaginative Aesthete

January is nearing the end and I feel like I did ok with my new year plans. I’m curious, so please share how you fared with your January goals—but I know some people are vehemently against making resolutions. Generally, I do what I feel like doing, and I don’t judge myself too harshly if I don’t make it. Translation: rules are for other people. Resolutions and goals can be really painful for personality types who can’t stand failure or who need to be in the right. (I’m talking to you, Enneagram Ones. I think if you’re an Eight you don’t make a rule, you just do it in your strength.) Don’t read condescension into my tone; it isn’t there. Some click to continue reading…

Did I just say that out loud to myself?

Years ago I had a misadventure with a crown on my tooth. You never want to hear a dentist say, “Oops,” when he has the knuckles of both hands inside your mouth. I originally attributed my respect for the dentist who finally fixed my tooth to his professional courtesy. (He’s still my dentist.) I often wondered if competent or secure people just aren’t threatened and don’t need to point out lack in others. I wouldn’t know. Heather Thomson Day writes in It’s Not Your Turn, about a communication concept where maligning another person transfers those traits back on to you in your listener’s mind. She says the stress hormones created during negative talk increases anxiety and irritability (in both you click to continue reading…

We need to talk

Last year, a couple whom I love dearly asked to sit with me and speak about how my stance on certain topics has affected them. Preparation for that meeting was stressful and chaotic. I’m not sure I presented my best self during the discussion, but it has been worth it. Intimacy cannot survive without painful discussions. Relationships sometimes can, but they will lose depth. Have you ever needed to bring a difficult subject up with someone? Whether you eagerly meet conflict head-on, or you avoid it to your own detriment—there are times when you must speak with someone. Approaching someone to convict them of sin Approaching someone to tell them how they’ve hurt you Approaching someone to confess your own click to continue reading…

And they’ll know we are Christians by…

I wrote and erased a half-dozen intros today. It’s hard to tolerate all the noise lately. But this is what’s on my heart, and it’s for believers only. There was a song we sang more than 20 years ago in church. Now, I hear it in my head every time I see people holding signs in parking lots. I hear it during gossip or when people point out how one denomination believes, or doesn’t believe. I hear it chasing the hateful phrase “those gays.” I hear it loudest when the thoughts in my own mind are not love. It goes like this: “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they will know we are click to continue reading…