Living While You Wait

March 21, 2023|Uncategorized|

    Do you feel like you are in a holding pattern, like a plane trying to land at a busy airport when the skies are congested? Circling, using up fuel, the view obscured by clouds, making little progress toward the next phase of your journey? As I began writing this, my daughter-in-law was six days past the due date for their second child. She veered between trying to control the uncontrollable with acupuncture appointments and castor oil, tears of frustration, and savoring her family of three before it became a family of four. Anticipating the ordeal of labor and --->

Are You Feeling Compassion Fatigue?

February 22, 2023|Uncategorized|

Do you sometimes feel like you lack compassion? Much as we would like to turn the page on problems when we enter a new year, they persist. In the context of unrelenting challenges, you’ll sometimes see the phrase “compassion fatigue.” Compassion fatigue is a myth. It’s much more likely we’re experiencing empathy fatigue. While we often use the terms interchangeably, compassion and empathy are different. We know from neuroscience that they reside in distinct areas of the brain. Empathy is feeling with which helps us understand why—when we are bombarded by suffering—we can become overwhelmed and exhausted. Empathy takes us --->

Making Challenging Decisions

November 8, 2022|Uncategorized|

How do you feel about decision-making? Would you rather eat jello salad on Thanksgiving than be stuck trying to decide among options? Or, are you “decisive” by nature—someone who readily chooses and moves on? I typically fall into the “decisive” category. But as I’ve been contemplating a complex situation over the past month, I’ve realized that there’s a category of decisions that can stymie most of us. I call it the “Should I stay or should I go?” category. These decisions arise in relationships, organizations, vocations, ministries, and spiritual communities—the most important contexts of our lives. If we are wondering --->

Support for Times When You’re Overwhelmed

October 26, 2022|Uncategorized|

Is anyone out there feeling overwhelmed? Are there more tasks on your list than hours in the day? Maybe some important relationships are challenging. Or you are grieving the loss of a loved one. I could fill this post with all of the ways life is hard. I hope you’re feeling supported in your struggles. But sometimes, when you courageously reach out for comfort, the response you get leaves you feeling even more discouraged. Jesus offers hurting people companionship, wisdom, and rest. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my --->

How to Navigate Transitions

August 29, 2022|Uncategorized|

How do you feel about transitions? Life is full of them, but that doesn’t mean we enthusiastically embrace them. Transitions—planned or unplanned, chosen or imposed upon us—provoke various responses from our internal family. Transitions include routine events, like returning to work after vacation, milestone events like launching a child into college or yourself into a new endeavor, and unexpected (unwelcome) events like illness or the death of loved ones. What transition are you navigating? Have you noticed waves of different emotions and thoughts pinballing through your mind? These are reactions of your internal family members to change. Some will be --->

How to Heal from Loss

May 29, 2022|Uncategorized|

There is so much loss, so much to grieve. Unrelenting waves of tragic news—deaths from Covid surpassing one million, unprovoked brutality in Ukraine, racist hatred, children gunned down in their classrooms, religious leaders hiding abuse behind hypocrisy. All of this communal loss on top of your other losses. How do you deal with the pain? How do you heal? There are no predictable stages leading in a straight line to resolution and restoration. But there is a process, a practice that supports you through the pain. The tasks required in a season of grief engage your entire inner family. They --->

A Process for Making Decisions

April 28, 2022|Uncategorized|

Are you teetering on the edge, wondering if you should commit—or recommit? I love to ski. It’s the only activity where I push limits and take risks. Last week I stood at the top of a steep run deciding whether I was up to the challenge. Once I point my skis downhill, there’s no turning back. Do my legs have enough juice in them to navigate the terrain? At this speed, one misjudgment, and you’re tumbling. Is anyone around in case I fall? Check. Check. The snow beckoned. My heart pounding, I turned the skis, shifted my weight forward, and --->

You Have the Resources You Need

March 28, 2022|Uncategorized|

Are you wondering if it’s possible to restore calm and hopefulness in the face of unrelenting challenges? Navigating changes you didn’t choose—in your relationships, at work, at church, in the world—provokes chaos inside. Emotions veer from anger to grief to anxiety. Brief gasps of air punctuate a pervasive sense of drowning. Your body fluctuates between being primed for action and the heaviness of bone-deep resignation. It’s time to shift from being in the storm to be with the parts of you who are overwhelmed by circumstances. You have what they need. The fearful, despairing members of your internal family have --->

Believing You’re Beloved

February 23, 2022|Uncategorized|

You know you’re beloved, but you don’t feel beloved. No matter how many times you return to favorite verses for reassurance, you have a nagging sense that God’s unconditional love does not extend to you. You believe it for others, but not consistently for yourself. What’s blocking your ability to receive God’s love? To feel deeply, utterly beloved? The answer to one of your most perplexing questions requires understanding yourself in a new way – understanding God’s design for you and understanding how life experiences shape you. You are created in the image of God, who is multiple. Have you --->

How to Cope with Unending Overwhelm

January 23, 2022|Uncategorized|

Are you one of the many people wondering what’s so “new” about the New Year? Oh, that’s right. There’s a new variant. The overwhelm, however, feels all too familiar. You’re tired of juggling work and school or daycare closures. Maybe your job requires a lot of contact with the public, or you feel isolated working from home. You miss planning social activities without wondering if someone will think you’re spreading the virus or not taking the risk seriously. Navigating the challenges is exhausting. Naggingly persistent anxiety simmers in your system through all of the big and small decisions this context --->

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