All posts filed under: Emotional health

61 | Breaking Perception’s power

In this podcast I want to talk about Breaking Perception’s Power or changing your perception of you. I was reading about a few interesting psychological studies that revealed the powerful hold that negative perceptions can have on people. It can be so strong that it even negatively impacts how well you can do things.

Exposing secret strongholds

At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, we had some unusually strong winds blowing through our city and province. It was a pounding and relentless wind that went on for several weeks. It was uncomfortable to even be outside and people wondered when the winds would stop blowing. During this time, I often went onto our deck, faced the wind, looked up at the open sky above our yard and played ‘Catch the Wind” by Bethel Music.  Sometimes, I would just stand facing the wind and praying. At other times, I would pick up my flags, dance and worship on the deck and blow my Shofar. (I am sure it had my neighbors wondering what is that?) In the Old Testament, as Israel marched around the city of Jericho, a natural stronghold in the Promised Land, the Shofar was sounded to announce God’s victory and the pulling down of Jericho’s walls. I play my Shofar with the same expectation of victory. But the Bible also talks about spiritual strongholds that need to be pulled down …

A better way?

“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” (1 Corinthians 12:31) Strong’s Greek Dictionary defines “way” in this verse as a road or a journey: A way – (Strong’s Greek 3598 – A way, road, journey, path. Apparently a primary word; a road; by implication, a progress; a mode or means This verse is talking about the specific journey that God has for all of us. The first step is learning to love ourselves because we were created in the image of God and that means we cannot hate or despise ourselves. How can we love others while hating ourselves? This verse also talks about the many gifts God gives His children to serve Him. We serve God best when we embrace our unique gifts and talents that have been given for us to serve this world.  Each one of has a purpose that we can step into and live out our journey through life. This verse has been ringing in my ears these past months because life’s …

Entering the void

If you are like me, you want the comfortableness of certainty in your life. And over these past few months that has been completely shattered, I have said ‘we will get through this’ to myself and others too many times. Often, when we enter a desert time, familiarity is stripped away and uncertainty becomes our ‘new normal’. This season has several names, the unknown, the void or the desert. Yes, we can get through this, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that things will be better. It may also be different from what you were expecting. If you are counting on certainty, this fleeting hope could ruin your life. There is a risk that comes with living and instead of constantly fighting it, we need to go with it. It’s the tension of the unknown and realizing that nothing is for certain that keeps us alert and alive. This is where God’s grace needs to become our ‘new normal.’  Getting through these times, requires us to recognize the tension that grace holds for us. Grace holds …

What being easily offended says about you

The writer of Proverbs describes a person, who is not easily offended by what others say about them, as being a person of glory: A man’s discretion makes him slow to anger,And it is his glory to overlook a transgression. (Proverbs 19:11) Notice how the writer says that it is a person’s glory to overlook a transgression. In other words, the ability to overlook an offence says a lot about who you are. According to Terri Cole, my favourite on-line therapist, being offended is an ego response to what someone says to you or about you. You cannot control what others say or think about you. What matters is what you think in your heart about you! Being easily offended, means you are allowing others to define who you are. When you get offended by what they say, you are giving their words more importance than what you think about yourself or what God says about you. Cole says an ego-offended state also perpetuates a victim mentality which disempowers you and redirects your focus off …

Dealing with the fear of the unknown

Fear of the unknown can overwhelm us and impact our body, mind and spirit in unhealthy ways as we start obsessively worrying about the future, which some refer to it as “future tripping.” The actual purpose of fear is to signal our brain that there is potential for danger or death telling us to ‘fight, flee or freeze.’ Though there is benefit to it, that changes to negative when we are consumed by prolonged bouts of fear. Psychotherapist Terri Cole, who has worked with women for 20 years, states that we must be aware of the psychological, emotional and physical cost to walking around in a constant, heightened state of fear. She says being on constant alert is not good for you and can even compromise your immune system. Exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, brain fog and depression are all symptoms that your nervous system is being overloaded by fear. And if this describes you, it may also suggest this pandemic is exposing deeper emotional issues and trauma in your life, that you have been carrying around …

Standing in Faith Against the Storm

Often during the past few weeks, I have felt fear and uncertainty rise up within me. During these times, I made a firm decision not to succumb to fear, and as soon as I did that, something changed and life suddenly felt lighter and brighter in our living room where I was standing. As I stepped forward and envisioned myself on a beach with waves rising and building on the waters before me, I was reminded of Christ’s words, “Peace to you!” Shortly after the Lord’s crucifixion, the disciples had locked themselves in a room for fear of the Jews and the uncertain times they were in. Jesus appeared in their midst saying: “Peace to you! As the Father has sent me, I also send you.’ And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’”  John 20:21-22 The Hebrew word for spirit in the Old Testament is ‘ruach’ and it means ‘air in motion.’ The same word is translated ‘breath’ and life’. When talking about the Holy Spirit, Jesus …

Staying on your side of the street

When I talk about  ‘staying on your side of the street,’ I am not referring to social-distancing that we are seeing worldwide with the ‘coronavirus pandemic.’ I am referring to a ‘pandemic’ of my own making, where the actions and opinions of others sends me spiraling into anger, fear, confusion and doubt about my own abilities.  And, even as scientists are working on a vaccine for the present ‘coronavirus’ threat, I am very aware of my need to become immune to my personal pandemic, where I require validation from others to feel good about myself. One of the symptoms of this disease is that I become negative or depressed when someone says something that offends or degrades me. If I allow their words to affect my life then I have the ‘validation virus.’ The ‘validation virus’ occurs when I lack confidence in my myself and find myself deeply affected by what others say. Because I have failed to validate myself as a person of worth created in the image and likeness of God, then others …

Are fear and worry weighing you down?

I was at a seminar several years back, and they wanted to show us how much negative thinking affects us. Each of us were told to hold our arms out from our side and then have someone try to push our arm down while we resisted. Most of us put up a good fight, but then we were told to have that person push down our arms while were thinking negative thoughts about ourselves. It could be anything from rehearsing past failures to thinking about how stupid we were. We all immediately noticed how much physically weaker we were when we thought negatively about ourselves. And, although our thoughts don’t hold an actual physical weight, scientists say that negative thoughts ‘weigh’ on your brain in the same way that repeated movements tire your muscles. Negativity and worry have ‘energy costs’ that can tire out our neurons, that are the physical carriers of our thoughts. As a result, we feel a ‘heaviness’ because of the emotional drain on our brain and its neurons. Negative thinking and …

How to plant the right seeds in your mind

“ As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 According to this powerful verse in Proverbs, the thoughts we think determine what kind of life we live. In every moment of life, your thoughts impact you for good or bad. And as we journey through life we will have many opportunities to change our way of thinking. The story of Gideon shows us the importance of right-thinking. He was living at a difficult time when the Midianites were invading Israel during harvest time and stealing their crops after the Israelis had spent hours harvesting them. We find Gideon hiding in the wine press threshing his grain. He was hoping the Midianites would not look there because grain and wine were harvested at different times. Then an angel showed up to talk with Gideon, and two words immediately stick out. The angel called Gideon a “mighty warrior” (Judges 6:12). Now it was obvious that Gideon did not think himself a mighty warrior because he was hiding from the Midianites. But those two …

Obeying the ‘do not enter’ signs

I was talking with a friend at a Christmas party last year, and we both recognized our need for healthy boundaries and wished we had understood this principle sooner as we could have avoided some unpleasant experiences. Healthy boundaries are vital because they help keep us on track with the important things in our lives. We both agreed at times, we had given more attention to the needs of others than we did to our families and personal needs. And out of my friend’s mouth came the final answer that I needed to secure everything I had been learning about boundaries.  She said maybe this is what ‘entering the narrow gate’ means because the Bible talks about how easy it is to take the broad path and how hard or difficult it is to take the narrow path: “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it.” Matthew 7: 12 -13 I sincerely believe the path to life is choosing …

Turning over the tables in your heart

“You shall know the truth and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 The Bible tells us that the truth will set us free and for some a radical transformation can take place, as they are instantaneously delivered from addictions and unhealthy lifestyles upon putting their faith in Christ. Then there is the rest of us, who for whatever reason, don’t see a similar thing happening. Sometimes this is because we haven’t fully faced up to the truth about ourselves. This verse suggests there may be unpleasant things that we need to find out about ourselves before we can change. Over the past five years, I have developed a checklist made up of three questions that I ask myself every so often to expose the truth: Am I playing the victim card? Am I blaming someone else for my failure? Do I need to forgive someone? Why do I ask myself these three questions? The reason is that I am the only one ultimately responsible for my well-being. I can’t change what other people …

Time to quit reliving the past

The start of a New Year is usually a time we look ahead at things we want to achieve. This year is particularly significant because it is also the start of a new decade. But studies show that 92% of us fail to achieve our New Year’s resolutions, and I believe it is because we are going about it all wrong. In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul talks about an important key to achieving future goals in life: “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13 First understand it is a process. Success won’t happen immediately. Paul was considered by many to be the greatest apostle of the early church, yet despite all he achieved, Paul said that he hadn’t fully attained everything God had for him. We are on a journey. There will be good days and …

Embrace your journey

Sadly, for many years I believed that my purpose was tied into some far off destination that was going to drop into my lap someday. And, I stumbled over my wondering and worrying about what my purpose was and what my goals should be to help me accomplish whatever my purpose was. Even though I was married, had a family and worked part-time, I somehow excluded all this from being part of my purpose in life. Therefore discovering my purpose in life was on hold. It had to be on hold because I did not have the time nor energy to pursue anything else.  My hands were quite full. Then I made the fatal mistake of comparing myself to other women, who worked, had families and were in leadership roles in their community and accomplishing great things while successfully raising their kids and supporting their husbands. As former US President Teddy Roosevelt once quipped,  “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Comparing myself to these women caused me to stumble over what was right in front …

It’s up to you, not them

Christmas is often the time of year when unhealthy feelings towards others are exposed and maybe it’s the pressure of the season that makes these ‘triggers’ more volatile. Lately I have been developing clear principles to follow when ‘I am offended.’ How to forgive and keeping myself in the mindset of ‘forgiveness’ often eludes me.  For me, it has to be simple, as my mind grasps concepts best when they are easy to remember.  First, I needed to get a grip on my ‘trigger’ moments when I find myself suddenly engulfed in waves of emotions that carry me to places where I don’t want to go. Fundamentally, forgiving is a choice we make to step forward and away from the feelings that hold us hostage to the unhealthy energies of anger, bitterness, resentment and offense.  One key principle that has helped me immensely this past week has been allowing myself to feel the emotions and acknowledge each one as they roll around in my life. It doesn’t do us any good to stifle what we …

The ‘Act’ of Forgiveness

How do we forgive? I seem to have forgotten because this past week I was triggered twice and found myself engulfed by emotions that had not been there 30 seconds before the incidents.  And, I struggled by first reacting and then instinctively trying to push the thoughts out of my mind. I knew I needed to forgive and wanted to forgive but the angry thoughts swirled in my mind and the more I tried to get rid of them, the more they kept resurfacing. It was out of control, and I was not handling things well as I spouted off to my husband how I felt. I thought I knew better and also believed I could handle these unexpected triggers. But obviously, I was wrong. I immediately recognized that my emotions had a hold on me and were pulling me into an unhealthy state of mind. I asked myself, who was in charge at this moment? Well, it obviously wasn’t me. The Bible talks about our need to forgive, because our Heavenly Father knows that …

The difference between giving and pleasing

Recently, a group of women met in my home for a time of fellowship and  the topic of our conversation was about the difference between giving and pleasing. I started out by asking this question: Is there a difference between giving and pleasing? Some thought there was a difference, while others looked puzzled. In my life, I did not understand that there was a difference between the two, because they both look the same on the outside. But there is big difference as they each come from a different motivation of the heart and knowing the difference will help us put in place the proper boundaries that we need to stay on track with our priorities and what is really important to us.  I remember years ago, when my kids were still in high school, receiving a vision or mental picture of my life. I was holding a basket of flowers in my hand as I was walking on a beach covered in small to medium-sized stones.  As I walked down this beach I was …

Getting a grip on our value to God

For years, I have struggled with this verse in the Bible: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.’” Matthew 16:24 I interpreted this verse to mean that if you saw someone in need, you were to drop what you were doing and take care of their needs first, even if there was something important you were doing. In other words, that other person’s need was more important than my needs, or the needs of my family. I thought living this way would make me a happier and more joyful person because back in my day JOY meant — Jesus, Others and You — in that order!  But years of functioning this way did not produce joy in my life and in fact it became ugly. Between working my part-time job that included shift work, caring for my family and serious health issues, I continued to step over my needs, and the needs of my family, to encourage and help …

Your secrets hold you back

Our secrets keep us in the dark and hold us back from truly being who God wants us to be. We can’t truly shine in the world when our secrets repeatedly drag us down and even restrict us from moving forward in our lives.  The shame and guilt wrapped around these secrets keep us in hiding. Sure, we can wiggle around a bit and shuffle forward, but then end up taking two steps backwards because the power of an untold secret or sin keeps us glued to one spot. This is why the Bible talks about confessing our sins to one another. Because what holds us back is the fear that others will find out and Satan uses that to keep us hiding in the dark: “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. “ James 5:16 NLT This verse says that even though we have confessed our sin to God, it is in our best interests to tell at least one person our secret sin …

My biggest struggle

My greatest struggle over the years has been never feeling quite ‘good enough’ for anything, sports, art classes or trying out for the school musical. I suspect there are a few faces that cross your mind when I talk about women we have compared ourselves to over the years. Even as I talk about this subject, names and images of girls I compared my self over the years are popping up in my mind. I was never good enough to be included in the popular circle of girls who had it all together.  Where their looks landed a leading role in every musical, made every basketball team, and also attracted the most popular girls and guys to their social circles. My main nemesis was Susie who had different names over the years, but she was always there and I always compared myself to her no matter how often her face changed. Picture yourself caught in a mousetrap, and you are that mouse struggling to get out of the trap. This image gives us a clear …

What is the strongest thought you have about yourself?

What is the strongest thought that you have of yourself and what thoughts are rolling around in the back of your mind supporting it? Over the past years the strongest thoughts and opinions that I had of myself was that I couldn’t do anything and I had all sorts of excuses: There was the comparison trap. Susie was better at this than me. In fact, almost everyone was more capable and gifted than me and comparing myself to them just made things worse. I don’t have everything together in my life right now to tackle this. I thought I needed to be perfect, before I could accomplish anything. There has been too much struggle and rejection. If others don’t think I have what it takes, then who am I to think I can. I keep trying, but people keep getting in my way. I can’t do this anymore.  In my mind I was never enough or up for the challenge. Comparing myself to others and being directed by other’s rejection is what defined me.    Everything …

Where are your thoughts taking you?

My greatest struggle over the years has been that deep-rooted feeling that I was ‘not good enough.’ Feeling and believing this way led me to some very unhealthy places. I became lethargic and allowed circumstances to roll over me because I believed I was a door mat. People were always going to wipe their feet on me, because that’s who I was. Because I was thinking I wasn’t good enough, it brought along feelings that I can’t do this. I have failed before, so I will probably fail again. The mind is the battlefield, and your life is always moving in the direction of your strongest thoughts. You become who you think you are. The Bible says that as a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). In other words, our thinking becomes our reality. If you believe you are a victim, always blaming outside circumstances, you will stay a victim. Yet the power to change is inside you, but if you believe it isn’t, then you are trapped. When your mind is consumed by …

Denying yourself doesn’t mean depriving yourself

It began in a very difficult season of my life several years back. My physical health was deteriorating and my emotional and mental well-being was in a dark, downward spiral.  Tough circumstances at work and hurtful accusations that sent me reeling kept me emotionally drained and teetering on despair. How could this be happening to me?  It was the worst of times but ended up being the best because out of those dark, depressing days came some extraordinary changes in my life. While people were beating me down, God started the process of changing the way I thought of myself as these difficulties revealed the fragile, wavering opinion I had of myself.  I believed that I wasn’t good at anything. The gift in these painful circumstances was my desperation and after saying no to several opportunities to get help during that difficult period, I finally said yes and took a course that woke me up. At this course, I heard things like you need to love and value yourself. People were telling me that the …

Study suggests that women who bottle up anger have a higher risk of a stroke

According to researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, feeling resentful or bottling up your anger may result in an increased risk of stroke for women. Strokes occur when plaque build up in arteries results in a reduction of blood flow to the brain as the arteries narrow. An additional contributor is Atherosclerosis that occurs when chunks of plaque break away increasing the potential of a blockage. According to the Daily Mail, that reported on the study, strokes are the third highest cause of death in America and fourth highest in England Women are also more vulnerable to strokes than men and struggle with recovery when strokes do occur. In their study, the researchers analyzed 304 non-smoking women between the ages of 40 and 60. They asked them a series of questions that included if they tended to put other people’s needs first over their own and if they were likely to express their true feelings about a situation. The researchers then did ultra sounds on the women’s arteries and discovered that women who did not …

Is it time to step into your dream?

I am a fairly optimistic person and at times ideas flood my mind and I have said to myself and others “anything is possible.” I feel a dream rising in me like a bubble and I can’t stop it! It’s just there! When these thoughts overtake me, I find myself incredibly happy!  The ideas and the possibilities are endless. This is what energizes me and propels me forward.  Over the years dreams and desires have stirred within me only to be overtaken by work, family, health etc. But, the Bible tells us: “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.  It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.” Hebrews 6:19 Hope is the confident expectation of what God has promised and its strength is in His faithfulness. Although my desires and dreams have been dampened and squashed at times, over the years they continually resurfaced and reminded me that they haven’t gone away. I believe these desires and dreams, that refuse to leave, are often put there by God. It’s …

What it means to go the extra mile

For years my life revolved around how people hurt and wronged me but the light has recently been turned on exposing areas where I may have offended or hurt others in the past.  As God revealed this to me, I have done my best to make amends and it has been hard work. It’s never easy admitting that I was the one who erred, and I was the one doing the offending. It is all about going that “extra mile” in our Christian walk. Though the phrase going the extra mile is in our modern vernacular, in fact it has a Biblical root and comes from a statement Jesus said to His disciples: “If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. “ (Matthew 5:41) In this verse, Jesus was describing the practice of “impressment” that was common at that time. According to Roman law, any Roman soldier could order a Jewish civilian to carry the soldier’s baggage, often his heavy armor, for one Roman mile  (1.45 km). Obviously, the Jews …

Ferdelance Pit Viper

Venom or victory

It has become clear to me that forgiveness is a practice.  It is something you just do when you recognize resentment, anger or even hatred building in your life towards another person. Each of us must come to that place where we recognize that these symptoms debilitate and dis-empower us from becoming the best version of ourselves for the glory of God.  Forgiveness is not about the other person, it is always about what is best for you. When we are bitten by the venomous snake of unforgiveness, it sucks out our potential and purpose. Left unchecked, its poison will travel through the veins to our heart and once there we lose sight of everything that is important to us. The people we love end up getting contaminated by this venomous reptile, as we slither around with a forked tongue spewing and releasing venom onto our loved ones. Forgiveness needs to become a practice in our lives. We need to determine in advance, when offended we will forgive.  Sometimes it won’t be easy and will …

Breathing life into your dry bones

How far can you go without breathing? In reality, you are breathing but sometimes it feels like you have stopped breathing or does it feel more like your living in the valley of dry bones where numbness has set in and you are clattering through the day just barely surviving? If I pay attention in these moments I notice that my breathing is shallow and I wonder if at times I have actually been holding my breath. I suspect that is exactly what happens as I lose myself in the course of my day full of  ‘to do lists.’ And, I am sure this happens to many of us. There is a small group of women who meet regularly on my deck to do some gentle stretching.  Each of us has tightness issues, and we have greatly benefited from this weekly routine. Sometimes between stretches we lay on our backs and notice our breathing and listen to the birds singing in the yard. Often during these times a gentle breeze will blow over us like …

Can anger be a road map to a better life?

Anger is a powerful emotion and can pull us into situations we are not prepared to deal with.  We are not in control. Anger can map out a direction and lifestyle we did not ask for or want.  It just takes us there! We get angry about relationships and our circumstances at home or work. But anger can quickly get out of control. It is like an anchor attached to a rope that slips out of our hands before we can get a good grip on it. Now a lot of Christians think it is a sin to be angry. But the Apostle Paul says that we can be angry and not sin: 26 “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, (Ephesians 4:26 NKV) Anger is an emotion and sometimes things happen that are clearly unfair or simply wrong, and we are allowed to get angry. But we must catch the last part of this verse when Paul says don’t stay angry. Don’t let the sun go …

Struggling to free yourself from the web of comparison

Español: Luchando para liberarnos de las redes de la comparación I think we say sorry to often. Others may not like your opinion, but provided you weren’t harsh or mean in what you said, there is no reason to apologize. Yet many of us apologize for the silliest things.  Stop saying sorry for no real reason. Ask yourself if you really need to apologize or are those words another way of belittling yourself? Save your apology for the real stuff when you have really blown it and now you have to own it.  Do it when you want to run and hide or avoid acknowledging the mistake you made. That’s when you apologize and say those words, I’m sorry. But along with this we need to train ourselves to stop saying I’m sorry for things we are not responsible for which is also backwards. So why do we do this? We need to understand the root of our apologizing for everything may have been deeply ingrained in us from childhood. It is often rooted in …

Breaking free from the chains of regret

Many of us are weighed down by regrets from the past and the longer we stay chained to these regrets, the harder it is to break free from them.  We lose our freedom in Christ because holding onto past regrets links us up to self-condemnation and self- hatred. The Bible says that in Christ we are freed from all condemnation (Romans 8:1) and there is also no separation from the love of God (Romans 8:38-39). We must learn to love ourselves in the same way God loves us. The longer we hold on to this chain and refuse to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and failures, the heavier the chain becomes. So how do we free ourselves from these chains that weigh so heavily upon us, that they almost take our breath away at times? It starts by accepting the fact that we all make mistakes. It is part of being human.  And then forgiving ourselves if needed. If we don’t, it will inevitably lead to condemnation. Lana Vawser, a prophet and teacher, says it’s …

Are you infected with the ‘disease to please’?

There are many physical diseases in this world and in the spiritual realm there is one particular disease that will kill, destroy and eat you up in a very short time. The ‘disease to please’ ruled my life for many years and if I have learned anything, repeatedly putting the wants and needs of others before my own leads to spiritual death that sucks the joy and peace right out of you. Why? Because many of us misunderstand what Christ meant when He said “deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me.” Somewhere along the way our minds twisted the truth of Christ’s words. And as we misinterpret Christ’s command to deny ourselves an infection sets in, and we easily fall into the trap of gaining peoples’ approval through our actions. The infection is called people-pleasing. We start to believe that other people matter more than we do and that we are to live humble, service-orientated lives because what we want doesn’t matter. Geri Scazzero is a pastor’s wife and in her book …

Stepping out of the swamp of shame

Guilt and shame are emotions we deal with all the time and it is wise for us to understand the difference between the two. Guilt can have a positive influence in our lives. When we feel guilty about what we are doing it motivates us to change. It encourages us to reconcile with those we have hurt or offended. There is also a redemptive quality as we seek God’s forgiveness. But shame is different. It does not want to change you; it wants to beat you down. It keeps bringing up your failures and weaknesses again and again. Its sole goal is to humiliate you. Shame tries to define who you are. Even after we have asked God to forgive us, shame keeps shaking our sin and failure in front of us. Unlike God, it doesn’t want you to forget your past, because it is screaming in our face how bad we are. Shame isolates us and keeps us hooked up with feelings of being unworthy or never good enough. We believe there has always …

Happy Mother’s Day or not?

Are you like my sister who recently posted that she celebrates Mother’s Day the day after when all the hype, cards and running around has settled down?  Truly Mother’s Day for many is the day after. Apparently, the woman who first started Mother’s Day, Anna Jarvis, did it as a memorial ceremony to honor her mother and all mothers at Andrew’s Methodist Episcopal Church on May 10, 1908. After hearing about this, in 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day as a national holiday to honor mothers on the second Sunday in May. In the end, Jarvis resented the commercialization that quickly surrounded the Mother’s Day celebration and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. For my sister, who lost a son to suicide 15 years ago, Mother’s Day is a day for her to just get through. I know she struggles with feelings of inadequacy, guilt and shame that try to wrap themselves around her at times. For many, when Mother’s Day rolls around we …

Turning back the tide of fear and doubt

During this past week I recognized that something had changed and shifted in my life. And although at times I felt some uncertainty and doubt about the new direction I was taking as I threw off the fears and doubt that ruled my life, I knew that my position had changed, my perspective on life had shifted. Yes, there were some backlashes as I walked through the wall of fear that controlled my life, but now I am taking authority over the doubts and fear that seemingly rise out of nowhere, like a wave wanting to wash over me. Yesterday, I decided to stand my ground and the phrase, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and blow your house down” literally came to mind. Though the nursery story has the powerful wolf trying to blow down the piggy’s straw house, I sensed that God was telling me to reverse that story. We have authority. We have power in God and that satan’s attacks of fear and doubt are made of straw. We have the power to …