Lately, it's struck a chord with me when I hear people thanking God.  I'm not referring to the secular use of "Thank God," when it's used more as a cultural expression than meaning to address a deity.  I'm referring to situations when people truly mean to thank the Christian God.  Isn't it good to be grateful and acknowledge the one "from whom all blessings flow?"  Why, then, has it begun to unsettle me? Honestly, I can't exactly pinpoint what bothers me about it.  So, instead of writing [ continue reading ... ]

First of all: I hope my writing is not [all] about me.  Whatever I write, I write in the belief (and often knowledge) that I am not the only one who feels or thinks a certain way.  I write both for the people who feel and think similarly and to honestly share a perspective with those who don't.  I usually don't want to--or feel it necessary to--state an explicit list of my general personal beliefs. However, I realize the popularity of my posts about one of my topics--singleness and marriage--has [ continue reading ... ]

A few months ago, my counselor suggested we try a different approach.  During that particular session, we were discussing an instance that brought on a familiar feeling of abandonment, coupled with the belief that I will always care more about other people than they care about me.  My counselor directed me to address an empty chair as though I were talking to myself.  When I sat in my normal chair, I had to speak about the positive possibilities; when I sat in the opposite chair, I would [ continue reading ... ]

Our lives are in a constant state of change.  At certain times we are more aware of this than others.  Some people seek change, while others avoid it.  I would suspect most of us fall somewhere between the two extremes.  Regardless, change almost always involves mixed emotions.  In a world of sound bytes, 140-character status updates, and the busy fly-by "How are you?" it can be difficult to find validation in acknowledging those emotions, much less make space to feel them. Change often [ continue reading ... ]

Sometimes, life is hard.  I'm not talking about specifics parts of life being difficult, I mean just living is hard sometimes.  Getting up.  Getting dressed.  Getting to work on time.  Exercising.  Eating well.  Interacting with people.  Cleaning up after yourself. Times when living is hard can be really frustrating.  There is so much more we need to do in a day than the basics I just listed above.  When it takes great effort and discipline to just get ready in the morning, it can [ continue reading ... ]

I rarely use the word "depression" in my blog.  I reference emotional struggles.  I use words like "despondency" and "despair" and "darkness."  I avoid the word "depression," because it is a word that can mean many different things, and for many people, it has a stigma that would get in the way of considering what I have to say. Today, however, I am going to use the word.  The past few days, the media and people on social media have been throwing the word around with as much sensitivity [ continue reading ... ]

I finally had the chance to watch The LEGO Movie the other day.  I adored it.  I won't give anything away here (what I'm about to say is in the premise explained within the first few minutes of the movie), but the movie made me think about the way we're constantly seeking instructions for how to live our lives. In the movie, the main character lives in a perfectly ordered city, Bricksburg.  He and all of the other residents find out what to do every day by following instructions in an [ continue reading ... ]

I grew up in the mentality that there was a clear line between Christian and non-Christian.  Essentially, Christian=good, non-Christian=bad.  These adjectives applied to all kinds of things: Movies, music, books, organizations, and yes... people. When non-Christians seemed to do good things, then, we were met with this strange dilemma: How could someone who didn't know Jesus be good?  I would imagine people who do not identify as Christians would be somewhat bewildered that we even asked [ continue reading ... ]

  A friend once asked her mother about the cultural expectation that men hold open doors for women.  After all, women are perfectly capable of opening a door for themselves (or for men, for that matter).  Her mother's response threw out the cultural expectations and got to the point: "All people hold all doors for all people." Some expectations are so ingrained within us we rarely question why we have them and whether they're good or helpful.  I am not going to comment much on the particulars [ continue reading ... ]

Dearest Readers, I want to take a few moments to introduce you to my new website and to thank some lovely people.  First, a few notes and introductions: My new website address is sliversofhope.com. If you visit the old address, you'll be automatically directed to the new site. All of my "old" posts have been transferred to the new site, so you can still read them as you please. All of my e-mail subscribers were transferred over, too, so if you were receiving e-mails before, you should [ continue reading ... ]