I spend a fair amount of time in airports and on airplanes. On almost every trip, someone inevitably asks me what I do for a living. I generally want to answer, “It’s complicated.” There should be a special club for those of us in indescribable vocations. In the last year I have settled on, “I’m a trauma therapist. I specialize in the intersection of faith and mental health.”
I notice that my dog has a higher tolerance for emotions than I do.
He is a labradoodle, seventy pounds of love and complete unawareness of personal space. He makes himself strangely available when I am sad, when I am anxious, when I am irritable, and when the world is too much and I need some fur to hold on to.
Discover your wide breadth of emotions as a gift from the Creator in Heidi Goehmann’s latest book, Emotions and the Gospel. Read an excerpt about how God created your emotions to be good (even the so-called bad ones) and to mirror His own perfect emotions before creation’s fall to sin.
When my husband and I were first married, I made him a fleece pillow covered in a pattern of moose and trees. This pillow is one of the ugliest things we own. I have tried at length to get rid of it. I have set it in the donation pile. I have set it in the trash pile. I have tried to suggest it reside in his office. All to no avail.
This week we packed our two cars full of kids and dogs and clothes and moved across the country. Moving is destabilizing. Most of what you know is stripped away. You have to have your GPS for a trip to the grocery store. The schools are different. Your church is different. Your home is different. Your neighbors are different.
With or without a move, the world is destabilizing right now. Things seem different, in constant flux and change.
This post is adapted from Finding Hope: From Brokenness to Restoration by Heidi Goehmann.
The number one comment I hear from people about prayer is this: “If only I could pray like that.”
I think we often see the prayers we pray in church or that pour from our pastor’s mouth as “fancy” prayers. I admire lovely words, so on the one hand, I really appreciate prayers that use lovely words in such a way that they sound fancy, holy, and absolutely worthy of a God who is just that—very worthy. Fancy, prewritten prayers definitely have benefits. They keep us on a straight path so that we don’t end up saying something that contradicts God’s Word because we haven’t given it a thought ahead of time.
Last week I turned forty with much pomp and circumstance. My family treated me like royalty, sending me off on an adventure with my oldest daughter. My friends made detailed plans for restaurants and meet-ups. There was food and sunshine and praise and laughter involved. I was overwhelmed with gratitude.
If you are looking for a way to draw near to God in the new year, refreshing how you approach Him might be a good thing. Here are four very different approaches to some quiet or not-so-quiet time with our relational God.
One snowy December evening, three of the young adults from our congregation stopped over to visit . . . on a whim. Here is the beauty of a whim visit: it doesn’t leave time for me to consider whether I should clean the house, run to the grocery store, or even change the tablecloth. Whim Visits say, “I love you enough to have zero expectations. You don’t even have to let me in the house if you prefer.”