This is a beautiful story!
This is a beautiful story!
So the used car shopping is quite the experience. Thankfully we were not rushed to make a decision. We waited for the right car and after the first two months of car ownership, Jamie still loves it. God came through and I am very thankful.
I wanted to document our resources in case we ever have to do this again:
My brother pointed us to kkb.com which is the Kelly Blue Book site. That was very helpful and also carcomplaints.com which also took a lot of the guess work out of knowing one bad model or year from another. A friend also gave us Edmunds.com which is a site the used car salesman use to find internet deals from other dealerships. I contacted AAA because they have a car buying service for their customers but they didn’t deal with car in the price range we were looking. I may use them if I ever need a different car.
Congratulations to Jamie for another giant step into adulthood!
I love this book. I have the audio series and have listened many times. This is a good quick reminder of what each habit is about.
Have you ever heard the phrase, “There are no bad questions”?
In leadership, this might be true.
I have learned in my years of leadership – I only know what I know. And, many times I don’t know much. There are often things among the people I am trying to lead which I need to know – and, for whatever reason – I won’t know unless I ask. Which means I must continually ask lots of questions.
One of the best skills a leader can develop is the art of asking the right questions – and, even better – at the right times.
You can rephrase these for your context and within the relationships you have with people with whom you serve. You can certainly add your own questions. But, if you are attempting to lead people, may I suggest you start asking questions.
Find the original post here.
by Sharon Martin, LCSW
Over and over again I see people struggling at work and in their relationships because they don’t feel worthy and lovable; they don’t love themselves. I’ve come to recognize that self-love isn’t selfish or strange or conceited. In my opinion, loving yourself is the cornerstone of good mental health. So, after writing 9 Simple Ways to Love Yourself, I decided it was worth giving you nine more ways to love yourself.
1. Honor your feelings. As a society, we are uncomfortable with feelings, especially the “unpleasant” ones. We prefer to numb out with alcohol, food, electronics, pornography, and busyness. We pretend we’re “fine” when we’re really very far from fine.
Feelings don’t just go away when you avoid them. They will show up at another time in another way. There really isn’t any way of avoiding them; you have to go through them. This is why honoring your feelings is a gift you give yourself. It’s a way of validating your experiences.
Feelings are also windows into what you really need. For example, you anger might be telling you that you’re overworked and tired. When you ignore your feelings, you can’t meet your own basic needs.
One of the exercises I commonly give to my therapy clients is to start regularly checking in with your feelings. Simply take a few minutes, be quiet, reflect, and pay attention to your feelings. When you’re not in the habit of doing this, it feels foreign, but the more you do it, the more natural it becomes. Eventually, it becomes automatic and you gain a deeper understanding of yourself.
2. Accept compliments from others. Many people have a bad habit of dismissing compliments because they feel uncomfortable with the focus on themselves and doubt whether the compliment is true. If you feel uncomfortable, try the compliment on and consider whether the person offering it is being true and honest. People generally give compliments because they care about and respect you.
The compliment-giver is offering you kindness and positive energy that you deserve to benefit from. When you dismiss it, you’re also denying the compliment-giver the pleasure of giving you this gift.
3. Cut yourself some slack. Loving yourself means offering yourself grace when you mess up. It means not expecting perfection. It means resting when you need to rather than pushing through the pain. Notice when you’re judging yourself with hindsight and forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know.
4. Care for your body. Taking care of your body is one of the most basic ways to love yourself. Everything really is much harder when your health is suffering. I find that often people (including me) take their bodies for granted. You’re probably keenly aware of your physical ailments or limitations. Instead of focusing on them, try being grateful for what your body can do. You can either hate your body for having jiggley thighs or you can choose to appreciate your legs for supporting you and carrying you all day long. Caring for your body includes the obvious things like eating nutritiously, getting enough sleep and exercising, but it can also means soaking in a hot tub or asking your partner for a foot massage.
5. Allow yourself to dream. When you love yourself, you have hope for the future. You have dreams and goals and ideas; you allow yourself to imagine yourself doing and going great places. Try a new hobby or do something off your bucket list to show yourself that you matter.
6. Express your opinions. Your opinions and thoughts are just as important and valid as everyone else’s. You don’t have to defer to others as if they know more or are more important than you are. Thoughtfully expressing your opinions is a reflection of self-respect. If this is hard for you, start small and with safer people until you build up your confidence.
7. Build relationships. Healthy relationships are good for everyone. Research shows that people with strong social support networks are healthier, happier, and live longer. If you’re an introvert, highly sensitive person, or have anxiety or another mental health problem, it can be hard to build connections with others. You don’t necessarily need a huge circle of friends, but you do need a handful of people that you enjoy and can count on. Not having a lot of friends is nothing to be embarrassed about. With deliberate effort, most people can build positive relationships. Look for opportunities in the places you visit regularly whether that’s church or a coffee shop or school or even online.
8. Invest in self-improvement. I see the desire to improve yourself as an indication that you value yourself. We all have things we’d like to improve, but not everyone will invest the time and money in themselves to actually do the work. Self-improvement comes in many forms – going to therapy, reading a self-help book, listening to podcasts, reading this blog, attending a support group. When you love yourself, you’ll want to improve not because you’re “broken” or want to please someone else, but because you care about yourself. I’m reminded of one of my favorite quotes from psychologist Carl Rogers: “The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” The desire for self-improvement doesn’t come from self-loathing, it comes from self-acceptance.
9. Don’t accept all negative criticism as Gospel. Do yourself a favor and look at criticism with a curious mind. Explore the validity of the criticism logically, rather than immediately jumping to defensiveness or self-criticism. Loving yourself means that you can accept and take responsibility for your mistakes or faults, but you don’t take responsibility for everything that goes wrong; you thoughtfully consider whether the criticism is true.
I hope you will add these nine ways to practice self-compassion to your arsenal of self-love. Which one will you try to use today?
Check out Sharon’s blog for the original post.
The new breed of high-tech self-monitors (measuring heartrate, sleep, steps per day) might seem targeted at competitive athletes. But Talithia Williams, a statistician, makes a compelling case that all of us should be measuring and recording simple data about our bodies every day — because our own data can reveal much more than even our doctors may know.
By loading kids with high expectations and micromanaging their lives at every turn, parents aren’t actually helping. At least, that’s how Julie Lythcott-Haims sees it. With passion and wry humor, the former Dean of Freshmen at Stanford makes the case for parents to stop defining their children’s success via grades and test scores. Instead, she says, they should focus on providing the oldest idea of all: unconditional love.
What issues should we be looking at for election 2016? Watch as David takes us through the important issues of the 2016 election.
I attended my first Adult Children of Alcoholic’s support group this week. I think I’m finally ready to face this part of my life.
by Juan Sanchez
Many of us find evangelism daunting, even frightening. However, evangelism should take place as we naturally converse with people. As we have normal conversations, we are to look for opportunities to speak to people about Christ. In a normal evangelism culture, we will pray together for the unbelieving, and we will celebrate gospel conversations, not just “deals closed.”
Here are 10 practices of normal evangelism.
Find the original post here.
Childhood trauma isn’t something you just get over as you grow up. Pediatrician Nadine Burke Harris explains that the repeated stress of abuse, neglect and parents struggling with mental health or substance abuse issues has real, tangible effects on the development of the brain. This unfolds across a lifetime, to the point where those who’ve experienced high levels of trauma are at triple the risk for heart disease and lung cancer. An impassioned plea for pediatric medicine to confront the prevention and treatment of trauma, head-on.
A great radio program from Family Life Radio.
Every family is messy. Caleb Kaltenbach’s is no exception. Caleb reflects on growing up with a mom and dad who divorced when he was 2 upon discovering they were each gay. Caleb’s mother shared a home with her partner for 22 years, and his father stayed in the closet until Caleb was in college. Caleb offers unique insight on how the gay community perceives Christians.
Many people feel insecure at least some of the time. Some people feel insecure most of the time about most things. Other people may occasionally feel insecure or only in certain situations or with certain people.
Explore why you’re feeling insecure.
Sometimes insecurity is the result of trauma. If you’ve experienced a betrayal or hurt such as cheating or lying or abuse in your current or past relationship, it’s normal to want to protect yourself from further hurt. You put up your guard and feel anxious, on edge, or worried. Your nervous system goes into overdrive searching for evidence danger. You might also notice that these feelings of insecurity remind you of childhood wounds. Children tend to internalize harm caused by others and believe it’s their fault – because they’re bad, flawed, unworthy, unlovable. This sets the stage for feeling insecure in adult relationships.
Other times it’s not so easy to spot where insecurity started. You may have a pervasive feeling that you’re not “good enough”. You worry about what people think. You don’t want to disappoint or displease others. You try to live up to someone else’s expectations or standards. Comparison leads to insecurity. It makes you feel “less than” compared to others that seem prettier, thinner, smarter, stronger, or funnier.
Love and acceptance from others does not solve insecurity.
Most people think the solution to insecurity is having others love and accept them. It isn’t. I remember a painful experience I had in middle school. I had a great group of friends, felt accepted, cared for and wanted…until they rejected me. Friends and lovers will come and go. Sometimes they drift away. Sometimes they storm off after an intense fight. Sometimes they die. If you’re counting on others to make you feel secure, you will eventually be disappointed.
When people feel insecure in a relationship, they often turn to their partners seeking reassurance and validation. A partner can never provide the sense of security you’re seeking. Relationships are always uncertain. There are no guarantees that your partner will be dependable or faithful or with you for the rest of your life. The only way to feel secure in your relationship is to seek security and confidence within yourself.
Security comes from loving yourself and knowing you’re resilient.
Feeling safe and secure means that you know you can cope with whatever life throws your way. You can’t control what your partner does or if this relationship ends, but you can control your response and your feelings. It’s empowering to know that you can cope with the unexpected and messy parts of life. This doesn’t mean that you won’t be hurt or angry or heart broken. It just means that you have confidence in your ability to get through really tough situations and feelings.
Chances are you’ve already gotten through some pretty challenging things in your life. When I reflect on my own experiences, I’m in awe of some of the things I’ve overcome. I didn’t always do it with grace, but I did get through more pain than I imagined I could. I suspect the same is true for you.
Life experience shows us that we can get through a lot of adversity and uncertainty. You can not only survive, but thrive when you choose not to let life’s curve balls keep you down or feeling like a victim. This is where confidence comes from. It doesn’t come from reassuring words or promises from your partner.
Instead of seeking validation from others, reassure yourself.
Look inside yourself for the validation you’re seeking. Honestly, your partner can’t give you want you can’t give to yourself. Your partner might say the words you crave: “You’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen. I can’t imagine my life without you.” The problem is, if you don’t believe this to be true deep in your soul, you’re not going to believe it when someone else says it to you. If you want others to make you feel worthy, you’ll always be chasing this approval. Instead,
Debra Jarvis had worked as a hospital chaplain for nearly 30 years when she was diagnosed with cancer. And she learned quite a bit as a patient. In a witty, daring talk, she explains how the identity of “cancer survivor” can feel static. She asks us all to claim our hardest experiences, while giving ourselves room to grow and evolve.
Great! And inspirational! ~Beth
This scripture was read in church this morning and brought me great comfort and reflection to how I live out my Christian life. Even the Apostle Paul knew he hadn’t arrived to completion in his walk with God…
12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus…
The sermon was on vision and I appreciated that and want to work on my own personal vision for my future. Find today’s sermon here.