Sometimes life piles on. You get one bit of bad news after the other, you find yourself responding to yet another crisis, or you’re dealing with the fortieth difficult personality of the week. Before you know it, you feel like a random spark is going to set the whole pyre ablaze and take you with it.
And then you turn on the news.
Whose idea was this 24-hour news cycle anyway? It just means we keep hearing the same negative developments, the worst of the political rancor, and the most shocking accounts of human depravity … every 15-30 minutes. The mere repetition of the reports makes it feel like things are even worse than they are. And with few exceptions, there’s very little you or I can do about any of it by following it in the media except get agitated, outraged, and even fearful. If I’ve had too much coffee, it can get really exhausting.
Nothing beats the Bible when it comes to flawed and unlikely characters. Some were real oddballs; others had disadvantages that weren’t their fault. Here are just a few you’ll find throughout the Old and New Testaments (you can click on any name to read more of their story):
Polygamists – King Solomon was said to have had 700 wives and 300 concubines; many other Biblical patriarchs were also polygamists;
Criminals – The apostle Paul (known then as Saul) persecuted and imprisoned Christians prior to his conversion; Zacchaeus was a notorious tax collector who cheated his own people; Moses and King David were both murderers;
Early on in my single parenting years, I bought a fixer-upper house in a charming neighborhood full of young families with kids. A few short months after moving in, I joined a singles group at my new church.
I don’t know what made me do such a thing. I mean, the house was an investment and a way of bringing stability to a wobbly life. That part made sense.
But the singles group?
It sure wasn’t because I needed more to do. I was working an all-consuming, often dangerous job that required me to be on call 24/7. And now I had a house in dire need of TLC, a lawn to mow, a temperamental car to nudge along, and a not quite 3-year old to raise on my own.
But for whatever reason, I decided to give the “kickoff” singles event a whirl. I hired a babysitter and then went into image-management mode. I wanted to project the together, professional vibe; to give off a self-sufficient, polished air. I couldn’t have people knowing how hectic and chaotic my life really was. Continue reading The Lesson in the Peeling Wallpaper→
I have several, shall we say, complicated relationships in my life. The identities and details aren’t important here but my struggle to resolve friction and find peace with them, is.
Relational meltdowns leave me reeling. As weird as it may sound, I experience what I imagine suffocation would feel like: desperation turning to panic, then helplessness, hopelessness, and finally, defeat. I know, how dramatic. But perhaps you can relate on some level. Continue reading Breathing Jesus→
I chose to be part of the OneWord365 movement this year – the idea being that instead of making New Year’s resolutions, you prayerfully select a single word and focus on it for a full year, noting how it influences your life each day. I chose “harmony” as my word for 2013. This is my update on how it’s going.
Did you ever buy a new car and suddenly it seems every third car you see on the road is the same make and model as the one you just bought? (Excuse me, when did the whole world decide to buy a Toyota Prius??)
That’s how it is for me with HARMONY.
Everywhere I turn, I’m noticing this word. I see it referenced in the Bible, I come across articles that address it. Even in conversation, harmony comes up regularly.
That tells me this is definitely a concept I need to focus on.
It’s Saturday, so I’d like to share this post for singles. A version of it appeared here in April 2011.
This surprised me: More than fifty per cent of U.S. residents are now single, nearly a third of all households are comprised of just one resident, and five million adults younger than thirty-five live alone*.
Singleness is hardly rare and single adults of all ages have a considerable amount of influence on American culture, from their purchasing habits to their entertainment choices.
On Saturdays, I’d like to focus on singles in this blog, since many who are single feel they are leading “workaround” lives. (I was a single parent for 18 years; I get that.) I’ll be sharing content here from SingleMatters, a blog I write with Marie Shepherd, and also sharing insights from other relevant sources and writers. A variation of the post that follows originally appeared on SingleMatters last April.
Have you ever participated in a “Fun Run”? Maybe it was only a few miles, to raise money for a worthy cause. There was no real pressure and you really didn’t give a moment’s thought to actually winning your age bracket.
Last week I revealed that I was joining the OneWord365 “resolution revolution”. Instead of making New Year’s resolutions (something I don’t do anyway), I said I was going to choose one word that represents a trait I’d like to nurture in my life in 2013.
The word I chose is HARMONY.
The idea is to focus on the idea of harmony every day throughout the year and in the process, possibly change the sound track of my life. For me, relational chaos is exhausting and unhealthy; I recognize this. (It probably is for you too.) But encouraging harmony just might add years to my life (or, as it’s been said, life to my years).
And since I committed to updating my progress on the 15th of each month, here’s the first status report.
When I drove out that morning, I was going on vacation to visit a friend in Texas. I was in my mid-twenties and had just extricated myself from a painfully unhappy relationship. I wanted to get far away to recalibrate and regain my perspective. Out of state: perfect.