In Everything Give Thanks

thSUZ2OHATMany families maintain a Thanksgiving tradition of going around the table laden with turkey and fixin’s and having everyone share what they are thankful for. The responses are usually predictable: “I am thankful for my family, my home, my friends, my job, my good health . . . and of course the food!”

Indeed, we should be thankful for all those things. But this year, I’m challenging myself to go a bit deeper in my gratitude. Continue reading “In Everything Give Thanks”

The Ultimate Cure for Perfectionism

I’m my own worst critic. Part of the problem is that I’m there to witness every one of my mistakes! Sometimes I attempt something and fail to perform as well as I think I could have. Other times I berate myself because I think I should have done something but didn’t even try. Either way, I am well-acquainted with that voice in my head that loves to remind me that I’ve fallen short.

th[10]That pesky internal companion has pressured me to perform “perfectly” since I was very young. As a child, I was driven to get straight A’s. My parents never overtly demanded honor roll achievement. Yet looking back, I recognize that they were perfectionists in their own right, whether it was striving for flawless Christian behavior, plowing the straightest corn rows, or keeping an immaculate house. I definitely inherited the perfectionist gene. Continue reading “The Ultimate Cure for Perfectionism”

Seeing Red

I originally wrote this material for inclusion in a women’s devotional book on Proverbs. It describes a situation that occurred when I was completing a college internship as a summer park ranger in Southern Oregon.

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“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 15:1, NASB

thX2EURAI7“You’re a communist!” the agitated man shouted. The circle of people tightened around me. I flipped my army-green notepad shut, concealing the license plate numbers I had just recorded.

The leader of the group motioned angrily at my notepad. “Did you put my number in there?”

“Yes, I did,” I answered gently. “You and your friends are camping in an unauthorized site this evening.”

He swore in response. “Ah-h, the next thing you know, these park rangers are going to tell us when we can brush our teeth!” Continue reading “Seeing Red”