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I Learned To Swim

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Swim

This summer I learned to swim. 

My girls are 9 and 7.  They have been in swimming lessons for several years now, and this year it is all beginning to pay off!  Our community pool is a great size and shape for them.  It has a deep end that challenges them to continue working on their strokes and their breathing, which has helped them turn into really good little swimmers!   I have been very impressed as I have watched them progress, and I began saying (without much exaggeration) that both girls were better swimmers than me.  I sat on the deck chair and watched them improve.

By the end of the summer, watching them improve had made me want to improve.  But there was a problem:

  • You can only improve if you practice.
  • You can only practice if you get into the pool.
  • If you get into the pool you will get wet.
  • If you get wet you get cold.
  • So, you can only improve if you get wet and cold.

Continue reading

Rescuing A People-Pleaser

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Rescue

“I just don’t like getting people in trouble.”  

Our daughter was crying in our room one evening last week.  We asked her what was going on and she was having some conflict with her siblings.  What it came down to is that someone was being mean or unfair to her and she didn’t want to do anything about it because she didn’t want to make them unhappy.  In my book, this is called “people-pleasing.”  I know, because I do it too.

It Starts Out Ok…

People-pleasing is actually a very useful trait, because it helps you to, well, please people.  I believe it is a gift that God places in a person.  A people-pleaser is in tune with the needs of others and has a strong desire to meet those needs.  It comes in handy in marriage, and in providing customer service.  But like all good gifts, this gift can be twisted out of shape when it is taken too far or if it is tangled up with insecurity or pride.  People-pleasing can become a deadly trap that immobilizes you with fear.  You plan out every move you make, in fear that it will cause a problem for someone else.  (Ironically, this often ends up annoying the very people you are trying to please.  But that’s another post.)  I have been there and done that, and I understand the inner workings of a people-pleasing mind.  So, as my daughter cried because she didn’t want to have conflict with her siblings, I was able to explain a couple points to her.  Continue reading

Be Alert and Be Unafraid

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BeAlert

Even a Kansas tornado can create a great opportunity to teach valuable lessons to your kids!

Last night the sirens blared and our phones buzzed to warn us that a tornado warning had been issued.  I was able to pull up my “MyRadar” app on my phone and see a giant wall of yellow and red coming our direction.  So we headed to the basement.  (One thing that my wife is consistent about – you do not mess around with tornadoes!)  We gathered up some blankets to make the tile bathroom floor more comfortable, and waited.

After waiting for a little bit, we then emerged to watch the local news to see what was going on.  Weather-people love to add drama to their normally boring lives when storms hit, so the kids became a little concerned.  We were able to encourage them to pray for safety individually, and then we grabbed a Bible and Go-Fish.  With the 6 of us crammed in the bathroom I read them Psalm 91, in Nathan’s Revised Version.  I prayed for our safety and the safety of our home, garden, and our friends.  Then we played a fun game of Go-Fish!  There is no reason to be afraid when you are in the shelter of the Most High God!

IMG_1001

A bathroom is a great storm shelter while potty training!

As parents, we are responsible for setting the tone for the home.  We have control over the environment in which our kids learn and grow.  Tonight we chose to create a calm environment that was not fearful, but we also did not ignore the danger of the storm.  Be chose to be alert, and unafraid.

The whole episode took only about 45 minutes, and then we were back to normal.  Sure, our plans were thrown off and a tornado is a serious thing, but we were able to purposefully take this lemon and make a lesson out of it.

Parents – are you watching out for life’s curriculum as it unfolds?  Every day there are small lessons that you can purposefully weave into your child’s life education. 

 

BeAlert

Since we haven’t capitalized on this meme yet…

 

Here is a random article that cites the well-established fact that a stressful, chaotic childhood is detrimental.  (It’s Harvard, so it has to be true, right?)   Link

 

Anxiety, Part 5

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

I once read a stat that people are more afraid of public speaking than of death.  So the joke goes that at a funeral the guy giving the eulogy is worse off than the corpse.  While this may be an exaggeration, it illustrates the fact that many people struggle with this kind of ‘event anxiety.’

I have struggled with this, and not only limited to public speaking.  It can occur at any event that I deem important.  I discussed this kind of anxiety in my Irrational Anxiety post, because at the time I felt that it was irrational.

Isn’t it great how we can always learn new things about ourselves?  Well, Michael Hyatt has recently helped me to learn a big part of who I am and how I tick.  In his post “How To Reframe Your Fear and Let It Work For You, he admits that he fights anxiety prior to speaking engagements.  (First, this is a great lesson in vulnerability.  The best way to defeat your issues is to stop hiding your issues!)  I have to admit that I was a little surprised that he struggles with anxiety in these kinds of situations…I guess I assumed that CEOs were immune to the struggles that we commoners face!  Myth busted!  But even more importantly, he helped me understand that there actually is some logic to this illogical anxiety that I face.  And I can use it to my advantage!    Continue reading

Panic Attack or Cool and Collected: Which one are you?

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BekFinger2

Yesterday I had my first experience with a potential broken bone. I just always assumed it would be the boys that would be first, but I was wrong. My sweet Rebekah decided to take on the heavy gym doors and lost!  🙁

Thankfully I was still at school when it happened. As I was letting kids into the school, I heard her blood curdling cry that only she can produce. As I turn, I see her walking down the hall with the before school monitor. As I tried to assess the situation I was comforted to know that she was walking and seemed overall okay. In between the tears and cries, I figured out that she had hurt her finger. Without looking I took her into the lunch room and gently reminded her to try to breathe and to try to calm down. Thankfully I stayed calm so I radiated calmness to her which helped her follow suit. Then as I sat her down I asked her to open her hand and show me her finger. As she slowly opened her hand, I had to keep my jaw from dropping. It looked terrible! It was immediately swollen and bruised, with a scary looking dent where the door had smashed it. I had a decision to make and I only had a few seconds to make it.

BekFinger1

Continue reading

Bedtime: Consistency and Discernment

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Prayer

I have mixed feelings about bedtime.

I generally handle putting the kids to bed, and it is a very special time that I enjoy.  It is a great opportunity to talk with them about their day and to show them a little more love before tucking them in.  I remind them that “I love them 100.”  (I’d love them more, but that’s the max!)  I want them to end each day knowing that they are loved and cherished.

Other than prying the book out of Hannah’s hand and getting Rebekah to stop bouncing around the room, it is usually pretty easy to get the girls to bed.  It is great daddy-daughter time.

The boys are another matter entirely. They are 4 and 2, and some nights they are great.  Like last night, coincidentally.

But other nights it is a battle.

The two concepts that I try to keep in mind for bedtime are Consistency and Discernment.  Continue reading

Summer Break – Anxiety

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Good morning from Our Purposeful Life.  We are going to take a break this week, but we thought that we could take the opportunity to post 5 summaries of posts we have published over the last year.  Enjoy!

Today’s summary:  Anxiety

Anxiety – Part 1

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TensionCloseQ: Why am I so anxious?

A: Because you are so human.

Stat: I learned that around 30% of Americans will deal with an anxiety disorder sometime in their life. That means that roughly 1 out of 3 will at some point have a diagnosed, clinically defined anxiety disorder. Although I knew it was pretty common, I was still surprised to hear that anxiety is so widespread. And that’s not to say that the other 70% don’t have their moments also. Fear and its associated gremlins (insomnia, panic attacks, obsessive or compulsive behaviors) are something that many of us have struggled with off and on, and it is the topic of our discussion today. Continue Reading…


What Kind of Anxious Are You?

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Rational Worry or Irrational Worry?

In my opinion, there are two types of anxiety. One is a worry that is the result of rational fear or concern about something. What I call rational anxiety may be a fear of messing up something difficult at work, or being worried that you won’t have enough money to make ends meet. Or you just got bad news from the doctor. Or you are worried that your kids will get hurt. Or that a relationship will fail. Or you have too many things to get done and you are worried about falling behind. All of these are fears that you understand and can explain. And even if they get a little out of hand or are excessive sometimes, you still understand why you are anxious. Continue Reading…


 

Irrational Anxiety

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!Anxiety, Part 3a: Putting Irrational Anxiety on the Defensive

Review: Rational Anxiety

In Rational anxiety, we learned that

  1. When you know the power that you have through Christ, there is no longer any reason to be afraid.
  2. When you understand what kind of Father we have, there is no longer any reason to worry about what might happen to us.
  3. When you understand what kind of Future we have, there is no longer any reason to worry about what might happen to our temporary stuff.

That ‘mental reframing’ involves switching from logical anxiety to logical peace, based on the Truth. Today we will talk about illogical anxiety. Continue Reading…


 

Fighting Anxiety, Part 4

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!Yesterday I primarily covered the spiritual first steps to attack your anxiety. Today I have listed 12 more ways to attack anxiety, that include spirit, soul, and body.

Attacking Anxiety in your Spirit, Soul, and Body: Continue Reading…


Fighting Anxiety, Part 4

2 comments
Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Yesterday I primarily covered the spiritual first steps to attack your anxiety.  Today I have listed 12 more ways to attack anxiety, that include spirit, soul, and body.

Attacking Anxiety in your Spirit, Soul, and Body: Continue reading

Irrational Anxiety

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Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Anxiety, Part 3: Putting Irrational Anxiety on the Defensive

 Review:  Rational Anxiety

In Rational anxiety, we learned that

  1. When you know the power that you have through Christ, there is no longer any reason to be afraid.
  2.  When you understand what kind of Father we have, there is no longer any reason to worry about what might happen to us.
  3.  When you understand what kind of Future we have, there is no longer any reason to worry about what might happen to our temporary stuff. 

That ‘mental reframing’ involves switching from logical anxiety to logical peace, based on the Truth. Today we will talk about illogical anxiety. Continue reading

What Kind of Anxious Are You?

no comments
Watch out!  It can envelope you!

Rational Worry or Irrational Worry?

In my opinion, there are two types of anxiety.  One is a worry that is the result of rational fear or concern about something.  What I call rational anxiety may be a fear of messing up something difficult at work, or being worried that you won’t have enough money to make ends meet. Or you just got bad news from the doctor.  Or you are worried that your kids will get hurt.  Or that a relationship will fail.  Or you have too many things to get done and you are worried about falling behind.  All of these are fears that you understand and can explain.  And even if they get a little out of hand or are excessive sometimes, you still understand why you are anxious. Continue reading