Guest Posts

Bridging the distance in friendship

The prospect of moving 800 miles away filled me with grief.

As an introverted person, anticipating the loss of the friendships I’d built over many years was deeply painful. I feared losing the proximity that wove my life into the fabric of others’. I feared distance would unavoidably change, or even end, those relationships. I was, in many ways, ready for a new adventure, but the thought of starting over relationally was a heavy weight in my heart.

My friend’s words were a surprising gift. And the remedy to my ache…

Read the rest of this post on the (in)courage blog today. You’ll find a wealth of encouragement and may even wish to subscribe to have it delivered straight to your inbox daily. 

For more of my writing on friendship, click here

Loop: Author interview with Jennifer Camp

Jennifer square new blue backgroundFriends, I want to introduce you to my friend Jennifer Camp. Jennifer’s book, Loop, has just released and I want you to know about it for the jewel that it can be in your life. Her writing is a tender invitation to hear God’s voice spoken over you. More info on getting your hands on the book below, but first I want you to listen to this dear woman’s heart for you… hear her responses to the questions I’ve put to her.

I think you’ll find, as I do, that her desire to internalize the fullness of God’s words to us in scripture is earnest, warm and beautiful.  Read More

Guest Post: Obscured Vision

I think you’ll enjoy Jeannette Duwe’s perspective in today’s guest post. I’m enjoying this respite from everyday life and look forward rejoining you next week. Pop over to Jeannette’s blog, The Ironing Board, to check out more of her great writing. Be inspired!

 

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
— Jeremiah 29:13 NIV

“Oh, kids! Look at the prairie dogs,” my mother cheerfully exclaimed as she pointed out the car window.

“Where? Where?!” I cried, devastated that I was the only one in the car unable to see them.  My two older brothers never seemed to share my difficulty seeing things, in fact my sweet German Grandmother, “Oma,” nick-named one of them “eagle eye.” Read More

Guest Post: Thirteen

Join me in welcoming Hester Christensen today while I take a brief hiatus from blogging this week and next. Hester has the gift of encouragement and has shared it with me in faith, writing and speaking. I think you’ll find yourself spurred on toward ministry with today’s post, the final installment of a three-part series. Stop by her blog, Hester’s Heart, to read the other two parts and many other encouraging words.

Matthew 25:23 (NKJV)  “His Master said to him, ‘Well done good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.  Enter into the joy of your Lord.’ “

Culturally, we live in a performance based society.

We are rewarded for doing things and completing tasks.  We are recognized for climbing the ladder of success.  Even though our jobs or ministries may require us to do certain things, our motive, why we do them, is crucial to understand.

Do we serve to be noticed or applauded?  Or, do we strive to exhibit the very nature of Christ to others?  Do we serve without wanting to be served in return?  Do we understand God gave us spiritual gifts for a purpose? Read More

Guest Post: Exercise is just another word for “play”…

The advent of a new year sets in motion resolutions that often involve dieting, weight loss, exercise and appearance.  Dr. Megan Osborne’s blog is a source of encouragement to me to have healthy body esteem and to instill the same in my kids.  Dr. Osborne is the founder of Shaped with Love Ministries, targeting the reversal of cultural norms beginning with the prevention parents can give their small children. Visit her website to read more of her blog which addresses body image issues through resources, activity suggestions and Biblical wisdom.  Be blessed by Megan’s post:

Exercise is just another word for “play”…

I was up to my elbows in peanut butter preparing lunch recently while my kids were watching a cartoon. Lost in my own thoughts, I was brought back to the moment when I overheard the main character of the cartoon say, “Exercise is just another word for play!” Brilliantly put. Incredible the things gleaned from a preschool cartoon!

I am often asked about how to teach both children and adults healthy exercise lifestyle. In my private practice I deal so often with the “reintroduction” of exercise to clients who deal with exercise addictions with or without a clinical diagnosis of an eating disorder.

The mindset of these clients is strict- calories in, exercise out. Their minds are fast working calculators: if I eat X many calories, then I must exercise for X many minutes in order to avoid weight gain. This becomes a problem as the joy of movement is replaced by the anxiety of weight management. It is not much fun when exercise becomes a stronghold or an idol in our lives, and is not what God has in mind for His children.

When I am speaking to people about exercise, I always work first from the discussion of how God made our bodies as physical beings. Exercise is important for the body to function optimally. Part of honoring our bodies is fueling it properly and moving it properly.

The most important things to consider about exercise is that it is something you ENJOY doing and that you look FORWARD to doing every day. In other words, this is our PLAY!

We should take cues from our children. Have you ever sat in wonderment at the amount of energy children devote to play?

Exercise should not be something we dread. We should always factor in our God-given temperament/personality…are you drawn to social exercise to connect with girlfriends or do you need to be recharged with solitude in solo runs or walks alone?

Exercise changes as our lifestyles change. For example, in my college years, before I had children, I would enjoy training for half-marathons with girlfriends…then it gradually evolved to solo daily walks as part of my quiet time with God. Other moms enjoy spinning classes or swimming as their “mommy-break.”

In my life currently, as I balance my private practice/writing/speaking schedules, I do not have the time to devote away from my little ones to fill my physical activity needs. For me, physical activity is playtime with my children.

When I brought my daughter home from the hospital to an active one-year old brother, my physical activity immediately became to keep up with him while my daughter was strapped tightly to my body. Now that I have running 2 and 3 year olds, my goal is to keep up with their every step when we go the park or play in the backyard. Although I regularly schedule play dates with other moms to visit, I also regularly schedule time alone to play alongside of my children. And the best part:they love it.

When I physically join my children in playtime I always make a point to share how blessed we are to have a body design by God for us to move about and enjoy the world around us. I tell them that our fingers, arms, knees, legs, and feet are gifts from the Creator.

May this weekend and coming week bring many opportunities for you to purposely join your child in play. Share with them in the gift of movement and exercise because it truly is just another word for “play.”