The Distractions of Anxiety and Self-Doubt

The Distractions of Anxiety and Self-Doubt

I love things to run smoothly. I like life to fit in the tiny boxes on my calendar, for schedule activities to always take "x" amount of time, and for the weather to cooperate with my plans.

I love meeting agendas, productivity, grocery lists where things don't get left off. I love it when people respond to my emails in timely manners and when I don't forget to do the same.

I love order. I abhor chaos. I love calm and I don't function well in a frenzy.

I know many of you who are just like me and many of you who are not. But no matter how you're built, no matter what your personality leans towards, I think we all long for peace—a deep inner peace that is not contingent on the outside circumstances. A peace that is so embedded in us that we function like a mighty oak in a storm. Our leaves and branches will for sure sway, but our trunk, our foundation, is so deeply planted that we will never forget who we are and Whose we are.

I've been working hard with Jesus lately to practice this rooted way of living. My deepest desire is that when people interact with me I will no longer be the whirlwind of things to do, errands to run, and a plethora of needs and wants on my mind. I want to exude the same kind of atmosphere that my living room does—fresh, inviting, cozy, and safe.

If I'm continually distracted from what God has asked me to do, if I'm filling my life with tasks because I'm trying to prove worth, and if my state of mind is contingent on things going exactly as planned, I will not be safe. I will not be fresh. I will not be inviting. 

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Insecurities out, Believing God in (new video!)

Insecurities out, Believing God in (new video!)

It's easy sometimes to dismiss the Bible as irrelevant to our times, especially the Old Testament. But the story of Gideon in Judges 6 completely described much of what Craig has been going through. We don't often see ourselves as God sees us. But how would our outlook and attitude change if we did? How might our lives look radically different? 

It took me (Jen) awhile to see Craig as God does, but I am so glad He changed my vision, my perception, and my perspective. As a spouse, God can equip us to truly see our spouse and encourage him/her to step out of the hole and into the role God has for him or her!!

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Navigating changes and transitions (new video)

Navigating changes and transitions (new video)

We all have transition and change in our lives, which mean, we all have transitions and change that affect our marriages. For many of us, change is hard. Personally, for both of us, we are easily thrown out of whack when our daily ins and outs are shifted (or turned completely upside down). 

Right now, the kids are newly out of school (hello, it's now more difficult to do this "work from home thing"), we have backyard construction going on (for the love of city permits), and Craig's mom still struggles with her illness (I was reading in Luke today about how Jesus healed the centurion's slave instantaneously and just prayed and prayed for that to happen for her).

Sometimes we will navigate change well. Sometimes we will not. Here's what we plan to do to not only survive, but hopefully thrive, through the transitions in our lives.

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Give Grace: When Your Spouse Isn't Exactly Who You Thought

This week, we are continuing this theme of giving grace when confronted with unrealistic expectations, but coming from a slightly different angle. What do you do when your spouse ends up being different than you expected? Here, we tackle the gambit—what to do when they fart more than you think they should all the way to addressing an addiction.

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Because Who Wants to Feel Like They're Dying? (Tips on making it through a panic attack)

Because Who Wants to Feel Like They're Dying? (Tips on making it through a panic attack)

I was dying. 

At least, it felt like it. It was a normal day. One moment I was just fine and then suddenly, I wasn’t.  I remember feeling completely out of control.  My chest was tight, my heart was beating furiously, my breathing was really labored, and my brain was struggling to figure out what in the hell was going on.  My boss noticed that something was not right and walked over to check on me.  I remember telling him that I wasn’t sure, but I needed to leave.  Not only did he agree, he put me in his truck and drove me home.  When I got home, I immediately went to bed.  Though it wasn't a heart attack, this was the first in a series of panic attacks that would plague me for almost three years.  I was in the grips of anxiety. 

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Amelia Rhodes’ ‘Pray A to Z’ Guide to Prayer Prize Pack

Amelia Rhodes’ ‘Pray A to Z’ Guide to Prayer Prize Pack

I'm sure you've noticed—the needs of this nation, of our world, are great. Oftentimes as I read the paper in the morning, I am completely overwhelmed by the wretched state of affairs. Natural disasters, government corruption, shootings, budget deficits...the list could go on seemingly forever. My heart breaks and I feel out of control, at a loss for words, and confounded at what I could possibly do to make this world a better place for my children and generations to come. It all seems too far to reach.

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