I stumbled upon this fun word this week while reading an article from a friend: rumination. It stuck out to me, the way words do sometimes. To ruminate; it sounded like such a process. In its most basic form, ruminating means to think deeply about something. Nothing wrong with that. In fact, I think that is maybe one of my gifts that I offer to the world. So where does it go bad?
“Rumination is the focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions,” according to the Nolan-Hoeksema’s Response Styles Theory.
Yikes. That sounds all too familiar for me. How often am I focused simply on the symptoms rather than the root issue? I am tempted, in relation to anxiety specifically, to just remove the situations or circumstances or people that maybe cause some anxiety. But instead, God invites me into something better: He reminds me that the goal is not to just to treat the symptoms, but the sickness itself. For anxiety, it is not about removing any possible thing from our lives that could cause anxiety, but to fight anxiety itself.
You are capable of so much more than you know: Another life lesson learned in Uganda.
Throughout my entire life I have struggled with fear. I have always known fear, a close companion that turns out was actually a really crappy friend. But only in the past few years have I really become close friends with Courage. As we know, we cannot focus on the things we don’t want to become (i.e. if you spend your life saying “I don’t want to be like my mom,” you most likely will be just like your mom. It is all you have thought about or pictured.), so we choose courage instead.
Courage has become a constant for me; a discipline, a habit, an everyday teacher. While I was in Uganda, I started keeping a “courage list” because I was conquering so many things, both little and large, that scared me. This list included (but was not limited to):
Traveling to Africa (I’m kind of a nervous flyer…)
Riding a boda (a Ugandan motorcycle taxi type thing)
White water rafting the Nile
Preaching in a Ugandan prison
And each time, I survived. And was stronger and braver for it.
We could hear it in the background, serenading us as we shoveled chips and salsa and sipped on margaritas. Those crazy brave people singing karaoke in the back. We cringed as girls sang One Direction and laughed as bold men sang their hearts out to the classics. We finished our meals and suddenly my friend […]
May we learn to be truly content, not just comfortable, whether married or single, rich or poor, employed or unemployed, healthy or sick, so on and so forth. May we walk in the riches and comfort of knowing who we are in Christ, and depend not on earthly status, possessions or ease.
Maybe it is because September is finally upon us and summer is slowing abandoning us for her sabbatical, maybe because I’ve been without my best friend for five weeks, or maybe it is because Kanye West announced he wants to be POTUS and I just can’t stop thinking about moving to New Zealand or London or Africa or anywhere that would be better than President and First Lady Kimye…for any of these reasons, or maybe others, it has been slow and hard and one of those weeks where I’ve just felt small.
I spent this past week at home in my beautiful state of Oregon – we boated, kayaked, waterfalled (I think that can be a verb). We roasted s’mores in the backyard, waited in anticipation for the Butte to catch on fire from fireworks (it’s tradition), and ate a lot of watermelon. All in all, a […]
In the everyday living it is easy to make the Gospel about something less; we find ways to make it about qualification, rules, comparison, us verses them.
Sometimes I think though, at the end of the day, or especially at the end of life, it isn’t about those things. Which means it really never is about those things. The Gospel at the end of the day is about life.