5 Things You Don’t Want To Regret

Sad WomanIt’s not the years in your life that count: it’s the life in your years that’s important.

You may have heard that idea in different forms. One of the saddest of all reflections is, “What might have been?!” There are plenty of things in life you don’t have control over. But how tragic to get to the end and realize that YOU were the reason you didn’t experience more, love more, give more.

Don’t let these regrets happen to you:

  1. Time with loved ones. Busyness can so easily take over the time you should invest with those who are most important. Your children are only small once. After your parents are dead your time with them is gone forever. Opportunities for evenings, weekends, or vacations with your spouse may never be there again. Treasure the people close to you while you can.
  2. Neglecting your health.
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Why Patients Care About My Faith

Praying HandsIn just the past couple weeks I have been almost surprised by how many patients of mine have asked to talk about matters of faith. As a doctor I am privileged to touch people’s lives at very vulnerable times, and it’s at those times where faith makes a significant difference.

Here are a few vignettes:

  • A woman facing challenging hormonal problems says, “I looked at your online profile, and I’m glad you’re a minister also. I want to be able to talk about those things too.”
  • A couple facing long-term infertility wrestling with whether God would look kindly on their use of fertility treatment, or whether they should accept childlessness as God’s will for them.
  • A patient needing an urgent C-section says, “We prayed that the doctor who would deliver our baby would be a believer too. You are an answer to prayer.”
  • A woman who is newly pregnant, feeling guilty about her previous abortion and wondering whether God would punish her by not allowing this pregnancy to continue.

What is it these patients are looking for from me? Why do they bring up spiritual matters? What do they need?

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Growing Up Without Regrets

Couple Taking PhotosGrowing up has never been easy. But in today’s culture young people have more challenges to face than ever before, especially in the area of sexuality. The basic issues may be no different, but the speed of life and the multiple pressures teens face make the risks even greater.

A few sobering statistics: according to the Centers for Disease Control and TeenHelp.com, 48% of high-school students report having had sexual intercourse. One in four teens contracts a sexually-transmitted infection every year. One-third of young women have been pregnant by the time they are age 20, and 80% of those pregnancies are unplanned. The long-term costs of these realities are very high, in terms of higher rates of infertility and poverty, not to mention the emotional costs.

A week ago the Food and Drug Administration made the decision to approve Plan B – the so-called morning after pill – for sale over-the-counter to anyone age 15 or over. Some women’s groups howl that even this minimal restriction is infringement on women’s rights, and is inconsistent with good medical science. Other groups are just as angry that such medications can be made easily available to teens who need parental consent for just about anything else.

Here’s what I believe:

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Interruptions ARE Your Job

Girl Holding Out PhoneLook for the interruptions: they are your job security!

If you work with people in any capacity, expect to be interrupted. The only people who are not interrupted are hermits and prison inmates. You and I should be thankful for interruptions.

That’s not always an easy concept to understand. You want to be productive. Interruptions break your train of thought, and your train of activity. Wouldn’t it be easier if “they” just stayed away?!

But think of these situations where interruptions are the whole reason your “job” exists:

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3 Reasons for Marriage

Older Couple TogetherBeing happy has very little to do with the reason God created marriage. Marriage can be very unhappy, and still fulfill its reason for being.

“What? Marriage isn’t supposed to make me happy?”

No. Not really. Shocking thought, I know! Why else would anyone ever get married?

A happy marriage is a wonderful byproduct, and will often result when marriage is doing its intended purpose. But happiness is much too shallow a reason to go through the difficult learning curve marriage presents, or to stick around “in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.” If we think marriage is designed primarily to make us happy, the first time we’re unhappy we will feel we have made a mistake, or decide we have a reason to leave. And that’s just not the case.

Here are some of those deeper reasons for marriage:

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