Growing Up Is Hard To Do

MadelynOur little granddaughter is a month old. Is there anything more precious? We’re told Madelyn will be the last one, so we as her grandparents treasure each moment just a little bit more. We know this will be the last opportunity to stroke such silky hair, to grasp such tiny fingers, and to hold such a tiny life in our arms – at least in the Tanksley family.

A newborn baby is a full-time job. Mommy and Daddy do it gladly – at least most of the time! But their biggest job is working themselves out of a job, helping her grow to become thoughtful, loving, wise – and independent.

Growing up emotionally, relationally, and spiritually is often harder than growing up physically. We pick up fears from the people around us. Something painful happens and we pull back inside and hide. The people who should be there for us somehow let us down, and we stop growing.

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7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

7 Things to Check when Not Feeling Good

Girl Feeling SickI’m feeling good today. Things are wonderful. Body, mind, and soul are doing well.

But there are certainly days when I don’t feel good. Something’s definitely off. Occasionally it’s immediately obvious what’s wrong, but other times it’s frustrating to just feel bad and not be sure why.

Part of maturity is coming to know oneself well enough to recognize warning signs, and to do something about them before things deteriorate further.

We can’t expect to feel good every day. That’s just life. There are certainly things outside our control that we do well to just “let go.” Some of those things directly affect us.

But I’ve also learned that some things predictably lead to a “bad day.” And if I do something about it, things will look different very soon.

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Dealing with Desire: Sex and Spirituality Part 2

Holding Hands“It” has been the vehicle for some of the best experiences human beings can have, and also some of the most traumatic and painful.

You’d think with all the downsides sex has brought, all the trauma, shame, guilt that so often have accompanied sex, that we’d shy away from it. But for the most part we keep going back for more. The desires are strong, and they’re rooted in the way we are made. Our need and desire for personal relationship – close, intimate personal relationship – will not be satisfied easily.

In Part 1, I talked about how big this sexual hunger is, and the ways it can often get us in trouble. And now we need to address what to do about it all.

If our desires are built in and divinely created, then it’s what we make the object of those desires and how we try to go about trying to get them met that can be at fault.

So what do we do with our desires? I offer these thoughts:

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Doctor, Doctor: Ignoring the Symptoms

Sick womanI’ll call her Mary.

I could probably use her real name: she’s been dead over 20 years. I met her one night in the emergency room during my residency training. She had been bleeding for months, and finally became so weak that she allowed her family to bring her to the hospital. She hadn’t seen a doctor in years.

The diagnosis was easy to make once I examined her: late stage cervical cancer. We went through the steps: blood transfusion, biopsy, various X-rays, radiation treatment. We kept her as comfortable as we could. But Mary never went home again. She died less than three weeks later.

The real tragedy is that Mary didn’t have to die. At least not then. Not that way. She could have probably lived several more decades enjoying her life, her family – if only ….

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The End of Healthcare As We Know It?

Doctor with Patient's ChartI’m frustrated – in case you couldn’t tell from the title.

Our country has the best scientific innovation in the world. The rapid explosion of knowledge in genetics, pharmacology, bio-medical engineering – just to name a few – are enough to make anyone’s head spin. It’s an exciting time to be in medicine.

And yet we aren’t living much longer. We aren’t living any healthier. And we spend about twice as much on healthcare per person as our friends in any other country.

I believe our country is rapidly moving toward a two-tier system in healthcare.

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