3 Things that are NOT Small Stuff

Funeral FlowersRule Number 1: Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Rule Number 2: It’s ALL small stuff!

There are very few things in life worthy of being excluded from the “small stuff.”

We were reminded of this today when we heard from a friend of ours that his father had passed away this morning. For Peter, his life on this earth is over. For Steve, the long waits at the hospital, the fighting to arrange insurance coverage, the conversations with doctors, the late-night trips to the ER, the frustrations with family members over details – all that is over too. And suddenly all those pesky problems certainly feel like comparatively “small stuff!”

Steve had a chance to tell his father Goodbye. He knows his father was right with God, and he has a strong faith himself. None of that lessens the pain, but it does limit the regrets. And for the rest of us, seeing someone come to the end of life here does help put everything else in perspective.

In the grand scheme of things, what’s NOT small stuff? A few suggestions:

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3 Benefits of Being Single

Single Person with CokeNo little girl grows up dreaming of going to bed every night alone, living by herself in an apartment. No little boy grows up dreaming of always washing his own clothes and cooking his own food. Regardless of whatever else we dream about, most of our childhood dreams include getting married and building a family.

Sooner or later that dream is often somewhat spoiled, broken, or misdirected. Parental divorce, domestic violence, addiction, or our own experiences of broken love may cloud the rosy dream of marital bliss. But for most of us even if that dream is buried, it’s still alive.

Then when marriage doesn’t happen it’s easy to become discouraged. Or perhaps marriage ended and you’re single again. You question, is there something wrong with ME? Where have all the good girls (or guys) gone? Am I doomed to be alone forever? Why doesn’t God answer my prayer for a mate?

I was single for 48 years. Then God brought a wonderful man into my life, and we are very happily married. But I know what it’s like to live year after year alone, wondering why it never happened for me. And I know what it’s like to finally completely give up on ever getting married.

Living alone for all those years, I did learn some very important things about the single life.

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When People Oppose You

When People Oppose You

Man With Stop SignHave you ever tried to accomplish something and found someone trying to block your way? How have you responded?

Just this week I found out that someone I thought of as a colleague was trying to prevent me from practicing medicine in one specific context. At first I was a little surprised, and then I wondered how I should react. Should I be angry?

Then I started to chuckle. This guy is jealous! For some reason he thinks I am competition to him and his business. That’s surprising, as I’ve referred patients to him, and promoted him in other ways. I am doing things he wishes he could do. The only recourse he has is to use his limited power in this specific context to try and slow me down and make things difficult. How small of him!

So no, I’m not angry. I take this as a great compliment. I am making a big enough difference that someone thinks I’m worth trying to stop.

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An Entitlement Mentality in Church

An Entitlement Mentality in Church

An entitlement mentality says, “You owe me!” It encourages me to demand that you do something for me, give me something, or treat me in a uniquely special way – just because. And I have no particular responsibility in return. And sometimes there can be an entitlement mentality in church.

Our Western culture has incorporated an entitlement mentality into much of our lifestyle. This mindset honestly believes that “they” owe me an education, health care, a job, a comfortable home, and just about anything else I want. Social programs abound and enormous amounts of tax money are spent to bolster people’s quality of life without requiring anything of significance from the recipients.

Yes, that’s probably an oversimplification. And I’m not going to comment on the politics or social policy involved. But I DO want to talk about how this entitlement mentality displays itself in the Christian community.

I had a classmate in graduate school whose story highlighted this for me.

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5 Tips for Getting Past the Drama

Drama MasksIn my office today sat a couple planning the next steps in their journey to try to have a child. Couples dealing with infertility are already on somewhat of an emotional roller-coaster. On top of all this the additional stress of the Christmas holiday season is sometimes just too much.

But for this couple it wasn’t the physical or emotional pressure of infertility, or the extra travel or financial “stuff” over the Christmas holiday season, or the somewhat depressing weather that was getting them down: it was the family drama they had just been through. Why does it seem the holidays so often bring that drama to a boiling point?

I doubt this couple are the only ones who have just experienced some fatiguing family drama.

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