What Do You Want?

Anxious Young WomanIt’s one of the first questions I ask a patient who comes to see me: “What do you want us to accomplish together?” As a gynecologist and reproductive endocrinologist I might get answers such as, “To get pregnant,” or “get rid of this pain,” or “regulate my periods,” or “stop these hot flashes.” Of course there are plenty of other possible answers also.

So much frustration, misunderstanding, disappointment, and upset feelings can be avoided by getting this clear up front. Medically, I may or may not be able to help a patient get what they want, but it’s always the most important issue to address.

The same thing holds true in so many areas of life. Clarifying what you want dramatically increases your chance of getting it.

Even Jesus followed this when talking with people. He often asked something like, “What do you want me to do for you? (See Matt 20:32, Mark 10:36, John 5:6). Even God has a hard time satisfying us if we have no idea what we want!

Continue reading...

What God Will NOT Do For You

Ambulance at HospitalThere are a few things God will not do for you.

That sounds terrible! But it’s true.

Let me first assure you that I am a believer. I have experienced God doing some pretty awesome things for me and around me. I believe in miracles. I pray for them, and I know God hears and answers prayer.

But we human beings sometimes presume on God’s grace and think that will excuse our bad behavior. Just recently two different friends have been in the hospital for heart or blood pressure problems almost certainly caused by a very unhealthy lifestyle. Another wonders why God does not bring her a godly husband, while still playing around sexually with a drug addict. A preacher friend grieves over his daughter running away from home, but was never there when she needed him.

Al (my husband) has told many times how he would leave the doctor’s office after getting a chest X-ray, and celebrate the “no news is good news” result with another cigarette. (Thankfully he quit smoking some years ago now.)

Thankfully God does not treat us as we deserve. He offers us grace. But He does not always reverse the natural consequences of our behavior.

Continue reading...

No More Conversation!

ConversationTalking is good. Communication is even better. Having a good conversation warms the hearts of friends and improves understanding when people disagree.

But talk is cheap! I think I’ve heard it until I’m sick of the phrase: “Let’s start a conversation about this.”

Haven’t you heard this too? People are frustrated, upset, or unhappy about some state of affairs, and someone proposes to start a conversation.

Conversations abound about these areas:

Continue reading...

The Benefits of Anxiety

Anxious Young ManAnybody out there want to be anxious? Probably not.

Anxiety is a very unpleasant feeling. Your heart may race. Your stomach may be in knots. You may have trouble sleeping and trouble concentrating.

Medical doctors see a lot of patients with anxiety. About 20% of patients seeing a primary care doctor actually have a diagnosable anxiety disorder! They may have many different symptoms, but anxiety is the underlying issue for many.

Untreated or longstanding anxiety is certainly not good for your health. It’s a marker of stress, and we all know what long-term stress can do.

But there IS something very positive about anxiety.

Continue reading...
5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

5 Times to NOT Care What Anyone Thinks

Happy FarmerI might not say it in quite those words, but it’s really true: “I don’t care what you think!” In fact it HAS to be true, or I’m no good to you or anybody else.

For a people-pleasing person like me, that conclusion is a hard one to come to. I learned very well how to please professors, bosses, and other superiors. I learned how to read the reaction of patients and respond in ways that they could understand. Most people liked me.

But I was comparatively useless.

It’s my unique understanding that makes me most valuable. And it’s YOUR unique life experience and perspective that someone else – or the world – needs. If you care too much what others think of you, your ideas, or your way of doing things, you won’t be any good to anyone.

Continue reading...