Did You Build Your Health?

Senior Working OutPresident Obama stirred up some strong controversy last Friday when he stated in one of his speeches, “If you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen.”

While the politics of that statement have occupied a great deal of the airwaves over the past few days, I have a different take on this controversy. What about your health? Who is responsible for your health or the lack thereof?

What about this: “If you’re healthy, you didn’t do that. Somebody else made that happen.”

Do you really believe that’s true? Who do you want to blame if you’re NOT healthy? And how far are you going to go? What else are you not responsible for?

How about these:

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HALT: Five Ways to Stay Filled Up

Toddler drinking water from hoseWe human beings are needy. It seems like we are always leaking and in need of getting filled up.

Our bodies need water, food, air, exercise, and rest. Disrupt the regular availability of any of these, and you won’t survive very long!

Our minds need stimulation, entertainment, perspective, feedback, humor, and rest. Mess with any of these for very long, and your mind will lose its resilience.

Our souls need communication, intimacy, encouragement, challenge, hope, meaning, depth, joy, and love. And when we don’t experience these, we go looking.

And it’s in the LOOKING that we can get into trouble.

Twelve-step programs have a phrase that illustrates this: Don’t get too Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired. HALT – when these needs are not met, you’re in danger! Your thinking gets cloudy, and you can easily reach for an unhealthy addiction.

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Declare Your Independence

FireworksToday we celebrate American Independence Day, the day our Founding Fathers declared their independence from the British Empire.

And it IS worth celebrating! We appreciate the struggles they went through, the sacrifices they made, and the hard work they endured to build a country based on freedom. Their decision gives us the freedom to celebrate today.

May I remind you that Independence Day was the beginning, not the end. Declaring their independence provoked armed conflict and increased their troubles. Sure, that trauma was temporary, but it was costly! And no one could ensure how long it would take, or even whether their struggle would be successful.

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I Can’t Change Your Life

Thinking Through a DecisionSometimes you hear someone say, “You changed my life!” Perhaps you’ve said it to someone yourself.

But mostly that’s a false statement.

There may be a kernel of truth there, but the larger truth is that I can’t change your life. Nobody else can. It’s up to you!

We get into a lot of trouble when we wait for someone else to change something for us. The real truth is that no government program can fix you. No professional can fix you. No spouse or parent or friend can fix you.

And even God can’t fix you!

At the risk of sounding blasphemous, let me clarify.

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You Are More Powerful Than You Think

You Are More Powerful Than You Think

In your marriage, you are more powerful than you probably realize. There were very few things that surprised me when I got married. I was mature, I knew my husband well, and we took the time we needed to be sure.

But one thing DID surprise me, and at times still does. I’m still sometimes amazed at how powerful I am in my husband’s life.

It’s not because I have tried to change him, or that I’m especially “strong.” I don’t have any magic formula. And I don’t think I’m all that unique in this area.

I believe both husbands and wives often underestimate how much impact they have, or at least can have, on each other. You waste time and energy trying to force your spouse to change, when if you realize where your power really does lie, you’ll be much more successful than you ever imagined.

This kind of power can be used in both good and bad ways. You have the power to hurt and to heal, to build up or to tear down, to make your spouse dread coming home or anxiously look forward to seeing you again during every moment you’re apart.

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