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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Food for the Soul: Learning to Feed Yourself

Food for the Soul: Learning to Feed Yourself

Child Eating FruitWe get hungry! And it starts from the day we’re born.

A newborn baby needs to be fed every 2-3 hours. They are completely dependent on others for the timing, quantity, and quality of the food they receive.

Later a child learns to get food into their mouth if it’s provided. With time food preferences develop, and we have an increasing control over how much food, what kind of food, and when we eat. Eventually everything about what we eat is our own choice.

Some people take feeding themselves to an even higher level. An elite athlete, for example, pays great attention to every detail of what they eat for the purpose of functioning at their maximum performance capacity. They may have a nutrition coach. Their eating is with a purpose.

Food for the soul is just like that.

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A Baby: God’s Opinion That the World Should Go On

Baby SleepingAs an OB-Gyn physician I’ve seen it many many times. A brand new baby comes into the world, takes that first cry, and begins the long journey of life with its ups and downs, joys and sorrows, and more than a little uncertainty.

But today you’ll have to excuse a few of my personal musings. This morning the youngest grandchild in our family entered the world much earlier than planned, but alive and well. She has her mother’s checks, and all ten fingers and ten toes. Mommy and daddy are already exhausted, but thrilled that Madelyn is here. And Poppa and Grandma Carol are proud!

If you are a parent or grandparent perhaps you can remember the soft feel of a baby’s skin, their unique smell, the silkiness of their baby hair, the feel of tiny fingers wrapping around your finger – and your heart.

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