Here is a wonderful quote by Elizabeth Barrett Browning: Earth crammed with heaven, And every common bush a fire with
In ways, fear and anxiety are like wanting to know the 10-day forecast so that you can make plans well in advance and know what to expect. The thing about 10-day forecasts, though, is that they are rarely right. The voice of fear tells us that if we can plan out and answer all of the questions rolling around in our minds we will feel like we are in control and the stress will go away. But control is elusive – especially in light of a pandemic.
The mental health impacts of COVID-19 remain to be seen, and I anticipate there will be some significant fallout. This list is not meant to be an exhaustive approach to boosting your mental health as there are a lot of ways to improve your mental well-being, but as I think about spending more time at home than I might be used to, these were strategies that came to mind that I will be intentional to practice over the next several weeks. We are in this pandemic together. Let’s be intentional about encouraging one another to take care of ourselves physically AND emotionally.
Begin with recognizing your strong emotions and the thoughts and instincts that partner with them. Be still and notice them. Allow yourself to even be curious about them. Notice without reacting what this inner intensity produces in your thoughts without taking these thoughts too literally. As you quiet your reactions to them, you can pray for wisdom about what to do or think about them.
God graciously included instructions for His people to look at the birds of the air (and the lilies of the field if you continue reading in Matthew 6) as a tangible reminder of his provision and care. I don’t have to scan the sky for long before I notice a bird flying overhead. How often have I read the words “Do not worry” and mindlessly filled in the rest of the sentence—“look at the birds of the air” without actually stopping to consider the birds of the air or what this verse is trying to teach? What if each time I saw a bird, I reminded myself of God’s care for me.
Pastors and their families work every day with emotional, relational, financial and spiritual stress…It comes with a Call—what many pastors see as a mandate in life.
Shame was the topic that was addressed at our latest Frontlines: Counseling Conversations for Church Leader seminar. This blog series serves as a follow up to that event and is also an attempt to confront shame head-on.
weary of their waiting. (Doesn’t sound much different from us, right?) They longed for the Messiah who had been promised to them and who would be able to crush the head of the serpent. On that dark night, the angels appear to lowly shepherds to announce that the plan of redemption has been set in motion.