Loneliness: The Other Pandemic

It’s been over 10 months since the world was thrown into a global pandemic the likes of which we haven’t seen in over a century. Two million people have died as fear continues to rage through our society, and a cough in a public place can earn you a dirty look. But, along with the obvious pandemic that has dominated so much of our lives- the one with masks and vaccines and ventilators and politics- there is another pandemic destroying our country and our world, although much more subtly- the pandemic of loneliness. Why is being with other people such...

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Talking to your kids about “MOMO”

Navigating the Scary Online World   What it is MOMO. MOMO is a character of Japanese origin (also called “mother bird”) with bug eyes, slits for a nose, and a mouth shaped somewhat beak-like. The overall effect of the character is creepy and disturbing. It has been used in Memes and on various media platforms with sexual, violent, and self-harming connotations. From this has risen reports of an “internet challenge” similar to the Blue Whale and Tide Pod challenge in which MOMO appears and challenges/commands viewers to participate in various violent or suicidal behavior.  Additional reports have surfaced this week...

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The Experience of Awe and How It Changes Us

When was the last time you were in awe of something?  I mean, really taken over by the magnitude of whatever it was?  It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately. Watching my son walk the dog is amazing.  He is only four years old, so the dog is really walking him.  Our little circle is only about 1/4 mile trek, but it can take over 30 minutes to make it all the way around.  My son stops to inspect every ant, pick up every rock, pluck every flowering weed along the roadway.  He often wants to keep these...

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Is Forgiveness Always Good?

The English poet Alexander Pope once wrote, “To err is human, to forgive, divine.” Indeed, forgiveness is an indispensable part of living a healthy emotional and spiritual life. So important, in fact, that when Jesus was teaching his followers how to pray, he instructed them to ask God to forgive them in the same way they forgive others. Let that sink in for a moment. Jesus said to ask for God’s forgiveness in the same way that you give it. He actually went on to say that if you refuse to forgive others, you will not be forgiven yourself. What...

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The Reluctant Caregiver

The Reluctant Caregiver

My name is Lida Caraway and I am one the therapists at that The Shepherd’s Staff Counseling Center. As I attempt to carry on my normal life as a therapist and wife and mom and person in the world, my eighty-seven-year-old father lives with me and seems to encroach on that normality at every given moment. I continue to be struck by how many of my clients are in somewhat of the same situation; care-taking for a family member in some capacity that significantly effects them. I have found that voicing some of my frustrations through humor and writing have...

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Just Be

“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:11-12 I recently read an article about the importance of a quiet...

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Suicide and Generation X

Why are so many people of my generation killing themselves? I began writing this blog in May after hearing about the death of Chris Cornell and did not finish before learning that another high-profile musician from my era, Chester Bennington, tragically took his own life this past weekend. Some have speculated that Generation X, being a kind of “sandwich generation,” has had a singular difficulty as the middle child between the vaunted Baby Boomers and the younger Millennials, both of which are larger in number and garner more attention, for better and for worse. Indeed, there’s not much that’s said...

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Five Ways To Prepare Your Toddler

Five Ways To Prepare Your Toddler

Welcome back to our series on toddlerhood. Today’s blog will focus on five ways to PREPARE our little ones for their lives ahead. If you missed any of the previous blogs on toddlerhood, you can find them here: Five Ways To Connect With Your Toddler Five Ways To Correct Your Toddler Five Ways To Protect Your Toddler As parents who love our kids and want them to thrive, we obviously want to give them the emotional tools they need to do so. Here are five things we can do to help PREPARE them: 1. BE RESPONSIVE WHEN THEY ARE UPSET....

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Five Ways To Protect Your Toddler

Five Ways To Protect Your Toddler

I hope you are finding this series of toddlerhood blogs helpful. In previous blogs we have covered the importance of CONNECTING with your toddler, as well as a few ways to CORRECT some of their behaviors. If you are new to this series, you can find those blogs with the following links: Five Ways To Connect With Your Toddler Five Ways to Correct Your Toddler Today’s topic explores five ways to PROTECT your toddler. When we think of protection, our minds understandably go to the ways our toddlers are most vulnerable. Cars, big kids, bullies, and especially predators… those are...

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Five Ways To Correct Your Toddler

Five Ways To Correct Your Toddler

Today’s topic is five ways to CORRECT your toddler. If you have not yet seen part one of this series, I’d recommend checking it out before moving on. It addresses how to build CONNECTION with our little ones, which gives us a lot more cred with them in the more difficult moments. You can find part one here. When thinking about correcting certain toddler behaviors, it is important to remember two guiding principles:   1. Love is a stronger motivator than fear, so “connect before you correct.” 2. Our modeling of appropriate behaviors is much more effective than any other...

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