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relationships

The gift of acceptance

Aimee and John were arguing even as they entered my counseling office. Aimee announced, “I just found out John’s been smoking again. I can’t believe it. What’s wrong with him?” It was John’s turn to blast Aimee. “She treats me like I’m 15 years old. I know smoking is not good for me. I don’t smoke in the house and I don’t smoke when I’m around…

on

How to stop making Christmas happen for everyone

The holidays can sometimes make you feel angry, hurt and tired. Often times, it seems like you’re the only one doing all the preparations for making the holiday a nice one. If it weren’t for you, there’d be no tree, no presents, no cookies, and no Christmas dinner. Maybe it’s not only the holidays that make you feel this way. Sometimes…

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The risks of early dating

“Boys and girls who start dating at a young age may have more school and behavioral problems than their peers,” suggests a study to be published in the December issue of the Journal of Adolescence. Early Daters were defined as kids who began dating at approximately 11 ½ years of age. That would be the average age of a 6th grader. On Time…

Do you know how to ask for what you want or need?

In my last blog I talked about a woman who wanted to get her friend to stop commenting to her about her parenting style but she feared offending her friend and losing the friendship. Sometimes it can be tricky to express our feelings and needs wisely. One of most useful skills we can learn when we want to know how to express our feelings…

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Shortcuts

It was great! The ultimate shortcut when I was a student took me and my two girl friends right past a bakery on the way to class. We’d stop for our favorite muffins or chocolate-iced long johns, then leisurely finish the walk to our junior high school. Yummy, fun, and we were oh-so-cool in our bell bottom jeans. Until. . .one day when we…

Liz Curtis Higgs

on

A time to say “No!”

Sarah came to counseling astonished that it has taken her fifty years to finally learn how to say “No.” “I’ve always put everyone else first,” she said. “Now I see that I’ve only enabled my husband’s selfishness to flourish.” One of my relatives recently shared a similar story. At 74 years old, she wired up her courage and said, “N…

on

How to initiate a difficult conversation

John and Cindy frequently argued about how to handle their finances. John bought the latest electronic gadgets. Cindy clipped coupons and shopped second hand stores. As retirement loomed, Cindy’s anxiety about their financial future grew. Every time she tried to talk with John about saving more money however, he became defensive…

on

Are you guilty of verbal assault?

“Reckless words pierce like a sword.” Proverbs 12:18  “With his mouth the godless destroys his neighbor” Proverbs 11:9 “The tongue has the power of life and death. Proverbs 18:21 Growing up we all heard the nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones will break our bones but words will never hurt us.” It is a lie. The wounds may be invisible,…

on

Get rid of it

Like many of you, I’m simplifying my life. I’m getting rid of stuff I don’t need, don’t use, can’t take care of or don’t want. Recently I ran across an old letter I’d saved, written by my mother. Throughout my entire life, we had an emotionally destructive relationship. Even as an adult, as a Christian and as a professional counselor,…

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