Emotional Allergies: Give Me Something to Fight!

It’s spring. Let the sniffling, headaches, and watery eyes commence!

I am a seasonal allergy sufferer and have been reading that many allergies are our immune system’s way to deal with boredom. We disinfect, immunize and otherwise sterilize the world around us and our bodies are left with nothing to fight.

duty_calls

So they start fighting our own bodies. Or grass. Or cat fur.
Kind of made me think of some things I see on Facebook. Continue reading

When Encouragement DIScourages (Parents, hold your tongues!)

“You might be a little better than average.”

I had asked my dad what he thought of my singing voice and that was his reply: a step above average. I remember this moment vividly, since as a preteen I took it as a cruel insult. How dare he!

I’ve always loved to sing, and being musically inclined, I can indeed carry a tune. But I am not destined to live life defined as “a singer,” and Dad (a musician) knew that.

Did his critique of my talent (or lack thereof) crush my spirit? Continue reading

Writing a Book with a Toddler and a Disability

I’ve never been the ambitious type. Growing up with a severe physical disability (called Arthrogryposis), I learned quickly to accept my lot in life and be happy with what I had–most days, anyway.

This laid-back philosophy, combined with my aversion to schedules, caused me to feel right at home in the college journalism department. I’d been writing for fun all my life, but my desk as Opinions Editor was where I learned to be creative on demand, write poorly/revise later, and meet a deadline. I dropped out just before my senior year to focus on being a new mom, but writing was in my blood. I couldn’t stop. During 3 a.m. nursing sessions, I sat on the floor, babe in my arms, laptop at my toes. (Yes, I type with my toes.)

I typed everything and nothing. Every obscure memory that made my life unique; every hurtful look and awkward conversation and victorious moment. Everything. Fragments, half-thoughts, ramblings, all laid out in a hurry before my newborn started to fuss or drift back to sleep. I wrote about 7,000 words… and then I ran out of steam, in typical Sarah fashion.

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Why Bad Things Happen

I read an opinion piece on CNN today that got my heart pounding. Perhaps you saw it , too? The author posed the question “Why Must the Nation Grieve with God?” In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, I’ve seen heated debates on gun control, mental health, and violence in the media. I’ve heard it said that God didn’t protect those children because we’ve banned Him from schools. We are grieving and desperate to assign some blame in the attempt to right our wrongs. I think this search for answers is healthy and needed, however unhealthy and unnecessary the words we might choose to prove our point.

But the piece I read today came from quite a different angle and got me thinking. The author, Lawrence M. Krauss, a Canadian-American physicist and professor, asked why we have to bring God into our grieving on a national level, citing our president’s quoting of Mark 10:4 (“Let the little children come to me…”) when addressing the nation, and clergy across the country publicly stepping forward to offer words of comfort. These actions are hardly helpful to atheists and people who don’t hold Judeo-Christian beliefs, he says. I can see that. I am a Christian and found the President’s use of scripture comforting, but many people wouldn’t.

Let me cut straight to the part that really disturbed me about this opinion piece. Continue reading