Stress

How I Replaced Stress with Peace

November 2021 | Published in Stress

I had a solo and five or six ensemble/quartet pieces to practice, a music exam coming up, and a speech (partly in the local Xhosa dialect) to prepare for. And not only that, but I hadn’t received the speech’s text from the organizers, or the music for which I was supposed to write a harmony!

I don’t like being stressed, and I don’t normally get that stressed, but this time was different. I kept thinking about what I had to do, mentally rearranging it over and over. This actually led to more stress and worry, as the pieces of the alarmingly intricate puzzle would float out of place in my head as soon as I got them in order.

How to Eat a Bison

October 2021 | Published in Stress

“I just can’t do it; it’s too much work for me!” Robbie cried with despair in his eyes. I’d been helping to homeschool Robbie from first grade, and at the start of second grade, he was overwhelmed by his workload.

“How many lessons will I have every day? And every week? And every month?” More and more tears welled up in his eyes as we reviewed the school year ahead of us.

The Tempest Tree

March 2021 | Published in Getting Through

If you’ve ever felt like your whole life has been uprooted and you have no idea how you’ll make it to the next day, take heart from the Turner’s Oak—a 16-meter-tall giant planted in 1798 and now thriving in the Royal Botanic Kew Gardens, just south of London. In the 1980s, it was sickly and looked like it might die. Then on the 16th of October, 1987, the Great Storm hit parts of the United Kingdom, France, and the Channel Islands. It may have been the worst storm to hit since 1703 and knocked over 15 million trees in the south of England in just one hour. Among its victims was the Turner’s Oak. The wind lifted the tree by its shallow root plate completely out of the ground, violently shook it, and then set it back down again like a giant hand lifting a wine glass up by its stem and then plopping it back on the table.

The Master’s Secret

October 2020 | Published in Stress

This year, we’ve seen an unprecedented number of lives upended by the COVID-19 health crisis, and far too many are still being impacted.

Stress Busters

October 2020 | Published in Stress

Thousands of pages have been written about the subject of stress, so I wonder if there’s really anything new I could possibly say to help someone who is struggling with it. Most likely not. I myself am still fighting that “beast” that tries to pull me down and take away my joy of living.

The Mystery of Less

October 2020 | Published in Stress

Do you ever feel like, in order to meet your own expectations and those of others, you’d have to work relentlessly, push through the tired, ignore the stress—and you still might come up short? The demands will always outweigh the resources. Just thinking about this is stressful, yet it is under exactly this stress that we spend most of our time.

My Jenga Tower

July 2020 | Published in Stress

One of my favorite games involves pulling things apart. It’s a high-risk game, as no matter how awesomely you’re doing, things can go wrong very quickly, and then it’s all over.

A game of Jenga begins with a tower of crisscrossing wooden blocks stacked on top of each other, three in one direction in each level, covered by three in the alternate direction in the next level, and so on.

Jesus and My Bag

March 2020 | Published in Stress

Over the years, my backpack has taken a lot of abuse. I’ve taken it out in the blazing sun and in the pouring rain, around my neighborhood and on overseas trips. It’s gone with me to humanitarian projects and on holidays. In fact, almost everywhere I’ve gone, so has my bag.

Christmas Stress Busters

December 2019 | Published in Christmas

Christmas is a great time for giving, getting together with old friends and new, and rediscovering the importance of family and of spirituality. But Christmas can also be hectic and even frustrating if we don’t manage our time and our moods correctly. I know.

The Wonders of Our Immune System

October 2019 | Published in Health

Sometimes we get sick, but most of the time we can stay healthy in spite of constantly being under attack from a myriad of harmful viruses and bacteria. For that daily miracle, we can thank God, who created our immune system.

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