Celebrating Christmas—Which Gifts Keep On Giving?

By Elana B When my sister and I were young, and still believed in the picture-book Santa with his bag of toys, we decided to stay up as late as possible on Christmas Eve, hoping to catch a glimpse of him, if not his reindeer. Our house was small, didn’t have a fireplace, but we weren’t worried about the details since we’d received gifts before with tags signed by “Santa Claus,” and knew he didn’t need a chimney because he could walk in our front door. My sister was five-and-a-half and I w...
More

Are You Trapped in a “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall” Image?

By Elana B   These “mirror mirror” words precede the famous line from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs:  “Who’s the fairest of them all?”  Most of us would not answer, “It’s me!”  Rather, too many of us see ourselves through a looking glass darkly, critically—we notice every spot, every flaw, every blemish as larger than life.  The voice in our mirror doesn’t tell us how great looking we are; in fact, our mirror’s voice sounds does just the opposite.   Just when do we begin ...
More

Love Makes a Child’s World Go Round

By Elana B. I remember singing a song as a young child at church: “Jesus loves me this I know; for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong; they are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!  Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”   I am so grateful for this simple song.  It reminded me that I was loved, by one who had also experienced difficult trials, as well as unfair, unloving, and inappropriate treatment. It kept me focused on...
More

Why Should I Show Compassion to Those Who Hurt Me?

A particularly slow driver ahead of me was lighting my fuse. “Come on, Grandma, find the gas pedal!” I said to myself. I begin mumbling and wondering why she couldn’t keep up with the flow of traffic, drive the speed limit, or pick a lane and stay in it. As soon as I labeled the driver, it struck me that I was a “Grandma” now, and I felt embarrassed as I thought about why that driver might be moving slower than was convenient for me: perhaps she was looking for a street or address, and was havin...
More

How Can I Be Positive in a Negative Situation?

  Life can make you sick, literally and figuratively. Staying positive, seeing the glass as half full, finding the silver lining in the cloud are all good mindset goals, but, for individuals who are suffering with chronic mental, physical or temporal conditions, it is easier said than done. Achieving those goals may seem unrealistic or impossible! So, what can help us when we’re afflicted with an illness or condition that affects us day in and day out? Can we find a holy grail of coping ...
More

A Sense of Humor in a Challenging World

by Elana B. Humor is a blessing. It makes us smile. It makes us laugh. It helps us enjoy life more often than not. It even helps us see funny when we don’t feel like it. It gives us perspective. It can take a frown and turn it upside down into a smile! Some people seem to see the world as “funny”, while some see shadows all around. What makes the difference? If we’re a “shadows” kind of person, how can we step into the sunshine? Are some people born to be happy with a good sense of humor, ...
More