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No news—for a few days

Recently, before we left for Arkansas, I declared a ban on news. I didn’t want to hear anything about what was happening in Washington. But, news today seeps through our cell phones, and a complete ban was impossible. Still, it was refreshing to avoid the blare of news hounding me constantly from newspapers, radio and […]

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In the world

“Most people are on the world, not in it,” John Muir once said.

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The distracted adult syndrome

Too much screen time is bad for children, says Dr. Nicolas Kardaras, author of Glow Kids: How Screen Addiction is Hijacking Our Kids—and How to Break the Trance. In fact, Dr. Kardaras concludes, that brain imaging studies show that excessive screen exposure can damage a young person’s developing brain in the same way that cocaine […]

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How did I build better boundaries?

I wish I had a simple answer. I don’t. For most of life’s big issues, there are simple answers that provide a glimpse of the truth. And, then, there are long answers that reveal the truth. I built better boundaries by getting to know myself, figuring out who I was and what I wanted to […]

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What I learned about boundaries

When I was a child, we ate a farm breakfast before we rushed out of the house to catch the school bus—eggs and bacon or sometimes biscuits and gravy. At the same time that my brothers and I were climbing into the school bus, my parents were leaving the house and starting their daily chores. […]

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Do you have good boundaries?

Many women  come to me for counseling because they have bad boundaries. Some of them didn’t develop good boundaries as the result of physical abuse when they were children. They may have had parents who hit them, slapped them or said mean things to them. Even women who were never abused often are encouraged to […]

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Complain carefully

Julie, a woman who has developed good boundaries, knows that it’s healthy to confide in a close friend about problems she’s having with her supervisor at work. Talking to someone about how she feels about a colleague who was given a promotion that she thinks she deserves helps diffuse her anger. It also might help […]

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What’s required?

I explained to Mary Elizabeth, my college-student daughter, that her dad and I were going to a Sunday School brunch and then church services on Easter Sunday. “You’re welcome to come with us,” I told her. “Am I required to go?” she asked. I paused a moment and then smiled. “We would like for you […]

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Building better boundaries

When I was married to my first husband, I was still a pleaser. My ex-husband loved to tease me, and I hated to be teased. He once called me his “petite pachyderm” when I was pregnant, and I acted as if I thought he was funny even though I felt humiliated and angry. I was […]

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Strong boundaries/weak boundaries

Joy called me and asked how I am doing and then all of a sudden I realized I was talking about how my daughter Ranna is doing. Why did I feel uneasy? Because I was not honoring the boundaries between myself and my adult daughter. Ranna was listening to my phone conversation, and she understood […]

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