23 02, 2018

Hope in the Crop Fields: Luciano’s Story

2018-02-23T09:27:49-06:00February 23rd, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

For much of his life, Luciano Hernández has faced the constant threat of financial insecurity. Saving and planning for the future of his family—his wife Irma and five children—seemed out of reach. But in recent years, Luciano has found hope and opportunity in his community of Coatecas Altas in Oaxaca, a southern state in Mexico. He says “My life has changed a lot. I started working at age 12. When I got married and had children, I emigrated to find work so that I could feed them. I came back to get my wife and children and take [...]

16 02, 2018

If Lent were an Olympic Sport…, by Rachel Fisher

2018-02-16T09:30:45-06:00February 16th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

The winter Olympics are in full swing, and one of the most notable names on Team USA is snowboarder Chloe Kim. When asked about the pressure placed upon athletes competing in the games, the 17-year-old simply stated, “I don’t really think about it as pressure. Pressure is a byproduct of expectations, and expectations mean that people believe in you.” Only a few days later, Kim would go on to win the gold medal in the snowboard halfpipe, but not before tweeting “Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I’m getting hangry.” [...]

9 02, 2018

Addiction, by Sherry Yingling, MA, LMFT, LPC

2018-02-09T09:11:05-06:00February 9th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

“Addiction” is often used to refer to abuse of substances, but it can also include other behaviors such as: gambling, eating, video games, sexual obsessions, working, religiosity, codependency patterns, etc. Some experts define it as, “Anything one does excessively for the purpose of avoiding a thought or emotion.” Addiction is a cycle of use, recovery, and relapse and involves dependence in three key areas: physiological, psychological, and emotional. To break the cycle, all three of these areas must be addressed.  The physiological component of addiction is explained well through a concept often heard in recovery programs: “It is not [...]

2 02, 2018

Guilt and Shame by Audrey Omenson, M.A., LPC-S Clinical Director NFCC

2018-02-02T09:39:20-06:00February 2nd, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Guilt and shame are two incredibly powerful emotions. Often used interchangeably, guilt is specific to regret regarding an action or decision. However, in the words of Brené Brown, shame is “an intensely painful feeling or experience of believing we are flawed and therefore unworthy of acceptance and belonging.”  Guilt is about something we’ve done; shame is about who we are. Sometimes, these emotions arise due to an action, decision or belief of our own. Other times, these emotions come up based on the words or actions of those around us. An important practice with these emotions is separating the [...]

26 01, 2018

Illness, by Patrick S. Tennant, Ph.D., LMFT-Associate

2018-01-26T08:42:09-06:00January 26th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Illness is, almost without exception, a struggle that is common to all of us. Whether chronic or acute, through personal experience or that of a loved one, temporary or terminal, it is challenging to imagine any life completely untouched by illness. And that feature of this struggle makes another feature of it so confounding: illness can often be utterly isolating. It can feel as though it separates a person from family, friends, and even themselves. It can lead to scary, existential questions, messy legal fights, and complicated logistical realities that challenge even strong family units. Through all of this, [...]

19 01, 2018

Grief, by Janet Crow, MA, LPC

2018-01-19T09:03:06-06:00January 19th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Grief is something everyone experiences at some point. Having tools to grieve and mourn allows us to focus on the experience of the loss, find new courage and hope to survive the pain, and move forward in time. Loss thrusts upon us disappointments we did not choose, but also opportunities we did not imagine. Loss challenges our basic assumption about ourselves and our future while at the same time, loss forces us to re-structure our lives. It is important to realize losses can be more than death of a loved one and include: loss of people you love, pets, [...]

12 01, 2018

Betrayal, by Heather Timmis, MA, LMFT

2018-01-12T09:43:15-06:00January 12th, 2018|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

Betrayal, at its core, is a breach of trust in a valued relationship. This can happen in many ways and it can hurt on any number of levels. After a discovery of a betrayal, various feelings rise to the surface. The first is often anger, but anger tends to be a blanket emotion covering other feelings such as hurt, fear, frustration, confusion, sadness, disappointment, or resentment. However, the feeling of betrayal can manifest itself in ways outside of thoughts and feelings via physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pain, indigestion, and other aches. Therefore, it is imperative to engage [...]

29 12, 2017

Being an Acolyte

2017-12-29T08:45:47-06:00December 29th, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|1 Comment

After my confirmation at St. Luke’s, I knew I wanted to become more involved in the church services. I primarily attended Sunday School instead of the services as a child, but as I grew older I found that I enjoyed listening to the sermons and liked the traditional aspect of the services. After looking for a way to become involved in the service, I became an acolyte. The acolytes light the candles at the opening and closing of every service, providing light at the altar and to God. At the end of the service, the acolyte carries the [...]

22 12, 2017

Nutcrackers, by Kathleen Ownby

2017-12-22T10:04:29-06:00December 22nd, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

There are two types of nutcrackers… those that crack nuts and those that do not. I collect nutcrackers that are usually carved of wood in the shapes of soldiers, knights, kings or other professions and are not functional for cracking nuts. Since at least the 15th century, carving nutcrackers in rural forested German towns became an industry that often provided the only income. Nutcrackers became popular in the United States after World War II due to the first production of the Nutcracker Ballet in 1940 and to soldiers talking about the carved “dolls” when they returned home from [...]

15 12, 2017

The Music Box, by Sid Davis

2017-12-15T10:11:43-06:00December 15th, 2017|All blogs, We Tell Our Stories|0 Comments

A dear friend and mentor, Craig Hella Johnson, describes choosing music for a day like today as listening to “knockings” that happen deep inside. That is a very accurate picture of how certain selections seem to float to the top as the Christmas Festival takes shape in my head. Some results of those quiet voices need no explanation, but for a few, it might help to crack the door just a bit in order for us all to understand what we are hearing, and why. We begin this morning with an antique music box -— the 19th century [...]