Personal

Finding Gratitude Between Privilege and Poverty

A few months ago I took a weekend trip to Mexico, on the Yucatan peninsula. As I drove down the highway from the airport to my hotel, I listened closely to the radio and translated as much in my head as I could. Something about “Saturday at 7,” and “huge sale on cars, call this number!” I did my best. At some point on my drive I realized that the hotel was a straight shot from where I was, so all ...

Humility

Meek. Humble. Humility. When is the last time you heard someone resolve to be more humble? Or saw “humility” listed as a strong point on someone’s resume? Has anyone ever told you, “Oh, by the way, I’ve just found this great set of self-improvement videos and I’m spending the next eight weeks trying to develop inner humility”? I’m guessing not. Humility is a good thing, but it’s terribly misunders...

Wealth

When it comes to money and wealth, we always look at those who have more than us: Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and other members of the ‘1%.’ Those people are wealthy, no doubt. But what if we flipped our perspective? What if we look at who is behind us on a global scale? There is a website that does this—you can put in your yearly income and see where you land compared to the world’s population. Th...

When Travel Raises the Hard Questions

Travel is trendy. Your local boutique store very likely sells coffee mugs and phone cases printed with “wanderlust” or “the mountains are calling” (insert trendy arrows and geometric designs), and you are tempted to buy these because you want to epitomize intrepidity, even while drinking coffee and scrolling your newsfeed on another mundane Monday at work. But why do we feel the tug to travel? I w...

There’s more to traveling than getting drunk.

If you could travel to anywhere in the world right now, where would you decide to go? Would you choose a romantic getaway in Paris? An exotic beach vacation in The Bahamas? Or how about a historic tour of Florence? Chances are, if you’re American, you’ve probably fantasized about traveling to one of these (or other) new and exciting places. After all, the grass is always greener, no matter where y...

Impact sports impacted me.

In our five years of marriage, my wife and I have talked about our children and sports a fair amount—and especially recently, because two of our children are at the age where they could potentially begin playing sports. It’s that level where kids run up and down a field, or pick flowers, as a soccer ball lays in the middle of the field with no one to kick it. But, they have so much energy, they cl...

Somewhere Between Coffee and Crazy

Sometimes I think I’m crazy. Right now I’m sitting in a coffee shop, with my earbuds and my latte, and I feel quite normal. Today I had the day off work. I slept in, I scrambled eggs, I stopped by a friend’s house, and now I’m here—drinking my latte and feeling normal. But some days, I think I’m crazy. Some days I do things that are so crazy I don’t want to tell you about them. Because I’m embarra...

Thanks, Lexapro!

If I had a list of all of the things my anxiety caused me to avoid over the course of my life, I’d be the owner of one incredibly long list. It’d probably be more of a scroll, really. I’m talking about enough paper to wallpaper a house, or wrap a million Christmas presents. Enough paper to craft a flock of paper mache birds large enough to block out the sun. Enough paper to make a fleet of paper a...

Mental Health

What do Christians think about mental illness? There are a lot of stereotypes out there, unfortunately. You can find people, Christian or not, who have TERRIBLE ideas like these: Mental illness is not real. Anybody who claims to have it just needs to try harder (take more vitamins, put on a happy face, get out of the house—fill in the obnoxious advice of your choice); Mental illness is the same th...

Identity

Not everyone is comfortable with who they are, and the world knows this all too well. Digital and print advertisements prey on our desire to be the best version of ourselves. We are constantly exposed to commercial branding that would have us reinvent our identity again and again. From hair color to the perfect car, many of these products are aimed at reflecting, enhancing, and in some cases, crea...

Adaptive Identities

Who am I, really?  Who are you? Good way to go crazy, you might be thinking to yourself about now. Bear with me for a moment. Think about how—once you started to think about it at all—the way you think about yourself has changed over the years. As a teenager, you may have done a lot to impress your peers, whether it was acing the science test, hanging out with the “cool” kids, or getting into a su...

Pornography

Have you ever come across pornography on the internet when you weren’t looking for it? You’re not alone. Even 70+% of teenagers encounter porn online by accident. The internet’s anonymity and accessibility has led to a flood of pornographic production and consumption in our society. In 2001, it’s estimated that there were 70,000 porn websites; by 2005, there were 4.2 million. More pornographic vid...