Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together

Babette’s Feast: The Healing Power of Gratitude

posted by Linda Mintle

One of my favorite movies is an endearing foreign film entitled, Babette’s Feast.  The setting is a small coastal danish town where twin sisters live a pious life as daughters of a Lutheran  minister who founded a religious sect. The sisters live a rather austere life with little enjoyment. Enjoying food was frowned upon.

Babette, a political refugee, arrives in the town and moves in with the sisters. Unbeknownest to the sisters, Babette is an exquisite chef from Paris. Babette wins the lottery and uses all of her money to throw an elaborate feast for the church members. The elaborate feast loosens the uptight and bitter congregation and is enjoyed. Healing and reconciliation of many broken relationships begins to happen. Babette not only teaches the sisters that pious living does not have to include a lack of pleasure and enjoyment but also demonstrates that bitterness can be overcome by gratitude.

Have you thought about gratitude as a source of healing?

Giving is uplifting. Gratitude lowers stress in our physical bodies, boosting our immune systems. It combats depression, helps us forgive and cope better with disappointments. And like the story of Babette’s feast, gratitude brings life and healing.

Feast and enjoy. In the process, give thanks!

 

Suggested reading to uplift your spirit:

John Tierney, “A Serving of Gratitude May Save the Day,”The New York Times, November 21, 2011.

Gretchen Rubin, The Happiness Project, Harper Books, 2009.

G.K. Chesterton, “The Strangest Story in the World,” Trinity Forum Reading, 2009.

 

The Skinny on Trendy Body Wraps

posted by Linda Mintle

When comedian Ellen Degeneres stepped out of her shower wrapped like a mummy to show America how she prepared for the Oscars in 2011, we all got a good laugh. She was engaging in one of the beauty secrets of the stars–body wraps!

Yes, the all natural body wrap claims to slim down the body, treat cellulite, detox the body and cause weight loss. The “science” I found on many product websites is based on the wrap drawing out the toxins in your body’s fat cells. By applying natural products to the skin and wrapping the body in bandages, the toxins ooze out resulting in natural weight loss.

Sound great, right? Well, the age old question is, “Does this really work?” Do these body wraps remove inches and toxins?

I hate to be a kill joy, but doctors say there is no real science to support the body wrap claims for weight loss and cellulite removal. Sandra Fryhofer, MD, past president of the American College of Physicians, says. “I don’t know of any scientific basis for the detox.” The body wraps temporarily makes you lose water weight, but that weight loss quickly disappears. You lose weight because you are sweating.

And the wraps don’t rid a person of cellulite as some also claim. You just can’t suck out the fat through a wrap! Your skin might look better after the wrap but the cellulite won’t magically disappear. Body wraps are considered a fad when it comes to weight loss claims.

That said, the body wrap can feel very relaxing and make you feel pampered and temporarily smooth out your skin. Many spas offer these treatments. If you want one, go ahead and indulge yourself, but know you aren’t buying a weight loss method or cellulite removal.

And the body wraps that have a lot of fragrance can irritate the skin of some people.

Also, if you struggle with claustrophobia, the wrap could bring on a sense of anxiety or panic.

Dehydration can also result if a person doesn’t stay hydrated.

The bottom line: Body wraps feel good, calm the nerves and allow you to be pampered. Other claims need to be proven by real science and so far, the scientific community can’t support those claims.

 

 

7 Tips to Help Your Child With Nightmares

posted by Linda Mintle

A number of parents email me concerned about their children having nightmares and want to know how to help. Sometimes the cure is obvious. Take the case of my neighbor who, during a family movie night, selected a movie that appeared to be family friendly but had a disturbing ending. Her two youngest children were so bothered by the misfortune of the main character that they could not sleep and had bad dreams. In this case, the movie’s story was too much for those young minds. It is not just violence, language and sex that adults must screen for before choosing a movie. Sometimes the themes are too adult and disturbing for children to handle. Nightmares can result.

Between the ages of three and six, nightmares occur for two developmental reasons: 1) Fears begin to develop 2) A child’s imagination is very active. Being overly tired, getting irregular sleep, dealing with stress and anxiety all increase the possibility of nightmares. In rare cases, nightmares can be caused by genetic factors so always check with your pediatrician before assuming cause.

A study published in the journal Sleep found three common traits in children with nightmares. These traits were noticed as early as five months of age. According to the study, children who tended to have nightmares had difficult temperaments (based on ratings by mothers), were restless during the day and were anxious and difficult to calm down

Nightmares are often a way for children to cope with unpleasant events or change in their lives like divorce, a death, beginning school, moving, etc. So if you have a child experiencing nightmares, think about his or her daily life and see if you can identify reasons for him or her to feel anxious or out of control.  Make sure the culprit isn’t  watching scary media. It took me years to get over the flying monkeys in the Wizard of Oz!

Here are 7 tips to help a child with nightmares:

1)    Add a nightlight to the bedroom.

2)    Keep the bedroom door open.

3)    Briefly check under the bed and in the closet for “monsters.”

4)    Offer lots of physical reassurance when a child wakes up scared.

5)    Give the child a special blanket or toy to keep him or her company.

6)    Make sure the child is following a regular sleep routine. Keep the routine upbeat and soothing.

7)    Pray with your child before he or she goes to bed and ask God to give him or her sweet dreams. Remind your child that angels watch over him or her.

School Casino Night: Harmless Fun or Risk for Addiction?

posted by Linda Mintle

It’s “Casino Night” at the local high school. The flyer sent home reads, “Bring your family for a night of food and fun and raise money for our school.” But is exposing kids to the real world of gambling and betting a good way to fund raise? Isn’t this just harmless fun?

Walk the halls of most high schools and you’ll find teens gambling before, during and after school. It is estimated that 4-6% of all adolescents are pathological gamblers and even more gamble occasionally. Whether it is playing craps, cards, football pools, sports betting, lottery, dice or pool, it all begins as harmless fun. But what may surprise you is that teens are more susceptible to gambling than adults. This is due to their impulsivity, peer pressure influences, emerging egos, desire to win, lack of understanding the consequences of gambling and feelings of invincibility.

Gambling has gone mainstream in American culture and has desensitized our kids to the problem of addiction and financial ruin that pathological gambling bring. From an early age, kids learn that winning is what counts. During adolescence, that competitive spirit coupled with fragile identity, ego formation and little fear of the consequences of behavior can lead to risk-taking behavior. Gambling represents quick money, a quick fix and a way to be “in” with those who see no harm in such activities. Every “win” reinforces the activity. For those at risk for addiction, “harmless fun” ends in bondage.

Usually those who become addicted are intelligent, risk-takers, perfectionists, impulsive, high energy, good students and possibly involved in drugs and alcohol. Parents are often unaware of the problem because these teens appear to have their act together. But the signs of a gambling problem are identifiable. They are: 1) Preoccupation with gambling. 2) More money is needed to achieve the excitement of gambling. 3) Efforts to stop, cut back or control gambling are unsuccessful. 4) Gambling is used to escape and avoid life problems. 5) Gambling continues even though money is lost. 6) The extent of the problem is denied and lied about to others. 6) Financing the habit may involve illegal activities. 7) Relationships, jobs, educational or career opportunities are lost because of gambling. 8) Desperation leads to asking for money.

Ultimately, the spiritual state of the teen must be addressed as he/she realizes that indulging in impulsive acts always has consequences and “luck” is not a biblical concept. Our lives are purposeful, planned and directed by God. Surrender is the key. As we surrender to His higher purposes and take responsibility for our behavior, He guides and directs our lives. Psalm 37:23 reminds us that chance isn’t a part of the Christian life, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, And He delights in His way.”

There are no quick fixes or short cuts to the refining God wants to do when forming our character and development. When we realize that only the things of God can satisfy the deep yearnings of the heart, we are less inclined to turn to other things that promise success but don’t deliver. Taking a chance with God is no gamble at all. There are no losers in God’s family. In other words, life with God is a win-win! And that’s a truth you can count on!

Previous Posts

Adrian Peterson: When Does Spanking Become Abuse?
This week has been filled with reports about NFL Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson's accusation of reckless or negligent injury to his four-year-old son. The incident has once again raised the controversy surrounding the use of corporal punishment. Three issues are key in this deba

posted 6:00:52am Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

Would You Allow Your Teen to Have Sex in Your House?
A friend of mine was having coffee with me and mentioned something that took me aback. Someone we know is allowing her son's girlfriend to live in the house with them and have sex under their roof. Neither of these "kids" are 21 and the family claims to be Christian. Honestly, I don't understand!

posted 6:00:33am Sep. 17, 2014 | read full post »

Does Porn Affect Your Relationship?
During an evening talk show  there were plenty of jokes about pornography. And as the host and celebrity guest settled down, it was evident, porn, in their opinions, is no big deal.  If fact, many of the tabloids and even a few respected marital therapists, will tell you that a little porn is fi

posted 6:00:38am Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

5 Ways to Live in Financial Harmony
Money can't buy you love but it sure can make love difficult. Especially if you are in a relationship and not managing your money well. When it comes to money, here are 5 tips to live in relationship harmony: 1) Decide how your credit cards will be used when you enter a relationship. One person

posted 6:00:28am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Understanding Depression: Let's Keep Talking
This week, Janet Parshall had me on her radio show, In The Market, to talk about a topic the church and society have  a great deal of trouble discussing--depression. The phone lines were constantly lit up. People wanted and needed to talk. Emails were sent asking for help. With  1 out of 10 peo

posted 6:00:22am Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.