I am a big advocate of prayer. Wait! I saw you. Did you just roll your eyes at me? Now, I am no spiritual guru. If you are looking for someone who can quote the Bible, I’m not your girl. If you are wanting to sing all the songs we learned in Vacation Bible School together, good luck. I didn’t go. Contemporary Christian hits of the 80s-90s – I don’t know any of them. But if you’ve been kicked around by the world a good bit and just want an understanding shoulder to cry on, baby, pull up a chair. I will make the coffee. BYOC – bring your own creamer. I don’t use that nasty stuff. I can force you to have faith once again. See, this is a story about an introvert who is now a Bible study table leader.
I just started college. Now I am even more confused. I don’t know what I really want to study. So of course, I really don’t know what I want to do when I finish school. Where do I even start to figure out these serious questions in my life?
“Moses holded out his stick, and it splitted up,” says Jessica, age 6. “It was a miracle when Moses put the stick into the big sea,” adds Hillary, 6.
Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose. Diabetes can cause serious damage to the eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels over time. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn’t make enough insulin. The World Health Organization says about 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. Catching diabetes at its earliest can help individuals avoid longterm damage to the body and improve their overall health. This means recognizing signs that suggest the presence of diabetes and its precursor, prediabetes.
Parenting is hard. If you were perusing the newspaper, just hoping to find a magic cure for sibling rivalry, teenage angst, or raging hormones, you’re about to be disappointed. Being someone’s parent is very much like managing an automated factory that makes buttons, for instance. The employee who runs the button molds always runs late. Half of the time he doesn’t place the plastics in the right cylinders. The red buttons all have blue streaks, and the brown buttons wind up a putrid green. The woman who is over the packaging machine typically forgets to line up the backer boards, causing the cutter to snap most of the cartons in half. And, as the manager, with a floor full of putrid green buttons and chopped up cellophane causing you near decapitation as you slide to and fro, trying to negotiate a retreat to the fire escape, you cannot help but blow a fuse or two here and there. But, the machine operators weren’t trained on molds and packaging. Messing up royally is the only way they will improve. So, you trudge on, blowing occasional fuses and sliding on broken button packages, just trying to stay employed in a cruel world. This, my friends, is parenting. At least, this is how parenting seems from the inside out.
B Dear Aunt B, I am recently retired. I am already so bored that I am not sure what to do. I am used to being the one everyone goes to for advice, and now I am asking an advice columnist for answers. I don’t mean any disrespect; I'm just lost. Is this all there is?
On the morning of September 11, 2001, people the world over saw the face of evil in the kamikaze airplane crashes into the World Trade Center Twin Towers. In spite of all the attempts of psychologists to rationalize away sin and evil, it’s difficult to deny its effects in light of this mass murder.
Things that should always crumble: streusel topping, a certain brand of cookies – minus the e, generations old newspapers stored in cedar chests, healthy soil, and ancient societies attacked by Visigoths. Something that should never crumble - one’s teeth. Yet, that is where we find ourselves on this day. I have crumbly teeth. Bad teeth are hereditary, although I don’t think this is my particular dilemma. My 92-yearold paternal grandmother passed away with her original chompers in pretty good condition. My dad had partials, but not until he was well into his 80s. And, my mother passed into the next glorious world with all 28 teeth intact. So, what gives? Turns out, my molars, specifically my chemo and radiation compromised molars. We’ve managed to cohabitate for over 15 years, but this year 4 of those little boogers have decided to attempt a mutiny on the mouth bounty. In that “give myself a pep talk” world I live in, this situation has become increasingly difficult to paint in a rosy hue. But, how did we get here?
Nature enthusiasts are known to say that spending time in the great outdoors has a positive effect on their mental and physical wellbeing. Such an outlook is more than mere speculation, as it turns out spending time in nature provides a host of health benefits that might surprise even the most devoted outdoors enthusiasts.
Obesity poses a significant threat to adults and children across the globe. Being overweight or obese is a particular concern for children because the extra pounds gained in childhood can follow them into adulthood, potentially leading to serious health issues down the road.
B Dear Aunt B, Our house is being remodeled. I am excited for the end result. However, we have had to live in this mess for way too long. I am losing my patience. Any advice?
“Church is different today because we get to sit on chairs, and they had to sit on the wet, soggy ground,” says Bilwood, age 6.
Childhood in the 70s was insane by today’s standards. 30-something parents of this year of our Lord twenty twenty-three have no clue. The memes are all true. We spent whole days outdoors with no adults around to correct our grammar, remind us of our manners, or urge us to do anything besides drinking unfiltered water from hoses in other peoples’ yards. We set off on weekend mornings, apples stuck in our pockets in case we met a wayward horse. We dug for interesting rocks, rode bicycles in paths that could circumnavigate continents, and made grand plans for all the adventures to come. Sure, there came a time when the world decided our safety was more important than our feral hearts. Who can blame us for growing up to be parents that didn’t allow for such shenanigans? The media jumped on stories about serial killers, stories about missing children, stories about the monsters of the world lying in wait. So, we guarded their little bodies, and we guarded their malleable hearts. But, we also guarded their adventure. We shackled their brains. We took away that smell of sunshine and moss and dirt and milkweed, replacing it first with cords and antennas and umbilical electronic attachments. We domesticated them. And, it shows.
“They didn’t have air conditioning, carpet or nothing,” says Dylan, age 5. Actually, it was “the way the seats were lined up,” says Milese, 6. No, that wasn’t it at all: “because there were no chairs back then,” says Halie, 6.