Has my discouragement moved into depression? How to know.

An angry gray sky greeted me. Standing at the top of the flight of stairs which opened to the roof, the breeze mussed my hair and reminded me I was near the ocean. It also whispered that rain was coming.

It was a risk to hang my heaping basket of wet laundry, but I had no choice. I grabbed the heavy towels. Clip. Clip. Shirts attached next, then socks. Clip. Clip. In the midst of the up-and-down, picking-and-clipping repetition, I had lots of time to think.

I was sad. I'd been sad for a while. I rarely smiled or laughed. All of my actions felt laborious.

Continue reading . . .

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What is hope and how do we find it?

I vividly remember days (yes, multiple) not wanting to get out of bed. Seeing no way I could ever learn the language, if I could ever make a difference in others’ lives. I could no longer look past the trash on my street, everything became gloomy. I was ready to go home.  I had little hope.

Hope. We all know the term and can tell you if we have it or if we don’t. But what is it?!  Is it something that just happens to us, or is it something we have some control over?

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When Someone You Care About Is Discouraged

A wise Arab once said, “One hand doesn’t clap.”

One hand needs another hand to make an effective sound. Similarly, humans aren’t meant to function alone. We need others to help us accomplish goals, to laugh and grow together, and to keep us from feeling isolated.

When social isolation occurs, it accentuates any problem.

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What Powerful Results Can You Gain From Telling Your Story?

A new family invited us to have dinner at their home recently. Because we didn’t know each other well, they asked us questions about our life in North Africa.

Their genuine questions invited us to share our story.

Afterwards, we mentioned to them that it had been a long time since we had told our story to someone. It felt good!

We all have stories to tell—fun and not-so-fun stories from our daily lives, encouraging testimonies of changed lives, tough stories of loss and grief that have built up over the course of years, and sometimes, traumatic stories and crisis experiences that we have been forced to walk through.

Whatever story we carry, there are multiple benefits of telling it to others.

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The Wonderful and Unusual Life of a TCK

Flags, lawn chairs, and people lined the streets. We heard the drums in the distance, signaling the start of the parade.

"Is the king about to come?" my 8-year-old son asked.

I giggled inwardly, but looked at him with adoring eyes.

"In Morocco, yes. But this is different. We're in America getting ready to celebrate their Independence Day. America has a president, and he won't come to this parade."

Ah, the life of a child growing up in more than one culture!

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GOOD Grief - How to Get Started on the Journey

It’s like a switch deep inside me. I can turn it on, but it’s more common for me to turn it off.  

Two whole years had passed by since we had last seen my dad. I had just arrived in Florida, along with my two young children, when my dad called to say that he was driving through the area. I was thrilled. He then went on to mention that he could only stop by long enough to have lunch. Only lunch? Only an hour or two of the day? I felt the loss and sadness begin to well up, so I threw my switch to the “off” position.

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Lonely? What to Do to Combat the Emptiness

I have just recently started to feel like I’m catching a glimpse of the “other side” of my loneliness . . . after six long months here in my native-born country. My heart has been aching with loneliness . . .

These are the same feelings I experience every time I land overseas. These feelings seem to follow me wherever I go.

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Self-Pity: The Dangers and 3 Ways to Climb Out of the Pit

The patisserie was close—I could smell it.

Entering with my stroller, I passed the bread counter and was bombarded with cookies! Round cookies, colored cookies, pressed cookies, marzipan-filled cookies—which ones should I bring to a friend’s house?

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Three Essential Traits of a Great Leader

Leader /lē-dər/ noun. The first one to arrive. The last one standing.

For real? We laugh, but all too often that's the way it happens. As a leader, you might be wondering, "What am I really supposed to do?" There are many aspects of leadership, but the actual jobs of a leader can be defined in three basic descriptions . . .

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How to Overcome Crisis and Chaos

Crisis! It appears out of nowhere and tosses us into a dark valley of confusion, stress, and chaos.  Whether it’s receiving shocking news from back home, experiencing a terrorist attack in a nearby city, or owing a huge sum in unexpected taxes, we experience similar reactions. 

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