This is a weekly post that highlights resources from other counselors that I have found helpful. The counselors may be from the biblical counseling, Christian psychology, integration, or secular counseling traditions. By linking to a post, I am not giving it my full endorsement, I am merely indicating that I believe it made a unique contribution or raised an important subject for consideration.
Celebrating Christmas with a Broken Heart by Brittany Salmon
A few years ago I walked into the holiday season with fresh wounds, and I was blindsided by how a season I once found comforting brought additional pain. That calendar year had brought so much suffering: we had lost loved ones, our marriage had been through a rough season, our adoption plans had been halted, my husband was in the middle of a career change, and we were walking through a family crisis. I’d even been diagnosed with PTSD from all the shock and change. Sin, death, and brokenness seemed ever-present, and the raw grief prevented me from celebrating the holidays like I used to.
- If you benefited from this article, you might also like my post “Reflections on Broken Hearts and Closed Ears.”
The Holiday Blues by Neale Davis
It’s inevitable for most people. We break out of the routine and spend lots of time doing little more than anticipating and preparing for the biggest holiday in our culture. Some of us get energized (and rightfully so. It does celebrate the birth of Jesus and a fulfillment of a promise made so long ago!). But some of us fall prey to sadness on multiple levels. Perhaps this is your first Christmas without a loved one. Perhaps it’s another Christmas without a spouse or a pregnancy. Maybe you’re an empty nester and the silence of your house is the loudest part of your day. Or perhaps you’re disgusted with the frill and fluff that the world has transformed this important holiday into. We see less and less of Jesus each year. So, what can we do to help alleviate this downward trend?
- If you enjoyed this article, you might also benefit from my post “10 Types of Thinking that Undergird Depression-Anxiety.”
6 Ways to Beat the Christmas Blues by Chuck Bentley
Christmas for many is a season of sorrow, not of joy. There’s the empty seat of a loved one who’s passed away, the pile of rubble and guilt created by the sin of indulgence, the loneliness and disappointment of a fractured family, the pain of job loss, and fear of rising debt. Perhaps it’s you who’s suffering this year.
- If you were challenged by this post, you might also enjoy the primary point from my article “How to Find Joy in Suffering.”
The Innovation of Loneliness (5 minute video) by BOLD Studio
What is the connection between Social Networks and Being Lonely? Quoting the words of Sherry Turkle from her TED talk – Connected, But Alone.
- If you are looking for more meaningful friendship, consider the book in the “What I’m Reading” section below.
More and more, people in education agree on the importance of schools’ paying attention to stuff other than academics. But still, no one agrees on what to call that “stuff.”
- If you learned something useful from the key terms in this article, you might also enjoy my post “What Is “Emotional Maturity”?“
What I’m Reading
The Company We Keep: In Search of Biblical Friendship by Jonathan Holmes. Friendship: it’s one of the simplest of human relationships in comparison to marriage or family relationships, yet it’s one of the least understood and practiced. For all of our progress in making connections through Facebook, Twitter, and other social media, people are consistently experiencing loneliness and growing disenchanted with the whole notion of friendship.
Could it be that our understanding of friendship has been more informed by pop culture and social media, and less informed by the vision of friendship offered in Scripture? Is it possible that friendship exists for a greater purpose than merely our enjoyment and comfort? Does real friendship involve more than just hanging out on a weekend, participating in a book club, or hitting the golf course together? These questions and more are answered in this book.
Tweets of the Week
Matthew 1: “They will call him Immanuel (which means, God with us).”
Matthew 28: “I am with you always.”
— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) December 18, 2017
The difference between isolation and solitude has as much to do with one’s relationship to oneself as it does one’s relationship to others
— Dave Hughes (@DaveEvanHughes) December 18, 2017
You can't have absolute freedom and have community at the same time.
— Timothy Keller (@timkellernyc) December 9, 2017
On the Lighter Side
Because, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones,” Proverbs 17:22.