Let's Talk

Posts Categorized: Developing a New Focus

Lord, Teach Me to Pray

woman praying

As a young mother, I attended a Bible study group of women from all faiths and denominations. Listening to the women talk about their prayer life, I felt inadequate in my own.

I asked myself, How do I establish a meaningful prayer life?

Every day, I sent heavenward a constant stream of doubts and concerns as I chased after an ADHD son, tried to meet the needs of my daughter while helping my physically handicapped son learn to walk.

When I “prayed,” it was with the formality of praying to a stern father who listened only when you had cleaned up your act.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll reveal how I learned to talk with God in a way that feels real and freeing.

How to Reduce Stress During the Holidays and Throughout the Year

women singing in the car

Holidays often create high levels of stress and tension. Last-minute shopping, forgotten items on our to-do list, planning get-togethers, last-minute invitations, etc.

When under pressure to get everything done, we constantly work without taking breaks. However, unless we take purposeful breaks, that constant tension will soon exhaust us.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll introduce you to five 5 quick-and-easy stress reduction techniques you can use any time — especially during the hectic holidays!

Thanksgiving Psalm of Blessings

giving thanks

Blessings – they are there in the everyday routines of life. But we seldom see them because we are so caught up in our work and worries.

Sometimes in our tragedies and sorrows we think there is nothing for which to be thankful. Yet I have found it is precisely in my tragedies and sorrows where I have found God waiting to provide comfort, strength, and hope.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll share some things I’m grateful for.

How Purpose, Optimism, Values, and Beliefs Work Together

optimistic women

Beliefs and values are very powerful. We will die for them. We will kill others for them. We will give up comfort and safety for them. We need them.

Today on my blog and podcast, you’ll discover examples of healthy vs. unhealthy values and beliefs, and you’ll get tips for developing the skills of optimism and purpose.

Problem-Solving, Step 4: Try It On For Size

When I go through department stores, I am constantly on alert for that good bargain or unique pair of pants or top I might enjoy wearing.

If something grabs my attention, I hold it up in front of me in a nearby mirror to do a quick assessment. Does the color look good? Do I like the lines of the garment? What draws my attention to it from all the others on the rack?

If I still like it after a quick evaluation, I will try it on. Only after I have tried it on will I know whether it is right for me.

Problem solving works that way, too. When we choose an option we think will be the solution to our problem, we “try it on” to discover whether it is the right choice for us.

Read on for ideas about how to productively “try on” and assess solutions.

Problem-Solving, Step 3: Evaluate, Prioritize, and Choose

brainstorming

In step one of this series, you identified the problem, looked at it from different perspectives and expanded it to include all possible contributing factors.

In step two, you listed potential solutions. As you brainstormed and generated possibilities, fresh ideas were added to your list without preliminary judgment or comparisons.

Now, in step three, it is time to evaluate, prioritize and choose.

Which solutions are relevant and helpful? Which might point to another possibility you hadn’t thought of yet?

Problem-Solving, Step 2: Brainstorm Possible Solutions

family discussing a problem

Once a problem has been identified, we can start looking for solutions. In this step, we begin brainstorming all the ways we can find a solution. Be as creative as you can. Don’t dismiss any possibilities even if they seem bizarre or impossible. Writing them down often helps us see alternatives we wouldn’t have thought of without this free flowing of ideas.

There are so many variables, both to our problems and their potential outcomes. Ask friends and others you know to help you brainstorm. You want as many suggestions as possible.

Continue reading for more tips on creatively generating solutions to problems.

Problem-Solving, Step 1: Identify the Problem and Define the Conflict

glass of water

Most decisions we make are so insignificant we rarely think about them, such as, “What will I wear to work today?” or “What shall I plan for dinner?” But other decisions are more complicated, demanding thoughtful consideration.

When symptoms keep us edgy and anxious, it may take a while to separate and identify the problem from the symptoms it is creating.

Today on my blog, we’ll take a deep dive into the importance of recognizing when a problem is a problem and clearly defining the conflict.

Work on Problems, Not Symptoms

Woman looking into cracked mirror

We often confuse our initial emotional responses as the problem itself. However, our emotional reaction is the byproduct of problems.

For example, you find yourself reacting with anger whenever your spouse suggests something. Before you even take time to consider the request, you have already identified the problem as your spouse.

The real problem – unresolved conflicts between the two of you and inability to communicate appropriately – hasn’t been identified.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’ll give you five tips for rationally identifying a problem, and we’ll dive deeper into the basic components of problem-solving.

Problem Solving: 5 Basic Components

rubix cube

“You think you’ve got problems – you should hear what happened to me last week…”

And on and on it goes – we cannot wait to get together and share our stories of what new disaster we encountered.

Problems usually require a decision of some kind. Most decisions are small, but even small ones have consequences.

Today on my blog and podcast, I’m starting a new series on problem-solving. This week, we’ll examine decision-making and I’ll introduce you to five basic problem-solving steps.