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Monthly Archives: December 2010

“Attentiveness is showing the worth of a person or task by giving your undivided concentration.”

When was the last time you sat down, looked your friend, spouse, or child in the eye and really paid attention to what they had to say?  If you are like most people that doesn’t sound too difficult…until you try to do it.  Most of us believe we are too busy to give that sort of attention on a regular basis.  We want to talk “on the move,” while we are doing other things.  We call it multi-tasking and we excuse our failure to really be attentive by saying, as well as believing, that we are so busy that a constructive use of our time is not really focusing on any one thing or person.  We convince ourselves that we are better time managers when we are communicating on the move, at a shallow depth, and without any kind of real commitment.

I think all that is a cop-out.  Being truly attentive is something most of us just don’t want to do.  We think it requires too much and may end up costing us more than we want to give.  By not paying attention we can keep our distance and move along without any real commitment.  Being attentive scares us to death!  Yet, it is exactly what our relationships need!  “Attentiveness is showing the worth (value) of a person or task by giving your undivided concentration (attention).”

Who can you give your undivided attention today, and by doing so, show them how important they are to you and how much you value your relationship with them?


What is your prescription for stress?  What really puts you over the edge and in a position where you think you and everything around you is out of control?

Major stress producers are big life events such as your wedding, the death of a family member, divorce, buying or selling a home, and changing jobs.  But it seems like it is the little things that cause us stress on a daily basis.  Things like traffic congestion, impatient children, worrying about your job, or failing to communicate effectively with your spouse.

Here are some signs that you need some assistance managing the stress in your life:

  • Difficulty communicating your thoughts
  • Difficulty maintaining balance in your life
  • Increased use of drugs or alcohol
  • Poor work performance
  • Headache and stomach problems
  • Disorientation and confusion for no apparent reason
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Reluctance to leave home
  • Depression, sadness, and mood swings
  • Feelings of hopelessness
  • Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning
  • Fear of crowds and strangers
  • Overwhelming guilt and self-doubt


Actually the list could go on but you get the idea.  Stress is not something to be embarrassed about.  All of us struggle with it to some degree and there are times when stress becomes a huge issue in our lives.

When you recognize that you are experiencing a great deal of stress in your life you need to act on it.  Stress should not be ignored.  It can negatively affect every area of your life and cause serious problems in your marriage and family, job performance, and other relationships.

Here are some good ways to ease stress in your life:

  • Do not worry about things you cannot control.  Realize you are not always in control of whatever is producing the stress
  • Take steps to promote your own physical and emotional health by staying active in your daily life patterns or by adjusting them
  • Maintain a normal household and daily routine
  • Spend time with family and friends in non-stressful situations
  • Ask family and friends to help you
  • Eat well-balanced and nutritional meals on a regular basis
  • See a doctor.  You may be dealing with something other than stress
  • Be cautious about taking medication.  It may not necessarily be the best way to deal with your stress
  • Depending on God in a relationship that involves regular prayer and study


Nothing eases stress in your life like the presence and power of the Holy Spirit.  Jesus living in your life, directing your ways and decisions gives you freedom and liberty to live out every day with great joy and victory.  If you really want to be on top of the stress in your life then you need only turn to God and his provision!

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you his peace at all times and in every situation.  The Lord be with you all.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16  NLT