Kay Bruner

Years ago, when I was overseas, in the throes of a nervous breakdown, my counselor at the time was trying to help me put healthy boundaries in place. I was exhausted, barely able to get out of bed to come to counseling appointments, yet the thought of healthy boundaries was shocking to me, and I […]

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Ask a Counselor: the epiphany of Love

by Kay Bruner on February 4, 2018

I love the idea of an epiphany, that “a-ha moment” that brings a flash enlightenment. Right now, we’re in the season of Epiphany, according to the church calendar. Epiphany begins just after Christmas and runs all the way up until Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. It’s a strange and beautiful story, the original Epiphany: astrologers […]


Ask a Counselor: Annual Self-Care Check-Up Edition

by Kay Bruner on January 3, 2018

It’s become my tradition to kick off every year with a post encouraging self-care for the year ahead. Last year, I talked about using the biopsychosocial model as a basis for a well-rounded self-care plan.  I even created a fun, handy-dandy animation about it. I still think that’s a great model to use, and I […]


Ask a Counselor: step back from the edge, my friends

by Kay Bruner on December 5, 2017

Some of us here are overfunctioners. This means that we tend to do more than our fair share of everything. You name it, we do too much of it. Overfunctioners exist in the real world of regular people, but I think the missionary world tends to attract more than its fair share. After all, out […]


Ask a Counselor: no child soldiers, no child sacrifice

by Kay Bruner on November 5, 2017

Jesus talked quite a bit about the Kingdom of Heaven and its King. Jesus told us that the Kingdom of Heaven is like: Seeds, broadcast into a field Yeast in a loaf of bread A treasure, hidden in a field A pearl of great price A net full of fish.  (Matthew 13) Jesus told us […]


Ask a Counselor: faith shift edition

by Kay Bruner on October 5, 2017

It can begin any number of ways: Burnout leads to a need for better boundaries And you ask yourself: “If Jesus offers rest for my soul, why does everyone else want me to work harder?” Social justice issues move to the forefront And you ask yourself: “People here are literally dying, while American Christians sit […]


Ask A Counselor: How’s my self-care plan holding up?

by Kay Bruner on September 5, 2017

Hey friends, I usually write a self-care post in January, but I just wanted to run through a quick self-care check-up with you this month, and give a few ideas if you find yourself needing a little pick-me-up. I like to use the Biopsychosocial model as a guide to make sure that we’re covering all […]

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Letter of the day: “I’m coming to you at this moment as a desperate mom in need of a resource, like, today for my 10 year old son. Briefly: After 5 years living in _____, we’re packing up and heading back to the states in 3 1/2 weeks. My anxiety prone son, who is very […]


The stones that weigh us down, that keep us from mature growth.  What are they, and how can we roll them away?  So far in this series, we’ve looked at the stones of perfectionism and shame.  This month, we’re exploring approval-seeking. As we look at approval-seeking, remember that we’ve already figured out that perfectionism and […]


Ask a Counselor: roll away the stone of shame

by Kay Bruner on June 6, 2017

This month, I’m continuing a series about removing obstacles to emotional and spiritual growth.  The idea is this: we’re all built to grow and mature, and we will naturally carry out that purpose when we roll away the stones that hold us down. Last time, I talked about how perfectionism blocks growth. This time around, I […]


Years ago, I read that people are like trees: made to grow. Sometimes, though, it’s like we’re planted under a big boulder, and that huge rock keeps us small and stuck, frustrated and trapped, unable to grow into all we were created to be. The advice to therapists in this particular article was:  help clients […]

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A Life Overseas is not a policy-making institution, but rather a support system for missionaries and Christians living overseas.  My experiences and opinions are my own, and I am solely responsible for them.  I am not speaking for other writers or editors.   Due to the controversial nature of this topic, comments will be moderator-approved […]