GRIT: A Guide to Praying for Third Culture Kids

by Lauren Wells

The life of a Third Culture Kid is not a simple one. Wonderful, enriching, colorful, and filled with incredible life-altering experiences, absolutely. But certainly not neat and tidy, or without its share of troubles.

We moved to Tanzania when I was 13 years old. The first two years of life in Africa were filled with death and trauma. Because of circumstances out of our control, our time there ended abruptly. We spent the following 3 months at a live-in counseling center where we slogged through all that had happened in Africa. I didn’t want to be there. I blamed my parents, blamed ministry, and blamed God. I was grieving, but I didn’t know it.

That next year, we moved 18 times while I tried to navigate public high school in California. I struggled to fit in, to figure out who I was, and to build healthy relationships – all the while pushing down the grief of our time in Africa. At first, I liked being the girl who came from Africa (especially after watching Mean Girls for the first time!), but then the novelty wore off, and I was just awkward, lonely, and misunderstood. High school is hard enough, but add in culture stress, anxiety, and unresolved grief and it’s the perfect prescription for a horrible experience.

The struggles that manifested that year continued, in different forms, through my high school and college years– through moving back to Africa and then back to the US again. But, few people knew that I struggled. I was determined to be strong and capable and tough. After all, that is what is expected of a missionary kid, isn’t it?

God has taught me a lot in the years since then. He has shown me the power of prayer and how that has had more of an impact on my life than I realize. As I write my narrative, I can see all of the places where things could have gone terribly awry. Yet, because of the faithful prayers of so many people in my life, I am now working with families who are embarking on their own journey to a life overseas – passionate about preparing and encouraging children and youth who are becoming TCKs. I’m constantly learning to let go of my fierce “I can do it myself’ attitude, learning to build deep relationships, learning daily to find my identity in Christ, and learning to let Him heal the hurts of the past.

My story is not unique. The struggles with identity, relationships, self-reliance, and grief are a part of the narratives of most TCKs.

I met Jacus* not long after he moved from Europe back to the US for college. His unresolved grief led to struggles with depression, alcohol abuse, and a DUI. Bailey*, another TCK I know, spent her college years jumping from boyfriend to boyfriend, making poor decisions, and consequently pushing potentially good friends away. Another, Grant*, blamed his parents for his grief and struggles, cut them out of his life, and entered toxic friendships.

Nothing has taught me more about the power of prayer than seeing the effects of intercession in my life and in the lives of so many other TCKs. Through persistent prayer and subsequent apologies, repentance, and reconciliation, Jacus is now in graduate school working to become a counselor for TCKs, Bailey is learning to invest in deep, healthy relationships, and Grant is working to repair his relationship with his parents.

There are 4 specific areas in which TCKs need prayer: grace, relationships, identity, and truth. I’ve structured these prayer points using the acronym GRIT**, because every TCK I know has a special measure of grit—resolution, fortitude, and courage.

 

G – GRACE

God’s grace, love, and comfort to surround them and pervade the way they act toward others.

Pray that they would be lovers of all people and cultures. That they would remember to give grace when they can only see a culture’s faults and shortcomings – especially in their passport country.

Pray that God would comfort them and walk with them through the seasons of grief and transition.

Pray that they would learn to be dependent on the Lord and not on their own strength.

Pray that God would heal the hurt and grief that come with so many goodbyes.

 

R – RELATIONSHIPS

The common theme of feeling misunderstood, out-of-sync with their peers, and uncomfortable in their passport culture causes TCKs to have difficulty building deep, lasting relationships. This opens a great opportunity for the lie to be planted that they are too different for non-TCKs to really know them and love them well.

TCKs also have a rootlessness and restlessness that keeps them moving and prevents them from building a group of long-term, deep friends. Because of this, they often don’t have a “herd” and, like a lion, Satan preys on the weak ones who are separated from the pack (1 Peter 5:8).

Pray that God would teach them how to build deep, lasting relationships with others. That they would be brave enough and humble enough to let people really get to know them.

Pray that God would lead them to people who appreciate and hone their cross-cultural knowledge and experiences.

Pray that they would be humble and willing to learn from others, especially in their passport country.

 

I – IDENTITY

With so many cultures and other factors shaping them, it is a common struggle for TCKs to figure out who they are and their place in the world.

Pray they would learn to be comfortable in their own skin and free to be who God has made them to be, even if that doesn’t perfectly align with any culture.

Pray that God would use their independence and cultural savvy in great ways for His glory.

Pray that God would show them how much He loves them, cares about them, and celebrates them – not for being a Third Culture Kid, but just for being His child.

 

T – TRUTH

TCKs are more prone to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, often stemming from the unresolved grief that commonly accompanies the TCK life. It is easy for them to believe that there is no hope, no solution, no way forward, and no one who understands.

Pray that God would show them that their life overseas was ordained for a purpose. That it wasn’t just God’s plan for their parents, but for them also.

Pray that they would allow God to untangle the truths from the lies about their time overseas and the way they were raised.

Pray for God’s protection on their heart and mind.

 

God hears our prayers, and He acts on behalf of His children. Whether the TCKs in your life are young or grown, whether they are your own children or your teammate’s children, whether they are in your school or in the missionary family you support, please pray for TCKs. We need it more than we know.

 

*Not their real names
**My dear friend Corrie Miller developed the acronym GRIT. She’s been praying for me since we were ten years old.

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Lauren Wells is a Third Culture Kid (TCK) and Missionary Kid (MK) who grew up in Tanzania, East Africa where she developed an affinity for mandazis (African doughnuts) and Chai. Her experience as a TCK fuels her passion for working with globally mobile families, which she does as the Children and Youth Program Director for CultureBound in Portland, Oregon. In her role at CultureBound, she teaches families how to learn new languages and embrace new cultures when they move overseas. She blogs regularly at tcktraining.com

For Those in Authority, Let Us Pray

One summer when I was in college, I worked at a Salvation Army day camp. We kept the kids busy with lots of activities, lots of playing, lots of singing, lots of eating, and lots of Bible lessons. During one of the teaching times on the lawn, one of the campers, a boy of about 10, got up and walked away. I caught up to him down the block, and we sat down together on the curb. When I asked him what was wrong, he said he was tired of hearing the same stories over and over again. I told him I feel that way sometimes, too. But, I said, so much of following Jesus is not learning new things but being reminded of things we already know.

So here’s one of those reminders—if not for you, then certainly for me.

“I urge, then, first of all,” writes Paul of Tarsus, “that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority.”

Now the readers at A Life Overseas cover a lot of territory, so “kings and all those in authority” is a wide-ranging group. But are we supposed to pray for all of them?

What about those who sell the power of their positions to the highest bidder?

What about those who deny basic freedoms within the borders of their country?

What about those who persecute, imprison, and kill those who choose to follow a religion outside the dictates of the state?

What about those who claim godship and demand worship from their people?

What about those who threaten, abuse, and murder the innocent?

What about those who lie and twist the truth for personal gain?

What about those who beat plough shares into swords and bang the drums of war?

What about those who amass wealth at the expense of their citizens?

What about those who brazenly live out and promote the immorality in their hearts?

What about those who target people groups for removal, slavery, or extinction?

What about those who abandon convictions for political convenience and self preservation?

All? Yes, for all, let us pray—for wisdom, for God’s will to be done through them, for salvation, for blessings, for mercy.

And let us pray with thanksgiving. For that we may need some creativity, yea, even inspiration. But we have on our side the one who teaches us to love even our enemies and to pray for those who persecute us, so that we may be children of our heavenly father.

When I was young, I would end my bedtime prayer by asking for blessings for my parents and sister, followed with “God bless the whole, whole world and everything on it.” That’s an easy way to cover all the bases without really covering any of them. But we as a group can pray for the whole, whole world because each of us can pray for a corner of the world. And we can pray for people by name, both the powerless and the powerful. What a footprint our prayers have because of all the names we know.

Again, nothing new here, just a reminder.

I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (I Timothy 2:1-4, NIV)

For those in authority, let us pray.

[photo: “Crown,” by Sarah, used under a Creative Commons license]

Let Us Pray (for each other)

I have ideas for posts, but repeatedly I sensed from the Holy Spirit: Amy right now, today, A Life Overseas create a space to pray together. Information and thoughts will hold for another month. Just pray for each other. 

*****

How abundant are the good things
that you have stored up for those who fear you,
that you bestow in the sight of all,
on those who take refuge in you. (Psalm 31:19)

Maybe you are needing a dose of God’s good things. Maybe you are needing God as your refuge now in ways that you haven’t before. Maybe you are luxuriating in the abundance of good things right now.

How can we pray for you or praise with you in light of this verse?

*****

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God,
and God in them. (1 John 4:16)

Maybe you have been flooded with God’s love for you recently. Maybe you know in your head God loves you, but it’s hard for your heart to rely on God’s love. Maybe you need prayer to “live in love” with teammates or local friends.

How can we pray for you or praise with you in light of this verse?

*****

Commit your way to the Lord;
trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn,
your vindication like the noonday sun. (Psalm 37:5-6)

Do you feel you commit to the Lord, but He doesn’t commit to you? Have you felt rewarded? Any areas you need holy vindication? This verse holds tremendous truth wrapped in God’s mysterious ways. 

How can we pray for you or praise with you in light of this verse?

*****

Though he slay me,
yet will I trust in him:
but I will maintain mine own ways before him. (Job 13:15 )

Are you found with Job, feeling like you are slayed yet holding on to trusting in God? Sometimes we are called to embrace our thorns. Are you being slayed? Maybe a better question is “how are you being slayed” now?

How can we pray for you or praise with you in light of this verse?

*****

In the comments share requests and areas we can rejoice with you — also know you are invited to share as much or as little as you’d like. Please come back as more prayers are added and pray for each other by either commenting “I prayed” or writing out a prayer. All forms are welcome! No pressure to pray like others, this isn’t about how we pray or words we use. It’s about praying for each other.

*****

P.S. Can you believe that Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-Cultural Service came out a year ago this week? In honor of the one year anniversary it is now available in audiobook and on sale until Friday for $5 (includes the workbook this week). You can read the back story here

When your husband calls you “a shell of a woman”

shell1

For months this spring I felt like a shell of a woman. I was empty and didn’t have anything to give. Oh, I was still doing all the “right” things. I was still getting up most mornings attempting to connect with God, and I was still relatively consistent with my commitment to exercise.  But I felt dead inside and couldn’t figure out why.

My husband noticed. Where before him once stood life and life abundant, he now saw a shell of a woman. He even suggested another round of counseling. I knew something was wrong, but I didn’t know what to do about it or even what it was. I was unhappy in life and unmotivated in work. Was it depression? Burnout? What???

I felt especially dead at church. That was a strange feeling, because corporate worship has always quenched my thirst and nourished my soul and made my spirit come alive. But I just buried that newly incongruous feeling and ignored it. I tuned it out and refused to listen to it. I ran to the nearest screen and numbed out on TV and Facebook and solitaire games instead.

There were so many times I wanted to go forward at church during prayer time and tell people I wasn’t OK. But how could I ask for help, when I didn’t even know what wasn’t OK? And besides, I told myself, people were watching. As part of the leadership team, I imagined all eyes trained on me, as though I couldn’t make a mistake, couldn’t make an admission of need.

Those thoughts are ridiculous, I know. Yet how many times have I done this to myself? Struggled in silence, forgetting to ask for spiritual help, forgetting to confess my spiritual neediness? Too many times. I hate the Christian practice of confession. I hate confessing my needs, my sins, my shortcomings. It’s embarrassing. It’s uncomfortable. And I avoid it if at all possible.

confessionBut I am here today to tell you that confession leads to spiritual breakthrough. That’s the very reason James and John instruct us to do it. And this photo from a recent women’s event is how I know it’s true.

I love that picture. Not because it’s a beautiful photo or because I look particularly beautiful in it (I don’t), but because of the beautiful moment it represents.  It’s a moment I got really brave and stood up and acknowledged my gaping need. It’s a moment I publicly confessed I wasn’t OK on the inside, no matter what I may have wanted others to see on the outside.

When the speaker asked people to stand in response to God’s call on their hearts, I knew I needed to. It was almost like God had backed me into a corner. He knew I’d been hiding, and this was my moment to step into the light and admit I didn’t have my spiritual act together.

Oh sure, I admit all the time online the ways I don’t measure up, the ways I’m lacking, the ways I’m seeking. But I can carefully control both the wording of my shared needs and the timing in which I share them (preferably with those needs and struggles in the past, so I can share victory, not process). The photo above shows a break from tradition for me.

When I opened my eyes, I found that every single woman at my table had stood up with me. They were admitting their own need along with me. We stood in a united request for supernatural aid. We stood with unified intention to reorient and rededicate ourselves to God. We held hands and prayed. It was a holy moment, and I almost missed it.

I could have let the call to public confession slide. I could have disobeyed God and pretended, in real time, that I had it all together. But I would have missed out on the bonding among women drawing near to God. I would have missed out on some much-needed humility. And I would have missed out on some desperately needed prayers for spiritual restoration. I’m glad I didn’t miss it, though, because right there in that moment, right there in that terrifying admission of need, is when the shell started cracking for me. 

We weren’t designed to walk around as dead, empty shells. We were made to live, to dwell, to thrive even. So if you are walking around like a shell today, remember that God has provided a cure for our communal deadness: it’s called confession. Confession is what makes space for God’s love, joy, and peace to entwine itself in our hearts. It’s what allows real life, true life, life abundant, to grow inside us. So let us confess our neediness, our brokenness, our spiritual barrenness. It might just save our lives.

When the lights go out

photo-1457732815361-daa98277e9c8a

I want to do all the things. All the very good things there are to do in this world. So I overcommit myself. I don’t say “no.” I say “yes” instead, and spread myself too thin. Then my soul suffers. My work suffers. My sanity suffers. My family life suffers. My spiritual life suffers.

I suffer in silence, thinking I’m all alone. I’m the only one failing at everything. I’m the only one who can’t pull it together. I’m the only one who can’t catch my breath, who can’t catch up on work, who can’t catch up on school, who can’t catch up with friends, who can’t catch up with the God I say I love so very much.

And I, insecure missionary blogger that I am, am afraid to tell people.

To top all that off, the heat in Southeast Asia has been crushing me. The past two months have held record highs here, and we get a lot of power cuts. I echo Ramona Quimby in Ramona the Brave who shouted out “Guts! Guts guts guts!” when she wanted to say bad words. Instead, I yell “Cuts! Cuts cuts cuts!” and very nearly lose my mind.

After one particularly grueling 12-hour all-night power outage, something inside me broke — flat out broke. I lost my hope. I began to question everything. Why are we here? Why can’t we live in America? Why exactly do I serve this God of mine? And where the heck is He when I can barely sleep or even breathe in this heat?

I was struggling under the weight of all the expectations I had for myself: be a good mom, be a good wife, be a good home educator, be a good missionary, be a good team leader’s wife, be a good friend, be a good writer, be a good editor, be a good Christ-follower. And I couldn’t do any of it.

(If there’s one thing that overnight power outage taught me, it’s this: I am not nearly as good a person as I thought I was. Cuts cuts cuts: bad words all around.)

Finally, finally, I asked for prayers. I asked my closest friends and family in the States. I asked my teammates. I asked a few women in my organization. Then I confided my struggles to some other home school moms in my city.

I was met on so many levels by “me too.” I went from being alone to being supported. I went from drowning in my despair of cross-cultural servitude to feeling supernaturally upheld.

The next time the power went out in the middle of the night, I didn’t curse this land or this life or this electrical grid. I didn’t panic. I stayed calm and waited. I sang a worship song (which shocked even myself). I retained my sanity and my faith — something that could only have happened because people were praying for me.

The next day I remember waking up and thinking, seriously? Seriously? Is that really all I had to do? Ask for prayer? Why did I keep my struggles to myself for so long? Why did I think I had to hide? What kind of appearance did I think I needed to keep up anyway? Why did I think I couldn’t ask? Help came fast when I asked.

I spun my hopelessness wheels for too long. But I’ve learned again that I can ask. I can ask for prayer sooner rather than later — and so can you.

So today, if you’re spinning your hopelessness wheels, if you’re afraid to confide in someone or ask for prayer or even for practical help, can I encourage you to ask? Just ask. The God of the universe is here to help. The Body of Christ is here to help. Help is right here waiting, even when the lights go out and we find ourselves in the dark.

All we have to do is ask.

Parasites and Paperwork

When it feels as though parasites have taken up permanent residency just know... this too shall pass.
When it feels as though parasites have taken up permanent residency just know… this too shall pass.

These two topics arise during the conversation at almost every gathering of foreigners: parasites and paperwork. They hold the same high level of disdain and elicit low begrudged groans.

Parasites

How many times have parasites, amoebas, or other unfriendly bugs assaulted you? How many of those nasty sicknesses can you tick on a list? Does your nearest pharmacy carry over-the-counter drugs that raise a few eyebrows?

When one of my daughters was three I went in to her room as she was waking up from her afternoon nap. Stretched out beside her on the mattress I found a worm as thick as my finger and as long as her arm. The doctor was pleased that she passed it while she slept and declared the occurrence, “Completely normal.” Yeah, right! Completely normal that an alien would implant itself in the bowels of my child, feed upon her sustenance, grow to an unearthly size and then wriggle out in an attempt to dominate our species with it’s evil machinations!

My child survived and is now a teenager; which we all know is a very special kind of alien being. We’re gonna let her stay, though, because she’s a cute and cuddly alien, not a slimy, wormy one.

Paperwork

Standing in line at the immigration office for hours and hours can really leave you feeling like an alien.
Standing in line at the immigration office for hours and hours can really leave you feeling like an alien.

First trip to pick up the reissued birth certificate: misspelled name. Resubmit. Second trip, same document: transposed numbers. Resubmit. Third trip: wrong last name. Resubmit and get reinforcements. Lawyer sets up special pick up time from a specific window at a specific time of day. I cringe, fully aware that the crowd of hundreds will perceive this line hop as preferential treatment. In the face of injustice the natives get restless.

After a few deep breaths at the back of the room I fix my eyes on the designated window. My heart beats faster as I take in the mass of people I will have to squeeze through to get to the front. I duck my head down and find pockets of space to reach my destination along the zig-zag path of  least resistance. Hope surges as I make it up to the final group of waiters. “Waiters” in that they have been waiting the longest, probably since before daybreak, for hours, to be attended. I remind myself I paid my dues and waited along with them three times. They don’t know that, but it gives me the courage to make that last push and dash up to the window.

I spit out the name of the person I need to see and the tired government worker disappears to a back room. A stealthy glance to my right reveals a sight of terror. One of the waiters broke rank! Her stocky frame barrels at me with amazing speed. I rehearse my rebuttal and apologies in Spanish in my mind. I don’t have time to say anything before I feel her pudgy elbow make full contact with my ribcage. She slams me against the window and begins to rant. The angry mob behind her all raise their voices in accusatory chants of expulsion. I feel a hand close around my arm. The person I have an appointment with grabs me through a small opening of the door. She shouts something back to the crowd. Then she shuts the door fast and leads my stunned being back to her little office closet.

Files stacked high on the tiny desk spill out onto the tiled floor. Happy ending to the story: I retrieved my kid’s perfectly correct birth certificate, in triplicate.

The trails of paperwork never end. Never. I bet you could tell me about some kind of paperwork you just finished, are in the middle of, or will soon be doing. It never ends.

Prayer

So here is my prayer for all those suffering under the weight of paperwork or parasites.

“May your lines be short and your patience long.

May you rejoice in the moments of health and know that in the moments of sickness this too shall pass… literally.

Or you’ll vomit and then you might feel better. Or you might not feel better but at least you might lose a few pounds.

May you have the gift of tongues to interpret the medical jargon on the very strong medications.

May you interpret, as well, the official wording on forms, visas, signs, documents, contracts, etc.

When the parasites come crawling and the paperwork keeps trailing may you be surrounded by people of compassion and be filled with perseverance that pushes through to find some kind of humor in it all.

Amen.”

Let’s have it. I want to hear your grossest, your most tedious, and maybe, if you can manage it, your most humorous story about parasites or paperwork. And while we’re at it why don’t we all go ahead and wash our hands just one more time, okay? Thanks!

Peace.

Image credit: Special thanks to the movie makers of ‘Men in Black’

Four Things You Could Do

There is no shortage of  instructions on the interweb.

In any given month it is quite likely you will be instructed on multiple topics.  The list could include:

 Ten things not to say to your single friends

Five things Christians should stop saying

Ten things for a healthy marriage.

Five reasons your teen is rebelling.

Those never ending lists just serve to overwhelm me.  Say this. Don’t say this. Do that. NEVER do this.

I can barely follow directions. Kraft Mac and Cheese has one step too many for me.

There are SO many instructions and they all run together and before I know it I have applied one of the items to the wrong problem.  After reading all those articles I learned that my teen was rebelling because I was too controlling. Somehow I got mixed up and became certain one of the keys to a happier marriage was to be more controlling.

As you can see, there is a HUGE margin of error here.

 *             *             *

Today, I shall add fuel to the fire…

My list of things you “should” do to care for yourself.

One caveat, I don’t actually care if you reject my entire list. These are just some things that have been helpful to us in eight years overseas.

Guess what?  Just because they helped us, doesn’t mean they will necessarily work for all of you.

Therefore, today I present to you:

Four things you could do.  (Four possible not mandatory ways to care for yourselves and your families while working/living/serving and growing “overseas” .)

  1. Time Away/Rest
  2. Community
  3. EMDR and Counseling
  4. Prayer

Time Away/Rest – I don’t have to tell you this, you have heard it a kajillion times. “Even Jesus took time away”.   So do that.  Be like Jesus.

We all do what we do because we believe it to be important, even necessary, work.  There is a tendency in all of us to cast ourselves in a role that is irreplaceable, as in “without me this cannot happen” – so I cannot rest. Well,  here is the thing: If that is true, you have got larger problems than just needing a rest.

Take time off. Leave work and “mission” for a time and regroup. I am not suggesting you be  a lazy lard. I am suggesting that within a system of accountability you take time away every so often because that is good for you and your family.

Community – This is easier for some than it is for others.  There is a great benefit to living in community with other believers.  In this day and age there is a way to have an on-line community and an in-real-life community. If you can have both, you have the best of both worlds.  There should be a few people in your life that you can share your deepest fears and joys with on a semi-regular basis. There should be people that you allow to speak into those things.

EMDR and Counseling – Right now you are wondering where the heck the train left the track, you did not see it coming.  Stick with me, please. EMDR stands for Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing and it is a type of trauma treatment.  Any of us that spend significant amount of time living cross culturally are almost guaranteed some trauma.  I could give you sixteen examples but I will simply share this testimonial:  After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti we discovered that PTSD was not just something soldiers in combat have.  EMDR seemed like hocus pocus to us at first, but we can tell you it absolutely helped us with the trauma of the earthquake and other previous trauma we had not dealt with at that time. It was an effective way of dealing with small and very large traumatic happenings.

If trauma is not your issue, perhaps basic therapy/counseling would be a way to process some of the stressors of living cross-culturally.  Going to talk to a professional to get some advice, feedback, or help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of being a real, living, feeling, human being.  Marriages fall apart under stress and living abroad is stressful.  I am no math expert, but after some rudimentary calculations I can see that perhaps counseling would be helpful for those doing marriage outside of their home culture.

Prayer- This is a big one…Maybe even the biggest one. There are two parts to this suggestion.

First, have a team of people in place that you know you can count on when you call or write them with a prayer request or urgent need.  Whether they are your parents and siblings, your home church, or a circle of friends, you will find that you need a group that will carry you when things are very difficult.

During one of our years in Haiti we had a personally devastating set-back that made it hard for us to get out of bed for a couple of weeks let alone accomplish our daily tasks.  There were those “back home” that carried us in prayer until we were back on our feet and able to face life again.  On another occasion we were in a parking lot in Port au Prince when I sensed danger. I could not identify what it was, but I knew I needed to go back to the car with our kids.  That afternoon when I returned home I had an email from my Dad that said, “Where were you at noon? I had a strong sense you were in danger and I prayed for you guys until it passed.”  You will likely have times when these intercessory prayers will absolutely matter.

Second, make prayer a part of your breathing. As you go about your day, be seeking God in each interaction and task. Try to make family and spouse prayer times a high priority.  Try to pray with your community and carry one another’s burdens. None of us were meant to do this work alone, call on your Heavenly Papa and ask for His help.

As soon as I finished this list I remembered that there is a fifth thing.  I guess I failed at internet bossing, cannot even count it out correctly.

5. Excercise Regular exercise will help you feel better about everything that is hard about your life. You could give that a try too.

 

photo copy 8
This ^ combines prayer, community, and excercise – three of the five happening on one run.

 

That is my list of four five. 

What else would you add? 

What ways have you found helpful when taking care of yourself?