Midday Connection

A safe place to process your story.

Archive for the month “July, 2013”

Midday blog: Panic

During the first 3 years of my marriage, my husband and I were closely involved with taking care of his dad. His dad was diagnosed with ALS just months after we got married and our world was reeling. In the midst of grief and denial, I tried to keep a positive, happy attitude around my father-in-law as his body slowly stopped working. I loved him dearly and I couldn’t believe that I was losing him so soon. After spending a night at their home, cooking dinner and feeding him, helping him steer his wheelchair (which caused me great anxiety for fear he might tip over on a ramp), driving him to work the next morning, then going to work myself… I stood at my desk, preparing for a Midday Connection program and I suddenly couldn’t breathe. My heart was racing and I knew I was going to die. I quickly googled “stroke”, “heart attack”. What I read wasn’t comforting. As I gasped for air, I went to our office nurse to see if she could help me. The nurse checked all of my vitals and assured me they were fine. She gently asked me if any new stressor had entered my life. I immediately said “no”, of course not – I was managing just fine. On the way back to my office, I suddenly felt a surge of emotion. I ran to a nearby restroom and sobbed – I felt like all of the grief and pain and sadness and denial could no longer be pushed down in me and it had to get out. I was amazed at how much better I felt after crying. Back in my office, I googled “panic attack”. Oh. I’d never had a panic attack before. I’m embarrassed to admit that I’d thought that only really weak people had panic attacks. But after experiencing one, I get it. It helped me learn that I can’t stuff my emotions. I’m in a much healthier place now, but I will still occassionally feel like I’m on the verge of a panic attack. I’ve learned instead of pushing emotions away when I feel panic, that I should stop and ask myself what’s really going on in my heart – and take time to address it. Emotions are God-given and they are often indicators of something much deeper going on. The question is, am I paying attention?

Lori NeffLori Neff is the senior producer of Midday Connection and editor/contributor for Daily Seeds: From Women Who Walk in Faith and Tending the Soul (Moody Publishers). She grew up in a small town in Ohio, spending more time outside in nature than inside. Lori is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. Her interests include art, humanitarian aid efforts, cooking, gardening, coffee, thinking, learning and spending time with her husband, John (and their three fiesty cats). For more information and her blog please visit Lori’s website.

Midday blog: Quiz time

influenceA few years ago, our guest Janet Davis read these quizzes on Midday Connection. Let’s see how you do…

First quiz:

1) Name the five wealthiest people in the world.

2) Name the last five Heisman trophy winners.

3) Name the last five winners of the Miss America contest.

4) Name ten people who have won the Nobel or Pulitzer prize.

5) Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best actor or actress.

6) Name the last decade’s worth of World Series winners.

Was that hard?

None of us remember the headliners of yesterday. They are not second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Now, here’s another quiz. See how you do on this one:

1) List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

2) Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.

3) Name five people who have taught you something worthwhile.

4) Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.

5) Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.

Was the second quiz easier?

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones who care.

(Charles Shulz did not actually author these quizzes, but it has come to be commonly called “The Charles Shulz Quiz”)

Midday blog: Getting Beyond the Snarky

The other day someone served up a snarky statement directed at me. I talk for a living and quick answers are part of my job. So…what was this person expecting from me? That I’d say, “Oh. Yeah. You’re right.”

Thank God I heard this inside (and I do believe it was God’s Spirit speaking this to me – thank you God!) “What does this person have, really?”

What does this person have?

As I looked behind the remark into this person’s life, I understood there’s a lot going on there: job stuff, relationship stuff, transportation stuff, personal and spiritual stuff. Just about everything in this snarky person’s life is on tilt. Is my life perfect? No way. I’ve alluded to being on a roller coaster ride this year, one that I didn’t sign up for and never wanted, and am NOT enjoying.

No matter that roller coaster ride, I still have a lot. My husband and I are united and growing spiritually together. We have jobs. We have cars that work. We have friends that add a lot to our lives. We have economic freedom. So really, in front of me was a person who was pretty depleted. Their tank isn’t very full right now.

So I let go of the snark. I was hurt, but I let it go. My tank is full and I have a lot. I could cut this person some slack. I felt compassion begin to well up inside.

One revolutionary moment does not a pattern make. But I’m hopeful I can begin to start understanding and empathizing with others before I launch into a reaction.

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he had compassion for them.” – Matthew 9:36

Melinda SchmidtMelinda Schmidt is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and holds a Broadcasting/Bible degree from Calvary Bible College. She has served with Moody Radio since 1980 in various hosting capacities. Married with two young adult children, Melinda lives outside Chicago, loves reading, developing her creative interests and hopes to be a life-long learner.

Guest blog: Worry

worryIt’s amazing the way that God is so completely in control of all things. I’ve spent so much time in my life functioning like I have a say, like I get to choose what happens to me. But really, I’m so…

Small.

Who am I to look to the God who created all things, Universe and imaginary numbers included, and say “I know better than You”? Doesn’t it just make sense that He would know what He’s doing? I mean, He created time, He exists outside of time. He created. He thought of, designed, built time, life, death, chess, jazz, cheese, water, hamsters, salted-carmel… Pick something. Anything. God is in complete and utter control of it.

So why – why would He not know entirely what is to become of me, a created, who interacts with a His other created things that He knows perfectly?  He created all things, He controls all things, He knows what He’s doing. He’s got me. I’m going to be ok. No matter what happens, no matter how good or bad it is, I’m covered.

Life is out of my control. But it’s in His hands.

That is terrifying. But absolutely wonderful.

Matthew 6:25-34

 “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?  And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!  Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’  For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

 “So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

lizdooganElizabeth (Liz) is a Senior at Moody Bible Institute, majoring in Communications. After working with Midday Connection as their Office Assistant for a year and a half, she began interning at Moody Radio Chicago. Elizabeth hopes to pursue a career in radio, and works with Moody Campus Radio as its Senior Program Director. In her free time she spends time with friends, tweets, and explores Chicago.

Midday blog: Groaning

I get to be “Debbie Downer” after Lori’s post on fun last week. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the tragedy, death, and grief in the world lately. There was the Asiana plane crash recently, and the same weekend a train derailed in Canada killing 50. On Sunday I was driving to church when my ears perked up as I heard a news story come on. Cory Monteith, a cast member on the TV show Glee, had been found dead in his hotel room, at the age of 31. Someone only six years older than me dead…as I write this post, the reasons for his death are unknown. I think also of a friend of mine from college. I just found out last week that her two-year-old daughter has cancer…and it’s stage 4. I think of the little 3-year-old boy in my church who is coming up on the one year anniversary of his cancer diagnosis, and his future is still uncertain.

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the suffering in this world. I think of the Apostle Paul as he talks about creation groaning under the weight of sin, and in anticipation of the hope that is to come. I realize that I too, along with creation, must look to the hope that is to come. It also makes me want to cherish these moments, especially the good ones, and the glimpses of God’s grace that come during the bad moments. My hope cannot be in what I can see, but rests in Him who is unseen. Him who is sovereign over all creation, and who will take the time to acknowledge and gently wipe away all my tears.

Josh Klos is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute with a degree in Radio Communications, he has served as the engineer for Midday Connection since 2010. He is also a part of the volunteer College & 20’s group staff at his church and enjoys spending time outside, as well as at libraries, bookstores and various coffee shops. He’s busy these days with graduate school, where he studying communication and culture.

To learn more about Josh and read his blog, please visit his website.

Midday blog: Women

You’ve probably noticed this video of Dustin Hoffman circulating lately on YouTube and Facebook.  After watching this 2 minute video, what are your thoughts?

What do you think his comments revealed about himself?
How would you articulate what you think he means by being “brainwashed”?
How can we, as women, help men understand our experience?  How can men help women understand their experience?  Is that important?

Midday blog: Fun

LoriatFestEarlier this month, I spent some time with my cousin’s young children at a small town festival.  I felt an unusal (for me) energy and freedom in my heart.  I laughed and ran and played and rode carnival rides with the girls.  It felt wonderful.  A woman who ran one of the carnival rides pulled me aside and mentioned to me that she never sees adults having so much fun at festivals and she loved it.  I was a little embarassed, but also kind of amazed.  Who was this Lori that I’d become?  I’d felt this spark inside of me that exploded into laughter and smiles.

loritumblerAs I drove home, I thought more about the weekend.  I’m usually a stay home and read a book kind of person – I’m most happy when I’m alone at home.  But, that weekend with the kids at a noisy, crowded festival was so life-giving! It made me realize how my life centers on the serious – I’m naturally drawn to deep, serious, heavy topics.  I love mulling over tough topics, sitting with them and journaling about them.  But, this weekend made me realize that I have a serious “fun deficiency” in my life!  I looked at a picture that my aunt took of me and my cousin’s daughter on a ride and couldn’t help but see that feeling of joyful abandon as an act of worship.  Arms spread, shoes kicked-off, yelling “woo-hoo!!”, laughing.  Laughter can be a prayer of gratitude.  Holding a child’s hand can crack open my heart even more to God’s love for me.  Joy and a smile can be incredibly meaningful to a heavy heart. Celebrating together deepens relationships.  Now that I’ve re-entered my “normal” way to life, I’m trying to look for ways to bring fun, celebration and levity into my life regularly.

How about you?  What role does fun have in your life?

Lori NeffLori Neff is the senior producer of Midday Connection and editor/contributor for Daily Seeds: From Women Who Walk in Faith and Tending the Soul (Moody Publishers). She grew up in a small town in Ohio, spending more time outside in nature than inside. Lori is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute. Her interests include art, humanitarian aid efforts, cooking, gardening, coffee, thinking, learning and spending time with her husband, John (and their three fiesty cats). For more information and her blog please visit Lori’s website.

Midday blog: Our View of God

My husband is great for finding pithy quotes and posting them on Facebook, or locating those irritating cartoons and posting them (irritating only because they are usually quite convicting), or sharing blog posts that stir up people and ultimately get them thinking.  Here’s a quote he posted recently that I thought was worthy of re-posting. It is from Oswald Chambers’ book Disciples Indeed.

“It is perilously possible to make our conceptions of God like molten lead poured into a specially designed mold, and when it is cold and hard, we fling it at the heads of the….people who don’t agree with us.”

I for one, often think this is what ‘other’ people do, until I see myself doing it —all the time!  What about you? I think our view of God is inextricably woven together with our view of self. I talk about this in my book What Women Tell Me, and it’s a theme I often write about in blog posts like this one.  My world is continually rocked as my view of God expands.

I also know that growing into our true self is a life long journey that, if we commit to that journey, means we also commit to growing our view of God. It can be a scary proposition to see our view of God expand.  In part because it might mean we need to jettison some long held errant beliefs or maybe it puts us at odds with someone close to us. I’ve found that as our view of God expands, the richness of our relationship with him does also, and that he, in his great mercy and grace, gives us what we need to navigate the world of those around us, who still have God in a small box.

Harkening back to Oswald Chambers quote, let’s be careful to live lives permeated by the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22), so when we read Facebook quotes and blogs that get us riled up, we’re not flinging anything but words laced with kindness.

What do you think of Chambers quote?

Anita LustreaAnita Lustrea is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute and has worked for Moody Radio since 1984. She is a sought-after conference and retreat speaker and loves to connect with Midday Connection listeners face-to-face. Anita lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband, Mike, and her son, John. To learn more about Anita, her speaking schedule and her blog, please visit her website.

 

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