Monthly Archives: July 2011

5 Tips to Beating Poison Ivy

If you have ever had an allergic reaction to poison ivy, oak, or sumac, this post is for you! I can assure you, I am writing from fresh experience. After several years of successfully avoiding poison ivy (to which I am very allergic), my sister, Michele, and I were attacked by poison ivy in the dark last week. (Well, maybe we actually attacked it while we were trimming bushes in the dark. But it was definitely not intentional!) At any rate, we both broke out with rashes that are causing torturous itching, swelling, and blistering.

You probably already know the basic helps to the malady of poison ivy—calamine lotion, benadryl, etc. But even with the use of these, I still go through several days of distracting misery. In some of my hours of distress the past few days, I’ve mentally compiled a list for other sufferers.

What can you do to retain your sanity during a bout with poison ivy? Here are five tips for your help and enjoyment: Continue reading

The Story I Thought I Knew

Two weeks ago, I was sitting on the second to the last row of a little girls’ class, helping with childcare during Spiritual Leadership Conference. We had already played games and spent some time on the playground, and now we were listening to a lesson.

(As a side note, one of the great blessings to me of this conference was hearing the lesson taught from our newly published Children’s Curriculum. I had briefly previewed this curriculum, but it was a joy to hear it taught and see firsthand how well the story held the children’s attention and how well they related to the application.)

Minutes into the lesson, a fourth grade girl next to me became restless and distracted. As she started talking to the others around her, I motioned for her to listen to the teacher. But with the wise nod of a fourth grader, she assured me, “I already know this story.” Continue reading

In the Words of Tech Support

I’ve never enjoyed calling tech support—especially when it is outsourced to non-English speakers.  It seems to me that the problem is often as simple as replacing a part, yet they insist on walking me through the regulation diagnostic steps before confirming what I already knew and agreeing to send the part.

Yet, I’ll never forget the phrase one technician repeated during such a call. As soon as I realized that my call was being transferred across the ocean, I pulled some reading material nearby and and settled in for a long conversation with frequent holds.

The pleasant technician on the other end of the line began the session by asking me to describe my problem. I explained that my CD drive wasn’t working properly. Immediately, he responded, “Not to worry; I will surely help you.” I smiled at his arrangement of words, but I was thankful for his confidence. Continue reading

Is Everything against You?

Have you ever felt like you were in a tug of war game with life…and you were losing? Like everything and everyone was against you?

You are not alone in your struggle; Jacob expressed that exact feeling in the middle of an extreme situation. His favorite son had been killed (he believed), there was a terrible famine, now another son was lost—this time to prison in Egypt. But the straw that broke the camel’s back was that for all he could see, he was about to lose another son.

As life conspires against Jacob and his troubles mount, he cries out to his sons, “Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me” (Genesis 42:36—emphasis mine).

Sometimes I’ve been able to relate to (and even speak for myself) Jacob’s words. Perhaps you can, too. Sometimes it just seems that everything possible is against us. Continue reading