The Gift of Touch

I’m a very feely, touchy kind of person. I need and enjoy touch.

The funny thing is, I didn’t grow up in a home where hugging or other physical expressions of caring were present. I knew my parents loved me, but touching just wasn’t part of my childhood experience.

But, while raising my daughters, I lavished them with hugs and constantly expressed my love with touch. As adults, they still crave and need it for their emotional well-being. We hug when we first see other and when we go our separate ways. My youngest, at 23, still enjoys laying her head in my lap so I can brush her hair or rub her back while she falls asleep.

It’s not unusual for me to hug or place my hand on someone’s shoulder to show friendship, connection, or offer comfort.

Science and research has proven that we need touch…

Biological – It’s known that babies will die if they don’t receive touch. Studies on infants and children link touch directly to healthy physical development. And in people of all ages, it reduces stress.

– What better way to communicate than through touch?

Psychological - It provides reassurance and comfort, and aids in the development of self-identity and self-esteem.

Social - The ability to trust others, and understand the needs of others, is directly related to touching.

Of course, not everyone is comfortable with touching or being touched. It may take a little practice to get used to it. And certainly not all of it is appropriate.

But, if you’re able to offer a pat on the shoulder or a gentle hand on the arm, it can be a gift. Touch provides solace, safety, tenderness, and soothing.

Jesus, while on earth, healed the sick and raised the dead with His touch. I wonder what it will be like to experience the touch of Jesus.

On the day I join Him in heaven, I’ll find out.
How awesome is that going to be? I can’t wait.


Darwin Dating

The other day the Seattle PI printed an article on what’s new in online dating. Darwin Dating is one of several new online sites devoted to hooking up beautiful people with other beautiful people.

I tend to be rather curious, so I checked the website out – or at least as much as I could without joining.

You must be between the ages of 18-35, and prospective members are either voted in or vetoed by the organization after submitting a photo of themselves.

Darwin Dating promises online dating minus the ugly people and boasts of being an alternative to other sites filled with “ugly, unattractive, desperate fatsos.”

They liken the dating process to “natural selection.”

“Darwin Dating has been created to better the lives of attractive people and to encourage them to find other attractive people with whom they can breed.”

Here’s a shortened version of Darwin Dating rules.
(I left out the more graphic descriptions)

In order to join Darwin Dating, you have to agree that you don't suffer from:

Saggy boobs... in fact no saggy anything!
Sweat patches
Nerdy glasses
Pocket protectors
Fat rolls
Out of proportion noses
Non-symmetrical faces or bodies
Red hair and too many freckles
Pasty skin
Disproportionately large ears
Lack of personal hygiene
Out of date fashions
Out of date hair styles (especially perms)
Teeth that aren't straight
Teeth that aren't white
Uncared for fingernails
Bald patches (men, but particularly, women)
Anyone with a middle part
Lack of visible skin between eyebrows
Ski jump noses
Wobbly upper arms
Large gaps between teeth

I’m blown away by all of this.
Sure, we all have some degree of vanity about our own appearance.
And yes…it’s important to be attracted to our spouses or significant others.
But c’mon, people.

Anyone with any amount of maturity knows that beauty can only last so long – no matter how much cosmetic surgery you indulge in.

What happens when someone turns thirty-six? They’re no longer desirable in this exclusive group, so are they given the boot on their birthday? Let’s look at reality. They’re all going to turn thirty-six, and then forty-six, fifty-six, sixty-six, seventy-six…

What happens to a relationship that was based on outward appearance? I can’t imagine it would have much depth, growth, or longevity.

Personally I prefer someone with whom I can share intelligent conversation and who can make me laugh. Someone who won’t be looking for a hottie with a tanned, flat stomach if I gain a few pounds or wrinkles in my old age.

I feel sorry for these people, but I think it probably just makes God feel sad to see such shallowness.

“The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
I Samuel 16:7


The Purpose of Life

“The purpose of life is a life of purpose.”
Robert Byrne

I like that quote. I think it’s right on.

Have you ever asked, “Why am I here?” I have.
It took me many years, but I finally realized that my purpose is connected to the skills and gifts God has given me. I can also be the wife my husband needs, the mother my children lean on, and the friend who gives encouragement.

I believe God has given each of us a purpose to fulfill on earth.
It may not be grandiose or bring fame, but it’s still important.

To have purpose in your life may include the desire to contribute and make a difference in the lives of others. It’s our job to discover whatever it means for us as individuals, but He's willing to help us figure it out if we ask.

And if we have purpose...we have reason to keep going, even during the hard times.

“He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.”
Friedrich Nietzsche

What is your purpose?


God, the Father

I’ve heard that a person’s perception of God is greatly influenced by the kind of relationship that’s been experienced with his/her earthly father.

That makes a lot of sense to me.

I know God is capable of anger, jealousy, and judgment, but I think of my heavenly Father as having the same traits as my dad, who’s always been patient, kind, loving, and supportive.

As a parent, I can relate to what I believe God feels towards His children.

Even though my daughters are all in their early to mid-twenties, I still worry about them. I want to protect them from harm and I desire only what’s best for them.

The other day one of the girls called in tears. It had been a horrible day. She’d worked hard to accomplish something important to her, but had failed. She was devastated. My heart ached for her and I wanted to reach through the phone and wrap my arms around her. But, as much as I wanted to fix it, I couldn’t.

While I drove home from work it hit me.
I breathed out, “Wow…”

As I grieved over my daughter’s heartbreak, I realized that God feels the same when I blow it, am deeply hurt, or cry for help.

I believe His heart aches as much – perhaps more - when I’m disappointed, discouraged, stressed, frustrated, or in pain.

Just as I need to let my daughters handle things on their own, our heavenly Father must sit back at times so we can grow in maturity and character. He could “fix it” for us in a blink of an eye. He chooses not to out of desire for us to become courageous and stand strong on our own two feet.

That’s real love…


"Bridge to Terabithia" and the Gift of Imagination

When it comes to viewing movies, my interests include a wide range of genres. There's very little I’m not open to trying. Last night I watched a Disney flick - yes, Disney – and loved it.

The movie, “Bridge to Terabithia,” is based on the book by Katherine Paterson. Fifth grader, Jesse, becomes Leslie's classmate when her family moves next door. Both outcasts, the two become friends. Jesse’s life changes when Leslie unlocks the world of fantasy and imagination for him and they create the make-believe kingdom of Terabithia, where they rule.

A movie made for older children and young adults, it touched on more than several tough subjects and delicately handled them well. These included: a family struggling with finances, bullies, physical abuse, and death. Sounds glum, but the story was magical and filled with hope.

The children’s imagination and the world they created reminded me of my own childhood where I dreamed of fairies, castles, and an assortment of adventures. A childhood where I escaped with my friends to a tree house hidden in the wooded area behind our homes.

Isn’t the gift of imagination wonderful?

Without it, our world would be dull – drab – boring.

You must first be able to imagine, in order to create.

Without imagination there would be no…
books with new stories.
movies with exciting adventures.
inventions to ease the way in which to accomplish a task.
beautifully designed buildings.
paintings or sculptures.
music or dance.
Internet, iPods, or telephones.

What a fantastic gift God has given us!


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