noun [guh-shtahlt] an organized whole that is perceived as more than the sum of its parts.

I’m currently writing a paper about Gestalt Play Therapy.  It’s pretty fascinating stuff.  While the specifics of the Gestalt-style don’t fit just right for me, the principles are pretty practical and relevant.  The focus is on one’s current experience of thought and feeling in the moment, rather than on what could or should be. Wikipedia describes it as “full acceptance of what is, rather than a striving to be different.” Likewise, we are constantly discovering ourselves in how we are relating to the outside world or in how we fit in with the outside world even (ie: relationships).  I chose to write my paper on this topic because it’s super duper fitting for a client I’m currently seeing.

In the midst of doing my research and writing this thing, I am continually thinking about how it relates in my own life and my desire to “seize the day” yet my propensity to be wasteful of experience and time.  Sure… that’s really cliche-y but the truth is astounding.  How much of our thought is focused on tomorrow or even 3 years from now?  For me, that can be anything from how to pay a bill or my future job to my desire to be so organized as a means to be in control of at least something.   By being so focused on what’s to come, we could (I surely do at times) lose out on what’s happening today.  Without making the direct links to all these things on this blog… these are some of things that I’m sitting with in the midst of all this paper writing and Gestalt research:  how much my friend misses her dad and the presence of my dad in my life, how my memal (alzheimer’s sufferer) spends all of her time trying to find connections between things in the hope that she finds something familiar, and then of course other things that I don’t yet have the words to articulate well (which happens to me all the time).

Make your own connections.

(There’s so much more conversation to be had around faith and the idea of not focusing on things being different.  Cause that’s, in part, contrary to the Christian life.  But for the sake of this post, I’m thinking in terms of being ok with whatcha got… rather than consumed with whatcha don’t got.  Got it?)


Hello again, world!

I’ve been on a blogging hiatus.  Perhaps it wasn’t really on purpose.  Retrospectively, I realized that after I linked my facebook and blog I received a discouraging comment that was concurrent with my hibernation.  I suppose I got type-shy.  In fact, there are several drafts sitting here that I just didn’t send.

In reality, my community exists all over the state (and some beyond like Joanna who is soon to be in Africa).  The best way to keep up with them is social media.  So, I resolve to spend more time connecting with folks…. twitter, facebook, email, perhaps a tumbler, and likely more texting.  Community is important to me.  While in grad school, it’s been tough to keep in touch due to finances and availability.  Plus, these modes of social media can be a complete vortex once you start so I’ve tried to keep it minimal.   Result?  I’ve not done a great job of keeping up with the people that I care about.

I’m resolving to try harder.  Another way I’m doing it is by sending birthday cards via snail mail.

So, there you go……

I’m hopeful with my new endeavors because a much more savvy friend than myself as shown me that it’s possible to reduce all the junk you see and get on facebook and twitter. I’m looking forward to figuring that out.

I’ll likely start a tumbler pretty soon.  Somebody told me it was like switching from a pc to a mac, and I’m on board with that.  So, until then….. sweet dreams and Happy New Year!


“To be grateful for the good things that happen in our lives is easy, but to be grateful for all of our lives–the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections– that requires hard work. Still, we are only truly grateful people when we can say thank you to all that has brought us to the present moment.”  – Henri Nouwen

What is an attitude?

  • plays an essential role in the explanation of behavior
  • distinctive and indispensable to social psychology
  • psychological construct
  • closely linked to values, opinions, beliefs
  • has an evaluative component
  • involve positive or negative responses
  • expression of them can be multifactorial (affective, behavioral, cognitive)
  • always in reference to something
  • serve motivational functions by helping individuals organize their perceptions and make sense of the world

this is deducted from a textbook I’m reading on Clinical Appraisal. it’s got me thinking…..

recent experience

I recently took my memal to the park for a free Gospel singing.  She had a blast, and so that made every second of it worth it!  Perhaps this little song I heard could be a glimpse of my experience from the day.  Confession, I have no idea who wrote it….apologies to the copyright holder.

If I have a habit it’s going to be Jesus
If I have a hangup I’m gonna hang on to Him
If I want to get high, I’ll just pray to Jesus.
I’ll just pray to Jesus.  He takes me to heights I’ve never been.
He’ll never let me down.

how come?

i’ve always found it puzzling how we are afraid of mistakes.  we are afraid of making them.  we are afraid of letting others make them. and i think folks who work for the church think that mistakes just aren’t allowed.  so, if a church leader makes a move that isn’t quite right they do all they can to work it out before anybody notices.  or worse- they sweep it under the rug in hopes that nobody finds out.  yes, I’m speaking from experiences!

i can remember experiences in my first few years in  youth minister when I didn’t have a lot of leadership or mentoring in my life, yet I was horribly thirsty for it.  these years of inexperience were chock full of mistakes.  many to learn from.  others i’ve since forgotten.  some that continue to be relived in my memories with a “what-if” attached.  but, the thing that sticks out the most, today, is how mistakes just weren’t allowed.  to make a mistake is like carving in the pews at the church and establishing a patch in a family quilt.  they don’t go away. and my experiences with folks who don’t allow mistakes continue to make conversation in my head.

but, really!  how unfair and unrealistic is that?  the mistakes of young people in church aren’t huge, generally. the reality is that regardless of life or career experience, maturity, age, or doctoral degree- we all make mistakes.  where is grace?  sometimes we find it moreso outside the realm of ‘church folk’

I walked in.  Saw him there.  I see him here often and he often engages me in random conversation that is off the wall and rather unproductive.  This is how the conversation went down in my favorite coffee shop today….

so, you’re the one studying psychology?

yep, that’s me.

so, what do you think about global warming?

Really, the question is just a ploy to rope me into his need for conversation.  I mean, maybe he’s lonely and just want somebody to talk to?  I’m a sucker for it I guess.  Either way, you should know that it’s all a hoax.  Really, his 1963 world book told him that the earth tilted toward the sun 1 degree.  That’s what’s causing all this.  Our main issue as a society is that we are hunting animals causing them to be extinct.  Nothing about the lifestyle habits we’ve engage in over the last 100 years  that should require some sort of accountability.  Nope- just don’t hunt the whales and sea lions.

Now, I suppose it’s time to get back to studying.