The Current

Helping you navigate through life

Subscribe

Two Gifts Children Need

Children are human just like parents, except that they are younger. A great separation between the parent and the child, however, is that children neither know, nor have they experienced all that the parent has found out or been through. With that reality in mind, there are two great gifts parents can offer children—throughout their lives because they will always be younger, no matter how old they become. Parents can become really good about seeking forgiveness and living in confession. These two gifts are primary blessings for children. They teach and offer children blessings that are needed for their own

Continue reading...

Boundaries Start with Me

Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help differentiate you from someone else, or communicate where you “begin” and “end.” Using an analogy of land ownership with fences and gates, boundaries are the fences around your land. Gates are the passageways that allow others onto your land. You control the gates on your land. If anyone comes onto your land in any fashion except through the gates, without your permission, they are trespassing. Boundaries in relationships are the markers that help communicate where you “begin” and “end.”     You are responsible for your own fences that mark your land, and you are

Continue reading...

The Wheel of Functioning

A primary responsibility of a healthy family system is to help develop children into capable human beings. Two hallmark expressions of the emotionally and spiritually capable human being are the ability to work and to love, i.e., to be able to live fully in relationship with others and God. To work and love successfully requires the development of resilience and empathy, and the capacity to receive and give.    Though somewhat oversimplified, healthy development occurs when the child reaches out towards the parent(s) for relational connection with their primary needs of belonging and mattering, and the parent reaches back with affirmation

Continue reading...

What is Maturity?

As an external description, maturity is the evidence of reaching full natural growth or development. As an internal description, maturity is the emotional and relational capability of living fully and loving deeply while experiencing life on life’s terms. By being able to need well and truthfully, we grow up from the roots of getting our needs met first, into producing fruit as a natural outcome of having our needs met. We see who we are created to be, so we can do what we are created to do.     Concerning maturity as an internal experience and process, a person can reach

Continue reading...

Works in Progress

The best we will ever become is Works in Progress (WIPs). No matter what we do, we will always be like giraffes running on ice — clumsy. Our dreams really will always exceed our grasp, no matter how perfect our plans. I believe that God likes that we dream. We carry eternity in our hearts according to Ecclesiastes. God loves for us to rise up against gravity, so to speak, even though we are coming back down.  Even so, perfection—the idea that I can defeat gravity—seems so much better than the inevitable WIP status. The best we will ever become

Continue reading...

Mattering

The need to belong is met by having a place where you can be yourself, in all the struggles that entails. A place where you can be accepted as you share and deal with feelings, needs, desire, longings, and hope. You belong when you know that you can be celebrated in joyful times and grieved over in times of loss. Belonging affirms your worth as a person. The need to matter is met through being appreciated for your own individual giftedness—what is born into us, and is developed. The gifts are an active expression of what you naturally are drawn

Continue reading...

Belonging

A famous rock star said that she never felt more alone than after a performance in front of thousands of admirers. After the performance ended, she had no one to turn to who met her need to belong. Heroin became her closest companion and the counterfeit experience of belonging. Her companion eventually killed her. Belonging is the need to be accepted for who we are as emotional and spiritual creatures. The need to belong is one of our two most powerful needs. The other is our need to matter. Belonging is the need to be accepted for who we are

Continue reading...

Created to Need

What is a need? To put it as starkly as possible, needs are deficits that require biological, emotional and spiritual gratification for fulfillment. Deficit fulfillment keeps us fully alive. Needs have to be gratified to be alive. The specific needs we have are the tools we have been given that open us to healing, recovery, replenishment, and the capacity to give. Beyond food, water, shelter, and clothing, our needs are predominantly emotionally and spiritually oriented and fulfilled. In fact, the emotional and spiritual primary needs of belonging and mattering are practically equal to the need for food and water. A

Continue reading...

On Gardens and Beginnings

When I was in grad school, I became “highly focused” (read: obsessed) with hot peppers, and my tolerance for heat quickly outgrew the pepper selection at my local grocery. Soon my addiction had me driving across town twice a month to the Patel Brothers for their thai chilies. When my quest for burn still wasn’t sated it became clear that to have the hottest peppers, I would need to grow them myself.      My previous forays utilizing my green thumb had always ended tragically. Yet, my desire for the endorphins released from these scalding pods outweighed the fear of

Continue reading...

Empathy and the Heart of Us

What makes facing and knowing our own hearts so vital? The heart is the record-keeper of our life’s emotional and spiritual experiences. It is our “life-lived memory.” Out of it we remain compassionate and generous, truthful and confessional, humble and celebratory. By facing and knowing our hearts we can even make very painful and difficult decisions, like knowing when to let go with love and grieve, or facing the great need to make reconciliation through forgiving or being forgiven for harms done. The heart is the record-keeper of our life’s emotional and spiritual experiences. By facing and knowing our own

Continue reading...