Life Dimensions
December 2009
The Relationship Resource
Teaching the Dynamics of Healthy Relationships
In This Issue
Book Recommendation
Blueprint for Success
Quick Links
Marriage Fitness
It's the last month of the year!   It's the holiday season.   It's Christmas time.  How are we feeling?   Some people feel sad.  Some people feel happy. 


For those of you feeling sad there is a diagnosis for you-S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder).   The diminishing daylight we all experience at this time of the year disrupts our circadian rhythms, the 24-hour biological clock that governs waking, sleeping and many other biological functions.  Darkness can wreak havoc on our neurotransmitters, brain chemicals that can affect our mood.  There are prescribed "fixes" for this diagnosis which include light therapy (intense light for 15-20 minutes), dawn simulation, anti-depressants, cognitive-behavioral therapy, vitamin D supplements, suntans, outdoor exercise and diet.   


Another prescription often overlooked is prayer. Prayer is when we enter into a relationship with God and that relationship makes a difference in our lives.  People who use prayer in their daily lives report joy, that emotion evoked by well-being.  Joy is that inner feeling when all is right with the world and we want to share it.  There is light in the darkness.  As the saying goes, "it takes one candle to light the darkness." Light takes on a whole new meaning this time of year which is one reason it is a widely used symbol in all the faith traditions.   


James, age 4, was listening to a Bible story.  His dad read: "The man named Lot was warned to take his wife and flee out of the city, but his wife turned back and turned to salt."  Concerned, James asked, "What happened to the flea?"


Clinton, age 6, was in his bedroom looking worried. When his mother asked what was troubling him, he replied, "I don't know what will happen with this bed when I get married. How will my wife fit in it?"


The older we get, the fewer things seem worth waiting in line for.


Prayerfulness: Awakening to the Fullness of LifeBook Recommendation 


Prayerfulness: Awakening to the Fullness of Life by Robert J. Wicks (2009).   Twenty years ago, Dr. Wicks challenged a group of us pastoral counselors at a conference to give five minutes a day to God.  That challenge became a daily practice of scripture reading, reflection, spiritual reading, quiet and contemplation which has truly fed my joy.  In his latest book, Wicks blends his insights from Christian contemplative practice and contemporary psychology to help readers develop a loving, clear, and spiritually balanced outlook and the joy of spiritual intimacy.  Wicks is a professor of pastoral counseling at Loyola College in Maryland and has authored over forty books. 

Joy is prayer.  Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls.               --Mother Teresa


A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones.

                                    --Proverbs 17:22


But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

                                     --Galatians 5:22


Blueprint  for Success 
Blue Print for SuccessMary Ann Van Buskirk is a  keynote speaker and author and has been selected from a nationwide search to be featured in Blueprint for Success, a highly successful book series from Tennessee based Insight Publishing. The book features best-selling authors Stephen R. Covey (Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) and Ken Blanchard (One Minute Manager.) Van Buskirk, Blanchard and Covey, are joined by other well-known authors and speakers, each offering time-tested strategies for success in frank and intimate interviews.
Mary Ann Van Buskirk, M.A., M.Div. is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Colorado, a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors and co-founder of Positive Coaching with over twenty years of experience as a counselor, trainer and national speaker.  People who have worked with her report vast improvements in their abilities to relate in healthier ways at home and at work.  Success is a result of healthy relationships.

May all of you experience peace and joy as this year comes to a close and have more of each in 2010!


Mary Ann Van Buskirk
Life Dimensions