How to Survive a depressing Christmas; Provocativejoy.com; life overseas; depression

5 Ways To Survive a Depressing Christmas

There is something special about the Christmas season, even prior to Christmas Day. There is anticipation and excitement. There can also be a building feeling of dread. As Christmas traditions trigger memories of years past, it gets increasingly difficult when you know something is missing, like your family, or the ones you really want to be with, but can’t. The anticipation, magic and wonder of the Advent season is precisely why this time has the potential to be depressing. It...

stock_photo_parlor_self-examination_journal

How To Benefit From Counseling (Even If You Don’t Want to Go)

I remember the first counseling appointment I ever went to. It was almost 20 years ago. My parents brought me as a young girl so I honestly don’t remember their concern, but I DO remember the counselor telling my parents I was fine; there was nothing to worry about. My parents explained that it was something they had to fix, not me. The psychologist advised them and that was the end of that. A few years later, in my early...

Brilliant Videos on Sex and Marriage; Provocative Joy; Esther Perel; Ran Gavrieli; Adina River; Brene Brown

4 Brilliant Videos on Sex and Marriage

A couple weeks ago I asked my Facebook friends and fam why it seems to be difficult for Christians to talk about sex, even sex within marriage! I understand sex is deeply personal and elicits extreme opinions. I totally relate with anyone who feels wary to share such personal opinions or experiences with someone who will likely misunderstand when there isn’t time to give a full background or context. These conversations probably take place more than I realize. They might not...

Marriages that inspire; marriages done right; Chaz and Roger Ebert; Kim and Krickitt Carpenter; Jason and Crystal Crawford

Marriages Done Right: 3 Amazing Couples Prove It’s Possible

Crystal was in denial about her relationship with her best friend. “I began chatting with him online constantly, at first only when Jason wasn’t around, but then even when he was, pretending it was only friendship,” she says. Jason was spending more and more time with his colleague from school, and projects turned into relaxation time which turned into going out to clubs together until late at night. Since his wife made him feel worthless, unattractive and irresponsible, all he wanted...

Provocative Joy Ivanna Overseas Volunteering with Mercy Ships in Cotonou, Benin West Africa This is how to drop it all and just do it

Overseas Volunteering: 3 Tempting Reasons to Try It!

overseas volunteering I arrived on this ship full of energy to pour into the lives of others and I was so psyched to live abroad on a ship for a full year (although it turned into 3 years). It wasn’t a huge sacrifice for me; it was something I couldn’t wait to try. I heard so many people say, “I could never do that. I’d never be able to live far from family with no steady source of income.” I...

Venice of Africa Ganvié

The Venice of Africa: Ganvié on Stilts

An Intriguing city A journey away from my steel-box home always overwhelms me more than it should. My lack of a car, a local phone, or a sense of direction make exploring feel like a monumental task. That’s why I’m glad we didn’t wait too long before heading out to Ganvié, the lesser known Venice of Africa. Ganvié was the first Beninois attraction I hoped to visit. I’ve been reading a book called Show Me the Magic written by a...

Travel Lesson

A Travel Lesson: How To Be Ruined Gracefully

travel lesson #1: Travelling ruins many. I suspect I was ruined before I started, and travelling has made it worse. Mercy Ships was not to blame. It was a trip to Spain during sophomore year of college that set off the craving. However, Mercy Ships has been the vehicle, literally and figuratively, to carry me farther into traveler-ruin. How do I go back to normal? Here’s the problem. Today you think highly of yourself and your culture. Tomorrow you hop on...