Everything listed under: Jeff Pipe

  • It's Time To Get Your Family Outdoors Because… It Is Restorative.

      As a psychologist and therapist, my job is often emotionally taxing and several years ago I found myself confronting burnout and compassion fatigue. I felt like a zombie; empty and depressed. My body, my heart and my mind seemed sluggish and unresponsive.

  • It's Time To Get Your Family Outdoors Because…

    It Realigns The Soul To God The sun has dropped below the horizon and the startling array of orange and red hues draping the sky deepen. The growing shadows heighten the contrast between the ridges unfolding before us. We are sitting on a bluff at over 6,000 feet of elevation in the middle of the Smoky Mountains; the landscape ripples out for what seems like an eternity.

  • It's Time To Get Your Family Outdoors Because...

    Once we’d settled in at the base of the two large oaks and turned off our headlamps, it was utterly black. Sunrise was still an hour away and the clouds blocked whatever light the moon and stars might otherwise have offered. No more than 20 minutes later, adrenaline jolted my heart into action as the sound of approaching footsteps became distinct.

  • Personally Responsible vs. Blaming

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story Element #6:  Personally Responsible versus Blaming. I gave my wife a call to check-in and let her know that I was on my way home from the office the other day.  We were chatting as I walked across the parking lot when it dawned on me that something was wrong.

  • Commitment vs. Conditionality

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story Element #5:  Commitment versus Conditionality. Most people understand the importance of unconditional love in a marriage and few people marry with much consideration to the possibility of divorce.  Certainly, most believers recognize that marriage is meant to last a lifetime and that, even in the face of betrayal and infidelity, God’s ideal is a relationship that reflects His gracious, sacrificial and ...

  • Stonewalling vs. Empathy

    When defensiveness fails to protect from recurrent confrontations of contempt and criticism, stonewalling is the next layer of self-protection that finds its way into a marriage relationship.  Stonewalling is, in short, emotional disengagement...

  • Defensiveness vs. Validation

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story   Element #3:  Defensiveness vs Validation Defensiveness is the counterpart to criticism and contempt in a marriage.  This self-protective strategy manifests as an effort to explain, rationalize or minimize the significance of your behavior in the eyes of your spouse.  Defensiveness is any reaction to your spouse that disrupts their expression and/or constrains the process of you coming ...

  • Contemptuous vs. Vulnerable

    Epic Love Setting:  The Six Elements That Determine the Tone of Your Love Story   Element #2:  Contemptuous vs. Vulnerable Jim felt backed into a corner.  Seven years into the marriage, it didn’t seem to matter how hard he tried to please Esther, she kept upping the ante.  Desperate to get her attention, he tried to tell her that a new car was not in the budget.  Esther seemed unaffected – even bored – by Jim’s plea.  Looking away from him, she used the pa...

  • Criticism vs. Disagreement

    In the same way that the setting for a movie puts limitations on – or creates the potential for - a certain set of outcomes in a story, the setting or tone of a marriage creates the potential for longevity and joy or frustration and divorce...

  • Dangerous Hope: The Confessions of a Man with Too Many Christmas Lights

    I own entirely too many Christmas lights for a man of my age and each November I waste about 24 man hours installing the 18,108 mini lights I own (Yes.  In 2008, I counted them).  Lest you worry that perhaps this may be too many lights for a residential home, please know that I am cautious; after blowing any given breaker, I always remove one strand from the offending line before I flip the breaker back on and then secure a new outlet for the subsequent battery of lights.  I have ...

  • A Sadness That Speaks of Something More

     The waves of the Salish Sea caress the side of the kayak as my wife and I watch the sun drift across and below the horizon.  The snow-covered peaks of the Olympic Mountain range preside over the landscape.  Like gods, they expose my frail and transient existence...

  • When the Climb Feels Impossible

    I'd forgotten how much bigger things are out West.  My wife and I were 8,000 feet below the summit of Mt. Rainier when we moved out of the tree line and onto a snowfield.  We had no intention of making the 14,000 foot summit, but picked a craggy ridge toward the top of the Muir Snowfield as our goal for the hike.  The ridge looked no more than 15 or 30 minutes away and the slope leading up to it appeared challenging, but not threatening.  Though...

  • We are Wired for Connection

    As I walk away from the office, my mind is occupied by the day’s events and concerns.  My body is tense and a headache threatens.  Unruly thoughts and questions intrude on my awareness like enemy scouts probing for weakness...,

  • I Don’t Think I Should Still Be This Insecure

    Last week was a tough week.  I had an awkward conversation with some friends and said some things that I ruminated over for days afterward. I had to confront a difficult issue with someone who was out-of-control and made them angry.  Although I had no regrets over the confrontation, I was troubled by the interaction and couldn’t put it out of my head.  While relaxing with my wife later that evening, I perceived her to be distant and distracted....

  • Are you listening?

    The only thing I find more disappointing than bumping into a slow driver in the left lane on I-75, is trying to share something important with someone who doesn't listen well.  They'll both take the wind right out of your sails and deflate an otherwise exhilarating opportunity...

  • The Rule of Complementarity

     Some would say that opposites attract, but I would argue that opposites form.  There is a certain rule – let’s call it the rule of complementarity – that influences marital relationships.  As relationships evolve, people tend to move toward opposite poles to maintain balance in a relationship.....

  • Self-Confidence

    I enjoyed a beautiful ride on the mountain bike the other day.  The afternoon sun heightened the color of the leaves as I biked through the wooded ridges of my favorite trail system.  It was one of those rides that made me feel strong, good about myself and good about my life...

  • The George Costanza Rule

    My father is a funny guy. He likes to be goofy and tease. Because I enjoyed my Dad’s humor as a child, by the time I married my wife I had mastered the Funny Arts and received an advanced degree in Sarcasm...

  • My Other Wife Is A Harley

    There was a period of about five years when my marriage was bad.  It seemed that there was always tension in the relationship and I felt like nothing was ever enough to please my wife.  I didn’t understand why she wasn’t happy because I thought that I was a pretty good husband. I was reasonably sensitive and a lot of fun. Nevertheless, my wife still seemed unhappy and her anger was never far away.

     

  • Safety

    Last Summer I was reminded why tubing behind a ski boat is for people much younger than myself. After watching my friend Phil throw a couple of young guys off of a tube tethered behind his boat, I told him that I was ready for a ride. As I climbed out of the boat and onto the tube I was overcome by what I must now assume was some form of brief psychosis; temporarily separated from any cognitive awareness of my age, strength and weight at the time, I taunted the power of Phil’s boat and questione...

  • The Magic Wand

    If you had a magic wand and could change one thing about the way your spouse relates to you, what would you change? Perhaps you’d like your wife to quite nagging you or to be less critical. Perhaps you’d like your husband to spend more time at home or you wish he'd be more open about what’s going on in his life.

  • The Stupid Pill

    It’s been suggested that you can learn what someone really thinks of you when they’re angry. However, research on brain functioning suggests that this simply isn’t true. As you become emotionally charged and your physiological arousal escalates, parts of your brain actually goes off-line.

  • Pursuit and Withdrawal.

    God tagged Adam pretty hard for his refusal to engage with his wife and her seducer in the Garden. With no less zeal, he slapped a heavy sentence on Eve for her presumptuous initiative. In every marriage there is a pursuer and a withdrawer.

  • The Phone is in Your Hand

    I gave my wife a call to check-in and let her know that I was on my way home from the office the other day. We were chatting as I walked across the parking lot when it dawned on me that something was wrong. You know, that vague feeling you get when something isn’t quite right… something is missing.

  • Communication Doesn't Work

    “That’s not what I said!” Though his eyes were pleading for something more, the frustration and anger in his voice was clear. “That’s exactly what you said!” his wife countered, digging in her heels. What followed was the standard argument.

  • My Hair May Be On Fire

    I must confess that at 45 years of age I am still deeply fascinated by the same things which captured my attention at 13 years of age. In spite of the social and professional status which I have attained, I am still quickly reduced to adolescent silliness when confronted with burping, farting, big bugs, fire, things-that-go-boom and things-that-go-fast. However, out of respect for my wife and daughter, I have become more sensitive to the means by which I indulge in these fascinations.