Article by Mary Be a Sullivan, Edited by Dee DeWitt


One of the dictionary definitions for “integrity” is, “adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.”


Seems simple enough.  Yet if we choose to be vigilant about what we say and do, we might find it is no easy task…


Maybe I am just projecting my own shortcomings on all of you.


Recently I have had a few occasions where I “noticed” how I was hoping to wiggle out of “full disclosure.”  In one case, there were some messy, hard things happening in the relationship and it seemed easier to gloss over them than it was to be straight with the other person.

In the short-run that strategy can work, but over time my little “white lies” always tend to pile up into a heap that becomes unmanageable. The gifted psychotherapist, Virginia Satir had a saying about “taking out the trash” every day in relationships.  I guess we would have a lot less to clean up if we “noticed” the trash we were about to throw down and avoid making the mess in the first place.


Just the other day I was dealing with someone in a business transaction. When she came to our home I knew we were going to interview other people for the “job.”  In fact, I intended to tell her that.  But when she was sitting there at my kitchen table in the flesh, it felt too uncomfortable to tell her the truth.  After a couple of days, I got up the nerve to let her know our plans.  She was gracious and understanding, but I could tell she was hurt.  I hoped to remember to be more honest from the beginning next time. Read More »

Posted on 22 February, 2010 in Balance, Career
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt


My daily work is teaching me that change is the only constant in my life.


Things don’t go according to my calendar on many days, and today was one of them.  I’m learning that change gives me an opportunity to think, to pray, to be creative, and to listen.  If I’m open to learning these needed lessons, that is.


I thought I was going to start today with a staff meeting, send applications to potential students for our summer Clinical Pastoral Education Program, attend a committee meeting on Patient Satisfaction, and supervise one of my volunteers in her work in one of our ICU waiting rooms.


I’m learning that some days, one out of four is not so bad.


A call came into our office about an employee who died suddenly during the night, and the co-workers needed support.  I spent a few hours with caring, medical professionals who were in shock and grieving.


And yet they had to continue taking care of their patients and families as if today was the same as yesterday. But it was not the same.  A person they loved for decades was not at their side according to the schedule posted on the door.  Just yesterday, this co-worker was doing her job with expertise and compassion, teasing her colleagues, and going home to her husband and children.


But today was different.  Very different. Read More »

Posted on 4 February, 2010 in Balance, Making the Day Count
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Article by Dee DeWitt, Edited by Dee DeWitt


In our world today, we’re on the move all the time … one activity after another, always one more appointment to get to, one more errand to complete … and when we stop we’re exhausted mentally and physically.


Constant activity and movement are our default modes, if not with our bodies then at least with our minds, with our attention.  Even when we are sitting still, most of us we have the television on, or we’re on the computer checking email and Facebook, or we’re texting friends on our cell phones.  We are always on, always connected, always thinking, always talking.


There’s no time for stillness.


Even when we’re in line for something, or waiting at a dental appointment, or on a plane – we often get antsy, and search for something to do.  Some of us will have our mobile devices, others will have a notebook or folder with things to do or read … and still others will fidget.  


Being still isn’t something we’re used to.  And it comes at a cost: we lose time for contemplation, for observing and listening … and seeing God in the world around us.  We lose peace. Read More »

Posted on 30 January, 2010 in Balance, Happiness, Simplify
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Article by Malcolm Marler, Edited by Dee DeWitt


I want to say “yes” to people.  I want to be liked.  I want to be the person others come to when he or she needs my time, my skills, or my resources.


And yet if my compass is simply to be liked by others and say “Yes” to them, I’m in big trouble…


I’ll lose my way.  I will look up one day and say, “Who am I?  What do I love to do?  Where is my passion”?


Each “Yes” I commit to means a “No” to something else.  I can only do so many things.  Each “No” I say makes room for the possibility for a new “Yes.”


I’m trying to live more simply in 2010.


I am learning that living simply requires me to make one of two choices.  “Yes” or “No.”  Over and over again … every day.


My prayer is that I will choose wisely.




“We need to teach the next generation of children from day one that they are responsible for their lives.  Mankind’s greatest gift, also its greatest curse, is that we have free choice.  We can make our choices built from love or from fear.”

-Elisabeth Kubler-Ross


Malcolm Marler is Director of Pastoral Care for UAB Hospital in Birmingham, AL.  In addition to his interest in spirituality and health, he loves to identify physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of persons, then design and build programs that help meet those needs.  His warmth and humor along with his powerful message of hope and grace is his greatest strength.  Malcolm grew up in Alabama and attended Clemson University (S.C.) on a football scholarship as a defensive back where he graduated with a B.A. degree in Psychology.  He is a graduate of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY with Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees.  Malcolm lives on a lake in North Alabama with the love of his life, Mary Bea Sullivan.  He has two open-hearted, loving stepchildren, Brendan and Kiki who are both freshman in college.  For more information or to contact Malcolm, please visit


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Posted on 18 January, 2010 in Balance, Simplify
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Article by Dee DeWitt


Feeling as though you’re always running twenty minutes behind schedule is an unhappy feeling.  Having to rush, forgetting things in your haste, dealing with annoyed people when you arrive … it’s no fun.


If you find yourself chronically late, what steps can you take to be more prompt … and as a result, happier? First you need to ask yourself why you’re late.  Then you can see more easily what you need to modify.


There are many, many reasons we are all late.  Here are seven common reasons for chronic tardiness and suggestions on how we might address them:


Sleep too late?  If you’re so exhausted in the morning that you sleep until the last possible moment, it’s time to think about going to sleep earlier the night before.  Most people don’t get enough sleep, and sleep deprivation is a real drag on your happiness … and your health.  Try turning off the light sooner each night.  And try to go to sleep at the same time every night (yes, including Friday and Saturday nights!). Read More »

Posted on 8 January, 2010 in Balance, Happiness
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