How Much Of You Are You Willing To Leave Undone?

How Much Of You Are You Willing To Leave Undone?

What if we were to see ourselves the same way God sees us?

God has a lot of big ideas. And each of us is one of them. Each of us intentionally created in our own unique way. It’s the uniqueness of our individual talents, gifts, and abilities that we are here to develop and share with the world. Little pieces of God’s biggest idea.

God doesn’t just create things for the sake of creating them. Honestly, I don’t think He needs the practice. In a world of divine intention, there are no accidents. All of nature and all of humanity are here for very specific purposes.

The intention of creation is full expression. The idea becomes reality. That is what nature does. Trees grow as tall as they are supposed to. Trees don’t question their worthiness nor do they compare themselves to other trees and decide they aren’t good enough and decide to play small. They just grow, fully evolve, fully expressing the intention of their creation.

For us humans, the full expression of our own creation often gets a bit complicated.

Becoming all we were intended to become certainly has its challenges. Perhaps the greatest challenge is actually figuring out exactly what it is we were created for. Our Continue reading “How Much Of You Are You Willing To Leave Undone?”

The One Secret To Never Keep Secret

The One Secret To Never Keep Secret

“Love begins wherever we can truly do something for each other.”   – Gabriele Brüggemann

For something as important as love, for the most part you’re pretty much forced to figure it out on your own. The younger version of me learned about love by seeing it in action. Or, more accurately, by not seeing it in action. The examples of love I saw were for the most part silent, even secretive. Love, once initially established, tended to fall into the Understood category. You know I love you, so there isn’t really a need for me to remind you that I do. People in my world simply didn’t go around expressing their love for each other. It just wasn’t something that was done. Emotions, especially those of the loving kind, were best kept to yourself.

Especially for us males.

Maybe this describes your experience as well?

This older version of me has grown enough to grasp the idea that love can be a powerful life-changing force, an energy which can change things, including energy itself. And that energy changes people in a way only love can change them.

Love, the powerful version of love, is deep. Unconditional. Unlimited. But for love to be the force of change it can be, love needs to be proactively expressed. Consistently. Knowing someone loves you will only get you so far. But when you are proactively and consistently reminded someone loves you and has you and believes in you – especially for no specific reason other than that they do – that’s when love is at it’s most powerful, life-changing best. Continue reading “The One Secret To Never Keep Secret”

Maybe Your Life Already Is Something To Get Excited About?

Maybe Your Life Already Is Something To Get Excited About?

“Look, Dad. That’s Orion’s belt. See? Those three stars in a row. Do you see it?”

That was part of an unexpected exchange I had this week with my daughter in the driveway, her little finger pointing to where she wanted my eyes to go. We just came home from her dance class. Cold nights usually mean a clear sky, and on this night you could see to infinity and beyond.

As we got out of the car she threw her head back to find a sky full of stars. And for the next 15 minutes, despite the bitter cold, we scanned the night sky and found as many constellations as we could name.

“Isn’t this cool?” she asked, her voice filled with both awe and wonder.

One of the great things about having a younger child in the house is that they often remind you of things, things you used to simply always do before the whole adult thing showed up in your life and changed your focus. At some point life morphs into a pursuit, a race of attainment and the pressures and stress which come along with it. Instead of taking time to look up and enjoy, we put our heads down and push and kick and fight forward, looking for an ever-elusive happiness in the material things and the status which we feel will come along with them.

I remember awe and wonder. I remember when I wasn’t looking past what I was hoping to find, when I wasn’t so consumed by the future, so often at the expense of the awe and wonder of the present.

I can’t help but contemplate how much awe and wonder am I missing in other areas of my life? Do I see it in the people in my life, the opportunities I have, the physical world around me? Or even life itself? Am I too busy living that I am not really fully alive?

Look up. Look around. Look inside.

Awe and wonder are everywhere.

We just need to take the time to see it.

It’s a great day to be you!

The Most Important Resolution Of Them All

The Most Important Resolution Of Them All

His fingers were so numb from the bitter cold that he could barely even hold the match to light the fire which would soon keep him warm. Eventually the match ignited and the fire was born.

One thing about fires, though. They need to be fed. They simply don’t last simply because you’ve started one. Kinda like the fires we start in life. Fires of desire. Unless we feed them continuously they eventually go out.

New Year’s Day is perhaps the most prolific day to start fires. Fires of desire, that is. All these resolutions and hopes and dreams we decide to bring to life.  Yes, we may start such fires but how often do those fires of what we desire simply burn themselves out? Intentions create the initial spark, but without the real commitment the flames will soon be extinguished, starved of the fuel needed to maintain them. Good intentions alone are never good enough.

I’ve certainly started my fair share of fires. A great many of them have met an early demise. Simply because I never fed them. And I never really fed them because I rationalized I must have never wanted them bad enough. But the more accurate reason why many of the fires never got fed was because somewhere inside I never felt I was supposed to have the things I wanted for myself. Continue reading “The Most Important Resolution Of Them All”

What Impact Will You Have In Your Radius Of Love?

What Impact Will You Have In Your Radius Of Love?

The local shops were packed. An important holiday shopping day, the Saturday after Thanksgiving was rebranded as Small Business Saturday a few years back. The goal was to encourage people to do some of their holiday shopping at the small, family-owned businesses in their communities. And on this day, business was quite good.

Supporting locally-owned businesses has a huge impact on the local economy. It provides jobs and incomes for many families, and much of that income stays within the local community, which perpetuates even more economic activity.

Shopping local makes a big impact in a community.

It works the same way with love.

Draw a one mile radius around where you are. How much love can you give locally this holiday season? How much impact can you make on the lives of others right around you?

There are opportunities everywhere.

Maybe it’s checking in on someone who is alone this season…just to remind them that they aren’t really alone. Maybe it’s cooking a meal for a family going through a rough stretch right now. Maybe it’s volunteering at a local soup kitchen or shelter. Or donating a toy to a child who may go without one unless you do. Maybe it’s just being kind and patient during what can be a very stressful time of year for some. Maybe it’s holding a door for someone. Or maybe it’s just offering a smile.

We can give away a smile, can’t we?

Love is the one gift which is always needed, always the right size, and the giver is always happy when it gets returned. There is no greater gift than love, and there is no limit on how much love we can share with the world.

Or in our neighborhood.

Make your impact felt this holiday season.

It’s a great day to be you!

Avoiding The Thanksgiving Surprise

Avoiding The Thanksgiving Surprise

Ever notice how when Thanksgiving approaches some people are surprised that it’s here already? Like it sort of snuck up on them and they never saw it coming?

And that leads to the obligatory conversation about how fast the year has gone by and wondering where the time actually went.

Like Thanksgiving, life, too, can often sneak up on you and before you know it you’re left wondering where the years of your life went. The speed of life can often feel like you’re just trying to keep up with it. When life is lived reacting to life itself there’s not much time left for living.

But isn’t living the real reason we are alive?

Time is moving and it’s not stopping. Not for anyone or anything. And since the clock isn’t stopping, isn’t now the time to make our life our real priority, to clarify and define exactly what the life we are here to live should look and feel like and then refocus our time and energy on making our vision our reality?

Don’t wait until the November of your life to start to living it.

You just might miss it.

It’s a great day to be you!

 

Photo by Elijah O’Donnell on Unsplash

The Surprising Benefits of Thinking Like Water

The Surprising Benefits of Thinking Like Water

I was exhausted. I really wasn’t fully prepared for this 5K trail run. Unlike road running, trails offer potential danger in every stride. The extensive network of exposed tree roots and randomly placed stones, all covered with leaves still wet from the heavy rains from the night before, made a challenging course that much more challenging.

Running, for me, is equal parts physical and mental. Sometimes the body is willing but the mind works to convince it that it’s not. On this particular day my mind, too, was racing. The wet, uneven terrain gave it lots to talk to me about. Lots of inner resistance to work through.

The week prior I had hiked this particular preserve just to get more familiar with the trail. On that hike I unexpectedly came upon a small waterfall, fed from the gentle stream behind it. As I stood on the small wooden bridge the water continued to pass under me and then on down stream, gravity taking the water to wherever it was going to go, it’s flow and path greatly influenced by the obstacles it found on the way.

You can learn a lot from water.

The water and the runner shared something in common. We both met resistance on our paths. But the type of resistance we each faced was dramatically different.

Unlike me, the water wasn’t working against itself.

Water never works against itself. Any resistance water faces is always external, always outside of itself. It’s the stones and branches and boundaries and gravity which determine where the water will go. Water never fearfully looks down stream and worries about where it is going and if it will ever get there. It just goes where it goes, never working against itself.

A stark contrast to my running style, where the mind can greatly influence if I even continue to move forward. Much of my resistance is internal. It’s often me working against me, fearfully looking up a hill and doubting if I’ll be able to run up it without stopping.

How often do we allow our thoughts to work against us? Not just in running up hills but in running our lives? How often does our mind create an inner resistance to our own efforts to keep moving forward, to climb up the hills life can often place before us?

Our greatest resistance is almost always self-inflicted.

When we are not working against ourselves we are better able to work through and around those external obstacles standing between who we are and who we really want to be.

Maybe its time to think like water?

 

Photo by Taylor Leopold on Unsplash