Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Solution to Lack of Community

What lies do you believe that keep you from connecting with friends?

I used to be held back from spending time with people because I was afraid of awkward silent moments. I felt like I was innately boring and wouldn’t have anything interesting to talk about.

I found that one solution for this was to get together to do an activity. Working on a project together or playing a game can help make connecting easier.

Here are 7 tips to help you foster community and practice hospitality:

  • Practice smiling at people and looking them in the eye.
  • Practice making small talk. This doesn’t come naturally to everyone, but it is the starting point for deeper conversations.
  • Don’t wait until your house is perfect to invite people over for dinner. If your house is messy your guests will just feel better about their own home. You will be doing them a service.
  • Don’t wait for someone to invite you for coffee. Take the first step.
  • Make a phone call or text instead of waiting for someone to call you.
  • When people make room for you in their lives, take it, even if it’s just hanging out with them and helping them with whatever project they are working on.  That may be all the time they have available, so honor it.
  • In order to make meaningful connections you must be intentional. Get out your calendar and make a plan.

YOU are the solution to lack of community!

Strangers are just friends waiting to happen. -Rod McKuen

 

A man who has friends must himself be friendly (Proverbs 18:24a NKJV)

 

 

 

 

 

Tagged , , , ,

What Brand are You?

As children we tend to absorb labels. Our parents should be the ones who brand us with good words, calling us up into our destinies. In many cases our parents carried negative labels themselves and had no clue how to brand us or that it was even part of their job description.
Some common labels are:
                                 scatterbrained, shy, dumb, lazy, below average, dramatic,
                                 stubborn, clumsy, or accident prone.
Maybe a doctor or other “professional” labeled you with:
                                 ADHD, DID, PTSD, or some other series of letters.
These labels do not have the power to define you forever unless you let them.
You can move beyond your childhood and be a powerful adult.
You were a child then. You are not nowYou are an adult.
You really can throw off all of those old labels from when you were a child and embrace  new labels.
You have generations of ancestors cheering you on!
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.  (Hebrews 12:1 NASB)
rights-openness-150

 

Key idea: You do not have to be who you have always been.

Key strategy: Who do you need to be in order to do what you want to do? Put it into one sentence. Put it in your reminders in your phone and set the alarm to go off at a certain time each day. Read it out loud each day. Do it until it feels true and natural.

When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  (1 Corinthians 13:11)

Tagged , , , , ,

Help Me Name My Book

On my recent trip to Cuba I spent many hours traveling the countryside on a bus. There were moments where I sat gazing peacefully at the scenery outside. There were moments where I gave in to exhaustion and fell asleep. There were also many moments of wonderful conversation with the other team members sitting around me.

In one of the moments of swapping stories, my friend Kristi pointed out that I had a lot of unusual stories to tell. Honestly, my stories are my stories, and they have always just felt normal to me. The longer we talked I started to realize that my life has not been an ordinary one.

I decided to write a book. I have poured out my heart and soul onto the written page. I am in the final stages of editing, and now I need YOUR help.

Would you please help me name my book.

Click below to vote on your favorite title:

Click here to Vote

IMG_3351

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The Story Behind Harry and Larry

My daughter Zoe wrote a book. She is ten years old. Knock me over with a feather! I knew she was a bit addicted to typing on her computer, but when she told me she had written a whole book I was quite surprised.

Having a creative child is really exciting, but it can also be a lot of work. When my daughter told me her news I could not just sit back and say, “Oh, that’s nice, Zoe.”

What’s a mom to do? I had to take action.

While Zoe’s story was very fun and well thought out, it needed a lot of editing to be put into book format.

I started off by editing the book myself.  I spent several hours over several days on this part.

Next I passed the manuscript on to my dad for proofreading. I asked my mom, who is a self-published author a few times over, to help me format the text into the correct page sizes.

Zoe drew a picture for the book cover.  She had very definite ideas about the way she wanted it to look.  Next, my spiritual daughter Ashley went to the drawing board to give the canaries the animated personality that Zoe envisioned.

Overall the process of turning a manuscript into a real book turned out to be a wonderful collaboration with family.

What fun!

Don’t let your dreams just be dreams.

Do your homework and make your ideas come to life!

 Click here to visit Zoe’s Blog

Click here to visit our Children’s Creativity site Fireflies Aglow

Click here to visit Ashley’s Blog

 

Tagged , , , , , , ,

It’s a Bad Moment When You Wreck Both of Your Vehicles at the Same Time

I have no idea how I can drive through a messy snowstorm and make it home unscathed, only to wreck both of my vehicles in my own driveway a couple days later when the weather is totally fine.
I do have a few lame excuses for how it happened:
  1. Our car had been at the mechanic shop for a couple days and I got very used to it being gone,
  2. I was in a hurry to get all the kids and all of our stuff into the van and to church on time,
  3. It was pitch dark outside so when I glanced at the driveway all I saw was black,
  4. Normally on Wednesday nights Christopher would have taken the car and headed to church by this time, but he was in Brazil preaching in a bunch of different churches.
None of these excuses make what happened much easier to bear. The fact of the matter is I just plain forgot that the car was in the driveway. I put my van into reverse, slowly backed up, and crunch! I paused. I was puzzled.  What in the world was that? Crap, oh yeah. 
Judah and I both got out of the van and looked around, but it was so dark out that we couldn’t really tell how much damage had been done. We got back into the van and headed to church.
The fact of the matter is no matter how much damage was done it just wasn’t worth losing my peace. I knew it was an important moment for my kids too. They needed to see mom not freak out over something that was clearly not a fun situation.
It may cost money to have the vehicles repaired, but money is just money. God provides what we need, and we use what He provides to take care of our needs.
Of course I would prefer not to spend money on repairing both of my vehicles, but hey, it is what it is.
The fact that this is the third time in my life that I have backed into a parked car should be laughable. I may not be laughing at it yet, but I am choosing to let it go.
Life is too short to stress over things that are not a matter of life and death.
Word to the wise: don’t park your car behind me!
Tagged , , , , , , ,