Life changes and expired food

This probably is a little odd, but a specific memory I have of my senior year of high school headed into college was looking at the expiration date on a package of cheese and thinking, “by the time this cheese expires, I’ll be in college.”

In that moment, it hit me that my high school career was quickly coming to an end and I was about to be a college student. I mean, this cheese would see the transition!

Well, I just looked at our bottle of ranch dressing and realized that by the time it expires, I’ll be a father.

Two people sharing life

In Donald Miller’s most recent book, he shares a priceless thought about marriage. I don’t remember if it’s a thought from him or someone else. Check page 205/206 and see for yourself. But the general thought was that marriage just involves a guy and a girl. Normal, regular people. It won’t solve any of your problems. More than anything, it’s someone to go through life with.

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are,” he writes.

I like that…

Rest well (again)

I wrote a post a year ago (ok, exactly a year ago – didn’t realize that – a little crazy), that I’ve thought about frequently since then. I always meant to follow up on it. It was about the importance of resting well – not filling your time with useless stuff but really resting in ways that are restful.

I talked about the concept, but a few people asked me about examples of how I rest well.

I never responded.

Truth is, I don’t think I knew.

But recently I’ve had some more thoughts. And I’ll share them in the next few days.

But for now, here’s the original post that started it off:

Who says resolutions are just for new years? I have a new one. I came to it roughly two minutes ago. Here it is: Rest well. (Yeah, it’s the title of this post. Anticlimactic? Maybe…)

Here’s the deal. Life is busy. For me, it’s busier than it really should be, but there’s not much I can do for this season except sit back and enjoy the ride. But busy lives can lead to being tired, stressed and all around filled with that feeling of “blah.” To top it off, it’s easy to fill free time with things that don’t really help. From mindless putzing online to “kind of” getting things done. They aren’t really productive, but they aren’t really restful either.

So my goal is to pick a few “restful” things I really love doing and focus on those in that downtime. Even plan for them. It moves more toward the “work hard, play hard” mindset rather than the “kinda get through life doing whatever’s most immediate” one that most of us tend to work off of.

What do you think? What are those things you’d do to “rest well”?

Leaders see the good

Some people have a gift for seeing what needs to be improved in an organization or group. I tend to see ways to change things fairly quickly. But one thing I’m learning is that the best leaders are also great encouragers. They can see the strengths of others and draw them out. They cast a positive vision that people want to be a part of. They build a positive momentum.

I want to be the kind of leader who brings out the best in people. Sure, we have to confront problems. We have to bring about change. But it’s much easier to inspire change than to require it.

I have this verse on my desk. I’m trying my best to live it out.

But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. – Hebrews 3:13

God & pain

I’ve been thinking about Steven Curtis Chapman and his family today. My heart is so saddened at the loss of his 5-year-old daughter, Maria.

It’s odd to feel pain for a family you don’t even know, but I guess music can form a connection, too. In fact, a song of Steven’s helped me walk through difficult times (a version of it is below).

I cannot imagine what it would be like to lose a kid. I just can’t. All I can do is pray that God will be with the family as they move forward in the upcoming days/months/years.

Here’s a site about Maria the family set up.