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I did not choose my parents

I did not choose my parents.
I did not choose my children.
I did not choose when the sun would rise today.
I did not choose the temperature. In fact, I moved here so it wouldn’t be 10 degrees, but it is.
I did not choose the actions of others around me.
I did not choose what was on the pages of the websites I read this morning.
I choose how I react.
I choose what I dwell on.
I choose what bothers me or what I let go.
I choose what I want to care about.
I have choices. I am grateful for them. They are what makes me, me.

More than my parents, my zip code, or my bank account balance, what I choose to think about is what shapes me the most.

I have more power than I can ever imagine. Now, there’s something to think about.

Never make the bed by yourself

How many things are you doing by yourself that you shouldn’t be?

Here’s a simple example. If you can help it, don’t make your bed by yourself. Some things are worth getting help with. Putting up Christmas lights is another one. Adding one person can make it go five times faster.

What do you do by yourself that, if you were willing to ask for help, you could do faster and better?

I’m looking for more of those things in my life, now that the bed is made.

You’re not helping

Whenever I start to write I think about you. It’s not helping.

But if I was writing for my kids, I’d write. If I was just writing because it’s fun, I’d write. But I just keep thinking about you, and it’s keeping me from writing.

Do you know who gets criticized? People who have opinions. Do you know who doesn’t have to worry about people disliking them? People who say nothing.

When you’re driven to protect your ego you avoid criticism. Criticism only happens if you say something that could be disagreed with.

So, I don’t write and I blame you.

It’s not your fault though. The fault, and the reason I don’t write more, is because of my inability to believe who I am outside of other people’s opinions. I am who I am. I’m not what you think I am.

Not things I thought I’d still be dealing with I turned 40, or 41, or 42, or 43.

But maybe there’s some power in saying it out loud. We’ll see.

The hardest part of goals

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

No goal is true until it is achieved. Every goal is a wish.

The choice you have in the next few days is whether you’re willing to lie to yourself until your lie becomes true. Are you willing to wish something were true enough to write it down?

The first step towards achieving your goals is to have the audacity to ignore your skepticism and write something down that isn’t yet true.

That’s brave. That’s the important first step. Without it you’ll never reach your goal.

For me, the hardest part of reaching goals is being brave enough to say what I want.


Why I can’t sleep

The two most common reasons I lose sleep are;

  1. Not believing God can or will provide for my family’s needs.
  2. Not believing that God will provide a path to healing a relationship.

For me, rest requires a belief that it’s not all up to me. If it’s all up to me then I’m in trouble.

If it’s not all up to me then I can rest.

Every life has responsibility but that doesn’t mean you’re required to carry all of that responsibility yourself. When you stop carrying all the burdens you’ll be able to rest.

That’s what I tell myself, and it helps.


Do I have to make another lead magnet?

Photo by Jametlene Reskp on Unsplash

There are tactics, strategies, and methods to grow your site that have been tested, measured and compared. They work but I don’t want to do them right now. I think there are other ways to grow something.

A friend told me today they appreciated what I was doing on my site. I replied, “I’m not sure what I’m doing other than not hiding anymore, and that seems like enough to be proud of for now.”

Instead of creating lead magnets and opt-ins, for now, I’d rather make something so good that people want to share it with someone they care about. I want to make things so good that people feel generous for sharing them.

Someday I’m sure I’ll create lead magnets, opt-in pages, and testimonials, but for now, I’d like to ask you this. When you read something that could help others would you share it with them?

I’ll try to make it easier to share on whatever site you use for sharing and for the person you forwarded the email to be able to subscribe to the email list. I’ll also keep writing even when it feels fruitless and feeble (like today) but if you shared these words with others I’d be grateful.

Every day I wake up hoping to help someone. If that’s you then I’m glad. If it’s someone you know then thank you for making the connection.

Thanks for sharing.

Opportunities are not threats

Photo by Nagy Arnold on Unsplash

I’m not sure what to do. It will change what the next year of my life will look like, likely longer.

Like a child reaching out to pet an animal for the first time I find myself assuming the worst. Even while the dog wags its tail and makes no threatening noises, I still coil myself, expecting the worst.

What if, like the dog who was dying for affection, my opportunity was eagerly waiting for me. What if the attitude I am approaching it with was wrong? What if the next thing you have to decide was a chance to not only meet your expectations but exceed them?

What if the next thing required you to step forward with confidence, and then it would work? This is not a belief that all opportunities are simple, or easy, but right and better than you could imagine.

What if we had more control and our approach influenced to some degree what happened next?

You’re supposed to approach a dog with an open hand and a kind voice. Cautious is good, but you have to reach out.

Opportunities are not threats. They’re chances that we take and sometimes pay off.

Don’t be afraid.

Be with people today

My friend and his family are spending their first Christmas without his son. He died in his sleep about a month ago. He wasn’t old enough to vote and now he’s gone.

I’ve known a few people who have lost children. I cannot imagine the pain whether it’s a miscarriage or a teenager. Children aren’t supposed to go first.

Christmas is one of those times of year that all but forces you to slow down. If you have children I urge you to set your phone aside in a different room, completely powered off, and be fully with your children.

Let the reality of my friend, and likely there are those you’ve known as well, be a reminder to stop taking for granted that your children will always be around. They will grow up. They will move away. Tragic things happen.

This is a somber message during what is often a joyous time of year but we take days for granted. Don’t do that. Yes, this is a reminder to myself as well. Most of my posts are me talking to me, out loud.

Soak in your time with those who love you and those you love.

Stop reading this.

Get off your screen.

Go be with real people.

Don’t tweet this or share it on Facebook or email me back if you got it through your email subscription. Just go be with those people.

Go. Be with people today.

How does a long trip become short?

We live 30 minutes outside of Nashville but I avoid driving there as much as I can. The trip is too long and feels like an obstacle.

Every year we drive 16 hours to South Dakota to visit family and on our way north we drive through Nashville.

But on our South Dakota trip it never feels like an inconvenience to drive to Nashville. It’s almost forgettable compared to the longer journey.

Where else in life do things feel like they’re taking a long time but if we had the perspective that it was just a small part of a larger journey, it would be almost forgettable?

Perspective is a gift. Have a long perspective. It makes big obstacles small.