If You Turn Down Your Noise, You Might Finally Hear The TruthStoryline 

I like to sleep with the radio on. But not because I listen to it. It’s the noise I need.

That constant hum of static, chatting and breaking news helps me block out everything else. It keeps me from thinking about actually needing to fall asleep. It prevents me from reeling over the details of the day or what needs to happen tomorrow.

But there’s a cost to sleeping with the radio on all the time.

It means without it, I don’t sleep at all.

There are other costs too. The radio also blocks out some of the good stuff, like rainstorms and wind in the trees. I can’t hear the faint cries of my daughter down the hall or the bubbling fountain out on my patio. And honestly, it probably leaves me more vulnerable to not hearing a thief trying to quietly slip into the house at 3 o’clock in the morning.




Disney Princesses and the Meaning of True Love

We were watching Sleeping Beauty recently when my kindergartner pointed at the unconscious princess on the screen and said, “Mama, what’s wrong with her?” (Like death and taxes, princess movies can’t be avoided, especially by mothers of little girls.) My older daughter, Tish, 9, replied, “She’s sleeping and waiting. She can’t wake up till she finds true love.” Amma looked right at Tish and demanded, “Well, how’s she going to find anything if she stays asleep?” I laughed and thought: Excellent point. Then Amma asked me, “Mama, what is true love?”

I stopped laughing and stared at her. It seemed clear that my usual response—Let’s Google it!—wasn’t going to cut it. Amma’s thoughtful question required a thoughtful answer. I promised to get back to her and then pondered her question all day: Mama, What is True Love?

Sleeping Beauty got it halfway right. True Love is what wakes us and allows us to start living instead of just surviving. But I’m not convinced that life is a quest to find that singular soul mate who “completes us” (as Disney, with help from Jerry Maguire, may have us believing). I’m afraid this is a setup for bitter failure, because no one will ever complete us and nobody makes us happy. Our state of mind is more of an act of will than an uncontrollable result of circumstances and other people’s behaviour. Happy people are not those who have found one perfect person to love: They are those who have found a way to truly love life—in the midst of all its imperfections.




The Importance of Disciplining Toddlers: The Pyramid Idea

When I was a young mom, a mentor told me that disciplining children was a lot like a pyramid.

When they’re small, you provide a lot of guidance and discipline. You train them constantly. You follow through with consequences. You’re consistent. You’re persistent. It’s exhausting.

But because you have put in the hard work when they are two, three, and four, they have learned to obey. They have learned to listen to you. They have learned that you love them, and so they tend to be easier to manage. And thus you can relax the rules a little.

By the time they’re teens, you’re relaxing your boundaries around them quite a bit, until you have no real rules at all. You’re preparing them for the real world where they will have to be responsible for themselves. And they can handle it because they have the foundation of learning a moral code, learning to love God, learning to listen to you, and learning responsibility.

That’s how discipline is like a pyramid: you start out with a base of a lot of rules and boundaries, and you have fewer and fewer and the pyramid gets narrower and narrower until you reach the top, when the rules disappear.




Why 80% Of The Work You Do Is A Waste Of TimeDonald Miller

When I’m travelling for business, I tend to read business books. Recently I read one that changed the way I think and live.

It’s called The 80/20 Principle.

The book was written by Richard Koch and the argument is this: 80 percent of the results you’re getting at work flow from just 20 percent of your efforts. And not only this, but 80 percent of your profit likely comes from 20 percent of your products. It’s an old theory, honestly, but Koch explains it well and helps us apply it in new ways. And this theory applies to much more than work. It also means 80 percent of our unhealthiness is likely coming from just 20 percent of the food we eat. And 80 percent of our social troubles likely come from just 20 percent of our relationships.