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We’ve all seen a thousand action-movie scenes that play out the same way: Two guys are locked in an intense battle. As the music drives toward the crescendo, the wrestling match nears a precipice. The good guy shows that he’s been establishing his victory all along. In a dramatic moment, he switches all his energy from fighting the other’s attack to leveraging it. The bad guy’s force becomes the very thing that flings him to his doom.
As parents, there are times when we feel like we’re in a similar wrestling match with our kids. The only problem is, we shouldn’t be—and we know it (Eph. 6:12). We must remember that the battle already took place. The attack Satan mounted to crush God is the very action God leveraged to seal Satan’s doom. As Christian parents, we have the great joy of a victory already secured at the cross.
Let’s face it, work/life balance is elusive. And to apprehend it isn’t as easy as putting the different pieces of your life on a scale and trimming where necessary.
That’s because work/life balance, and all of it’s assumed benefits, isn’t actually about balance. It’s about rhythm. And the natural rhythm of our life is something we, of the 21st century, traded away a long time ago.
1. Manage energy, not time.
It’s what chronobiology calls “Ultradian cycles,” or the patterns of life shorter than 24 hours. Examples of these cycles would be the 90-minute REM cycle, the 4-hour nasal cycle, or the 3-hour pattern of growth hormone production.
However, perhaps the more helpful reality we get from these cycles is what Leo Widrich crystalizes in his recent article, “The Origin of the 8 Hour Workday…” when he says,
The basic understanding is that our human minds can focus on any given task for 90-120 minutes. Afterwards, a 20-30 minute break is required for us to get the renewal to achieve high performance for our next task again.
This understanding of our brain’s natural rhythm challenges the validity of our 8-hr-straight work days with the absence of methodical breaks, as well as our propensity to manage our clocks, rather than our mental energy.
God doesn’t want us to live in isolation. I realized many years ago that I desperately need people in my life in order to fulfill my purpose. My parents invested in me, and so did teachers, coaches, employers, pastors, role models and good friends. I am not self-made, and neither are you. Any success we have achieved is the result of someone taking time to instruct, encourage or correct us. That’s humbling!
I’ve found six types of mentors who have helped me in my spiritual journey:
1. Distant mentors.
2. Occasional mentors.
3. Supportive friends.
4. Negative mentors.
5. Reverse mentors.
6. Spiritual fathers and mothers.
Seven Principles for Setting Goals that Work – Michael Hyatt
How do you make change happen? More than that, how do you make the right change happen? When there is a gap between what is and what you want to be, how do you cross that gap?
i love tedtalks.
they’re short, punchy, well spoken, well written, witty, deep, provoking.
an art form.
these are some of the tedtalks i like and also am watching at the moment.
Russell Foster – Why do we sleep?
Brené Brown -The power of vulnerability
Richard St. John – 8 secrets of success
Shawn Achor – The happy secret to better work
Aimee Mullins – The opportunity of adversity
Suzana Herculano-Houzel – What is so special about the human brain?
Angela Lee Duckworth – The key to success? Grit
Matt Cutts – Try something new for 30 days
Richard St. John – Success is a continuous journey
what’s your favourite tedtalk?
last night we celebrated the first engagement of someone from our housegroup. they’re an awesome young couple, full of love and promise. its been a joy walking with them through their journey – from meeting, and liking, to dating and becoming engaged. we count it such a privilege to mentor them, and a few other couples and it helps tony and i fall in love more and also work our own lives out.
mentoring reminds me :
to understand and to communicate to be understood
to believe the best of intentions and motives.
that its okay to ask for help and clarification
to be my real self, whatever that looks like
that we all need big people, who see life from further down over the page, who will share their wisdom learned and lived
that love and life is intentional
happiness and joy is a choice
that we are all in a journey of learning, editing and mastering (thanks jon acuff / Start)
that relationships are beautiful and difficult and worth, so worth fighting for.
and that love is a gift we give and a gift we receive.
mentoring young couples, and young people, is one of the greatest joys of what we do.
: a lot of listening and translating, getting people to say what they really mean and feel.
: a lot of praying, there and then and during the in between times
: a lot of reading and learning, reading wide so that we can help people go deep
: regular consistent communication and connection
“When a young person, even a gifted one, grows up without proximate living examples of what she may aspire to become–whether lawyer, scientist, artist, or leader in any realm–her goal remains abstract. Such models as appear in books or on the news, however inspiring or revered, are ultimately too remote to be real, let alone influential. But a role model in the flesh provides more than inspiration; his or her very existence is confirmation of possibilities one may have every reason to doubt, saying, ‘Yes, someone like me can do this.” ― Sonia Sotomayor
When in-laws don’t accept you – Focus on the Family
Heather and Steve have been married almost four years. They love each other very much, but relationships with their in-laws have always been strained.
Heather feels Steve’s mother is overly critical of how Heather parents the children. She also gets upset over her mother-in-law’s statements about how Steve works much too hard; she sees them as attacks on her choice to be a stay-at-home mom.
Steve has great difficulty connecting with his father in-law, who seems to live for sports. When Steve and Heather visit his in-laws, Steve is especially disturbed to see Heather share her father’s sports mania – leaving Steve feeling like an outsider.
It’s normal to want to be accepted by your in-laws. But feeling that you need to be accepted can bring complications, causing you to be uncomfortable and unnatural around them.
Unrealistic hopes cause problems, too. Many parents are initially over-protective of their own child, or have expectations that no spouse can meet in the beginning.
Often, new husbands and wives assume they’ll be loved and accepted by in-laws on the merit of having married the in-laws’ child. This may be the case, but it usually takes time to establish trust and respect. Just as it takes time to build other close relationships, gaining acceptance into a family doesn’t happen instantly.
Protecting our children from our sexually-charged culture is something we work hard at. And in one unavoidable moment, it happened. My sixth grade son saw pornography right in front of me.
And that’s when I realized something gravely important: It’s impossible to filter the entire world. I can’t do it forever. It’s not realistic or even my job. Instead I have to equip my kids.
Passion is what energizes life. It turns the impossible into possible. In fact if you don’t have any passion in your life, ministry will become boring, dull, routine, monotonous. I’ll go so far as say if you don’t have passion in your life you are not living. You are existing. God made you to live a passionate life and to serve Him and His people with vitality. With vibrancy. With energy. With enthusiasm. He wants you to have this in your life.
In John 10 Jesus said “My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” God wants you to live a full life, a fulfilling life, which is the basis for a fulfilling ministry. If that’s true that’s the kind of life God meant for us to live life is meant to be enjoyed, not merely endured. Sadly, however, countless thousands of pastors and ministry leaders are simply enduring, holding on for the ride and hoping to survive until death without blowing it too badly.
As a parent these days, not only do you need to learn how to feed, clean and care for your children, but you also need to have completed a thesis on how to navigate the web with your kid.
Unless you want to become Amish, getting a healthy balance and some wise advice in this area is essential for any person, especially parents. You just can’t bury your head in the sand when it comes to technology, no matter how technologically illiterate you are.
I often get asked questions about how we cope with media in our home and also about how we protect our kids while online – so here are some of our tips and tricks for technology in the home.
Please Note: I am definitely not an expert when it comes to this stuff, just a mum who wants to help my kids learn to navigate technology wisely. Tackling this subject is almost overwhelming, as there is so much that could be covered, but I’m going to take the bull by the horns and do my best to share some of the simple things that have helped us as a family, in the hope that it may help some of you.
Stick to the rule of three. Jobs instinctively understood that the number “3” is one of the most powerful numbers in communications. A list of 3 things is more intriguing than 2 and far easier to remember than 22. Jobs divided his iPhone presentation into three sections. He spoke about the iPod functions of the new iPhone, the phone itself, and connecting to the Internet. Jobs even had some fun with three. He stepped on stage and said, “Today we are introducing three revolutionary products. The first, a widescreen iPod with touch controls. The second, is a revolutionary mobile phone. And the third is a breakthrough Internet communications device.” As the audience applauded, Jobs repeated the three ‘products’ several times. Finally he said, “Are you getting it? These are not three separate devices, they are one device and we are calling it iPhone!”
- What keeps you up at night? This one is a familiar question for most leaders. What makes you cry? What makes you mad? What are the things that nag at you? This question has to do with what you are passionate about.
- What gets you up in the morning? This one is less familiar to most of us, but probably even more important. What keeps you and your team committed? Engaged and excited? This question has more to do with purpose.
- Don’t settle for just going through life enduring the five days of the workweek, to only have as your greatest goal of the week to make it to the weekend. Love what you do, or at least like it. It’s too important not to. Are you loving what you’re doing?
- As believers, as followers of Jesus, if we’re not chasing after something that is so much bigger than we are, and there’s no way we could ever accomplish it without God, then we are playing it too safe. What is your God sized goal?
// from Brad Loemick
I used to think I had my stuff together. Then I got married.
Marriage is great—but it rocked everything I knew. I quickly realized my basic goal in life, prior to getting married, was to simply remain undisturbed.
This “disruption” came suddenly and was disguised as a 5-foot-nothing Swedish-Filipino woman. When I decided I’d rather not live without her, I proceeded to ask her to marry me—that is, to officially invite someone who wasn’t me to be in my personal space for the rest of my life.
This decision introduced my most significant experiences and most challenging experiences—none of which I would trade for the world.
However, I wish I’d had a bit more insight on the front end of our marriage to help me navigate it all.
According to most research, more than 50 percent of people who say “I do” will not be sleeping in the same bed eight years from now. And though Scripture alludes to the fact that adultery and abuse may be reasons individuals might end a marriage, I’d be willing to bet that most challenges experienced in marriage are the result of unawareness. Most people—myself included—jump into marriage with suitcases full of misconceptions and bad theology, entirely unaware of the unique beauty and paradoxical intentions of marriage.
There is no such thing as “The One.” – Tyler Ward
HISTORY. The idea of ”THE ONE” and a “soul mate” comes originally from Plato, the Greek philosopher.
In his book, the Symposium, his character Aristophanese suggests that the reason romantic attraction is generally so strong, was because at one point, we were all round people. Rather, we all were both male & female, and because of this, the human race became too powerful. So, Zeus split humans in two with the intention that we’ll spend our time trying to find our other half and won’t threaten the gods.
Sounds about right, eh?
REALITY. The spouse you spend your life with is your choice.
With as little as the Bible talks about initially getting married, it implies that it is a choice based on character & faith – not feelings or destiny.
The Cure for Burnout – Ann Voskamp
Turns out that you can spend your life looting the world, looking for acceptance, only to find that all that made you feel acceptable — were phony fakes of the real thing.
That’s why it never lasts. That’s why you get up everyday still desperate for something, someone, to keep saying you are somebody. That you are somebody who is okay enough, who is acceptable enough, who is more than good enough.
Sin is really about what you let determine your acceptability.
The conductor’s focus never wavers.
The symphony only happens, the symphony only makes music, when you are brave enough to simply turn your back to the critics and your face toward the place where the music’s made. I close my eyes, because I can, because I cannot. Music’s only made in the place of acceptance —– accepting the beautiful reality of the notes.
That’s the thing: We all get to choose where we set up the stage of our lives — before the Crowds, the Court, the Congregation, the Critics (inner or otherwise)-– or the Cross of Christ.
All except One will assess your performance.
Only One will accept you before your performance.
The Problem With Entitlement, Part 1 – The Actual Pastor
Paula D’Arcy was in her twenties when a terrible car accident (due to a drunk driver) took her husband and 21 month old child, leaving her pregnant and alone. She railed against God, she cried, she despaired. Almost everything she knew about life died in that car crash. But she gave birth to her second daughter, and slowly, she returned to life. This tragedy sent her on a slow journey towards a life and ministry centered on the things that emerged out of that tragedy. She calls these bedrock beliefs “The Things I Know For Certain.” Because they flow out of deep pain and loss, as I read them, they strike me as invitations into a different way of living, beyond entitlement and into gratefulness. I’ll list them below.
1. I am certain everything is a gift.
2. I am certain we are entitled to nothing.
3. I am certain the wells for joy and pain are not separate.
4. I am certain bitterness and healing are a choice.
5. I am certain that running from darkness only leads to greater darkness.
6. I am certain the darkness is held ultimately by light.
7. I am certain that the words from Scripture, ‘In Him we live and move and have our being’ are not poetic; they are actual physical reality.
Your twenties have been called the “defining decade”—it’s the time in your life when you not only make big decisions about your career, relationships and finances, it’s also when you figure out what being an adult is about.
Obviously, there’s nothing magical that happens when you turn 30 (or even 40 or 50 for that matter), but being well equipped when your starting out as a real-life grown up can help set the course for decades to come.
Here’s our look at the 20 things every twentysomething should have…
a coach helps others win by helping them to discover the knowledge, strategies, action plans, inspiration and accountability they need to excel and reach even greater levels of success.
help teammates to identify gaps in their businesses and personal lives
recognise and affirm the gifts of teammates
discover their teammates convictions and encourage them to create a vision consistent with those convictions
assist with creating plans necessary for further levels of success
keep teammates focused, passionate and on track in regard to their plans
pinpoint and assess their team’s resources
provide the fresh perspective their teammates may need to complete their goals and actions
hold teammates accountable to their commitments
as a coach we help to:
make sure they have defined their reality, to stop, think and truly asses their current situation
clarify their vision and define their goals, most people constantly react to events, people and things… and therefore are not driven by purpose
understand and address roadblocks to their vision, we are most blinded to the things that are most comfortable or familiar to us
test their thinking, opinions, and conclusions, we easily get caught up in insanity, “doing the same things over and over, but expecting different results”
establish accountability, too often people fall short by confusing intent with action
“Research assistants posed as jam suppliers and set up sampling tables at a gourmet store. In one condition of the experiment, six flavours of jam were available. On another condition, twenty-four flavours of jam were featured.”
This experiment proved to be an ideal method of understanding career choices. By giving the customers a variety of options, they noted how the quantity subconsciously affects the pattern of purchase more than the variety of options.
After laying out the choices, the researchers noticed that the twenty-four-flavour table have attracted more attention from the customers, but very few went on to purchase from the set. While, at the six-flavour set up, more customers were able to pick their choice easily and proceeded on buying a jar of jam.
Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.
Based on the study, Meg Jay explains that one of the reasons we feel stuck on our dilemma is because of the overwhelming thought that we can do anything we want, if we want to. “Twentysomethings hear they are standing in front of a boundless array of choices. Being told they can do anything or go anywhere.”
But she elaborates that the idea of a ‘twenty-four-flavour table’ is just a myth. This much amount of options hardly exist even for those gifted with multiple talents. At best, each of us is choosing from our own six-flavour set.
So how do you begin to decide, really?
Well, “you’ve spent more than two decades shaping who you are. You have strengths, weaknesses, experiences, interests, diplomas, hang-ups and priorities…You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.”
You’re standing in front of six flavours of jam and you know something about whether you prefer kiwi or black cherry.
Each bottle of jam represents bits and pieces of your ‘self’ reflecting your past, present and desired future. Choosing your options is merely just laying out the flavours of jam in your life and picking the one that tastes best for you. You can even go back to pick another variety next time.
::: check out her TEDTalk HERE
This is next level WHO we’re about to get into. (That kind of rhymed.)
Someone has already done what you are trying to do. Someone went before you and fell in some potholes. They know where the road is dangerous, they know where the wins are, they know the way to the finish line.
Find those people and learn from them.
There are no shortcuts to success but relationships come pretty close. Learning what worked (and didn’t) from someone else can be a huge help for you.
Here’s 3 ways to do it:
1. Read books by people who have done it. Sometimes even something simple like this helps.
2. Interview your circle of friends. I guarantee at least one person has done something similar.
3. Post a request for help in our Facebook group. That group is full of amazing hustlers. I promise someone can help you.
This is WHO round 2. (Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.)
Having big people in our life is essential, i think.
a big person could be a mentor, your parents, your pastor / leader, someone ahead a few pages in life than you.
its someone with a bit of wisdom and credibility that you can bounce ideas off and can help you forge a strategy forward.
someone that has been there, done that, got the tshirt.