Pause, Pray, Rejoice!

Following is from A Messenger exchange I had with an old classmate from college. Blessed and super grateful to have such people in my life. 

“Hey Lud- your words are always lifting me up. Thanks for sharing your joy, your perspective, your humble view of the world and most importantly, your faith. I came across this guy [Chris Stefanick] in my youth group planning and his outlook mirrors yours and I thought you’d appreciate it.”

I replied, “Hey Friend! Thanks so SO much for the note. Glad to see / hear the GOOD out there – yes indeed, God is love, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. AMEN! Thanks again, much love!”

Good begets more good. When we share it. Perfect example with my friend’s generous, simple note.

The guy she referred me to, Chris Stefanick, had this to say in that post:  

‘Prayer, worship to God get you out of your own head, connection you to others, humanity, those things eternal, Timeless.'”

 Yes indeed, God is love, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior. AMEN!

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Leaving the Grind Behind


It’s time to head out on the highway.  The first family road trip is dialed in and coming soon. Leaving the usual day-to-day behind, packing up, and on the road once again.

Very excited for a bunch of reasons.  I’ve loved road trips as long as I can remember. Going new places, seeing new things. Taking the kids on such an adventure, all the better.

No dishes to speak of?  GOOD.

Change up of schedule?  GOOD.

Living out of a suitcase and van for a few days?  GOOD.

Change up of surroundings and scenery?  GOOD.

Spend time with friends we haven’t seen in a while?  GOOD.

Kids get to hang out with new kids, similar ages?  GOOD.

Going to a new park?  GOOD.

Spending long stretches of time with the kids, drenched in ordinary activities?  GOOD.

Spending long stretches of time without screens on?  GOOD.

Let the soul be refilled.  I’m ready.

 

Ingredients

I’m known for putting together rather eclectic meal combinations from time to time.

Might be my dad’s influence — peanut butter, bananas, some mayo, maybe with a pickle, was one of his favorite “dishes “(so to speak).

One of my lunches this week provides a good example: I found in various places in the fridge…Brussels sprouts, gnocchi, and ground beef from left-over hamburger.  Tossed in in a Tupperware, threw it in my work bag, and away I went.  At lunch time, I heated for two minutes thirty seconds in the microwave at work, voila!  Chow Time.

Crazy?  Well maybe, but it was delicious, and it used left overs in the fridge I felt compelled to gobble up.   This situation also provides some insight on a life approach that goes beyond the kitchen and meal prep.

Access your ingredients, consider your combinations, be creative, “re-purpose” as needed (“hamburger” becomes “ground beef”) make the most of what you have.

I feel like I’m in the Iron Chef competition every time I open the fridge to figure out what to take to work for lunch the next day.

The core skill-set is the same:  base knowledge, open mind, and creativity.

And then?

Well it’s pretty simple. Get some good. Make it tasty.  And what else?  Well of course, teach your kids.

What exactly?

It’s all in how you use the ingredients before you to make a dish, or the best of any situation, and put a little smile on your face.

 

 

Guy Time

As you might have picked up from other posts, I have three kids. As I say all the time too, I consider myself SUPER blessed to be a dad. Two girls, one boy, ALL GOOD. 

With three kids though, it’s more challenging to create one-on-one time with them. So much going on with life all the time, that we do a lot all together. It’s only natural. 

Today is different. Today it’s my son and me off for a day of adventure and fun. At least for us it will be that way. Getting the car smogged, fill the gas tank, hang out at home for a bit, then off to the baseball game.

Last year we went to a game, he was three, and lasted about that many innings. We’ll see how he does this year.

What really matters most though? Being together, him and me, soaking up just that. It makes us both shine like a star. Like the one he just drew on the sidewalk.  Bright is this day. And GOOD.

Leadership: The Power & Effect

leadershipA long while back, my boss at the time said to me in a jestful manner after I asked to leave work a little early to keep an appointment, “Sure you can leave early, just come in at 6:30am and don’t take a lunch.”

I knew he was kidding, but that response still stung a bit.  Thinking back, it still smarts.

I’ve been in the workforce a long while at this point — most of my working life as an “exempt employee” (no overtime pay). I don’t think twice about working past 5:00pm on any given day, or before 8:00am for that matter, when the job situation requires it.  I want to do right by the company I work for.

In return, I want my employer to afford me respect and latitude to keep my work and personal life in harmony.  An occasional “work hours” appointment seems reasonably part of that harmony.  It’s a simple fact: we all need to take care of personal things during business from time to time.

The situation I experienced back then was instructive, because it put context and words around the way I wanted to be treated, and also how I treated those that worked for me.

It shed light on the management style I prefer (to work under, and to use in supervising others), and also illustrated the effect a supervisor has on his or her people.

The best work situation (I would suggest) is having friendly relations with your co-workers, including your supervisor, at a reasonable level.  Such relationships build a sense of team, make the workday more productive, and more enjoyable.

Being a friendly work colleague, and a supervisor/manager at the same time, means balancing the two parts of the relationship, with important consideration to the respect and latitude our busy lives often require (granted, both must be earned and maintained, for sure).

Thinking more about that relationship, it’s similar to the role we have as parents, the same as teachers have with students to a degree, and also coaches have with their players  (both depending on the age gap and maturity level).   Respect and understanding are key to successful relationship, personal development, productivity and success too.

If you’re in a leadership position as a supervisor or manager, teacher or coach, and certainly as a parent, the mission is similar.  Your job is to build a good working relationship with those under your guidance and responsibility, be clear about the expectations, develop mutual respect, help them when needed and otherwise, let your people run their own affairs.  The results will speak for themselves.

 

 

Bliss

Not sure how often parents use that word to describe their experience with their kids, but it’s worth reflecting  on right now.

10:27p at night, long day followed by a hurried eve, and now, the house is dark and I hear another snoring from the kids’ room.

That’s it. Peace when and where it is. Embrace it. Let it sink deep into you.

BLISS.