It dawned on me this past week when I was sitting in my chair in the middle of the afternoon with no inspiration to get out of the chair and go do something.
I was just chilling in my chair when the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage walked by, stopped in front of me, put both hands on her hips, stared at me for a moment giving me that look. Then she said, “I guess you’re getting old, aren’t you?”
With that, she whirled around and walked away, leaving me to my own thoughts.
Nothing is scarier in the whole world than to be left with your own thoughts.
Then I chuckled to myself. As I thought about me being old and my wife recognizing that I am old, it dawned on me that she is older than me. Now please, do not let her know I let this slip out of the bag. But, if I’m old, what does that make her?
Being the gentleman that I am, and a great lover of life, I will never bring this to her attention. If she finds out that she is old, she will never learn this information from me. I may be old, but my goal is to get older.
Right after this little incident, I walked into a McDonald’s restaurant to get some coffee. I prefer to keep certain things to myself and my age is one of them. I cannot hide my good looks; it is all out there in the open for everybody to see.
“Are you a senior citizen?” The waitress behind the counter asked chipperly.
At first, this really irritated me. What business is it of her with regards to my age? I was just about ready to ask her what her age was when she changed the whole conversation. “If you are a senior citizen your coffee is only $.80.” With that, she smiled quite gingerly. Read More→
ABOUT Joni Eareckson Tada
Joni Eareckson Tada is the founder of Joni and Friends, an organization accelerating Christian outreach in the worldwide disability community. Joni is not only an international disability advocate but an artist and the author of 47 books, many of which are best-sellers that have reached millions, including the Platinum Award-winning Joni. Other reader-favorites include Diamonds in the Dust, Pearls of Great Price, More Precious than Silver, Heaven: Your Real Home, When God Weeps, and The God I Love. Joni and her husband, Ken, were married in 1982 and reside in Calabasas, California. Learn more at http://www.joniandfriends.org.
ABOUT Beside Bethesda
Beside Bethesda takes readers through 31 days of devotions, in which they join Joni’s struggle with life, pain, fear, disappointment, and even anger. Ultimately, Joni saw that God did indeed heal her, just not in the way that she thought He would. Each Beside Bethesda daily devotion ends with an interactive section called Growing Deeper, which includes relevant Scripture passages and a question or thought to dwell on. Read More→
You know that point when you are with your best friend and you play all day, then one of you comes up with the great idea; ‘How about we spend the night and have a sleepover?’ Then, after staying up late and playing, and then waking up early and spending the early part of the next day together . . . you start to get on each others’ nerves. Then the fighting begins.
We’ve all been in that scenario. Even best friends can spend too much time together, especially when there is stress and lack of sleep. I’m setting you up for today’s unexpected Dad topic: What do you do when you are annoyed with your kids?
It happens. If my ‘best friend’ example doesn’t hit home, then you most likely have no friends and probably didn’t get married to have kids in the first place. Friends fight, and bicker, and get tired of each other. Couple that principal with the world of adult struggles – work, maintenance of a domicile, finances, schedules– there is a point when being a healthy and effective parent means that you need a break from your kids.
When do I do it?
As a Christian parent, I look around at other parents and observe that many dads don’t spend enough time with their kids. So the question is, when do I need a break that won’t detract from a possible teachable moment?
It’s a very good question. Sometimes, the best bonding happens in the most hostile circumstances. How else are kids going to learn how to deal with relationships when they are crabby and upset? However, in our society, there is plenty of opportunity to be stressed and exhausted, so you needn’t worry about missing out on an opportunity to bond during adversity.
A good rule of thumb is to be aware of yourself and your interactions. If you are tired and patience is gone, then no good interaction is going to spring from you anyway. If you fall into the ‘introvert’ category, then you absolutely need to have alone time in order to recharge. Also, just like my ‘best friend’ example, when you’ve been with your kid(s) all day, you need to plan a break from them so that it doesn’t result in ‘too much’ time together. Read More→
I am thinking more about the various seasons in a marriage:
* Dating your spouse (Kinda a trailer to the real movie of marriage, but nonetheless, a precursor to your marriage that does affect your perspective of marriage)
* Before children,
* After children are born,
* Toddlers & pre-school children
* School age, K-12
* College age children
* Empty nesters
* Becoming Grandparents
I don’t know if its just me, but the dating stage was real fun and exciting. Going from singlehood to married hood is a change for us, wouldn’t you agree? For some, maybe it was a huge change; for others, maybe just a minor change. Before kids was pretty good, although still an adjustment. Children add a whole new dimension, dare I say, planet to our quiet small lives? They enrich us while at the same time exhaust us, physically, mentally, and spiritually. We lose our social lives for a season, or so it seems. We feel isolated, alone, under a pile of diapers, dishes, and dirty things (floors, cabinets, carpets, cars, rooms to name a few). Read More→
Working from home and raising children? That’s living the dream—or at least that’s what WAHMs are used to hearing all the time. Yes, working form home may (emphasis on may) offer a little more flexibility such as the option to start work at 8:30 instead of 8 so you can walk your child to the bus stop. However, it’s time to start taking all types of work seriously, including telecommuting, virtual office environments and women who are doing their best to do it all.
There are a lot of myths about working from home as a mom that need to die. While there are always exceptions to the norm, for the most part working from home is just that: Working. You just happen to be at home doing it. Here are some of the biggest misconceptions that need to be addressed and the reality behind them:
1. It must be great to work on the couch in yoga pants all day!
Yes, that certainly does sound preferable to getting ready and sitting at an ergonomically-designed desk all day. However, couches and yoga pants aren’t the MO of many WAHMs. It’s not feasible since many have to be on video conference calls and working from the couch isn’t just distracting, but also not a supportive environment in any sense. Many WAHMs get ready just like they’re going to an office because they are—their home office which can closely resemble a cubicle.
2. Why can’t you go shopping whenever you want?
Well, it’s for the same reason someone with a more traditional work environment can’t: WAHMs have work to do. Some telecommuters have to be “on the clock” during certain windows while others technically do have more flexibility. However, you’re either getting paid per hour (on the clock) or you have a certain amount of deliverables each day that requires a minimum of eight hours. The only “extra time” WAHMs have are the minutes saved when they’re not physically commuting to a distant office. Read More→
Procrastination. Really, quite honestly it is one of my biggest weaknesses. It’s so easy for me to get caught up in Facebook or checking my email a hundred times per day or wasting my time just “putsing” around. It holds me back from accomplishing everything I need to accomplish and it definitely could hurt my brand if I let it continue.
In fact, if clients rely on you, procrastination can be a brand killer!
So how can we overcome procrastination? Perhaps these ideas will help us:
1) Take things in bitesize chunks.
It’s really easy for me to get overwhelmed with everything I need to do. I feel pulled in a million different directions. When that happens, I just want to chuck it all and do nothing or waste my time doing trivial things like spending excess time in Facebook.
The trick is to break projects down into small steps. Don’t overwhelm your “todo” list with hundreds of items. That will only burden you down. This drag leads to avoidance behavior. Believe me, I am speaking from experience!
It’s so much better to concentrate on the three or four strategic things you need to do for your business rather than 20 things you think you have to do in a day. Be committed to get those few things done and then you can go on with a feeling of success. This will give you strength to tackle more.
Once you accomplish a few things, be sure to give yourself little rewards to keep yourself motivated. You might think of a huge reward when you finish a big project. Read More→
In some way or another we have all been sifted, drifted, needed to be lifted from pits of our own making or chasms we’ve fallen into. We’ve all taken on more than we can handle and overcommitted to things we have no business doing. We all have, but take heart. It’s only the beginning!
In Luke chapter 22, Jesus is in the upper room with the disciples telling them yet again about what is going to happen. Again, they start the argument about who will be His right hand man, and Jesus stops them, looks around and says, “Satan has asked to sift you as wheat, but I have prayed for you, Peter, that when you have returned you will strengthen your brothers.” The first “you” is plural… Jesus says, “Hey you guys, all of you here, Satan has asked for all of you.” The second “you,” that precedes a name is singular, “You, Peter.” Basically, Jesus gave satan permission to sift Peter. “What?! What did Peter do?” we might ask… But, the answer to that is not in what He did but what he was going to do.
Sifting. It sounds painful.
If you’ve baked from scratch, sifting is a requirement. The pressing and the pushing of the flour through tiny holes could be painful (you know, if flour could feel.) Sifting wheat is a bit of a different process… Sifting wheat involves shaking, or violently beating the grain in order to allow the kernel to break free from the wheat shaft. Old Mr. Webster defines sifting as “going through (something) very carefully in order to find something useful or valuable.”
Now, don’t get me wrong, being beaten to the point of breaking is no fun either, but it’s that last part “in order to find something useful or valuable,” that requires sifting. In order to find those parts of you that are immovable, that strength of character that will not be shaken, that faith to move mountains, you have to be sifted.
I’ve been there. Oh, I hated the process. I got upset at the struggle and the pain, but when it was over I was stronger. I was more faithful. I was more capable of doing what I have been called to do. I’ve discovered there is no way around it. Read More→