The One Thing You Need To Do To Succeed

Get to Work

I’ll bet there’s something in your life you deeply want to do but you’re afraid you can’t.

Or afraid you’ll fail.

Or you don’t know where you’ll find the time.

Or you’re afraid people will laugh at you. And they may.

Or you’re afraid you’re just dreaming and being stupid.

Or you’re afraid you’ll do it and nothing will come of it. That’s a possibility.

And so day after day, year after year, you keep suppressing whatever that thing is you are called to, the thing that really lights your fire, the thing you would do if there were absolutely no obstacles, nothing standing in your way, and if you had utter and complete confidence in yourself.

Only no one has ever done anything worthwhile under those conditions.

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For a man, not working is not okay

not working is not okay

“Girls, come downstairs! Mom and I need to talk to you.”

Our three teenage daughters bounded down the stairs and took seats in the family room two summers ago. Christy and I launched into our carefully planned lecture.

“Don’t get involved, girls, with men who won’t work. There is something deeply wrong with a man who will not earn a paycheck. I know you all know kids whose dads are lazy, and who always have an excuse for why they won’t get a job. But this is not normal, it’s broken. If you ever meet a man who tells you he’s ‘looking’ for work, wait until he finds it and see how long he keeps working. Don’t ever hitch your wagon to a man who won’t work. Avoid that like the plague. There is a brokenness to men who refuse to work that goes far beyond simply not working. It shows a complete lack of self-respect, and a man who does not respect himself will not — cannot — respect you.”

There is something wrong with a man who won’t work. 

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Achieving Work-Family Balance, prt. 2


Image courtesy of Steven Bowler, licensed under Creative Commons

In my last post I dealt with the fact that achieving work-family balance is a problem for both men and women. Today I want to deal with specifically how to achieve this balance.

Men and women both begin achieving work-family balance by listening to their spouses.

If you married a person of good will, your spouse is not a bad person and isn’t telling you you are out of balance just to make you feel bad. In fact, your spouse is telling you your work-family balance is off because he/she is feeling bad! Your spouse loves you and wants to have you around. This is a good thing. After all, don’t you want to be wanted? If your spouse is complaining that you are not available to your family, chances are good that in some critical way you’re not. This means that listening, not arguing or defending, is what is called for. What is it that your spouse is seeing in you that you’re not seeing in yourself? If you’re the complaining spouse, be gentle. If you are receiving the complaints, do your best to listen non-defensively. The more open and gentle you can both be, the better. This is difficult work, but it is connecting work — the most important work you do in relationships.  

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Achieving Work-Family Balance, prt. 1


balancing act

Image courtesy of Colin Harris, licensed under Creative Commons

It is hard to achieve work/family balance

Around 1996 I was flying out the door, in a hurry to get to work, as usual. Work was my great passion, perhaps my greatest passion. I had been a record store clerk for years before I became a pastor, and a groundskeeper before that. It felt so good to be in the ministry, to have a “real job,” at least what felt like a real job to me. So I was hurrying out the door. I remember thinking I was very late for something, although of course now I don’t remember what it was. Suddenly it hit me — the awareness that I had to pee. I was already out the door with my briefcase — but I really had to pee. Wherever I had to be was going to have to wait because peeing could not.

In I rushed, through the door, down the hall, into the bathroom. I did my business and ran back out the door to my car, started it up, and flew off down the road. As always, I loved the quiet of the car — a break from my beautiful but very busy three year-old, one-year old, and infant daughters. This moment, however, did not bring the peace I had come to expect. Instead a crushing, horrifying, awful truth dawned on me. My wife was right.  

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The 15 best things about being a grown-up

photo by fayebatka

Recently a friend of mine posted on Facebook about missing that feeling we had when we were kids of flying every time we would run or jump.  I hadn’t thought about that for a long time, and I realized I miss that too.  But then it quickly occurred to me that I would never trade the pleasures of adulthood for the pleasures of childhood.  Here, to me, are the best things about being a grown-up.

1. Sex.  What else could possibly go in the number 1 spot?  After this one, all the rest are just icing on the cake, but I’ll list them for you anyway.

2. A great cup of coffee

3. Discovering you have the house to yourself

4. Watching your kids become who they are, and taking a little bit of the credit

5. Going to bed whenever you want to – every single night

6. Saturday morning breakfast and dinners out with the one you love

7. Going to work and using your talents to become all you were meant to be

8. Investing your life into the lives of others

9. Old friends.  Friendships get sweeter as the years go by.  Children don’t have old friends.  Or old anything.

10. Making your mark on the world

11. Being able to appreciate simple things, like bumping into an old friend at the grocery store, or some of the stuff on this list.

12. Not needing constant stimulation (radio, TV, texting, friends over, etc.) in order to get through the day

13. No homework.  We read what we want, when we want, even IF we want.

14. Building a house, making a home, having a family

15. Being able to appreciate what it felt like to be a child in ways you never did when you were a child