Starving, Excruciating, and Fair

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Tracy and I have banned a few words from use by our three kids (12, 9, & 7) when describing their personal situation or present difficulty. In our household starving, excruciating, and the phrase “it is not fair” are not permitted.

Here is our thinking.

Starving — I’ve been around the world, and I have slept on a dirt floor of an orphanage with a group of beautiful children — looking into their eyes, I’ve seen starving. And while my little ones might find themselves hungry and we may eat a little later than usual sometimes, these fair skinned American kids do not know starving. And for that I’m grateful. But let us not forget those who are starving for real and reserve that word for them. And furthermore, let us give to a well-managed charity on behalf of children who are in need both in this country and abroad. They are precious, and it is our responsibility as a community to make sure they too are not starving.

Excruciating — A word literally created to describe the agony of crucifixion on the cross. Again, I know my kids have never suffered such pain. And while I understand falling into a cactus hurts and it is most certainly painful when you go down hard on a bicycle, I contend that in measure to the cross, it is nothing. For one, they will never find themselves in agony alone having been rejected by their father — I wouldn’t dream of it (although they usually just ask for their mother). And second, the pain — it just doesn’t come close. Continue reading “Starving, Excruciating, and Fair”

A little root, a destructive path.

This weekend my son and I were working in the yard when we uncovered a massive root that appeared to grow between the bricks of our planter and under the back section of the patio. We were both surprised at how big it was as it snaked its way through layers of brick and concrete, Jameson was sure the root had to get smaller as it went on below the concrete. So we kept digging, and in fact, it was just as big.

I explained to him that at one point it was tiny, and that allowed it to spread out and grow in all directions making its way through the cracks and crevices. Once there, it grew and expanded pushing everything else aside. By starting small it grew along a path, becoming quite destructive.

It was a perfect opportunity for us to talk about how anger and hatred grow similarly in our hearts. It starts small and subtle, but it stretches out in all directions and if left unchecked it will only increase and cause great destruction.

We went on in our work discussing the importance of keeping short accounts; that is to say, the importance of talking often and honestly when someone hurts or upsets us. Not allowing destructive bitterness or anger to grow.

I love my son and want the very best for him, and I know life will give him a lot of difficult times and broken relationships. And it is important for him to learn, for us all to remember that it is never about avoiding pain. But rather dealing with it as it comes, quickly — and never alone.

The Mexican Fisherman & The MBA

I came across this story recently and thought it worth sharing.

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna.

The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them, The Mexican replied, only a little while.

The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “but what do you do with the rest of your time?”

The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life.” Continue reading “The Mexican Fisherman & The MBA”

Intro to The Journey in Coronado CA

Last year I finished my two year Journey with The Leadership Institute (TLI). This process was absolutely amazing. It was exactly what I needed in this season of my life. When I initially enrolled at the recommendation of a close friend, I had no idea what I was getting into or how valuable and timely it would prove to be. Here is a quote I wrote them for a recent brochure:

God has used the Journey in a powerful way to teach and equip me in abiding, pulling back to “be” before I rush in and “do”.  As a Christian leader and business executive I am most concerned with the spiritual and personal development of my team and the purposeful growth and sustainability of the corporation.  The Journey has given me the instruction, tools and support I needed in developing a posture of communion, intentional and prayerful planning, and ultimately complete dependence.  In my years of leadership and business coaching I have not experienced anything like it.”

If you are interested in learning more, check out their upcoming (May 30, 2015) Intro to the Journey Day Retreat in Coronado, CA. or download this flyer. And of course feel free to reach out to me directly and I’ll be glad to share more about my experience.