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In Comparison of Others

Photo credit Peter Daveney

I admit it.  Sometimes I compare myself to others.  I wish I managed my blog and connected with new people as well as Lindsey does.  To have the effortless grace Tami does would be wonderful.  And how I’d love to wake up every day knowing exactly what I was made for, the way Britt does.

But I am not these fabulous women.  I’m me.  Not that there’s anything wrong with being me.  I know I have my own unique gifts and talents–it’s just that sometimes I wish I possessed the unique talents other people already have.  Wouldn’t that be fun-a sort of “widget”  list of great attributes we could add to ourselves?

We all struggle with “Keeping up with the Joneses”.  There’s a need to be seen as having it all together, staying on track with our career goals, having the perfect marriage, and being the perfect parents.  As I’ve gotten older, there are a few lessons beginning to take shape:

  1. Titles don’t make the person-Early in my career, I set some serious “over achiever” goals for myself.  And I worked way too hard to get them. A few years’ back, I realized I didn’t care about the ladder anymore.  I cared more about being passionate about what I do.
  2. Being passionate is a must-The business cards, the paycheck, being part of a leadership team…none of that can ever add up to “enough” when you are alone with your thoughts if you don’t love what you do. Same goes for who we love, who we’re friends with, and what hobbies we spend time doing.  We’re just burning hours without passion.
  3. Being happy is worth the risk-If you aren’t in a career, relationship, or church you love and are fed by, make room for a different possibility.  Be willing to be uncomfortable for a little while in order to be happy in the end.
  4. There are no perfect people- We all have strengths–and weakenessess–that make us who we are.  And while I may see characteristics in others I’m motivated to add to my own list, I know that God created each of us for a specific purpose and without those inherent traits, we would be unable to fulfill our purpose.

” Why compare yourself to others?  No one in the entire world can do a better job of being you than you.”-author unknown

Do you struggle with this too?


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Knowing When to Hit “Pause”

Hitting Pause

Hitting Pause

The two-week break over Christmas gave me some wonderful time to think about my life-plan, bond with my family and friends, and look ahead to what I want to do better in 2010.   And even as I walked back into the office on Monday, I noticed how much more laid back, happy, and inspired people were.  Why don’t we do a better job of making rest time a priority? 

Here are a few of my biggest takeaways from that time off: 

  1. Making good memories is easy-We didn’t have to take a lavish vacation to make some great memories this year.  Almost totally unplugging (there’s always room for improvement) and really focusing on family activities made the time pass too quickly, but offered some great events we’ll cherish for years to come.
  2. Saying “No” must happen sometimes-It’s easy to get overextended and allow that rat-race pattern to become routine.  Breaking away from some of the commitments really frees us up to be creative and at peace.
  3. We have to stop trying to be like others-This blog is a perfect example.  I wasn’t born to keep a blog updated-it’s not my life’s work or passion.  I got into it because I saw people I respect doing it and thought I needed to follow their path. But what comes easy for some becomes a burden to others.  I’m not going to post every day, or likely every three days.  Making peace with that fact has made blogging enjoyable again.  There are  areas in each of our lives where we must manage our own expectations and do what feeds our own souls.
  4. If we don’t like our lives, it’s our job to change it-Being passionate about our work, crazy about the people we are around, and happy with how we spend our downtime is our responsibility.  The Lord gave us a chance at eternal life, and the Bible gives us a great tool for navigation.  But no person, job, friend, or gadget will make the grass greener.  If life’s not going according to plan, we have to change it.
  5. Things don’t have to be perfect-Sounds simple, but some of us struggle with perfectionism.  Keeping a perfect house has become less important to me than making sure there’s quality family time.   And by reminding myself of these five points even now, I can truly appreciate the life I have.  It’s messy sometimes, but I’d have it no other way.

What revelations have come to you when you step out of the fast lane?

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I Dare You

people laughing2

Laugh a Little

My posts are usually on the more serious side.  I love learning and sharing.  But every once in a while, you just have to let the silly take over.  With that in mind, here’s an “I Dare You” that will make you laugh so hard you cry.  And hopefully, you will choose at least one on this list to do, just to make people look twice. 

1.   Run one lap around the office at top speed.
2.   Ignore the first five people who say ‘good morning’ to you.
3.   Phone someone in the office you barely know, leave your name and    say,”Just called to say I can’t talk right now. Bye.”
4.   To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.
5.   Leave your zipper open for one hour. If anyone points it out, say, “Sorry, I really prefer it this way.”
6.   Walk sideways to the photocopier.
7.   While riding in an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.
1.    Say to your boss, “I like your style” and shoot him with double-barreled fingers.
2.    Babble incoherently at a fellow employee then ask, “Did you get all that, I don’t want to have to repeat it.”
3.    Page yourself over the intercom (do not disguise your voice).
4.    Kneel in front of the water cooler and drink directly from the nozzle (there must be a ‘non-player’ within sight).
5.    Shout random numbers while someone is counting.

1.    At the end of a meeting, suggest that, for once, it would be nice to conclude with the singing of the national anthem (5 extra points if you actually launch into it yourself, 10 if you sing it through to the end).
2.   Walk into a very busy person’s office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.
3.    For an hour, refer to everyone you speak to as “Bob.”
4.   After every sentence, say ‘Mon’ in a really bad Jamaican accent. As in “The report’s on your desk, Mon.” Keep this up for 1 hour.
5.    While an office mate is out, move their chair into the elevator.
6.    In a colleague’s DAY PLANNER, write in the 10am slot: “See how I look in tights.”(5 Extra points if it is a male, 5 more if he is your boss)
7.    Carry your keyboard over to your colleague and ask, “You wanna trade?”
8.    Repeat the following conversation 10 times to the same person: “Do you hear that?” “What?” “Never mind, it’s gone now.”
9.    Come to work in army fatigues and when asked why, say, “I can’t talk about it.”
10.   Find the vacuum and start vacuuming around your desk.
11.    During the course of a meeting, slowly edge your chair towards the door.
12.    Arrange toy figures on the table to represent each meeting attendee, move them according to the movements of their real-life counterparts.

Okay, now that you’ve had a good laugh, which one will you do??

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In Pursuit of Purpose




I don’t know about you, but I walk around most days asking God what I was made to do.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I was made to be the mommy of this one specific child.  And I know that I was made to be in the lives of certain people.   Both are wonderful reasons to be here, but if that’s the extent of what I was made for, then why, at every turn, do I feel that I’m still not fulfilling the ultimate chapter of my story?

I feel the tug all the time.  To do more, to be more.   But I haven’t yet received that wonderful email from above saying “go here and do this”.  I look at my life and realize that while I’ve had struggles, I’ve weathered them pretty well and there’s really no excuse for me not to be living in the sweet spot of God’s calling.  

Of this, I am sure.  God wired me to need to feel that what I do matters.  To know that that who I am as a parent will alter the legacy of my generational line.  And that how I invest in others people’s lives will have an impact on them.  But I don’t have a bullet list of five things that will help get me there.  I don’t know that there is any remedy, other than prayer and seeking His will at all costs (which is a big enough challenge all on its’ own).  All I know is that every day, I thank God that I still feel the need to accomplish something amazing for the kingdom and to bear fruit in ways that only I can do.   As one of my authors, the incomparable Erin Healy said recently, there are worse things than death.  For me, walking through life never knowing what my role in the story is would definitely make the list.

Any words of wisdom?  Where did God plant you for a purpose only you can fulfill?

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