A Burden to Carry Gracefully

Last night’s reading in John Ortberg’s Soul Keeping touched on grace and humility in a powerful way.  He recounted a discussion with Dallas Willard on being challenged by someone in a very negative way and just letting it go.  Willard replied:

“Being right is actually a very hard burden to be able to carry gracefully and humbly.  That’s why nobody likes to sit next to the kid in class who’s right all the time.  One of the hardest things in the world is to be right and not hurt other people with it.”  Dallas Willard

He went on to say that he was practicing the discipline of not having to have the last word.

Not that any of us are right all the time – or even often.  But when we are, how do we carry it?  How do we help bring people along to get to the right answer together.  How do we let go of the need to have the last word.  What a great reminder to stay focused on the words we choose, our attitude, our approach.  At the end of the day we leave a wake of both relationships and results, so getting to the right answers and results in relationship with others is critical if we want both our results and our relationships to be strong.

For me, sometimes its more nature to focus on our approach in one setting and not another.  What about you – do you do best at leading with grace and humility (even when you are right) with your partner, your kids, your team at work?




Good Old Fashioned Fun!

Kickball, playgrounds, Nerf gun battles, tag, jumping on trampolines.  That’s some of the stuff that SUPER FUN times are made of.


Maybe it feels a bit like a rebellion against electronics, but no matter.  I absolutely love watching the kids running themselves ragged, laughing like crazy, showing up tired and sweaty for snacks and drinks, then back to play.

Three cheers for good old-fashioned outdoor fun!

Clouds and corn

So maybe I’m a little nervous …

So maybe I’m just a LITTLE nervous about trying out the corn maze this weekend.  That’s normal … right???

Clouds and corn

I mean, seriously, I grew up in Los Angeles.  What’s a corn maze?!  But after 20 years+ in Virginia, somehow I have ducked them until now.  Last year venturing into the corn maze was on Justin’s wish list and we missed it.  This is CORN MAZE WEEKEND.  No backing out.  Inviting friends for company (and comfort.)

My father-in-law would be the first to tease me about being a ‘scaredy cat.’  Some old memory of driving with me, turning down an old farm road with high corn and me freaking out.  Hahaha!  Well … someone COULD have come through the corn!!

Needless to say, I do not watch horror movies.  Or even remotely scary movies for the most part.

But what if we get lost?  The thing is shaped like a tractor over at Bergey’s Farm in Virginia Beach.  Look at all those dead ends …


Our teenage son Josh said we should go at night – yeah … NO WAY!   I’m sure it will be just fine (fun even) and I will live to post another day.  But for this evening I will just be a little tentative.  Wish me luck!


If your time were money

If your time were money … would you let others decide how you spend it???

Who among us has not complained about how busy our lives are, about not having time for this or that, about how we are over-scheduled and just worn out?     At work, a week full of meetings scheduled by others (sometimes double and triple booked) can leave one laughing at the idea of taking the time to grow and develop ourselves.  The best of intentions have not translated into growth – crowded out by the more immediate issues of the day.

But if we allow this – and it IS a decision – we can see years pass in our career where we are really not progressing and growing professionally.

I don’t just mean promotions.  In fact I don’t mean promotions at all – because sometimes chasing that has us focusing on the wrong things.  I mean US growing and becoming better and better at what we do – going from good to great in our areas of strength, or focusing on development to improve on a weakness that is getting in the way of our progress.

I am in the midst of reading two books by Christian authors that – unplanned by me entirely – both touch on the question of our soul and our purpose, and how the decisions we make about the pace of our life and how we invest our time matters.  Here are the book links:

Soul Keeping by John Ortberg  Soul Keeping Link


The Best Yes, by Lysa TerKeurst Best Yes Link


I love this topic and can absolutely attest to how vital this is.  Every week I look at the calendar ahead – the coming week, and the next several weeks ahead. – and I ask myself two questions about each and every meeting:

  1. Am I crucial to this meeting.  More specifically, if I am not there, can the goals still be accomplished?  If all I need is an update, surely someone can send that along.  If the answer is no, its off my calendar.  Period.
  2. What are the things that I want to accomplish that no one else will schedule my time for.  Something that I need to be the catalyst for – whether that’s personal development, mentoring others, or thinking more broadly about the business.  Then I schedule myself into those things.

Because if you are not very focused and intention about how you spend your time, it will be wasted.  I like the idea of opportunity cost – the opportunity cost of spending time on something of limited value is the value you could have received from spending your time in another way, on something more impactful.  Whether that’s something like strategy that can get squeezed out by the immediate, a complicated issue that requires some reflection, a new initiative you want to get going but you need time to plan, or time needed to meet your personal development goals … these can all get crowded.

Of course sometimes things interfere, schedules change and we adjust.  But without the two things above – day in and day out, week in and week out – we will be left to work longer, add less value and grow less in our abilities as leaders and as people with the ability to make a difference.  CRITICAL WORK, right?

The exact same thing applies outside of the office … but that’s for another day.   If time were money and you were investing each minute of it, what would you change about your schedule?


Scarecrow adventures – more funny than scary!

This morning we visited our local garden center to build scarecrows.   Definitely more funny than scary … and ours is now gracing our front lawn (sorry, neighbors!)

Love this fall tradition!   Check out a few pics in the slideshow below …


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