Lessons from Les: Perspective vs. Truth

I took this photo. Admiring the fall air, I turned the corner to find a bright green spot on the sidewalk. I knelt down and put my phone in line with the pavement. My little subject came closer, not farther, curious what we were about to do. Several taps later, I’d like to introduce you... Continue Reading →

5 Lessons: Self Esteem Edition

This week I got bit by a mosquito, got carded for beer (it wasn’t Natty Light), and wore high heels more than once. A few observations led me to the conclusion that improving our self-esteem is more in our control than we realize. 1. Get carded. This is best achieved with your hair in a... Continue Reading →

Lessons: I-39 Style

Don't forget to observe the life you're in and the moment that you're in it. Turn off the radio, the TV, the screen and let your five senses do the rest. Take mental notes of the lessons God is teaching you in small moments, even on a long car ride in the early morning.

Lessons: Patio Wildlife Edition

Chipmunks don’t like stale pretzels, and I don’t like bird poop, wasps, or bugs that want to taste my beer. But there’s a lesson or two in here about observing the details, finding the memories, and appreciating the artistry. Even if it means having to throw your bible across the porch for your own safety.

belief

If we want to change outcomes we often start with trying to change our actions. But what if we have to go back a few more steps? Because if you start with actions, you’re going to run out of juice and burn out. But if you believe something at your core, the downstream impacts are longer lasting.

Meeting Notes: Conference Edition: Day 2

Day 2 Recap... God is a long term planner. Beyond the 90 Day Roadmap. Beyond the 3-5 Year Strategic Plan. Maybe we shouldn’t expect people to have a 3 second or better website load time when it comes to every day life.

Meeting Notes: Conference Edition: Day 1

When you attend a conference over several days, there is a lot you could and should remember from the time you invested to be there. But (spoiler) most of it you won’t. If you took notes (which you should), rereading those notes is a good way to challenge yourself. I reviewed my notes from my last year of reading the Bible and noticed some themes. This week I’ll be sharing them and today we start with #1. It’s not about me (or you).

peeking peaking piquing through

There are some things you can’t change. However, there is a lot you can change if you’re brave enough to take the chance to change something small and be consistent about it.

Lessons: Joy in the Mundane

We seek epic moments. We search Pinterest boards for ideas and long for Instagram worthy pictures, but what if joy is in between the layers of the mundane? Between the crosswalk, the pile of dishes, layers of laundry, and in between the cheese and meat of the sandwiches you made this week? What if joy only happens if you notice, and realized you have LOTS of chances to notice?

Lessons: Front Porch Edition

Spring is finally here. I apprehensively declare that it will not snow again. Which means when I get home from work, wake up early in the morning, or finish adulting on any given Saturday, you'll find me on my front porch with a beer in one hand and a pen in the other. It didn't take long for the April porch lessons to pour in.

7 Lessons: Beach Edition

Give careful thought to your ways. This includes coffee, kindness, bravery, sunscreen and listening skills.

getting loud again

I love to present. And I used to do it a lot. On a personal level I presented to college students and fellow alumni. At my job I traveled around to small groups and big groups to lead discussions, introduce concepts and help with technology. My favorite was presenting from a stage to a roomful... Continue Reading →

Lessons: Sub Zero Edition

My Most Recent Lessons: Sub Zero Edition... (1) Sneezing (2) Self-Doubt (3) Beer (4) Marketing and (5) Mourning

Lessons: prep and reflect

If I pause and reflect daily, I might get an inaccurate representation of how things are going. A bad day could feel like the world is falling apart. One good day could give me an inflated sense of self and delusional success. But a friend reminded me that reflecting at the end of every week... Continue Reading →

with you

Dear Busia: I wish we could cook together and I could keep learning from you. I miss you immensely. Thank you for loving me so well and so big. Love, Your Girl

french toast sticks

I don't want to forget that the little things are actually the big things. That sometimes love can be wrapped in a yellow box that sits in the freezer.

do brave

Yes, I am the weirdo in a lawnchair in my front yard, in 4 inches of snow, wearing a snowmobile suit and drinking a beer in front of the snowman I built. It takes bravery to put yourself out there. Do brave.

Lessons: Technical Difficulties Edition

Aside from the desire to throw a non-functional device across the room, aside from the desire to procrastinate because solving a problem feels overwhelming, aside from the embarrassment of failing technology... it turns out there are lessons buried within the stressful moments of technical difficulties.

Lessons: Evening Edition

Some lessons stop you as you're walking to the parking deck and present themselves as opportunities. Other lessons come from endless scrolling and regret. While others are realizations that not everything needs to be improved upon. It's okay for some things to be fine and enough. And in case you haven't heard it lately. You are amazing. You are enough.

Lessons: Cookie Baking Edition

12 pounds of butter can teach you a few lessons... about goofy hats, being present, sprinkles and cosmopolitans.

5 Short Lessons for a Short Week

Featuring the danger of coffee grounds and guesstimating winter, alongside the importance of power cords and reading the other side.

7 Lessons: some ridiculous

This week's lessons are brought to you by a bag of pants, timezones, hitting buttons and saying no to new baseboards.

balance

Jesus... without u, there is only Jess. And she’s a mess. Imbalanced. But this week, in between the home cooked meal and the burnt frozen pizza there were sunrises, Dolly Parton, local coffee, squirrels and 90s grunge. There was balance. There was Jesus.

time

When the alarm clock goes off, my instinct is not to wake up. It’s to lie there and debate with myself. One morning I debated with God instead.

windows

Today I am thankful for... windows. When it’s cold and I don’t want to miss it. For the world outside of me, that God allows me to see.

anticipation

God gave us another day. Another sunrise. Another opportunity to choose better. To respond with character, integrity and a patience... that will wait for a sunrise. What will you choose?

Lessons: Observations, Wandering & Permission

Over the last week I learned about the unpredictable nature of green beans, braided hair, storms and chance meetings. And I also learned to look for the beauty that comes from getting lost, from practice, from buying the flowers, and from giving someone permission to try.

go make a sunrise

The sunrise exists because blue and yellow remain who they are, yet hang out together. Together they create a gradient. Go make a sunrise.

Lessons: Special Weekend Edition

Not all lessons occur Monday-Friday. Sometimes they explode all over the counter in a cloud of orange dust on a Saturday night.

Two Weeks of Lessons

Every day God is trying to teach me something. The question is whether or not I’m paying enough attention to notice it, reflect on it, and do something with it. The past two weeks a few new things came to light: serrated knives and fingertips don’t go well together, water is more important than coffee... Continue Reading →

My Top 9: Week 3

People say the devil is in the details. I disagree. Beauty is in the details. Insight is in the details. God is in the details. So this week I cut down my list from 20 to 9 and I went deeper.

it’s easy

Sometimes it is helpful to admit that being an adult is hard. Self-control is hard. Choosing to respond with kindness is hard. Choosing to be silent when the world shouts, is hard. Choosing God’s way is hard. But the hard stuff? That is often where the world needs you to be. Where God asks me to be.

My Top 20 : Week 2

If you slow down just enough, and look up you might notice a few things. Like someone turned off the light in the restroom while you were still in the restroom, the water delivery guy does not want a water, a determined child on a big wheel can keep up with the big bikes, and homemade ranch with a side of hugs are what the Midwest is made of.

My Top 20 : Week 1

This is my top 20 list of what I learned this week from observing the people and world around me. Coming in hot at #15... Pigeons do not scare easily. Especially Steve.

fear

I quit my job. But I wasn’t unhappy. I wasn’t running away from anything. I was running toward something.

my feet

Today I am thankful for... my feet. And the grass I was able to walk on. And the memories of jumping, of grandparents, of all that has been gifted to me.

you’re the one

You’re the one the world has been waiting for. In the rain. In the sun. Take the chance. Make the move. God gave you a purpose. Love.

the we

I tried writing so many times today and nothing stuck. It felt like a ramble of so many disconnected thoughts. Until one photo, with one post, from an old friend, reminded me of how powerful words can be.

until the bubbles end

Some things never seem to have an end. Work. Email. Information. It's overwhelming. So I stepped away, and remembered it's possible. I remembered it's okay. And I stayed.

salt

Today I am thankful for a little salt shaker. A little reminder that not only should I not be salty, and not pour salt in a wound, but that we are called to something more. We are a key ingredient in every interaction in this life. We can bring out the best in each other.

responding

We often miss how much control we have in our response. We claim "we had no choice," but it's our response to their words, no matter what those words are, that reveals our character. We have an opportunity, you and I. To receive feedback with curiosity and compassion. To choose a better way.

planning meeting

Meeting Notes: It's been a long time since we had a planning meeting. They were scheduled but I wasn't showing up because "I had a conflict." I was the conflict. So we met and we started at the beginning.

the art of the thank you

Thank you notes are not required. But your words are powerful and meaningful and have the ability to change someone's moment, day and even life.

funk

It’s a weird thing to read something you’ve written and not recognize your own voice. To wonder where that person went and how to find her again.

break through

the sun breaks through the clouds like waves the lure breaks through the water makes waves the birds break through the silence in waves how can I break through to reduce the waves --- the water can’t create a new image, it reflectswhat’s around, the outline of trees, the light of sun, it revealsa hint... Continue Reading →

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