It’s not always words that influence us. Sometimes it’s a pair of fuzzy cow slippers.
Today I am thankful for… envelopes
An envelope from you is a gift of your time and attention to encourage someone in love.
What is my biggest challenge in life?
Big, open-ended, philosophical questions can have a way of getting to the heart of you, if you let them. So stripping away all of the "it depends" scenarios, what is the first thought that pops into your head when asked... what is my biggest challenge in life?
Lessons in 5 Senses
Two weeks of lessons came down to the five senses... one of them being the importance of taste, and a replacement for the overused lemon and lemonade analogy. May I humbly submit one about beer and brats.
What would I tell you about the last five years if you asked me? Dear Busia, this is my letter to you.
Lessons on Cupcakes and Timing
The last two weeks have been a whirlwind. I'm not sure how it's already mid February. But in the midst of the wind and rain and the snow and the 50 degree weather turned blizzard I took time to reflect... and there are a lot of lessons in the midst of cupcakes.
Today I am thankful for… instructions
Step 1. Read the instructions. Step 2. Follow the instructions. Interestingly, something needs to happen before Step 1. Someone other than you actually has to create the instructions.And we have to actually read them... in context.
a poem for the moments when the loss feels big and the love runs deep
Today I am thankful for… perfect
She always ordered it perfect. Lemon twist and olives. Lots of rocks. I’ve never met Rob Roy, but he was clearly her favorite.
Of all the things in the world where we could dig in our heels and not waver… it should be about the truth. We are called to stand firm. Let’s make sure we know what we’re being asked to stand firm in. Spoiler… it’s not politics.
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.
Sometimes the in between moment, can be the best moment to sit with God, reflect, and be thankful.
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.
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.
I sat on my porch as it started to rain and I didn’t move. I let the moment move me. And I wrote.
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?
Do not assume one sentence, one word, one photo, one post, is the entire story. Hunt for context.
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 →
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.
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.
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.
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.
A barely edited poem from my time with God watching the sunrise and reading Psalm 2.
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.
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.
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.
I quit my job. But I wasn’t unhappy. I wasn’t running away from anything. I was running toward something.
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.
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