Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hurry up!



Recently on our family cruise my husband and I were waiting in a long line for the breakfast buffet. I began to get rather frustrated with the people in line. They were moving as slow as molasses. I’ve never tested how fast molasses really moves, but you know…. 

What  irked me was that this line as long as an anaconda did not have to stay that way!  People moved in slow motion as they reached for a grapefruit or selected a box of cereal. They seemed to be giving serious thought to selecting a sausage. I wanted to scream, “What’s wrong with you people? It’s sausage. This doesn’t require an executive decision. Grab and move! Grab and move!”

I quipped to my husband, “For a person who is on the move, this line that is not on the move but could very easily be is rather frustrating.” He gently said back to me, “Babe, you’re not supposed to be on the move this week. This isn’t the week to rush anywhere. Just relax.”

I will admit that was hard advice although I knew he was right. And, I will also admit I could not just stand there and “waste my time.” In my previous life I was World Director of Productivity. So as people in front of me took their sweet time, I took it upon myself to rearrange and straighten items in front of me like small cereal boxes and butter pats that were not in perfectly straight lines. I thought my husband would die.         

On the same day, I decided to stay on the ship while my family all went on excursions. I was sorely in need of a day of rest. My testiness at the breakfast bar proved that if nothing else.   

Especially with some things I have faced in this season, I need to be intentional about taking some time to breathe. Breathe again. Not have to think so quickly on my feet. Not be the answer person. Not make any decisions. Not solve a problem. Take some moments to just be. Make a “stop doing” list.

Leaders need to be relentlessly intentional about moving slower on some days so we can keep moving faster on others.
  

Monday, December 04, 2017

Have you chosen a word of the year?




Selecting a personal word of the year has been my custom for many years. The word is my theme of the year and something for me to focus on, to build my faith and to grow. Each year I look for ways to remind myself of the theme…everything from a decorative sign with the word, to a piece of jewelry.

This year my word is resilient. 

All my life I have had to be resilient, and some years more than others.  I know it is this way with everyone to a degree. No one is immune to pain or problems. But frankly, some people are more resilient than others.  I have been studying those who are most resilient and trying to learn from them.

With 2017 coming to a close,I have things to bounce back from. There are parts of my life I’m absolutely slaying and other parts that are out of my control. If I could control it, I would have already given everything I have to slaying it.  The challenges remaining are out of the realm of me being able to change them aside from prayer. Thankfully, prayer is our most powerful recourse. Prayer changes things. In the meantime though, (it’s called the MEAN-time for a reason!) I have to find a way to flourish through things I never dreamed I would be facing.

I am thankful for a heavenly father who knows what we need when we need it. In the course of my master’s work, I was assigned two books this semester that prepared me for my current season. They are Rising Strong by Brene Brown, and Leadership Pain by Sam Chand. I would recommend these two books to everyone, particularly leaders. 

At some point you are going to face some things you never asked for, never expected, can’t control, and cry a river of tears over. My advice as a fellow traveler is to surround yourself with the right people. Find those who have walked through whatever it is that you’re going through successfully, and get their wisdom. Read wisdom from those you more than likely won’t have opportunity to meet.  Pray your guts out, and ask other people who know how to pray and fast to join you. While prayer is a hand grenade, fasting is a bomb.

Prior to reading the book Leadership Pain, I saw almost nothing good about pain. I’ve changed my mind. Dr. Sam Chand says, “You’ll only grow to the threshold of your pain.” The greatest leaders are the best pain processors. The leaders who are entrusted with the most pain produce the greatest work. So, if these things are an indication, and I believe they are -- get ready. The biggest and best things are yet to come!

What is your word of the year?