New Nephew (Being An Uncle)

My sister (Heather) gave birth to her baby boy yesterday. His name is Hendrix. I haven’t met him yet but he has a pretty good reputation on the internet already.

Being an uncle is pretty great. I would imagine it’s the next best thing to being a Grandparent. I get to have fun with my nieces and nephews and I don’t really have the parenting responsibility of their kids. I’m still responsible for my own kids of course.

I don’t think it would be a surprise to anyone but I’m not great with babies. But once kids are able to have a conversation I just love them more and more. My oldest nephew Kai is 7. We are playing Words with friends together. I win every time. Not to brag.

My nephew Noah is super funny

My niece Emmi adores me (I have no idea why)

My niece Tay (that’s an abbreviation) Her and Joss love to play princess.

My niece Violet has been giving me the silent treatment. Of course she can’t talk but still . . . come on!

And now my Nephew Hendrix. I can’t wait to get to know you!

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Legacy

This morning I attended an event for Seattle area pastors in our denomination. It was good to see people that I have known for a long time and briefly catch up. I usually don’t like small talk events but lately these things have been more an more valuable to me as I try to build my network of colleagues, friends and resource people.

The person who spoke was actually the pastor of the church I grew up in. He did a great job. I learned some stuff and I was encouraged. The most important thing that I walked away with from that event was this: you don’t know ahead of time what your legacy is going to be. This pastor has impacted my life, and the lives of thousands of other people. He has consistently done the things that he felt God was calling him to do, and not really worried about exactly how things would be thought of or remembered.

If you are busy trying to control your image then that’s going to be your legacy. But if you do the things that you are supposed to do. Guess what . . . that’s going to be your legacy. I would much rather be remembered as someone who was authentic and consistent.

Stop trying to control your legacy and start doing the things you are supposed to do.

Habits

I’ve been trying to wake up early for the past few weeks.  Life gets so busy around my house that I’ve found it’s impossible to do the things that refresh my heart and my mind if I don’t do them early.  So I’ve gotten in the habit of waking up at 5am Sunday through Thursday.  I’m not saying this to brag.  :o)

Waking up early to do my reading and occasional writing is good for me, for several reasons.  First, I can’t really making any noise, so I’m practicing the discipline of silence.  I love to have music playing when I’m working.  My house is too small to play music in the morning without waking everyone else up.  So I do my morning routines in silence.

Second, I’m alone, so i’m practicing (in micro form) the discipline of solitude.  I have a lot of meetings day to day, especially as my responsibilities at the church grow.  I’m an introvert, and meetings are one of the most mentally draining parts of my day.  They are necessary, and I put as much as I can into the meetings that I am in, but I know that I need to spend some time alone if I’m going to remain spiritually, emotionally and mentally healthy.

This one habit of setting my alarm and waking up early, while I’m not perfect at it, helps me to start my day with things that energize me.  Rather than waking up at the last possibile minute and rushing out the door, I am able to warm up to the day.  I get to see the sunrise, which as I write this post is just about break over the tree line in my living room window.  I get to drink coffee.  I can get to the reading that I need to get through.  And I get to plan my day.

Habits shape who we are and who we will become.  If you feel like your life is not going the way that you want it to go, what is one thing that you can change to start building a healthy habit?

Opinions

I’ve heard it said that opinions are like ____________ everyone has one and they all stink. (I’ll let you guess what it is I’m talking about there.

It’s very easy to be swayed by other people’s opinions.  But whose opinions actually matter?  If you don’t know whose opinions actually matter then you will be very easily swayed one way or another.

Knowing whose opinions matter helps you to better understand who you are.

Knowing whose opinions actually matter helps you to ignore the critics and cynics, who just want to spew venom into the world.

Do you have a list of whose opinions matter?

Here’s mine:

God (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)

Kathy (my wife, end of the day, she is the most important opinion walking on this earth right now)

Joss and Judah (my kids)

Don (My Boss)

Friends who know me

Everyone else.

Each of this opinion categories carries different weight in different contexts, but the ones that trump them all (honestly) are God, Kathy, Joss and Judah.  End of the day, those are the voices that matter the most to me.  If they have a criticism, or advice, or ideas, they have the most weight in my life.

Who holds the weighty opinions in your life?  Do you know?  Or are you giving every opinion maker equal weight?

Meetings

Today I have five meetings.

If I’m totally honest meetings are not my favorite things.  Mainly because meetings are often too long.  Today all my meetings are back to back so I need to be more diligent on getting the meeting straight to the point.

The biggest frustration that I have with meetings is leaving the meeting without being clear about what I need to do, and what is expected of others.  I really do think that every meeting should have an outcome.

So these are my goals today.

1)  Concise meetings.

2)  Clear Outcomes and action steps.

I’ll see you later after my marathons of meetings.