Thursday, May 28, 2015

I'm in Love With Us

I love my family. This isn't as much bragging as it is me being in awe of how much God knows and cares about the details of our lives. The three of us, we're perfect for each other. Everything about us feels too natural and charmed. 

Don't get me wrong. We are human. We're flawed. We're temperamental and we each have our innate bends towards selfishness and stubbornness. Some a little more than others. #notnamingnames

But even those, the flaws and setbacks, they seem to come in perfectly timed waves amongst one another. We're never all down and out at the same time. We're never all stubborn at the same time. We're never all throwing tantrums at the same time. There's always one that is steadfast. And since we're being honest, sometimes it's the littlest of us. #notkidding 

The realist side of me goes to bed fearing it won't be like this forever. And maybe it won't. But we can't know that, until, well, forever comes and goes. 

So until then, we're going to eat way to many fruit snacks, giggle while reading something about a pig and parade, and talk and gawk at the "funder" storms outside our apartment. 
We're going to continue bending out patience and kindness and sweetness and love. 
We're going to tell each other "sowy" when we've hurt feelings or disobeyed and not fear repentance.
We're going to talk to Jesus through songs and prayers and listen to what He might be telling us.
We're going to take random drives down dream neighborhoods and end up on totally last minute dates to super unhealthy pizza places.

Because that's us. And I'm in love with every last bit of us. 

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600 Degrees Pizza is one of our family favorites. If you're local or visiting Austin, Texas, make sure to try the #3.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Highly Creative Person

So I discovered this article, thanks to the ever growing curiosity of Facebook, and my mind has been blown. Not just because I resonate with every single point on this list, but this is my daughter too!

Not sure why I ever doubted creativity would be in her bloodline, but I'm a little humored and embarrassed that a LifeHack list sealed the deal for me. #insertridiculousnessnow
Have a fun read through these, are you a creative too?!

1. They have a mind that never slows down.
The creative mind is a non-stop machine fueled by intense curiosity. There is no pause button and no way to power it down. This can be exhausting at times but it is also the source of some crazy fun activities and conversations.

2. They challenge the status quo.
Two questions drive every creative person more than any others: What if? and Why not? They question what everyone else takes at face value. While uncomfortable for those around them, it’s this ability that enables creatives to redefine what’s possible.

3. They embrace their genius even if others don’t.Creative individuals would rather be authentic than popular. Staying true to who they are, without compromise, is how they define success even if means being misunderstood or marginalized.

4. They have difficulty staying on task.Highly creative people are energized by taking big mental leaps and starting new things. Existing projects can turn into boring slogs when the promise of something new and exciting grabs their attention.

5. They create in cycles.Creativity has a rhythm that flows between periods of high, sometimes manic, activity and slow times that can feel like slumps. Each period is necessary and can’t be skipped just like the natural seasons are interdependent and necessary.

6. They need time to feed their souls.No one can drive cross-country on a single take of gas. In the same way, creative people need to frequently renew their source of inspiration and drive. Often, this requires solitude for periods of time.

7. They need space to create.Having the right environment is essential to peak creativity. It may be a studio, a coffee shop, or a quiet corner of the house. Wherever it is, allow them to set the boundaries and respect them.

8. They focus intensely.Highly creative people tune the entire world out when they’re focused on work. They cannot multi-task effectively and it can take twenty minutes to re-focus after being interrupted, even if the interruption was only twenty seconds.

9. They feel deeply.Creativity is about human expression and communicating deeply. It’s impossible to give what you don’t have, and you can only take someone as far as you have gone yourself. A writer once told me that an artist must scream at the page if they want a whisper to be heard. In the same way, a creative person must feel deep if they are to communicate deeply.

10. They live on the edge of joy and depression.Because they feel deeply, highly creative people often can quickly shift from joy to sadness or even depression. Their sensitive heart, while the source of their brilliance, is also the source of their suffering.

11. They think and speak in stories.Facts will never move the human heart like storytelling can. Highly creative people, especially artists, know this and weave stories into everything they do. It takes longer for them to explain something, explaining isn’t the point. The experience is.

12. They battle Resistance every day.Highly creative people wake up every morning, fully aware of the need to grow and push themselves. But there is always the fear, Resistance as Pressfield calls it, that they don’t have what it takes. No matter how successful the person, that fear never goes away. They simply learn to deal with it, or not.
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Is this you too!?

Steven Pressfield, author of The War of Art, writes:  “Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance.”

Click to finish reading the last 8 on Life Hack's original article.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dear Worship Leader, Set Them Up for Success

"You are good, You are good,
In the valley low, we trust because we know,
You are good, You are good,
We will praise Your name and give You everything,
For You are good!"
(-Shoreline Music)

This is one of my favorite songs to lead. So much truth written at such a down-to-earth level. I also love when songs give the worshippers an action to take amidst the melodies.

"We lift our hands, we lift our hands to You, for You are good!" 

As a worship leader, when you can give people permission to worship freely and boldly, over and above what we may assume, it unlocks something.

Try it. Try placing a song in your set with some kind of action phrase and see if it unhinges your corporate worship. 

Set them up for a successful time of worship. This means, yes, removing any and all obstacles that may hinder them from pressing in. But it also means, giving them the tools to build a life of worship. 

And sometimes, the tool is as simple as stated permission. 

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If you're a worship leader, pretty please tell me what church you're at in the comments! I want to know and see and celebrate with you how God is moving in your community.

^^^Opinions, two-cents, questions and ramblings are welcome. And go above. Go ahead. Try it.

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