In Uncategorized by Caleb

I’m a big fan of daily routines.

  • Wake up
  • Breathe
  • Pray/reflect/meditate
  • Read
  • Look at goals
  • Drink a shake
  • Create/write
  • Workout
  • Meetings/other
  • Family
  • Wind down

That’s my basic weekday at a glance. But not on Saturday.

Saturday is a different day. (Sunday too, but let’s just talk about Saturday for now.) Saturday is slower. You can still be productive, but at a different pace. You can still work, but not furiously.

Saturday is about recharging. Take a longer workout. Read at the beach or park.

Saturday is about family. Going to the kids’ games… and enjoy it. Don’t be on your phone. It’s Saturday. The world will keep spinning without your constant attention.

Saturday is for chores. Setting an example for the kids. Even if you’re like me and hate household projects, do something. Something simple, small, that just says you care. (Then hire the rest out.)

Saturday is its own day. Let’s treat it as such. When I think I should get ahead in the world by working a 10-hour Saturday, I’m being anxious, not strategic. Instead, I’ll work for a few hours, then embrace the day for what it is—a Saturday.

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Run through sprinklers

In Uncategorized by Caleb

I was just in Gig Harbor, WA and I got off a phone call to see my boys running through the sprinklers (in their undies) in their great-grandparents yard. They were yelling in unknown languages and diving over invisible barriers. This is the stuff of superheroes and ninjas.

I had two choices when I saw this.

1. Walk up onto the patio with the adults and smile and comment, “how cute!”

2. Kick off my shoes and join this epic waterworld battle

Number ‘2′ it was!

Not that I always make this choice. I continually fight against taking myself too seriously and acting like an adult instead of a child. This is a message of encouragement for me—and for you:

Embrace your inner child!

Kick off the shoes and go barefoot.

Get on the floor and play with kids, dogs, and toys.

Give hugs instead of handshakes.

Sing and dance with abandon.

Drink chocolate milk.

And not just because it’s the end of summer. Embrace your inner child as a way of life. Some will say it’s unprofessional, but they are boring and don’t have many friends 🙂

Be childlike. Jesus said it’s the way forward.

Bonus: You’ll experience more joy and less anxiety. It’s better this way.

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Imperfect conditions

In Uncategorized by Caleb

“The only way to start is to start.” —Terry Hartshorn

Are you waiting on perfect conditions before you do the thing you’ve been putting off? Those perfect conditions aren’t coming. So start now.

I’m writing from my dining room table… with Power Rangers playing in the background… a kid with a fever dependent upon me for water, food, and compassion. And yet I write, because this is my time set aside for writing.

Truth be told, I want uninterrupted “Deep Work” time in a back house/home office (closer to the beach)—window open, Mozart playing, whiteboards and dream boards lining the walls adjacent to bookshelves… But that’s not my present reality. This is.

And this is yours. You can only be where you are. And you must—you must start and build from exactly where you are if you’re going to move forward. If you are in denial (or depressed) about where you are it’s near impossible to get forward momentum. Be.

Embrace what is. You’re okay. Your life is okay. Your home, computer, health, finances… they are okay for today. Own them as your present reality. Thank God for what you have and where you are. Cultivate gratitude to improve your attitude. It’s your attitude—your joy, passion, and determination—that will propel you to what’s next.

But it begins by embracing your imperfect conditions.

Be where you are. And do the thing. Start.

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The case for spending

In Uncategorized by Caleb

My wife got a call from her grandfather recently. We had been planning to go to visit them, but then were having second thoughts because of circumstances and airfare.

“Buy the tickets,” he said, first thing. “I’ll pay for them. Your grandmother and I want to celebrate our great-granddaughter’s first birthday, like we had planned. I’m 92-years-old and this is how I want to spend my money—to be with my family.”

He’s a living legend—one of my favorite humans. He’s also teaching us something.

Many of us plan and save and even stockpile our money. Others of us spend frivolously, barely knowing where it went. But spending with purpose is better. We all would agree. We just need to sit down and make sure we’re prioritizing the things—the people—that matter most.

And we don’t have to wait until we’re 92 to be generous toward the people we love.

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Preseason football: why it matters

In Uncategorized by Caleb

A lot of Americans are excited about the start of the NFL football season. So excited, in fact, that some are even watching their teams play preseason games—which has been difficult for me. Until today, I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch more than five minutes of preseason football for the following reasons:

– The games don’t matter. They might as well not keep score.

– The stars and starters only play a few minutes, then the rest of guys compete fiercely to make the team.

– The games don’t air at typical times or on the usual channels, so it can be a challenge to find them.

That said, I’m frantically searching for a game right now because I suddenly care. I care because my friend, who I’ve known his whole life, is playing tonight. He happens to be playing for my favorite team—the Seattle Seahawks. He’s one of those guys competing fiercely, hoping to make the final roster. I hope he does. Either way, I want to see him get some reps in a Seahawks jersey and live his childhood dream. So, I watch… I’m watching preseason football that, if it weren’t for him, would not matter to me.

The point is: it always matters to someone. If we can get outside our own myopic, self-centered view of life, we might see that we’re all connected. And when we care, everything and anything matters.

Try something you don’t like because she does. Watch something you’d rather not because they’re interested. Look deeper into the event and find the human connection—the significance that makes the thing matter that otherwise wouldn’t.

Life is about connection—our connection to God, and each other. Connect, care and do something you otherwise wouldn’t do…because they matter.

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Neighbor favor

In Uncategorized by Caleb

Yesterday, my neighbor knocked on the door and asked to borrow my shovel. (Yes, I actually have a few yard tools—that someone left here.) First, he asked my name, because he forgot. Which is fine since I wasn’t confident about his name. He’s a quiet guy who intentionally blends into the background behind an outgoing wife and well-behaved kids.

“Of course,” I told him. Then I went and cleaned the cobwebs off my shovel.

He used it and brought it back promptly. And it made me think… I want to be more neighborly.

I mean, the dude didn’t even know my name and he’s lived next door for a year. Hilary and I talk to his wife all the time, but not to him. Yes, he keeps to himself, but I haven’t been overly friendly, either. After all, I’ve been a pastor these past six years. I was nice to people for living! Why be friendly to someone off the clock?

I’m joking… mostly.

I wonder if a lot of people fall into this trap. Not just pastors, but because they are exhausted after being as “good” as they can be—while they have to be—then they have little kindness left when they get home to family… and neighbors. This is broken.

If the stress of the job is our justification for being an ass, we’re doing it wrong. Maybe we’re in the wrong job. Maybe we’re just in the job wrong.

That might take some time, prayer, and more Chewables to sort out. In the meantime, let’s walk outside and be kind to a neighbor.

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Your people

In Uncategorized by Caleb

My family and I recently spent several weeks in Washington State—our annual summer trip to be near my wife’s family. Unfortunately, it was during the most difficult weeks leading up to our transition from our role at our church. Almost everything happening was out of our control, so geographic distance didn’t seem significant. Until we got home.

Home. Home is where your people are.

I know, it’s 2018, and we’re all connected online. Several of our friends live multiple places throughout the year, maintaining their friendships, and that’s great. Still, we need our people. And we need to see them, hear their voices, feel their presence, and sense their support.

While we were away, one friend said, “You need to be here—with your people—and feel how much they love you and support you!” She was right. It feels good. I think I had a cognitive awareness that people love us and appreciate us and the ways God has used us in their lives, but to see, hear, and feel it in real life—that’s another story. It fills the soul.

Who are the people that fill your soul? You probably don’t talk like that or ask yourself those things, but perhaps you’d feel better if you did. Maybe you’d feel better if you FELT the love. You know you’re loved—by someone. But have you felt it? Have you helped “your people” feel it from you?

Pump someone up today. Appreciate someone and celebrate who they are. And then put yourself in the vulnerable place of receiving love from your people.

Note: I recorded a video to express my appreciation for you, even though we might not being seeing you, in person. In the video I share more about what I’m working on and a glimpse of what’s coming later. I hope you’ll check it out!

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Call, don’t write

In Uncategorized by Caleb

If it’s a hard word, don’t write it. Pick up the phone and call. Better yet, meet in person.

I know, you’d prefer to text—with emojis. But don’t. The speed and ease of text communication is hurting your relationships.

I can’t tell you how many times my wife or someone else I care about misinterpreted a text or email because I was short and to the point, coming off as upset or dismissive.

Long texts and emails are annoying to read. Short messages are easily misunderstood and make the issue seem trite. We can’t tell the tone or temperature of key strokes. Brevity comes off cold. ALL CAPS, aggressive. Pleasantries can seem condescending. Don’t do it.

Communication experts say that up to 70% of what you say is less about what you say but how you say it—body language, tone, pace, volume, facial expressions. You lose all that in a text or email. So much is left open to interpretation.

If you care about the person, make it personal. If it’s hard to say, or could be hard for the person hear/read, do it in person. It’s less convenient and less comfortable, but it’s just better—human to human.

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Buying lunch

In Uncategorized by Caleb

My friend just bought me lunch. Technically, I think his company bought me lunch, because we were discussing leadership strategies, etc. Still, it’s nice when someone else buys lunch.

Are you more often the lunch buyer or the lunch receiver? It might change in different seasons. I’m typically the lunch buyer, but not this month. Friends have been quick to pick up my tab… and I’m not mad about it. ?

But how about this… In a culture where people are convinced that “there are no free lunches,” what if you bought lunch… with no strings attached? You’re not keeping tabs… you’re not working an angle… you’re just being kind and generous.

Even better, what if you bought lunch without the person even realizing it? Like when they go to the restroom… or if you pay for the table next to you. Those simple acts of generosity put a smile on people’s faces and can change their entire day. Kindness and generosity are contagious. One act, initiated by you, might have a shocking and profound ripple effect. So, why not?

Buy a lunch. Change the world.

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Waiting for blackberries

In Uncategorized by Caleb

It’s August, the time for blackberries.

My family spent most of July in Washington State, and most of that time, the blackberries were not quite ripe. It was a form of First-World summer torture. The boys and I went out to look on the vines several times only to find the berries in their preparatory, not-quite-ready-to-eat state. I was with a five-year-old and three-year-old, and patience is not their strong suit.

“Where are the berries?!”

“They’re not ready yet.”

“But why?”

Here’s the thing about blackberries:

1. They’re delicious when ripe, and not good before they’re ripe

2. They’re delicate when ripe, and break easily

3. They stain your hands when you pick them

4. They grow on thorn bushes

I wonder if blackberry bushes have thorns to slow us down a bit. It’s almost as if their Creator was saying, “Take your time here. Pull one—gently—and enjoy it. The faster you go the more it will sting, and stain.”

The last few days we were in Washington the blackberries started to pop and became ripe. We were pumped! We put them in our shakes and on our ice-cream. We picked them for hours over several days. Very few of the berries that our boys picked actually made it into the bowl and back to the house. The crimson-purple stains around their mouths and on their hands were comical signals of summer. But it was only after the berries were ripe.

Be in the season you’re in. Don’t pick the berries before they’re ripe. They’ll taste bad anyway. Don’t rush ahead or get out in front of whatever God is doing right now. Be here. Now.

Next is next. Now is now. Embrace now. It might be painful. You may be discouraged or impatient. But breathe in summer and embrace your season. The sweet berries are coming soon.

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