Archive from January, 2014
Jan 31, 2014 - My Story, Writing    2 Comments

Abundant

I’ve chosen a word. One word to define 2014. Abby’s explosive prayer greatly influenced my thoughts. The phrase holy imbalance has consumed my thought life.

Abundant will direct my holy imbalance in 2014. Here is my journal entry:

Abundant. There are an abundant of choices for me every day. Choices that are good and choices that are better. I feel pulled in an abundant different directions and I am only one person. Sometimes I stand in the midst of choices and feel overwhelmed. Sometimes paralyzed. Sometimes excited.

Abundant involves saying “no”.

Saying “no” to less than the best use of my time, talents, and energy is the gateway to the abundant life.

And abundant involves wanting more. Believing that God has “abundantly more than all I could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20-21). I want adventure and more in all the right areas. I want to push and strive and yearn for God’s best for me.

Abundant involves saying, “yes!” Unabashedly walking in the works God has prepared before hand for me.

Abundant involves saying “no” to the good in order to say “yes” to the best. 

Praying that my 2014 may be abundant in all the right ways.

Have you chosen a word?

Jan 28, 2014 - My Story    2 Comments

Holy Imbalance

I’m still thinking about my one word.

Rest. Balance. Sabbath. Change. New. Achievement. Learning.

Those are potential options.

I shared my one word challenge with my friend and editor, Abby, during our weekly Skype date last week. I told her some of my options with balance leading the top of the list. She shocked me with how she responded.

kelly Abby Gjertsen

“No, Kelly, you don’t need balance because the way you’re defining balance means that you are in control and aligning your time to minimize surprises. I don’t want you to be balanced. I want you to have more, to live on the edge for God. To have more of the good things He has planned for you. And in order to do that you must have less of the other things. The lesser things. The things that steal your attention from the important things. I pray against balance. I pray for holy imbalance for you.”

Part of me wanted to reach through the screen and smack her! “I pray against imbalance!?!” Bite your tongue! I work so hard to foster balance in my life and feel imbalanced constantly. I do want to be in control. I want to organize and run things how I think they should be. I am afraid of imbalance.

Maybe I’m fighting the wrong battle.

What does holy imbalance look like? To make room for and experience more of the good things that God has prepared for me?

Abby’s prayer still scares me.

Jan 24, 2014 - My Story, Writing    No Comments

One Word

Last week my boss gave me a challenge.

More than productivity, or professional development or adjusting to a changing health care scene — she challenged me to have focus, goals, direction, determination — and one word to sum it all up.

She had seen a special on a national news channel about a man who was fed up repeatedly making New Year’s Resolutions and  inevitably failing at them a few weeks into the year. He said we tried too much at once, split our attention, lost focus, and failed to reach our goals.

He had a new solution: pick one word. 

Choose one word that you want to represent your year. Select a word that has deep meaning, either of things expected or hoped for during the year. Use this word to guide your decisions, focus your thoughts and let it steer your year.

I often choose a word in retrospect to define a year, but I have never chosen one in anticipation of what is to come.

What word will define 2014? What do I hope for twelve months from now? How can one word sum up so much time?

I’ve been challenged and I’m still thinking of my word.

I give you the same challenge: What is your word?

one word

Jan 20, 2014 - My Story, Running    No Comments

When you need a reminder…

… Just look at your toes!

Awesome socks

 

I’ve been having a hard time keeping up the motivation for running lately dealing with a quasi-injury and nearing the big day without enough miles behind me. So these arrived just in the nick of time. I’ve been wearing them every night — because that’s when I actually see my toes the most — and being thankful for friendship, encouragement, and hard work.

Thanks for thinking I’m awesome, CariAnn!

I’m ready to keep running now.

Jan 18, 2014 - Uncategorized    No Comments

Rotary Phones and The Proto-Internet

Technology.

We seem to have a reaction to it. We either love it, think it is making the world a better and more connected place, and saving lives in the meantime.

Or we hate it, feel it creeping into our lives, time and schedules, and spreading more negative news than hopeful news.

Technology.

It makes everything move faster. We expect more, and expect it now. But not so long ago, all of the technological and speedy advances which I am using at this very moment to post this were unheard of!

Watch with an eye of wonder and nostalgia!

Thoughts:

Don’t miss the tidbits of truth throughout the hilarity of this piece.

1. Only a few thousand people owned home computers in the Bay area.

2. The gentleman interviewed is identified only as “Owns Home Computer” further showing us how rare that identifier actually was.

3. The engineers doing this were not looking to revolutionize anything, or even make money, they were doing it to see if they could.

That got me thinking. Our actions have consequences. And oftentimes it is not the actions, decisions, or interactions which seem important at the time which make the biggest differences. These early computer geeks didn’t set out to change the world and provide an information super highway, that I have already used to look up directions, phone numbers, pay bills, connect with friends, and share my thoughts with the world. (And that was just what I did this morning!) They just wanted to see if it could be done.

What can you do with a little drive, interest, time and money that could change the world?

And the next time you bemoan your “connection speed” remember that it used to take two hours, via rotary phone, to get the newspaper!

Jan 16, 2014 - My Story    2 Comments

Half a Celebration

Today is my half birthday.

The halfway point between two orbital cycles. The marker of six months of growth. The peak before the roller coaster into another year begins.

That deserves some celebration. Or at least recognition!

Today, I took at least a moment to think of how different my life was six months ago. I was new at my job, adjusting to different hours, training in the NICU, and daily squealing over this new fangled thing called PDO!

Today, I still have oodles to learn, but I’m in a rhythm, a flow, I can train others, and I have some stockpiled vaca time!

Halves get ignored in favor of wholes. Integers rule in our minds, but sometimes a year is a long time and it is helpful to break down time into smaller segments to see growth and to set goals.

Today is my half birthday. What a difference six months can make.

images

I leave you with a toast from Bilbo Baggins, spoken on his eleventy-first birthday:

“I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.”

Here’s to halves!

Jan 11, 2014 - Humor, My Story    2 Comments

Giggling with Gaston

I was awkwardly hit on last week.

By a guy who was tall, dark and handsome, with bulging biceps, and long flowing locks.

Oh yeah, and he was fictional. Did I fail to mention that?

Gaston muscles

I met Gaston at the Magic Kingdom last week with my friend Nathan. Gaston was fully in character — strutting with oodles of swagger, winking, flirting and generally macking on the ladies. He thought highly of himself and made sure everyone agreed with him. He was a fantastic cast member and made me giggle and enjoy my meet and greet immensely — as you can see by my reaction to his “biceps to spare!”

Gaston biceps

Then I started thinking. If this guy hadn’t been wearing a Gaston costume, he would have been a total creep! I would have avoided him and his narcissism completely relying on Nathan for flanking and protection. I certainly wouldn’t have waited in line to get my picture taken with him! In life, costumes and context make a huge difference. I would have focused on his faults and pride. Without his costume to affect the way I viewed him, he would have seemed unattractive and off putting.

It got me thinking about my own costumes. How do I present myself? What do I put on to affect how others view me? Do I want to be seen as the therapist with all the answers? Or seen as the humble Christian who never struggles? Or the lady who has her life together and offers constant help, but never needs help herself? What would it take for me to take off my costumes and let others see the real me? The one who has victories, but also defeats. The one who struggles, doesn’t always know the answer, and needs help and encouragement. How attached to my costume am I?

What costumes are you wearing? How would you like others to see you?

Jan 8, 2014 - My Story    2 Comments

Resolution Report

There is joy in publishing my thoughts for the world to read…

… but there is also pain, cringing, and discomfort for I have to be true to my words written and published!

I reviewed my 2o13 New Year’s Resolution post — and it turns out I didn’t accomplish what I set out to do.

Sort of.

I had four goals:

1. Write 100 blog posts.

2. Memorize two chapters of Scripture

3. Run a 5K in under 30 minutes

4. And finally, I resolve to know God better, to experience another year of grace, to be thankful for my many blessings.

Last year I discussed in several posts the importance of making our goals measurable so that we know if we’re moving forward or not. Amorphous things like “get healthier” are noble, but difficult to mark progress. Every goal needs a number attached somehow!

It’s also important to review our goals and see how we’ve done. So, gulp, that is what I’m going to do today.

Goal #1: Write 100 blog posts. Oodles of checks go to achieving this goal! I have written regularly 2-4 times per week throughout the year exceeding this goal! Bravo! Brava! Five Gold Stars awarded. gold-star

Goal #2: Memorize two chapters of Scripture. Not as glowing of a report on this one, I’m afraid. I chose Psalm 121 as one of my passages of Scripture. I wrote it on my mirror and read it each morning while I brushed my teeth. I think I could recite most of the gist of it right now and at one point I did have it memorized during the course of the year. I never chose a second chapter and I’d have to review significantly to recite it properly. One Gold Star awarded. gold-star

Goal #3: Run a 5K in under 30 minutes. I have consistently run throughout the course of the year. I’ve taken off a few minutes and added distance, but my best recorded 5K time is 33 minutes flat. I would need to train specifically and purposefully to achieve this goal and my focus shifted to training for the half marathon over the course of the year. One Gold Star awarded for effort.

gold-star

Goal #4: And finally, I resolve to know God better, to experience another year of grace, to be thankful for my many blessings. I broke my own rule with this because it is not specifically measurable. I have had periods of immense thankfulness and periods of intense grumbling during 2013. I have experience another year of grace, though sometimes forcefully rather than joyfully! Two Gold Stars awarded.

gold-star

So what? Do I look at that list and say, “Well, I really failed to fulfill 3/4 of my resolutions. 9 out of a possible 20 Gold Stars is pretty lame. Guess I’ll give up.”

May it never be!

Resolutions, goals, and benchmarks drive us to more. Even when I don’t achieve them fully, I can still remember that I’m closer to where I want to be than where I was a year ago. I’m counting it as a win — and I’m setting resolutions for this year.

How about you? How did you do with last year’s resolutions? Did you get achieve them? Did you get closer to where you want to be?

Jan 4, 2014 - Book Review, My Story, Writing    3 Comments

Awesome Always Goes Viral

Since when did virality become a desirable thing?

I’m still learning to punch fear in the face, escape average and do work that matters from author, Jon Acuff.

START jon acuff

 

Although I didn’t know it at the time, this blog was my big Start project! I stopped thinking of all the things that could go wrong by starting a blog (no readers, lose interest, no talent, pointless posts, hecklers, etc). I punched fear in the face and started.

(Bravo, me.)

Now I’m dealing with the second part… what comes after the start? How do I keep the drive and momentum after the initial adrenaline of starting has worn off? How do I stay true to the craft and not get sucked into the whirlpools of anxiety by focusing on numbers, followers, subscribers, and virality statistics?

Acuff encouraged me in this book to spent ten times more energy and time writing than promoting. And to make it really shine make the ratio 100:1.  Content > marketing! Then he blew my mind with this simple sentence, “Awesome always goes viral.”

I love that.

I don’t have to worry about numbers, statistics, or virality. I have to write because writers write. I am choosing to focus on content because that’s what I love. I love to share ideas, communicate, craft the perfect post, share my epiphanies, and receive feedback. I don’t love statistics or marketing and now I have the freedom to care about those aspects of blogging a little less.

My job is to craft my awesome. Because awesome always goes viral.

Jan 1, 2014 - Book Review    No Comments

Start.

Punch fear in the face. 

Escape average.

Do work that matters. 

Those are the collective subtitles of the book Start. I just read by Jon Acuff.

START jon acuff

You may be familiar with Acuff from a little blog called Stuff Christians Like, where he pokes fun at silly things Christians do, like side hugs and inserting “just” dozens of times into their prayers. He’s an everyday comedian. I secretly want to be his friend.

This was the perfect thing to read right before New Year’s. Sometimes I get paralyzed in the “preparing to start” phase. Sometimes it’s like I live in “If you give a mouse a cookie-land.” Let me explain with a real world example:

If you tell Kelly to set the table, she’ll go to get the silverware, and she’ll notice crumbs on the countertop. She’ll wipe the countertop and then notice  that she knocked some of the crumbs onto the floor and now it needs mopping. Kelly goes to her closet to change– not wanting to enter full cleaning mode in her current clothes. While standing in the closet attempting to find a change of clothes, Kelly begins cleaning out clothes she never wears anyway. She’ll then need to clean out her car to place said clothes to prepare them for donation. Kelly will then need to locate her tax info to for charitable giving purposes. Kelly will then find an unpaid credit card bill in her pile of “important paperwork” and she’ll race to the phone in an attempt to avoid late fees… meanwhile dinner is cold because the table was never set.

Acuff encourages me to stop making lists and prioritizing my interests endlessly. He says simply, “Start!” Pick something and go with it. Get out of “If you give a mouse a cookie-land” of half finished tasks and do something.

If you feel like you cannot pick a New Year’s Resolution because you want to lose weight and eat healthier and get more sleep and save more money and be a better friend and learn to sew and run a six minute mile and become President… stop fretting, pick a path and Start!

Happy New Year! Start something new!

What do you plan to start?

%d bloggers like this: