Tag Archives: planning

Mondays. Laundry. Naps.

Mondays. This day is different for pastors. But not too different. We all have questions on the path we’ve taken. We all evaluate the labor of our hands. But where for most people, Mondays are the start of a work week … For me, it’s the look back at the weekend … a weekend that we planned out, sweated over, prayed for, and poured our heart into.

And for many pastors, this is the day we look at that letter of resignation we keep tucked away on our MacBook, we ponder that we are completely inadequate for the task before us and we wonder why we ever got into this profession. We could’ve had weekends to hike the mountains, to take the kids to the beach, or just sit on a boat, fish, read a book and drink hot chocolate. We could’ve been teachers, engineers, insurance salesmen. Oh yeah, it’s not a profession, it’s a calling. That’s why we do it.

I recognize it’s got to be by His power. And His power is sufficient … for in my weakness He strength is shown.

But still, there’s always Mondays.

For me, Mondays, in a nutshell, is a crash day. And one thing I often do on Mondays is laundry. A few general things I notice about laundry …

  • Dirty laundry happens, to everyone. And the more active, the more doing laundry is necessary. And don’t wait too long to do it, for life gets stinky for you and those around you.
  • We have less laundry now that we’re empty nesters. I’m thankful for less laundry, but I do miss the kid’s presence. And we only had one. How do large families stay ahead of the laundry monster?
  • I produce a lot more laundry than my wife. Maybe it’s her sweetness and near perfection or maybe it’s my tendency to just attract the dirt and to play in the mud. Is this normal? Do boys always produce more laundry?
  • Laundry is really a waiting game. Load washer, wait, empty, load dryer, wait, empty, fold. Repeat over and over. So it’s not an extremely difficult job, unless one’s a bit ADHD and gets fidgety in the wait. So turn on the TV and enjoy the wait.

Laundry is a task … and today, laundry was also a teacher.

Have you ever had that load where a piece of clothing get stuck and twists and gets spun all up with other clothing? The curling together makes the spin cycle gets wonky and makes the washer take on a magical vibration as if possessed by a wild stallion bucking. It might even shut the cycle down completely. Then it takes effort to untangle without damaging the clothes, to sort the load evenly out in the tub, and to start over again.

There are times in life this twistedness happens. Maybe it’s the result of a bad decision. Maybe it’s getting Covid and that messes with everything. Maybe it’s our fault or it just happens … but life gets twisted.

I could share a lesson on how to depend on God’s strength, wisdom, and guidance to untangle our mess … but the better lesson is to spend a little time up front to prevent the entanglement in the first place.

  • Keep your laundry separated. Don’t just throw the pile in there, piece by piece is the way to go. Life is less overwhelming if you see things in little pieces.
  • Deal with one load at a time. Stop trying to multitask everything.
  • Take a little effort to make sure loose cords and draw strings are not knotted or twisted. A stitch in time saves time mentality.
  • Don’t over do the load. Keep things simple.

Bottom line, a little effort up front helps solve problems down the road. And with that mentality, you have more time for my other Monday activity. Taking a nap. Monday siestas.

What Would You Change?

Christmas 2021 – Reminders for Next Year

It’s over. The ornaments have been boxed. The lights have been stored. The living room is back to normal. And the kids have returned home. All we have left are the memories and the pictures stored in our phones.

It wasn’t a white Christmas. But as I type this, I am looking out the big window behind the couch and seeing a beautiful scene of snow covered farmlands, hills with sled treks, and cars covered in inches of powder that will remain for another day or two. The snow came nine days late, but it came.

The world moves on.

Before we reach February (which is when some of you take down your outdoor Christmas lights), I think we should stop and reflect a minute. Before we completely put the Spirit of Christmas behind us, which we really never should do … before we move on, let’s reflect on what we take into next year’s Christmas. Yes it’s just over 11 months away, but let’s see what we learn from Christmas 2021 to take to Christmas 2022 …

Spend more time with family. My son and DIL came for 96 hours from Dallas. It was 2000 hours too short. It was 1 minute too short. The very second we said goodbye and they walked deeper into the airport, I missed them deeply.

Don’t put off spending time with family. My mother struggles with memory dystopia. The memories of Christmas’s gone by are slipping from her mind. She often forgets when it is and who I am. My earthly father is in heaven with my heavenly Father. I would trade every gift I received this year to spend 10 minutes with him.

– Spend more time thinking about what to give your loved ones. Yes, gift cards are easy and even appreciated, but make sure you put thought into each and every gift. Start early too. The whole transportation log jams of 2021 might get worse in 2022. My adult kid may want a new iPhone, but those custom slides for a retro View-Finder that pictures his dating, engagement and wedding to our new DIL is so cool.

Give something to someone who is not in your circle. Help the homeless, pack a shoebox, donate to missions, visit a shut-in, help a single parent, volunteer at the local school, surprise a first responder. This makes the spirit of giving so much more precious. And don’t do it for the recognition. Our Father in heaven sees it.

Watch the kids. There is something about the joy and magic of seeing Christmas through the eyes of children. See the excitement. See the marvel.

Get out and go see the lights. From small town (after all, my little corner of the world has about 102 residents and we had The Lights of Evergreen) to the big city, there are always a few lights to take in.

Read the Christmas Story. Okay, you know it. But when did you last read it … aloud? Not ’Twas the Night Before Christmas … not A Christmas Carol ….not Frosty, or Rudolph, or any other story. Read THE CHRISTMAS STORY found in Matthew 1:18-23, Luke 1:26-56, 2:1-38.

Go to a Christmas worship service. Worship, celebrate, remember the joy, peace, love, hope and true meaning of Christmas. A corporate gathering adds to the warmth and synergy of the season. Whether Christmas Sunday, Christmas Eve or a Kids’ program – go to one you wouldn’t normally attend – make the effort.

Stop everything. Take a deep breath and remember the gift of Jesus. Nothing else really matters.

What else would you add to the list? Comment and let us know.

It’s over. The ornaments have been boxed. The lights have been stored. The living room is back to normal. And the kids have returned home. All we have left are the memories and the pictures stored in our phones. But we have next year. Let’s make that one even better.

Road Trip ‘21 … Getting Ready

I’m less then 24 hours away … what will this entail?

  • About 4000 miles with out the fun excursions
  • Many hours behind the wheel
  • Men’s Encounter Conference at GateWay
  • Hot Springs NP (Arkansas)
  • Carlsbad Caverns NP (New Mexico)
  • Guadalupe Mountains NP (west Texas)
  • And most importantly … time with my son and daughter-in-law

Now, today is the ‘get it all together’ day. Wash clothes, pack bags, get everything in order, load truck, and all the rest. I know I’ll forget something. I always do.

This one will be a solo. My wife can’t get away … her position is so demanding and she is so dedicated … she needs a break … but just can’t get away … maybe if her boss reads this he’ll push her out the door for a week or more. (Hint: if you know her boss, send a link to this post over to him – LOL) But when I head out in the morning, I will be headed out alone. My wife is a bit worried about my truck making the trip. Hey, it’s got over 300K miles, so I think another 5K is there. I am planning for another 100K, just not this week.

Life demands a lot of preparation. We plan, make our list, check off the tasks, and get ready for so many things. And a stitch in time saves nine. That’s what I hear. I really don’t understand sewing. It’s a lost art. Back to the issue. Life demands a lot of preparation.

But you can’t plan for everything. There are always the surprises, the unexpected, the unimaginable. Like Apollo 13, we sometimes have to make an O2 scrubber with tube socks.

In this, we can be afraid of what we don’t see. We can tremble at the unknown. We can live in fear.

Or …

We can trust a God who has you in his hands, who loves you and cares for you, who will take care of you. That doesn’t mean the unexpected won’t knock us around, but it does mean we can get back up. He is there.

So … I’m less then 24 hours away … what will this entail?

In the end, I really don’t know everything it entails. But I know I’m not really alone. And I know he goes before me, he is behind me, and he’s never going to let me go.

I’m less then 24 hours away … what will this entail? I trust him in everything.