Looking into our lives or pausing is not the easiest endeavor.  Many times we don’t know where to start.  This post is dedicated to encouraging you to look inward and think about you.  There are four areas of focus for this project.  The four areas that make you…you….are as follows:  physical side, emotional side spiritual side, and relational side.  That is pretty basic and a great place to start as you begin to look inward.

So…Step 1:. Ask the four questions below to each of the four areas in your life.  Step 2:. Write down (or talk it over with a roommate or trusted friend) what you discover and take time to reflect on your answers.  Step 3:. Write me and tell me how it went. (completely optional of course…)

A few ideas to consider as you work through the areas of you.  What was the easiest one to answer?  Why?  What is off the charts awesome?  How did it get there? What area(s) are a real struggle right now in your life?  Why?  What needs to happen over the next week, month 3 months or 6 months to grow through the hard issues?  Can any of this be done all by yourself?  Is there someone you can talk to about these questions?

The four questions
What is right?
What is wrong?
What is missing?
What is confusing?

Example: ( These always help me when I am doing something new…)
In my emotional life, what is right? In my emotional life, what is wrong? In my emotional life, what is missing? In my emotional life, what is confusing?

Take it slow. You can answer all of them at once or take one per day over the next four days.  It doesn’t matter.  The key is making some space in your schedule to look inward, pause and see what is going on in you.

Let me know how it goes.

I started looking at decisions like paths in the road, wondering where each path was going to take me.  I learned not to trust my instincts, seeing that often something that looked like a good move would cost me everything.  Sometimes I would even walk away from the table, got to the bathroom or just stretch and rest my head for a second…On nights when I was patient, I almost always won.

This is out of the book Father Fiction by Donald Miller.  He is describing what he learned by playing chess with his friend.

This made me think of a conversation I had today with a student who is working through life, relationships, faith and future.  This student is navigating with class and maturity.  A level of maturity that I wish I would have discovered as a college student.  As we talked it became clear that there seemed to be this push to sprint through life.  Find a mate choose a career and make money all in the span of four years of college.    Our culture seems to push us to take big steps, to jump into relationships, or career paths.  There is this pressure to make quick decisions and it has to be now.  I am guessing that the number one question that is served to our college kids or single career friends is, are you dating anyone?  The second question, only second my a a tiny amount, is what are you going to do with a degree in…? The lesson from the chess board is simple, be patient.  Take your time.  Slow down.  Enjoy everyday and let tomorrow take care of itself.  Slow down and be patient as you make the decisions that will determine the trajectory of your life.

In a previous post I talked a little about seeing with fresh eyes.  There is a passage in the Psalms that is connected to seeing with fresh eyes.  The passage is basically a clinic in taking time to pause…stop…and listen to our lives.  As humans it is one of our greatest advisories, the ability to think about ourselves and how life is going. Relationships.  Impact.  Struggles.  The pace of our lives is fast, hectic and only wants to move even faster as we get older. College students, your Freshman year goes by so fast and the next three years go by even faster.  Our culture leaves very little room and offers no value to taking time to think, reflect and pause.  Even prayer is often seen as unproductive and outdated.
Our hearts are a mystery to us.  Only God can look into the depths and pull out the things we need to see.  This can only happen if we will take time to stop…to pause.  Examine me, O Lord, and try me; test my mind and my heart.  God is on our side and longs for us to be His. We have our mental check list with pen in hand…I don’t do this “bad thing” and I have stayed away form that “bad thing.”  In our eyes we might think were doing pretty well, if well was all about actions. We need fresh eyes to see what is truly inside our hearts.  We need fresh eyes to discover where we are placing our trust. Trust is about who and not about what. If we regularly take time to pause and ask Him to examine our hearts and show us who we are and where our trust is finding its home… there will be stability and security in a hectic and crazy world.  All we have to do is slow down, rest and pause.

Top 10 lessons from our parent panel

  1. Love them unconditionally. You might disagree with their choices and be hurt, but love them without fail.
  2. Parent out of trust and try to avoid fear. Easier said than done.
  3. Ask for help.  If your single or married ask for help. God has given us the “body” for a reason. Surround your kids with other adults who can provide a positive influence.
  4. Choose your battles and stay consistent.
  5. Know your kids. Quality and quantity is the only way to truly know your kids.
  6. Each kid will need to be parented differently. What works with one, might not with the other.
  7. You cannot force your kids to love God, but you can expose them to the things of God.
  8. Prayer is your greatest weapon!
  9. Be the parent not their friend. Friendship will come later.
  10. Don’t freak out–it’s adolescence–perfect kids not included. It’s not a question of if they mess up, it’s what will you do when they do mess up?

Parents I had a great time with all of you over the last four weeks.  I will continue to remain connected with you through e-mails and this site.  Please feel free to ask questions or share concerns.  If you would like to grab time together in the future you can calL April to get something set up.

I’d be happy to meet with you and talk.

Phone:260 493-7400


The Real Act of discovery consists not in finding new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.

This quote was taken from the book “The ten Faces Of Innovation”.  One of my passions is to make things better, easier, faster or slower.  I love looking at what is already there and thinking through how to do it in a new way.  Sitting down with a group of people a white board, a problem/issue and figuring out how to see it with new eyes is rewarding and difficult.  Its rewarding when you discover something and it works.  Its difficult because not everyone is going to see it from the same perspective.  Perspective.  Lens.

We are all in process.  We are all looking at life from similar, but different places.  Our culture has many versions of the truth and many ways of determining what truth is…for them.  Many of the systems in our world are stagnant, broken and not working as they did in the past.  Maybe its time we looked at some of them with fresh eyes…maybe then we will find new lands…where hate is replace with love and criticism is replaced with compassion…and anger is replace with understanding…Someone once wrote, “they have eyes to see and ears to hear, but do neither because they refuse to see and hear.”   What in your life are you refusing to see?  Who in your life are you refusing to listen?

Many times I refuse to listen to my wife, my kids and even my God.  I find myself often listening to the chatter of the world and allowing it to lead me away form my true purpose in life.  I need fresh eyes to see my faults.  I need to  see how I can get better, faster, or slower in my life.  I’ll keep working, thinking and wondering how that will invade the old lands where I live.