January 10, 2015

That Thing I Do Now - Vol 78

Happy Weekend Ya'll!  I don't know about you, but this first full week of back to real life was bossy and full and went by so fast!  I am here to give you a little something to read... a gathering of a few of my Favorite Finds from across the inter webs!

Featured today are posts by Jeff Haden, Emily Freeman, Tonya Salomons, Jen Hatmaker, Shauna Niequist, Robin Dance, Jon Acuff, Jennifer Dukes Lee, a post from right here... and - of course - a video... a little Jimmy Fallon and Jerry Seinfeld to wrap it all up!

Happy Reading! 
(Ya'll know to click on the authors' names to read their whole posts, yes?)

This post by Jeff Haden over at Inc. with An Almost Foolproof Way to Achieve Every Goal You Set... (Now - I don't know if this is a 'new' post, but it was new to me and oh my goodness, ya'll! Seriously...)
"I love setting goals.

Unfortunately, my goals don't always love me back.

I've tried using silence to accomplish a goal, and I've tried to sneak up on big goals, and although those strategies work, they're hardly foolproof.

Fortunately James Clear, an entrepreneur and guy who thinks a lot about goals, habits, and success, has a much better approach to achieving almost any goal--and it's an approach anyone can use.

Here's James:

We all have things that we want to achieve in our lives--building a successful business, getting into better shape, raising a wonderful family. For most of us, the path to achieving those things starts with setting a specific and actionable goal. Until recently, that's how I approached my life. I would set goals for clients I wanted to land, for classes I took, and for weights that I wanted to lift in the gym.

What I'm starting to realize, however, is that when it comes to actually getting things done and making progress in the areas that are important to you, there is a much better way to do things.

It all comes down to the difference between goals and systems.

Let me explain..."

* This post by Emily Freeman with How to Stay Sane on the Internet... 

"Continuing to write here at Chatting at the Sky is my soul’s own quiet rebellion against the fast-moving world.

I write because I need room for my soul to breathe. And sometimes I have to write my way into that space.

I need a steady, consistent, and reliable online place that will serve my own soul in this quiet way. I bet you need that, too.

For me, that means embracing the short, punchier forms (because they’re fun and a great way to connect) but not at the expense of the longer-form blog writing, my first writing love.

But that doesn’t mean I plan to party like it’s 2008. I want to move with the changes rather than fight against them.

Here’s what staying sane on the Internet means for me, both as a reader of blogs and a writer of one..."

* This post from Tonya Salomons with When our Altars Become our Idols...
"When I first started writing it was because I couldn’t NOT write.  He called me to push a pen over pages in my journal and press down on keys on a tired Lenovo laptop. With each word, each sentence He met me in my sacrifice and blessed me.  It was here in this space, on this altar,  that He met me and healed me. 

But, something happened along the way.  Somewhere I stopped writing because I needed to and started writing because I felt I had to.  I started writing and my altar became buried under self-imposed expectations and comparison with others.

So I began shaping this place to maximize readership and to increase traffic.  I planned giveaways and checked my emails and Social Media hourly to see if anyone had commented or shared.  I began writing in this place because maybe, just maybe ONE person with any kind of push or pull anywhere might stand up and notice that I had talent.
Chisel in hand I hacked away at the corners, I began to create a space that had everything to do with me and nothing to do with God.  I carved for myself a measuring stick of comparison.  Everything I began to lay on that altar became about how I could be better and do better.

My altar became my idol. 

My own desires, my expectations, my agenda sullied the very purpose of this gift God had given me.   The perfection of what He had given me could not compare to the improvements I thought I was making.

I got in the way.

The words became harder to get out.  The comparison bred depression and I drowned myself in my desire for acclamation.

Eventually I stopped.  I stopped writing.  I stopped noticing God in those everyday moments.  I stopped seeing words as my sacrifice and started seeing them as my prison.

These past few months the words here have been sparse because I asked God to dismantle my platform.  I asked Him to destroy my idol and replace it with encounters with Him. I asked Him to help me find the uncut stones that will serve as the foundation of my altar."

* This post by Jen Hatmaker with The Thing About Being More Awesome...
"My identity has always been linked in a very unhealthy way to accomplishment (and its horrid cousin, Approval). I know this about myself and it is at least partly why I constantly (over) share my foibles and failures publicly; admission keeps me in sane territory where perfection is dismantled for ordinary humanity. These confessions are more for me than you, because they consistently remind me that this life is actually really challenging and sometimes I am good at it and sometimes SO NOT and I can say all that out loud and no one will die and God will still love me.


I will be awesome at all of these things and it will be stunning and I will finally rid myself of this icky guilt I carry around all the live long day for being not awesome enough in the area of ______ (all things fit this blank at one point or another). It’s a simple formula really: just be very, very good at everything. Is that so hard?

The problem is that when I get quiet, when I listen to God’s very still small voice in my heart, when I pay attention to what makes me feel alive and joyful and in my place (as opposed to displaced), it almost never revolves around being awesome.

It looks more like being present.

And being peaceful.

And being less grabby and afraid everything is about to run out.

And being generous.

And being at home with my people.

And being with my friends.

And being in my kitchen.

And being ordinary."

* This one by Shauna Niequist with Burn the Candles...
"Burn the candles. Not just when people come over. For you, because someone gave them to you. Open the wine and have a glass tonight while you fold laundry. Wear the perfume, the pretty scarf, the whatever that you have tucked in a box, too fancy for you.

For Christmas I bought Aaron a subscription to Blue Bottle coffee, his favorite. And this is the magic of it: a whole bag arrives every two weeks. He has to brew his coffee, or we’ll end up with a delicious-smelling hoarding problem, a glut of coffee we don’t know what do to with. I love this.

Because it’s not about candles or coffee. It’s about believing that you’re worth the good stuff, that someone wanted you to feel loved and seen and known. I bet that someone didn’t want you to hoard your candle or your fancy tea or your beautiful lotion. I bet they would love to know that you’re drinking fancy tea all day and all night, reveling in the feelings of being loved and noticed. That’s how I feel, when I give someone a gift—I don’t want you to put it on a shelf for when someone else comes over. I got it for you, for you to feel loved and seen and known."

* This post from Robin Dance with Resolutionary: a word, a motto & reaching for the stars...
"...I like resolutions even when I don’t keep them. They’re positive energy, the hope for a better future, a mindset of continuous improvement.

I refuse to view unkept resolutions as failures, because even if I follow through only one day, that’s one day more than if I hadn’t done so at all.

To complement resolution-setting, I love the practice of choosing One Word as a banner over a new year, a single word to inspire and motivate and provide a framework for the days to come. And I like it best when One Word comes to me."

* This one by Jon Acuff on Inspiration vs. Comparison...
"...inspiration is not the same thing as comparison.

Let’s look at some of the differences:

Inspiration tells you anything is possible. Comparison tells you everything is impossible.

Inspiration tells you anything is possible. Comparison tells you everything is impossible.

Inspiration fills you up. Comparison empties you.

Inspiration drives you forward. Comparison pulls you backward.

Inspiration tells you there’s still time to accomplish something amazing. Comparison tells you it’s too late.

I wish I could give you an exact formula or a canary in the coal mine that made it obvious when you’ve left the world of inspiration and entered the land of comparison, but I can’t.

I can just tell you how it works for me."

*This post from Jennifer Dukes Lee with Fight Back With Joy...
"Maybe we can listen to our own lives. Maybe we can fight back with joy.

Maybe we can buy a meal at the cafeteria, and leave prayers on sticky notes, and cry with the neighbor when the words won’t come. We can press our ears up to what makes us alive. We can burn the candles. We can live well, and we can die well — because we only get one chance to do that. And maybe we can wonder, truly wonder, live in wonder, aim for wonder, get swept up in wonder – the wonder of it all. We could look around the room so we don’t miss the faces wearing defeat, and then we can do one small thing to bring another joy, even when we’re stumbling down our own thorny path.

And maybe we could remember that days are mere blips,
and that we could live more poetry in our own skin,
and color outside the lines,
and not despise the crooked paths of our lives.

And remember that the wind blows hard, but it also blows soft and sweet."

* This one from right HERE with Aaah... the Glorious, Tedious Return of Mondays in the Real (post-holiday vacation) World!...
"With a brand new year, empty calendars, and clean slates - the New Year can hold so much hope.  I find I cram in way too much to change at once. I set myself up to fail... to falter... to give in to fear and just back away from it all.

I entertain I-can't-do-it's and it's-too-hard's already!

Change is not quick... it is rarely fast and complete. The things that I want to change are slow going and take longevity and a longing for... I have to really want to want them in order to be willing to put the time and effort in to chasing after change.

So, do I?  These things that I am already letting boss me around -do I really want to want them? Is this change that I am wanting... or change that I wish I wanted? Are these changes that I alone desire, or are they changes that He is longing for for me? These are important questions that I tend to forget to ask!

But this is where I must start, so I step slowly away from this screen, from all the screens... from all the masks and try-hard tactics, and I go and sit awhile with the One who knows me best... with the One who has a plan for me this year, this day and oh how He longs to tell me what the plan is.  He longs to tell you, too!

He doesn't desire or delight in leaving us in the dark!"

Lastly, we like to wrap This Thing up with a video... and ya'll know I love me some Jimmy Fallon... Surely - SURELY - you have all seen the clip of Jimmy learning that he missed his chance to date Nicole Kidman as it was all over the interwebs this week.  But this... well, classic Jimmy hanging out with Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee... (This is Part 2)

Here ya go:

Happy Weekend, my friends!


  1. Anonymous7:02 PM

    I love the One Word idea - mine is Fear Not (technically two, but who's counting) and truly also believe goals are inspiring and important - if we never expect to do anything - that's what we would do - nothing... lol

  2. Thanks for a great read!


Thanks so much for stopping by! I always love to hear your thoughts! Remember to: Speak Life - Be Love - Shine On!

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