Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. –Will Rogers Every day we make many judgment calls. Some of these are larger than others. Who do I hire or invite to fill a key volunteer position? When do I launch an initiative I am passionate about? Who do I include for counsel on a key decision? When I look back at some of the judgment calls I made in my early years, I am astounded, especially as it related to hiring decisions. How could I have been so blind, so shortsighted, and so unwise? So let me encourage you: Continue your prayerful process of discernment (get wise counsel, move slowly, be clear about expectations, etc.). Do a low risk, “test “run whenever possible. Relax and don’t beat yourself up. You will make mistakes, especially in your first 10-15 years! You will learn good judgment – but it will. Read more.
Every stage of our life offers us new opportunities to mature- especially in our leadership. One of the most difficult areas to do this, of course, is with our own families. Last month, two of our four daughters set out for an extended time away – one to Spain with her husband for one year, and a second to Australia to work/travel for 1-2 years with her friends. Over the years I have wrestled with the question: How do I respect their independence/separateness (especially in their journey with Christ), while at the same time, keep Jesus as a core value in our family? There is no one “right way” to do devotional time with our children –regardless of their age. So I do have my share of stories about failed “devotional times” with our children at many stages in our family history. But in this case at least, three things bore great fruit. I. Read more.
The Emotionally Healthy Leader was my most challenging writing project to date. It required 6 ½ years of journaling, pondering, and prayer, and 1½ years of intensive writing itself. By the time it was over, I wondered if I would ever write again. (My first draft of over two hundred pages, for example, ended up mostly in the trash. So I reread two of my favorite books about the art and vocation of writing– Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing and The Writing Life, by Annie Dillard. Their insights offered me, once again, both perspective and vision. They put words on the complexity of the writing experience for me. My top learnings: Why do I write? I write to become clear (Merton, 10). I find that it (writing) helps me pray because, when I pause at my work, I find the mirror inside me is surprisingly clean and deep and serene. Read more.
I received a letter recently that I wrote to myself after a 3 day retreat over seven months ago. It reminded me again that I am the most difficult person for me to lead! The following are a few rich nuggets of gold from this short letter: 1. Remember what you are all about. (In my case, it was to take 30-50% of my time to write). 2. Guard your spirit from trifles, fast from overconsuming, and forget what others think. (See “The Woodcarver” story). 3. Feel your own weight and density. There is no need to wear other people’s faces (See the poem, “Now I Become Myself”). 4. Go to the fields and be lovely. Come back when you are through with blooming. (See the poem entitled, “Camas Lillies). 5. Stay the course and be kind to yourself. For a free sermon I preached on what it means to live a life where. Read more.