Focus Frenzy

Focus Frenzy

When I was twelve years-old my parents bought for me Juggling for the Complete Klutz. Do you remember those kits? It came with a how-to book and three bean bag cubes packed in a red nylon net. I don’t know if my parents thought it was a neat gift idea or if it was a hint, but I wasted no time accepting the challenge.


Juggling three tennis ball-sized objects can be learned fairly quickly and in three simple steps (if you’d like to learn, click here), but keeping them airborne requires a fourth step with a little more discipline—focus. Continue reading “Focus Frenzy”

The Unpopular Word

The Unpopular Word

Watch over your heart. Don’t let just anything in; don’t let it go just anywhere. What’s this going to do to my heart? is a question that I ask in every situation. 
— John Eldredge, Desire: The Journey We Must Take to Find the Life God Offers

If you don’t make plans of your own, you’ll fit into someone else’s plans. 
— James Scott Bell, How to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams

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Are you exhausted? Overwhelmed? When asked, “How’s it going?” do you almost always respond with “Busy. Real busy.”? Talk of busy-ness seems to be increasing exponentially. And the truth is, you are busy. Too busy. And exhausted. And overwhelmed. You used to devour books like 362 Ways to Improving Your Life’s Time Management, but you don’t read them anymore because you’re 362 tasks behind on your to-do list. Continue reading “The Unpopular Word”

Perspective from a Tree

Perspective from a Tree

Edging outward on a sturdy limb I lost my balance right away but caught myself. I looked down at the ground some 15 feet below, my own limbs quivering after the espresso shot of adrenaline. What am I doing up here, I thought.

As a child I would climb trees over 50 feet tall, my 65-pound body clinging to the spindliest top branch on the windiest of days short of a thunderstorm, though my favorite time of day to climb was at dusk. Continue reading “Perspective from a Tree”

Bird Watching

Bird Watching

There is a bird watching me through the living room window. Or is it watching the television? Its head turns sharply toward me again, then back to the television. For all I know it’s following an outside reflection, but its tiny-eyed glances are rather precise between this large-headed Homo sapiens and the flashing picture machine set opposite the couch.

My wife enters the room and confirms this is the same bird that’s been coming and going every few days, sometimes every day, motioning through the same routine. And I’m curious. Continue reading “Bird Watching”

Tragically Hip

Tragically Hip

“What’s that smell?” said my 13 year-old son walking into the bathroom, confirming my suspicion about why all three of my teenage children have been treating me different for the past few weeks.

I had thought it might be the gray in my beard, but I’ve had gray creep for a couple years now. And the balding? Couldn’t be. I haven’t had hair longer than a quarter inch since 2008, and besides, bald is beautiful.

“What’s that smell?” he said. Yes, we were in the bathroom, but no, it wasn’t that. My left foot was hiked up on the countertop while I brushed the clear liquid onto my big toe. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, a son catching his Dad polishing his toenails or that I’m flexible at 40, but what came next changed everything. Continue reading “Tragically Hip”