It’s been a few weeks since my last post.  I didn’t realize it had been so long!  We were on vacation last week (last one before baby #2 arrives) and I don’t have any good excuses for the other two weeks, other than I’m pretty sure I have been combating a case of “seasonal affective disorder” also known as S.A.D.  That’s a fitting acronym for something that’s more than just the ‘winter blues.’  Now that I’ve played doctor and used the internet to diagnose myself (always a good and reliable thing to do), I want to check in with my 6 week goals.

At the beginning of the year, I chose a new ‘word of the year’ – BALANCE – and set some corresponding goals to help me live a more balanced life.  The idea behind using 6 weeks came from Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow Creek Church, who talked about energy bursts and 6×6 living – 6 weeks, 6 contributions.  My hope is that as I continue to live into this word and model that my life will become more balanced and my seasonal depression will be alleviated or at least mitigated by living a healthier life.

Of course as I reread my original goal list, I now recognize that it was way more than 6 ‘contributions.’  I took off more than I could chew.  There’s a reason why it takes nine weeks to get someone from being a couch potato to running their first 5k – we’re out of shape, have bad habits, and need to make lifestyle changes so that our successes have staying power in our lives.  I’ll revamp accordingly as I look at the next six weeks, but here’s how I did in the previous ones:


  • I ‘discovered’ a new-for-me group called Bethel Music.  Bethel is a community of musicians based in California who are ‘sharing life together’ (a personal favorite motto of mine) as they compose ‘fresh expressions of worship in every season.’  Their song “It Is Well” has become a personal favorite.  I shared it with a pastors’ group I am a part of it, and it was fun to see the ways in which the song also spoke to them.
  • I did not read through Galatians and Ephesians, I’m ashamed to admit.  My personal, non-pastor-related bible reading has been dismal.  This will be a priority of mine as I look ahead.


  • Kate and I have successfully held to our once-a-month dates, but we haven’t stretched it two yet.  That will change in March as we have two dates planned.  We are being forced to be more creative with these.  We are fortunate to have family and church members who can watch our daughter for free, but even with that help going out adds up quickly and it can be difficult to think of cheap/free things to do in the winter time.  This is an area for us to try and be more creative – beyond a $1.29 redbox movie.
  • Jath and I went on a super fun daddy-daughter date before vacation.  We spent an entire Saturday morning running errands, eating chicken nuggets, and playing at a nearby indoor playground.  We had a blast!


  • Personal
    • I read half of Doing the Math of Mission…until I lost it on a RIM (Residence in Ministry) retreat.  It was a great book too. I think I’m going to reorder it because it was that good.
    • I also read But I Don’t See You as Asian and am 2/3 of the way through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle.  Both are great for very different reasons. I’ll try to write more about them later.
  • Church
    • I started some days praying in the sanctuary.  I great improvement from what I was doing previously and it helped “set the tone” for the day.  I’m going to continue living into that.
    • The Vision Series – For Such a Time as This – was great.  We paired images with the verbs of our new vision statement and created posters that will be hung in the sanctuary along with our vision statement so that it is ever before us.  We tied some big hairy audacious, only-God goals for how we can measure if we are living into our vision.  Immediate feedback and measure markers have manifested themselves in our Lenten Small Groups.  This is the first major small group push this church has had since at least I’ve been here and probably a lot, lot longer than that.  We introduced 4 small groups – two around finances, one about prayer, and a fourth is the Covenant Bible Study.  OVER HALF our congregation signed up to be part of one of these groups!  This was a tremendous and affirming response that the Vision Series went well.
    • As we are now in lent, our series is called “To the Cross” and will be based out of the New Testament lectionary readings.


  • I’ve been doing wood-working.  I purchased plans and most of the materials to make a finger/box-joint jig.  I’ve made a lot of progress on this, but haven’t lately due to the cold weather.  I have a propane heater in the garage, but it only does so much.  Plus it makes the whole house smell like propane and I’m afraid I’m going to blow us up 🙂
  • I went skiing with my brother-in-law in Colorado and had a BLAST!  I loved it!  Why do I live in Indiana again??
  • And the 30th birthday…that didn’t really happen.  The church trip got canceled and the friends get together didn’t happen due to scheduling stuff.

That’s me checking in.  I’ll think through new goals for the next six weeks and add those later today.


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