Tuesday, December 30, 2008

New Year's Resolutions And Biting My Nails

Well it's that time of year again: a new year is here and with it comes new beginnings, new ideas and the standard New Year Resolutions. According to one poll, 45% of Americans make them. The same poll indicated that after one month only 64% are still at it. After six months the number drops to 46%.

There are websites dedicated to New Year's Resolutions. Top Ten Resolutions, How To achieve Your Resolution, Funny New Year's Resolutions, Business New Year's Resolutions and even Brittany Spears' New Years Resolution (not to bite her nails).

We've been told to choose a goal that's achievable. Next we're to plan a strategy for attaining that goal. Next, work the plan consistently. Finally, have some accountability.

I'd like to propose that we choose this one, single, "wide-reaching" New Year's Resolution: to be a better spouse/parent/child/grand-parent/friend (whatever relationship we have to others). By focusing on that one "bigger picture", we can accomplish many "smaller" resolutions.

If I want to be a better parent, one way of expressing that is the desire to be around for a long time for my kids and their children. So I will make sure I am eating healthy and exercising regularly.

If I want to be a better son, one way of expressing that will be to make sure I call my Mom more often.

If I want to be a better friend, I can express it by spending time encouraging my friends.

If I want to be a better husband, I can communicate honestly with my wife.

By seeking to become better in my relationships, I am ultimately doing many smaller things (many of which made to the "Top-Ten New Year's Resolutions" list).

(By the way I quit biting my nails during my freshman year of college.)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas Traditions

There is a radio commercial playing on secular stations in our local market talking about the Christmas Traditions many people observe such as driving around the parking lot of the mall looking for a space the same way that the wise men traveled around looking for the star.

The ad ends by encouraging families to begin a new Christmas tradition: that of seeking Christ, the real meaning of Christmas. Cute, catchy and convincing.

So in my desire to be brief (I must run out to the mall and look for a parking space) yet profound, I encourage you to seek after Christ, who is the true meaning of Christmas.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cookies, And Other Creativity

I listened to a news report this morning on the radio indicating that Americans are spending much less on Christmas gifts this year (no real news there). The reporter went on to indicate that after time, children forget what gifts they received, but remembered time spent.

I began to think about my Christmas memories and the things I received, as opposed to the time spent. I realized that yes, I do remember events and relationships over things. Even as an adult this holds true for me. (Christmas 1999 stands out in my mind, but don't ask...)

What about your memories?

Well, back to my title Christmas Cookies, And Other Creativity. What are you doing to create memories with your families? Some ideas: Baking Christmas cookies, decorating the house & tree, driving the neighborhoods looking at the "lights" - one of my childhood memories, reading aloud Christmas stories - an event that our family began ten years ago.

Even as we get older and our children move away and begin to develop their own events and relationships, new things may emerge as creative memory makers. My goal in this Blog: Don't simply buy things. Bake some cookies... and be creative!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Multitasking Day

Today is a day of multitasking: We are having new IT equipment installed and we are implementing a new Helpdesk protocol (both of which I am overseeing), I am reviewing budgets for 10 departments, we had a luncheon honoring our volunteers (for whom I wrote and performed song), plus the regular meetings and work of a typical Wednesday (if you want to call this typical because we are also in the middle of rehearsals for our huge Christmas production).


I wrote all that to remind me to check in with my wife, touch base with my kids and make sure I don't get so busy doing tasks that I forget people.

OK, got it. Thanks for allowing me to use you to talk to me.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mundane To Magnificent!

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As we immerse ourselves in the Christmas season I thought I'd call our attention to a common practice at this time of year: Taking simple things and through a little ingenuity and creativity producing something that is much more than its humble beginnings.

Allow me to illustrate: Some people take the cuttings of Christmas trees and create wreaths. Others begin with a roll of yarn and make a sweater to give as a gift. Still others show their brilliance in the kitchen and using simple ingredients and creating tasty feasts and treats (my wife being one of those).

You too possess the ability and creativity to turn the mundane into the magnificent. I believe that we are all made in the image of our Creator, and if we are in His image, then we are creators also.

Don't allow the slow economy stifle your holiday spirit. You can still give, produce, fashion and form. All it takes is some time, thought and creativity.

Mundane to the magnificent. It reminds me of a story where a baby born into the humble beginnings of a cattle stall became the Savior of all and ultimately the King of kings and Lord of lords. Now that's pretty magnificent!

Question: What are some of things you've done or seen where the Mundane became the Magnificent? Share your thoughts below in 'comments'.

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