Tag Archives: weight

3 words for 2010

I’ve done this before, in 2008 and 2009.

Picked three words, that is.

I identify three words that I want to shape what I do for the year. I got the idea from Chris. This year, he explained how to build plans on those words in a very helpful way (Wiring yourself for success).


As they went to Jerusalem every year, the Israelites sang travel songs. One of them, Psalm 123, tells us about a kind of focus:

As the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master,
as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress…

This year, I want that kind of intense focus, the kind of focus that allows you to anticipate needs from the tiniest hint.

What I now know about focus, however, is that it isn’t an abstract thing. I’ve spent the last year with it as one of my words, after all. There must be an awareness of where you are going to direct that focus

The image of being tuned in applies both to music (being in tune with, in harmony with) and to a radio frequency. Being attuned means being lined up with, tuning other things out, eliminating other noises. If you have ever listened to a piano tuner work, you know that there needs to be some quiet.

I’m not going to tell you now to whom I’ll be attuned. (I need to get more than one post out of this, right?) But you get the idea, I’m guessing.


jamaica shirt from hopeA couple years ago, Hope went to Jamaica on a missions trip. She brought me two souvenirs: a bag of coffee and a shirt. The bag of coffee is long gone. The shirt is hanging in my closet. It doesn’t fit.

It could be, of course, that “large” means something different in Jamaica than in the US. I’m pretty sure, however, that the size issue is not in the shirt.

I will wear that shirt this year.


I am a process person. I am an inductive thinker. I am constantly in draft mode. However, I have seen several times this year that when I stop and make a list or a video or some other concise, tangible, sharable product, other people can use it.

(The coolest one happened this week. I made a video about how we use time. I described how I made it. A Lutheran pastor in Estonia used the concept for his own video. In Estonian.  Sweet.)

I’ve started thinking about what I want to get done and make available once a week, once a month, once every three months. For person who is a starter, finishing is tough. It’s also helpful.

This post is, of course, mostly for me. It’s to be accountable, to invite others to know what I’m working on. Tomorrow, I’ll go back to trying to help you.

For now, happy new year.

Small change

I wasn’t happy.

I was doing some work around the house a couple weeks ago and decided to step on our bathroom scale.

I wasn’t happy at all.

I have a number in my head of where I “should” be. It isn’t based on research or guidelines or anything like that. It is a number based on what I weighed for a long time. It is my status quo.

When I stood on the scale that recent day, I realized that I am 25 pounds more than that number.

I don’t know when I was last there. I don’t know the last time I measured. I don’t know (or care) what my optimal weight is. What I do know is that somehow, without my paying attention to something changing, my clothing doesn’t fit as well as it did.

I’m not alone.

I don’t mean about the weight thing. I mean about things about us changing without our realization. We have a vague sense of something being different, of something not being quite right. Maybe our conversations are feeling a bit more ragged. Maybe we are aware of more frustration than usual.

But we just don’t get it.

Until we step on the scale. Until we look in the mirror. Until we have the good friend say, “are you okay?”  Until “everything blows up.”

Our reaction at those times is to make radical change, fix everything. Unfortunately, I don’t think that works very well. I mean, there are times when radical change is necessary. Sometimes things just have to stop.

Often, however, radical change means that we pour all our attention into the thing we want to change. And so our lives and conversation and the lives and conversation of everyone around us become about weight (or whatever the issue is). When we tire of that (and when everyone around us tires of that), we switch to the new crisis, the new obsession, the new. .

In many cases, I think, we made small changes which have led-across time-to what seems to be the huge problem. As a result, the answer is to make small changes, habitual changes, sustainable changes, which will take us back.

So I’m going to spend August looking at making small changes. I’m not sure what it will mean. (But we’ll find out together).