This morning as I was driving to work I was amazed at how thick the fog was. In some of the places I could barely see the road much less the car in front of me. But by the time that I got to work the fog had lifted and the sun was starting to come shinning through the fog.
Just like the fog, sometimes our life can seem dark and blurry. Not really knowing what’s in front of us and definitely not being able to see the path to take. This can often lead to dangerous situations, not being able to see ahead. Is there a looming fog in and around your life right now? Well there’s good news.
Just like this morning, the fog won’t last forever. The sun will come out and the fog will dissipate. If the sun is what makes the fog in your life disappear, what’s your sun? Is it a new friend? A good book? A mentor? We all need something or someone to get our heads out of the fog and focused on the road ahead. Don’t give up if you’re in the fog, because it won’t last forever.
This weekend I finally had some time to work in my wood shop. I’ve had a few projects that I have been needing to finish and I finally did on Saturday. The thing is, that these projects were hanging over my head because I had them on my To-Do list.
I’ve found that making a list has helped me stay focused and organized. But sometimes I let the list itself become a daunting task. I love working in my wood shop, but I hate feeling rushed to finish my projects. As soon as I put theses projects on the To-Do list they became a chore not a hobby. As soon as I finished them, I was able to check them off as “done”, and there isn’t much better feeling than that. And immediately it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders.
The trick is finding the balance of the To-Do list. You should never live and die by your list because you could end up getting burned out or overwhelmed by it. But it’s also a great tool to have because it helps you stay on track and focused. Is there something that you need to check off today? Or do you need to start a list to get back on track? Either way, we all have some to do today.
The background of my laptop is pictures from my world travels. One picture that I just came up was one that caught me off guard. I took a picture of the wake of the boat one day when I was in Italy. It’s not normally a picture that people would take. Most people would take a picture of what lies in front of them or what is off to the side. It’s not every day that people take pictures of where they have already been, especially when you are on holiday.
But a lot can be learned from looking behind every now and again. Especially when thinking about the wake made from a boat. Looking at this picture reminded me that everywhere we go we leave an impression, a wake. It is like an imaginary trail that is following behind you. If you look close enough you can see the effects. Sometimes your wake may cause huge waves and ripples and crash violently to shore, because you were going a million miles an hour close to shore, or close to the situation. And other times you could be going slow and steady and there is almost no wake behind you and no waves that crash onto the shore. If you look closely across the sea you can see the path that the ships have made. Some of these paths are crisscrossing one another, others all by themselves. But every ship, every vessel has a wake, a path, a history. There is no avoiding this.
What does your wake say about you? Are you taking the safe route? Are you living life on the dangerous side? Are you one to follow in the safety of someone else’s wake? Or are you a trail blazer and plan on going where no man has gone before? Look back today and see your wake. Reflect on where you have been the path you have been down. Is it time to set a new heading and start going a different direction? Or do you feel that you are on the right path leading you to safer and bluer waters? If you look back for too long you may run aground, so don’t look in the past and dwell on it. But be ever mindful of your wake. After all, that is your journey.
Now I’ve noticed that the past few days that my truck has been running rough. Did I do anything about it, of course not, I just hoped the problem would go away. Well let’s just say it didn’t.
On the way home last night my check engine light came on. So, I’m not really a car guy. My passion is working in my wood shop, but luckily my dad loves working on cars. Between the two of us and two trips to Autozone my truck is running like new again. Why did it take me to the point of having the check engine light come on to do something?
Is there an area of your life that has this clicking and clunking, but you’re just ignoring the cries for help hoping it’ll magically get better? Is there some preventative maintenance that you need to do today? Is there a friend or an expert that you need to reach out to for help? Don’t be like me and wait for the warning light to come on. If something needs to change, do it.
Growing up, my parents loved taking us kids to see lighthouses. I always remember climbing high up the winding staircases. And when we got to the top of the lighthouse I was always astounded by the views that you see, and the intricate glasswork that helps this small flame or light shine bright for miles and miles.
When you go to these lighthouses you hear of two types of stories. The one that there isn’t as many records on is, how many lives were saved by the light of these lighthouses warning of shallow rocks or sandbars that will strand or destroy a ship. And the second type of stories that you always hear are of the ships that did not heed the warning of the light shining from the light house and shipwreck, many times leading to many of the ship’s crew drowning or not surviving these wrecks.
Which of these two stories are you right now? Are you seeing the light shining out as a warning and heed the warning and turn from your path that could ultimately end in your demise? Or are you the Captain of the ship that knows the waters like the back of your hand? You know that you can make it to safe harbor; you just have to go a little bit farther so that you can make it home safely. But in the end, the pride, your stubbornness takes over and leads to you drowning and maybe even taking out those around you as well on the ship.
I tend to listen to songs on repeat when I am going through something. They say that when you are happy you listen to the beat of the music more than the lyrics, but when you are going through a trying time or something life changing, then you tend to listen to the lyrics more. That song for me lately is Brother by Need to Breathe. One of the lines says “Everybody needs someone beside em’ shining like a lighthouse from the sea”. Do you have that friend that you can count on to be the light shining out in the darkness that you can count on to lead you to safe harbor in the dangers of the storm? Or do you need to be that friend to shine bright from someone close to you? Either way, take heed from the light and let it lead you to safe harbor.
The chorus of the song is:
Brother let me be your shelter
I’ll never leave you all alone
I can be the one you call
When you’re low
Brother let me be your fortress
When the night winds are driving on
Be the one to light the way
Bring you home
Either be the one to bring them home, or let your friend bring you home! Anchors Aweigh!
Lately I’ve noticed that my cat has been sitting in front of the mirror and just staring at herself for extended periods of time. This to me is funny. Funny ironic because cats don’t recognize their own reflection.
What is she thinking? Who does she think that is in the mirror? Does she see the person in the mirror as a treat, and she is sitting there guarding the way? Or is curiosity getting the best of her, I hope not because we all know what curiosity does to cats…
When you look into the mirror is it hard to recognize yourself? Do you not know the person you see anymore? Take a deeper look at yourself today. If you don’t like what you see, start the change today. If you like what you see, smile. A little smile can brighten anyone’s day, especially your own.
Last weekend I went camping with a group of guys from church. There are always adventures to be had when you put a group of guys in the woods. As we were taking a hike in the woods, we came to a creek. Now to normal people the way to cross the creek would be to take the bridge that was just up the path a little ways. But we are typical guys and turned this into a competition.
We wanted to see who could jump across and who would chicken out and take the bridge. So one by one we started to jump. Now this was a pretty good jump too. It was about 10 feet deep form the bank and about 8 feet across. They first few guys made it without any issues. But then one guy didn’t have a good takeoff and, splash! Right into the creek he went. Then of course all the name calling and laughing started. He was the first one that failed to make the giant leap for mankind, but he wasn’t the last to make a splash. It was interesting to see how the attitude started to shift after the first guy didn’t make it. There was doubt. Whenever doubt sets in fear usually follows.
Guys now started to walk up to the bridge and take the safe way across. But not me. I took off running towards the edge. I waited to the very last second, then jumped. Seems like you are in the air forever, now my life didn’t flash before my eyes, but questions did start pouring into your head. Did I jump too soon? Did I jump too late? Am I going to make it? Am I going to crash and burn? If I fail what will the other guys think of me? What if I don’t make it? Am I going to break my ankle?
It’s amazing how the human mind works and how it can be flooded with so many questions in less than a second or two. But this exact same situation happens all the time. It may not be jumping across a creek but it can be so many other things. Is it a relationship that needs to be mended? A job interview that you have coming up? A project that needs to be started? A fitness goal that needs to be met? No matter what it is, I want to challenge you to take that leap of faith. Jump out into the unknown. Enjoy that moment when your feet have left the safety of the bank. Don’t let fear and doubt’s and all the questions ruin your flight, but enjoy the leap. You see, all of us made it to the other side of the creek. Myself included. We all didn’t take the exact same path, and some had wet shoes and pants, but we all made it and continued on with our journey. So take the leap, you never know where you might land.
Tonight I was reminded that life really is about the simple things. My sister moved back home a few months ago after being gone for several years in the military. We honestly haven’t spent much time together since she got back, and for no apparent reason. But I decided to just give her a call and go out to get some coffee. I think she said yes more to get away from my parents than to talk to me.
It was good just to talk to her. No hidden agendas, just talking. It was good. It actually healed some hurts that we didn’t know we had with each other. But we didn’t know or realize that until we talked about it in person. There came that moment where we both just started to laugh because we have misunderstood each other for years and it only took one conversation to clear it up.
We have emailed, text, tweeted, and called each other. But sometimes you just need that face to face conversation. We also just talked. No cell phones, just us. We ended up walking around the shopping center because the coffee shop was so loud, and maybe because we saw some people from high school that we didn’t want to talk to, but that’s a different story! So take some time this week and carve out a time slot to catch up with someone that you haven’t talked to lately. You never know what wounds may be healed with one little conversation. It’s always the simple things in life that matter most.
I have lived in Georgia my whole life and it is crazy how people act when there is a threat of winter mix. People down here really don’t know how to act. Northerners always make fun of us, but we can’t handle it because we aren’t prepared.
The best example of this was last year when a snowstorm hit later in the afternoon. Schools didn’t cancel but let out early. But it was still too late. People were stranded on roads. Kids spent the night on school buses. It definitely made national news and people laughed and scolded all of Atlanta. But in our defense we weren’t prepared.
No one here has chains for their tires, snow plows or even snow shovels, and no one has emergency kits in their cars. It shows how far preparation will get you! Everyone knows that “if you fail to plan, plan to fail”. So is there something that you need to plan for today? See as I am sitting here it’s starting to sleet. People are asking about getting off early, people at Starbucks are asking everyone who comes in if it’s snowing yet. You can tell by the panicked look on some people’s faces that they aren’t prepared.
I can guarantee that the stores are out of milk, bread, and beer. That’s how we prepare down here in Georgia! Now, luckily the schools are out this week but we still need to always be prepared. So everyone prepared for the storm that could be coming. We never knew when or where a storm may strike. But we can always prepare and be ready went it happens. So take time today to prepare for your storm that’s coming. It will always be better than planning to fail.
When you go to take a shower first thing in the morning and the water won’t heat up, that’s never a good sign. Hot water has never been as cold as it was this morning. It’s an even worse sign when there is water all in your garage and water all down your driveway. As a matter of fact, the water is still leaking as I sit here. I try to learn from every situation in life. So what can be learned from this?
Emergency. What you classify as an emergency may not be an emergency to others. I have water pouring out of the water heater, lumber getting wet, and no way to shut off the water at the street because of a fancy “high tech” shutoff valve. But to the plumbers it’s just another day at the office. My water heater is just another task, another job. Actually the plumber that is on his way is the second one I called. The first that I called had an emergency number and were supposed to call right back. It’s been over three hours and still no call. So again what’s deemed as an emergency by you is not always an emergency to someone else.
Clutter. You never realize how much stuff you accumulate over time until you have to move it out of the way in a hurry. Looks like my garage spring cleaning is coming early this year. If I haven’t used it in four years, it’s probably time to trash it. What are some catch all corners that you can clean before your disaster strikes? On a separate note. This is why its always important to keep a tidy house. You never know when someone may come over. My last job was a similar to plumbers, an emergency type service. And you wouldn’t believe some of the conditions people’s houses are in. You never know what’s coming that is why you should always be prepared.
Attitude. Attitude is everything. Is this situation fun or ideal, no but there’s also nothing that I can do about it. When life gives you lemons, just make a pot of coffee. Things are out of my control. I just have to sit back and wait for help arrive. And when help arrives I won’t scald them for not hurrying to get here, because it’s my emergency, not theirs. Many of life’s problems can be solved with a deep breath and a clear mind.
So whatever emergency you face today, don’t let it ruin your attitude. We only get one today, so don’t waste it and don’t let an emergency ruin today. Remember hot water can turn cold and cold water can turn hot, it’s all in which way you turn your handle today.