Thursday, July 21, 2011


I logged onto blogger this morning to write some thoughts about... things that just don't matter as much after reading the blog of a woman who was part of my intervarsity group back in college.
Back in the beginning of April, I got an email from a mutual friend letting us know that Patty had been diagnosed with acute Lymphatic Leukemia. The cancer was caught while she was in Los Angeles attending her friends wedding as a Bridesmaid. She wasn't even allowed to head back up to the Bay Area to start treatment, instead she was admitted and began treatment in L.A. She chose to start blogging her journey as a way to reach out to long distant friends and share her story. In the times that I have taken to read about her journey I am always amazed and moved to pray.

I confess, that I haven't done a good job of keeping up with her life, nor spending much time in prayer. Today, however, as I was reading through some her posts here I was moved to tears by her strength, vulnerability, humility and honesty as she openly shared her feelings and experiences of the past 4 months.

If you have a chance to read any of Patty's thoughts or lift up a small prayer for her and her family, please do.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Preparing for a heat wave...

I think I'm finally getting this whole heat wave thing down. I've never lived in a climate that A/C was particularly necessary. Though it isn't entirely necessary here in St. Paul, there are a few weeks out of the summer that A/C would be really really nice. This weekend is turing out to be one of them. Once the heat index is up in the 90's it's pretty unbearable in my apartment, or outside, or anywhere without A/C. Cooking, cleaning, or anything that requires more than minimal heat producing energy is out of the question. So I decided to prepare for this coming heat wave to save on money and energy. Here are a few of the things I have learned along the way:

  1. Once the temperature outside goes over 75 and there is no breeze close all windows and blinds. Then turn on all ceiling fans and air circulators.
  2. Prepare cold pasta salads, and other meals that can be enjoyed cold. Turning on the oven or stove is a poor life decision during a heat wave.
  3. Be sure to have enough iced coffee or other cool beverages (personally I make a Toddy Brew a day in advance so it can chill in the fridge for the night... I've also started using frozen fruit as ice in my water).
  4. Prepare to be a morning person if you want to exercise. The coolest it's going to get is early in the morning.
  5. Time showers so that you can fully dry in the cool of your car's A/C. You're hair will never fully dry otherwise... unless of course your hair loves humidity (mine thinks it's a dragon in this kind of weather).
  6. Do any house cleaning before it gets too hot...
  7. If all else fails make friends with people who have A/C and couch surf for the duration of the heat wave.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Yesterday I lacked humility and was gently reminded of the consequences.

In a conversation with my friend who also happens to functionally be my boss I revealed the sad reality of part of my personality... my pride. Not only was it pride, it was the ugliest form of pride. It was the type of pride that revealed my thoughts of self righteousness at the detriment of those who I am in community with.

What I have found is the danger, yet perhaps blessing, of being an external processor is that we expose people to raw thoughts on a matter to organize them for future use. In one fowl swoop we can shed light on the ugliest and most beautiful aspects of who we are. It is in those moments that we are vulnerable to criticism and a false sense of grandeur.

What I am become more aware of is that few people are willing (nor should they be) to listen to my soapbox monologues on whatever has captured my thoughts and sift through what I mean and what I don't as I potentially minimize other's journey for the sake of making a point (which may or may not be valid).

Humility is one of those counterintuitive leadership qualities that I really struggle with. Admittedly, at times, I have found myself wondering, why am I not leading? ...only to realize half way into my pity party that I wanted to lead from a false sense of self grandeur.

Last week I sat around a fire with new and old friends as we discussed the possibility of humility being contagious. So I'd like to get your thoughts on the matter... Do we see Humility as a quality we desire in ourselves and in our leaders? What does it look like? Is it important? How is it acquired?