UPDATE: There Is An Update Coming Soon

I've been absent from posting for too long (a month!) and I want to sincerely apologize to the 3 people who were graciously reading my blog before I suddenly disappeared. 

I can confirm that I am, in fact, not dead, not imprisoned, and not being pursued by federal authorities (that I am aware of).  In addition, my return to blogging is imminent. Like, November-ish imminent and it doesn't get much more imminent-ish than that.

So, to the update.

Since my last post (and until my next), here are TWO of the many exciting things I've been working on JUST FOR YOU: 

1. Getting up and doing stuff every day. I don't want to boast, but it's true. I've been literally getting up every day and doing stuff.  No, don't call me a hero. I won't hear of it. I'm just doing what any normal person would do in my position. Just more heroically, of course.

2.  Building something creative and wonderful with some hyper-talented friends that will involve lots of FREE content aimed at helping you "live a better story". This FREE content may, in fact, change your life. On the other hand, it may not. Either way, it will be FREE, and probably italicized, so I guess that's something.

Thanks again for the grace and patience and I can't wait to converse more! If you have any thoughts/questions before then, hit me up at info@jesserice.com.

 

How To Keep From Drowning In The Details

I’ve been noticing a pattern in my life and I wonder if it’s true for you, too:

The less margin I have, the more my best self gets pushed to the margins.

pencil break.jpg

In other words, the less time, energy, money, heart/head space, and sleep I have, the more my weaknesses flare up and take over. I completely forget about my strengths, lose sight of my unique design, and start trying desperately to be someone I’m not.

For example, I have very little administrative muscle. It’s not a big part of my natural wiring or professional training. My DISC profile reads something like, “Yeah, maybe you should just try to hang out around people who actually know how to get things done, and then maybe – and we’re not making any promises here – you might get a few things done, too.”

The point is I’m bad with details.

But when the margin starts to bleed out of my life (often because of my being bad with details), I try to stop the bleeding by attending to more tiny tasks, getting lost in the minutiae (a word I had to spell check), and drowning in the details.

There’s nothing wrong with details, of course. Our lives are composed of them and we’re invited to be good stewards of them (which is why there are people I regularly meet with who, God bless 'em, are trying to help me develop my detail-muscles). God uses our responsibilities, to-do lists, and routines to shape us, heal us, and free us.

But it’s the forgetting what I’m good at that drives me crazy when my life loses it’s margin. It’s the “I guess I better be this other kind of person and I don't get to be me anymore” that sends me into a spiral of dark thoughts.

Then I get sad. Then I get angry. Then I eat cookies. Then I repeat.

So here’s what I’ve been practicing to remedy the situation:

  • I try to catch myself early in the margin-losing process. As soon as I start feeling the bite of stress that comes from being stretched too thin, I stop and notice.

  • I take a few moments to review “who I am”. This trick came from my therapist who used to always ply me with the question, “What do you know about you?” It ight sound silly but it works for me, so I make a mental list and sometimes even write it down: I’m a big vision guy; I like to innovate; a number of people in my life love me despite my flaws; I’m hard-wired for living in mystery and in-between spaces; I’d rather be onstage in front of a few thousand people that in a staff meeting; my #1 strength on Strengthsfinder is "empathy"; I’d rather watch Homeland cuddled next to my wife than go out." You get the idea.

  • I then bring all of that to Jesus (I know, I should probably start there – I don’t – I’m working on it) and ask him to weigh in. I try to remember what he thinks of me, all the times I thought I’d never get through a tough situation and always did, how his view of things is spacious and unhurried, with plenty of room for experimentation, failure, and endless do-overs.

  • I try to get back to work with a renewed perspective that there really is enough time do the important things if I choose to use my strengths wisely and keep sight of who I am, who I’m not, and especially who Jesus is.

That’s what I’ve been noticing and practicing. But what about you?

What’s your experience when the margin bleeds out of your life and how are you trying to stop the bleeding?

 

Why "WWJD?" Is A Terrible Question

Why "WWJD?" Is A Terrible Question

Okay, maybe not terrible. But definitely not helpful. At least not for me. And not for a lot of other Jesus-followers I know.

WWJD? (What Would Jesus Do?) was all the rage back in the 90s. It was inspired by a book written early in the 1900s that told the fictional story of people who encountered a need or challenge and asked themselves “What would Jesus do?”. They then responded as they deemed appropriate.

In the book, it changed the whole town everyone lived in. Pretty inspiring stuff. A few decades later, however, the question morphed into a wristband.

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The Key To Escaping The Comparison Trap

The Key To Escaping The Comparison Trap

I have a hard time not comparing myself to others and feel like a loser.

I look at Facebook and notice how the people in my feed are living bigger adventures, driving better cars, and going on exotic vacations where they take perfect selfies with their perfect abs against the backdrop of a perfect sunset.

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The Most Important Thing To Remember This September 11th

The Most Important Thing To Remember This September 11th

(The average American middle school student has grown up knowing only a country "at war with terrorism." Their imagination and way of seeing the world has been shaped by the kinds of events we remember today. This re-post is for them, and for all of us - regardless of faith, lifestyle, or geography - that choose to let September 11th remind us it doesn't have to stay this way. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to do better.)

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