Wanting to be resilient & other musings as October slips away…

I’ve been thinking a lot about things that I want to be true of me. Characteristics. Attitudes. Traits. Things that could be good & accurate descriptors to help paint a picture of the man that I am & the man that I am continually becoming.

A few that have come up.

Gracious.
Compassionate.
Thoughtful.
Faithful.
Substantial.
Consistent.

One word keeps coming to mind, over and over. Resilient. I want to be resilient.

To be “resilient” is to be pliable. Able to bounce back from being stretched. Quick to recover. Not rigid or inflexible.

I want my friendships and relationships to be resilient. Able to withstand adversity, difficulty, & even being wronged. Not easily broken. Characterized by a steadfastness of commitment to life-giving, encouraging relationship, come what may.

Cause life is tough. And its not always easy to see the personal and relational challenges that await us around the corner.

And life is too short to be wondering, “when it gets bad, really bad, will this friendship last? Will it stand?”

Some things that may lead to a trend towards resilience: humility. Peace. Truth. Grace. Perspective. A positive outlook. A determination, in advance, of how I will live, act, and be towards others.


Pasty has been in Knoxville for coming up on 3 months. Sigh. Happy for him; he’s working at a great restaurant & gets to see his Alexandrea just about every day. If I was him, Ida moved too.

Missing his laugh, his routines, and his hugs before bed. His unswerving commitment to keeping me updated on what is happening in the sports world.


Yesterday was pastor appreciation Sunday – I’m thankful and amazed at the kind words, written notes, & heartfelt encouragements that so many shared with theBean and I. It seems surreal to be “thanked & appreciated” for pastoring, something that I do because I know God has put me in that spot & role. Maybe its because the early years, there wasn’t so much appreciation as there was criticism, suspicion, and frustration with me & the “Job” I was doing. I tried not to get “too low” based upon what people were saying or writing in the special anonymous notes. I wonder if now I’m just guarding my heart & not wanting to get “too high” from the good things people have shared with me & my family. Not sure. But I know that I do want to be able to receive compliments, ‘thank yous’ & the like, without self-deprecation or minimizing it.

Hmmm. Change my heart, Oh God.


Just started Week 2 (out of 8) of my 6th Masters Class – at the end of the class I will be 50% of the way through the program. It has been a battlefield between my ears for sure. One of the most difficult things hasn’t been the workload, but rather the new ideas, theories, terminology, and ways of conceptualizing what it means to lead.

I caught myself last week wrestling with an especially challenging assignment in “Leadership Theory & Praxis” & I wanted to quit. Stop the program. Be done. Quit challenging & trying myself, exposing weakness, inadequacy, & ignorance. (Nice & melodramatic I know.)

Heard the soft whisper of the Holy Spirit encouraging me to keep going – to resist the discouragement. To stand firm. To apply myself, & also to ask, believing, for wisdom & understanding.

So I am. Prayers are appreciated.

musings on being thankful in the wee hours… morning or night, I forget which…

I’m up late again. Or really, really early, depending on how you look at it. Either way, bed is something that I find myself anticipating falling into. When I’m sleepy. Now, not so much.

Its not insomnia, its that my brain is in the “on” position; perhaps it got stuck there because I’ve been in research & analysis mode for the last few days. Then after I got home from work & everyone else went to bed, I stayed up to ponder. Think. Plot. Write. I’m on my last paper for class #4 of my masters program (4 classes out of 12, for the souls that are keeping track. Bless thee. But I digress…)

I don’t trust my midnight writing, but I can live with my midnight data analysis… because there’s always an editing & re-editing that happens to clear up any of the dust bunnies left in the papers by my late-night activities.

Done writing, my brain kept going. That’s ok. I will roll through some thankfulness.


I’m thankful for me & my brain. The way I think. How everything somehow ends up looking like a teaching/learning opportunity. That I don’t make snap decisions. Or say everything that is on my mind. Or turn the direction of my life over to the unstable groundhog that wants to drive my life by the seat of my emotions (obscure “Groundhog Day” reference. Just remember, “Don’t drive angry.”)

I’m thankful for the Word that dwells in me richly. For the stabilizing & transforming influence it has upon my tempestuous, out-there thought processes. For the Living Hope that is resident in Christ, the One I can (& do!) put my hopes & dreams in, knowing for sure that I won’t be disappointed.

I’m thankful for my parents – they still love each other, & they live what they believe… loving people in practical ways. Investing their lives in a manner that I hope to emulate, long term.

I’m thankful for my wife, theBean, a woman that I thought I understood, but have only recently realized that I may never fully “get” her… & being 100% comfortable with that. (make that 93%… I’m working on it.)

I’m thankful for my kids. All 3 of them. Pasty, iDoey, & theWeez: a greater 3 have never been found. So different, yet with similarities that evoke memories of those dearest to me. Sometimes I even see myself there.

I’m thankful for friends – without whom the joys of this life wouldn’t be nearly as high, nor the lows so bearable. For listening ears, kind hearts, compassion, & desperate prayers, offered both for & with me.

I’m thankful for a church family that I would love to be a part of, even if I wasn’t the person charged with leading & pastoring the incredible people that have grown from strangers to family.

I could go on; the more I write down ‘thankful thoughts’ the more they rush into my head like a strong, cool, refreshing dip in Tahoe.

But I won’t. Continue that is. It’s late, & I will sleep.

Thank you God for Your provisions for me – I can truly say that what I have, where I am, who I’m with… Your lot for my life… has fallen to me in pleasant places.

Life is beautiful.