Friday Link Love

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Why You’ll Win In The End If You Make Character Your Career | Storyline Blog.
“You might have the most impressive ideas and work ethic in the world, but I don’t think you’ll be truly successful until you can get a handful of people around your kitchen table to say they trust you. Because regardless of our personal ambition, we need others to help us reach our full potential. No man is an island.”

Behind the Scenes of a Midlife Crisis | Conversion Diary
This post was so spot on for what I’ve been feeling lately about being 42…

“…it wasn’t until my little mid-life crisis that I realized just how much hope I placed in having options.”

9 Qualities of a Servant Leader | Leadership Insights
I read a lot of startup and leadership blogs, and the good ones always strike a cord in multiple areas of my life outside of work. This is one of those posts that shot through the heart, as the great Bon Jovi once said. As a mom, I was pretty horrified to realize I lack 8 out of 9 of these qualities. Blerg.

Friday Link Love

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Candy Chang: Before I die I want to…
Really great TED talk about a public art project in New Orleans. And it’s only six minutes, so you should watch it. I loved her point about using public art as a way to “understand your neighbors in new and enlightening ways.”

Who Is the Typical Entrepreneur?
“There’s a blackout age for female entrepreneurs. According to the report, female entrepreneurs are most represented within age groups 18-29 and 50-55–with smaller percentages of women founding businesses between ages 30 and 49.”

This issue came up at a women’s event I recently attended. I typically hear this in the context of women getting held back from success because they start having babies.

I’m tired of that conversation. Make an educated decision about your priorities, then make it happen. It’s not a weakness or a hinderance to pause and raise a family. If that decision was right for you, then you’re not being held back from success, but defining what success looks like for you.

Don’t Follow Your Passion, Follow Your Time
“Stop believing the secret is to just “follow your passions.” People will tell you that and you’ll believe them. But it’s not entirely true.

Because if you really want to know where your destiny lies, look at where you apply your time.”

Good Read: Bread Crumbs | Storyline Blog

Last week I had a dream about my mom. In my dream, a space ship crashed into the woods at the end of street where I grew up, and from the crash site emerged a robot that walked through the neighborhood.

Of course I took video of all this. But as I did, I noticed my neighbor was also taking video, and then was abruptly whisked away in a black Escalade. When I saw this, I ran through the neighborhood to my house, turned off all the lights, and hid under a side table.

(Clearly a subconscious mashup of E.T., The Iron Giant, and Super 8.)

But then my mother entered. In my dream, I was viewing all this as a third party observer, and there she was… feisty, flummoxed, and wondering what I was up to.

She was wearing pantyhose with slippers, a skirt, and only a bra on top. She carried a round brush, and I could see her hair was flat on one side, and fluffed to curly perfection on the other.

This was how my mother looked every Sunday morning as she got ready for church.

She demanded to know what was going on, but all I kept saying was “TELL THEM I’M NOT HOME.”

I could see the stress in my mother’s face – the pursed lips and the furrowed brow. She was unsure of what to do with me, which I’m sure was a common feeling she had when I was young.

The scene ended abruptly when I woke up, but the essence of my mom lingered, and I held on to her as reality pushed its way in like daylight breaking through the cracks of a treeline.

And that’s when it hit me how much I missed my mom.

Dementia and Alzheimers are cruel deseases. At times it feels like psychological torture because you’re not grieving someone who is dead, but someone who is right in front of you that you love dearly but is not always “in there.”

For a moment, I was Adam dreaming of Eden.  Adam, on the outside of the garden, suddenly getting a whiff of something in the old garden that he’d left long ago.  And that whiff brought it all back, remembering what once was.  And for a minute I enjoyed it, and then a sadness moved in.

via Bread Crumbs | Storyline Blog.

I read the above essay on Friday, my birthday, an occasion that felt sad for the first time in my life.

The essay goes on to suggest that perhaps our memories of Eden-times hint at the eternity that is “written on our hearts,” the eternity we’ve already experienced with Adam and will one day return to with Jesus.

And just like that, my wallowing transformed to worship, because I’m reminded that I’m not alone in my longing for Eden, and that a rescue plan for returning is already in place.

Friday Link Love: Lovely Posts

I loved this post – Beware of the List – over at Writing and Living. I, too, am a non-list person surrounded by list people (*cough* Bryan *cough*). I could make a list all day long of what I need to do, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to look at it.

Seems to me like lists are best used by List People.

However, I’m turning into quite the List Hacker.

For instance, I use a daily Bible reading plan, but I’ve been working on the same one-year plan for three years now. It gives me structure, but I don’t obsess over it religiously.

I loved Staci’s book, The Organized Heart, because it reminded me that organization isn’t about making lists and following rules, but about worshipping God in everything I do.

Also read Bare Minimum Mode over at Conversion Diary about being intentional with your seasons of downtime. I get in this mode often, but I usually find myself here, rather than making a conscious decision to pull back.

When I’m in Bare Minimum Mode the priority tasks important to my family are: laundry, grocery shopping, and family dinner. The bathroom may be gross and the living room full of clutter, but by George we’ll have clean clothes and a hot meal.

What are your priority tasks when in Bare Minimum Mode?

I’m terrible at making transitions. I don’t know anyone who is, really. Are You Wearing Bungee Cords? is a great post about living in the moment and fully crossing the bridge into whatever is coming next.

Friday Link Love: Conversion Diary

No, son, the F-word actually won’t make your life better : Conversion Diary.
I would not have chosen this particular battle with my own kids – I’d much rather they just know the word and eliminate all the mystique. HOWEVER, I fully appreciate the whole Garden of Eden drama thing.

My son immediately mistrusted my motives. The more he thought about it, the more the word seemed better and my intentions seemed worse.

Knowledge is power. Isn’t that how the saying goes?

I totally saw myself in this post. I’m pretty quick to mistrust motives and question intentions. Especially when it comes to Bryan, who, ironically, has never displayed any evidence of malicious intent (though he can sometimes be a jackass by accident). I also need to know every detail of What Went Down – I’m never content with a conversation summary because there just might be a detail I need to know!

And my son? Oh boy. He takes it personally when I don’t know the answer to one of his (very complicated and insightful) questions, like I’m out to sabotage his ability to know.

It’s very easy to get caught up in a need for knowledge, but the desperation of it can be poisonous to our faith in the One who knows everything. Really appreciated this post.