Oops! Sorry for the Mess

Sorry for the mess around here. I’m in the process of moving from my old blog hosting site to a new one. I’m still unboxing a few items and finding their homes on the shelves.

moving

The good news is I wouldn’t be moving to a new site if I weren’t planning to connect with you more, so I hope you check back soon!

-bsh

Paying Yourself Extra for Free

At 4:30 a.m. on a snowy December morning, all I had on my 13 year-old mind was getting each nearly-frozen newspaper off my sled and onto each customer’s porch. The faster I could unload papers, the sooner I could melt back into a toasty bed. But I stopped after ten houses, glancing back.

newspaper

Four newspapers had missed their targets by a mile, each sticking out halfway in the snow. Hey, I was paid for delivering newspapers to the premise, not customized handling. And besides, my toes were cold.

Shore Book Project Update – Still Cranking

It’s been a while since our last update, and we’re happy to report the cogwheels are still cranking with Mike and Christa Shore on their book.

cogwheel

2013 proved to be a very busy year for all of us with work, family, and ministry commitments, so our book interview sessions were few and far between. We decided in December that instead of trying to piecemeal a few hours here and there to conduct interviews, which left far too much time in between each get-together, and having to re-visit parts of the story, we changed our approach to what we call “marathon sessions.” We opted to set aside 6-8 hour chunks on Sundays to crank out several story interviews back to back, and get ‘er done.

Polka Dot Wonder

Clumsily the polka dot wonder pranced through the brush, breaking sticks under its toddler feet and drawing so much attention within a quarter mile that it might as well have worn a blaze orange sign with the words “Eat Me.” Don’t you know there’s a coyote pack roamin’ these parts, little podna? I thought.

Fawn3

Usually it walked the fields with its twin sibling, and usually its mother was nearby. Not today.

There was more shuffling. The bushes along the fence row shook one after the other, like a sloppy version of “the wave” in a stadium crowd. I stayed in my seat as to not alert of my presence.

Where are they? I surveyed the yard and neighboring woods for momma and sister, thinking the worst. The coyote howls had drawn closer to the house the past few nights.

For Love of the Irish

The hard crack of the collision reached the upper level almost immediately through a roaring crowd. Shortly thereafter, a yellow flag was thrown, desecrating the sacred ground of Irish turf and igniting thousands of chanting football fans into an eruption of fury.

Irish-helmet

The referee had committed an unforgivable sin. It was a clean hit. I saw it through binoculars. Larger than life.

But the play was over. And the penalty—withstood. The Celtic giants, unscathed by the dirty work of one overzealous official, returned to the frontline, wiping from their mouths the mud that was as gritty as their toughness. There is no glory in looking back.

Focus Frenzy

When I was twelve years-old my parents bought for me Juggling for the Complete Klutz. Do you remember those kits? It came with a how-to book and three bean bag cubes packed in a red nylon net. I don’t know if my parents thought it was a neat gift idea or if it was a hint, but I wasted no time accepting the challenge.

klutz


Juggling three tennis ball-sized objects can be learned fairly quickly and in three simple steps (if you’d like to learn, click here), but keeping them airborne requires a fourth step with a little more discipline—focus.

The Unpopular Word

Watch over your heart. Don’t let just anything in; don’t let it go just anywhere. What’s this going to do to my heart? is a question that I ask in every situation. 
— John Eldredge, Desire: The Journey We Must Take to Find the Life God Offers

If you don’t make plans of your own, you’ll fit into someone else’s plans. 
— James Scott Bell, How to Achieve Your Goals and Dreams

GetBusyLiving2

Are you exhausted? Overwhelmed? When asked, “How’s it going?” do you almost always respond with “Busy. Real busy.”? Talk of busy-ness seems to be increasing exponentially. And the truth is, you are busy. Too busy. And exhausted. And overwhelmed. You used to devour books like 362 Ways to Improving Your Life’s Time Management, but you don’t read them anymore because you’re 362 tasks behind on your to-do list.

Perspective from a Tree

Edging outward on a sturdy limb I lost my balance right away but caught myself. I looked down at the ground some 15 feet below, my own limbs quivering after the espresso shot of adrenaline. What am I doing up here, I thought.

brock-tree2

As a child I would climb trees over 50 feet tall, my 65-pound body clinging to the spindliest top branch on the windiest of days short of a thunderstorm, though my favorite time of day to climb was at dusk.

Bird Watching

There is a bird watching me through the living room window. Or is it watching the television? Its head turns sharply toward me again, then back to the television. For all I know it’s following an outside reflection, but its tiny-eyed glances are rather precise between this large-headed Homo sapiens and the flashing picture machine set opposite the couch.

mockingbird-watercolor

My wife enters the room and confirms this is the same bird that’s been coming and going every few days, sometimes every day, motioning through the same routine. And I’m curious.

Tragically Hip

“What’s that smell?” said my 13 year-old son walking into the bathroom, confirming my suspicion about why all three of my teenage children have been treating me different for the past few weeks.

CoolDad

I had thought it might be the gray in my beard, but I’ve had gray creep for a couple years now. And the balding? Couldn’t be. I haven’t had hair longer than a quarter inch since 2008, and besides, bald is beautiful.

“What’s that smell?” he said. Yes, we were in the bathroom, but no, it wasn’t that. My left foot was hiked up on the countertop while I brushed the clear liquid onto my big toe. I don’t know what’s more embarrassing, a son catching his Dad polishing his toenails or that I’m flexible at 40, but what came next changed everything.