A great description of the contrast that Shawn Adrian wrote about recently. The author this time is Eric Karjaluoto, and after describing a situation that well illustrates the joy in greatly contrasting experiences, he sums it up nicely:
In order to feel anything, we have to seek out—and even create our own—contrast. Doing so isn’t difficult, but it does require one to make certain choices. It’s also anathema to a population that insists upon being comfortable at all times.
A great piece by Adam Clark. If you’re going to attempt to earn your income working for yourself online, you need to know who you are and what you believe. Figure that out first and save yourself a couple of years of frustration, chasing something you don’t really want.
On the other hand, you don’t really know what you want until you spend some time chasing things. Either way, do everything you can to make time to come up out of the trenches. Review the map and the destination, then dive back in.
“As the people who build this next vision of the future, we must consider pace.”
Hannah Donovan, Everything in its Right Pace.
“… it is as plain to me as anything that the first thing the child of God has to do morning by morning is to obtain food for the inner man. As the outward man is not fit for work for any length of time, except we take food, and as this is one of the first things we do in the morning, so it should be with the inner man …”
Most parents recognize that there has to be some semblance of discipline in the home in order for it to run smoothly, for its occupants to enjoy living in it and with each other. When you’re a family six, this is even more true.
And while what is in our children’s heart is the most crucial, my wife and I do our best to teach them how to obey while they are very young. Once they’ve learned to obey, then we can move on to conversations and teaching that helps them recognize issue of the heart and (hopefully) how to resolve them.
In our house, there are three characteristics to true obedience:
Obedience without all three of these characteristics is not truly obeying. If I have to ask a child to do something more than once, that is not obedience. If they obey immediately, but give a half hearted effort and do a poor job, that is not obedience. And even if they act immediately and do a good job, but complain all the while, that also is not true obedience.
It’s a good list. And although I sometimes fail to do my job, patiently and gently ensuring that all three characteristics are upheld, all in all it works for us.
Yesterday I was struck by my own hypocrisy though. How often do I fail my heavenly Father in one of these three ways? There are promptings throughout my day, of which I often ignore. It might be as simple as picking up someone’s garbage as I ride to work, or smiling and nodding at the homeless person on the street. Even worse, I sometimes, many times, fail to give my most to all my duties, the dreary, less-than-glorious tasks I’m responsible for.
It’s easy to shrug these off — they’re small things. But isn’t that how it starts:
He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.
I long to hear those words from my Father, that I have been faithful in little things. As I teach my children the same principles, I pray that they will be teaching me to act the same.
“Your most reliable work will always be within your range. Go just a bit outside of that to show your passion and stretch yourself. But go too far beyond that and you’ll be so strained that ultimately the work will suffer.”
“To let your face blabber one thing while your heart dwells on another is just tempting God … Any and everything, if it is to be well done, demands the entire man, all his mind and faculties.”
Yesterday, a few of my favorite sites posted their thoughts on being early risers. Since I regularly get up at 4:30 AM, this is a subject that I enjoy.
I first made this change in my schedule almost three years ago. Our third child was about to be born and I had just started my first blog. I knew if I was to get any writing accomplished, it had to be in the early hours, before anyone else was up and before I had to trudge off to the day job.
After three years, I’ve learned to love this time of day. It’s a quiet, slow time when the possibilities of the day are wide open. If you’ve been curious about making this change yourself, here’s a summary of comments from people I respect.
Garrett St. John is not an early riser, but he’s trying. Many folks believe the benefits are there, but it’s simply not natural to them. Garrett is attempting to build new habits, which is usually rewarding in the long run.
I’ve tried many times to shift my “internal clock” to be more like normal people, but it’s only ever stuck for a week at a time. Needless to say, at nearly 28 years old it’s something I really need to tackle.
After one week of his experiment, Garrett’s had some success and some realizations. And he hits on a great point, that it’s easy to spend way too much time working.
One habit I did fall into was working longer hours. No good. There were a few days I started working at 6AM and worked until 6PM. My goal was never to work longer, only to be more effective in those hours which I work. I’ve either got to fill my morning hours with non-work related activities or knock off work earlier. Currently, I’m leaning towards the latter.
A great point — I’m happy to see his goal is effectiveness with his time, not working more.
Shawn Blanc admits, that he’s not a natural at this — it’s a forced habit. Why does he make himself get up early? He answers the question as so:
There is something magical about the early morning. It’s a time when the world belongs to only those few who are awake. And we walk around like kings while others remain unseen in their beds.
Lastly, Ben Brooks also chimed in. He also states the relative quiet as the chief enjoyment of this habit.
One thing I like about getting up early is the flow of information — be it email, Twitter, or RSS feeds — is incredibly low. Sitting at my desk after I shower at 5:45am has made this time a silent bubble.
I agree with this sentiment, but find that it occurs more on towards the end of the day for me. Being on the west coast, even at 4:30 AM, the East coasters, Europeans, South Africans, and Aussies I follow are making a good bit of noise. Which means I can spend a good chunk of my early morning consuming as well.
In that regard, I also enjoy the evenings. With four small children, the Bowler household is a busy place. So it’s no surprise that my wife and I subscribe to the “Early to bed, early to rise” mentality. This means she’s usually down for the night a little earlier than me, allowing me to have another session of quiet, when everything is still. Most often, it’s this evening time that allows me to uncompress, reflect, and look forward.
I’m not advocating burning the candles on both ends, mind you. Health, wealth and wisdom are not to be found taking that route. But I do believe that quiet solitude is greatly beneficial to anyone and that our culture has sadly placed little value in it. If you want to reap those benefits, you have to construct the opportunities yourself.
Even if it’s not natural to you.