Eugene Peterson, Gala 2018, & a Creative Rut

Eugene Peterson

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Eugene Peterson passed away earlier this week. If you don’t know who he was, he was a pastor who believed that pastors pretty much spend their whole lives preaching one sermon. He thought that great writers like Hemingway and Faulkner spent their whole life writing the same book, retold many different ways, and that it wasn’t so different for preachers.

If that’s the case, Eugene preached his sermon well. He delivered countless sermons, translated the Bible, wrote a great memoir, and gave amazing interviews, all of which preached the same thing- staying in awe and wonder. If you want a taste, Google his chat with Bono or look up his @onbeing interview.

Photos of him suggest he spent his whole life smiling ear-to-ear. If I’m ever as visible on Google Images as he is, I hope I look as joyful as he does. I think his quote is a behind-the-scenes peek at how to be a joyful person. The biggest, most sacred things in life- people, God, Scripture- these weren’t problems to solve. Just sweet mysteries.

A Creative Rut

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Some days the inspiration just flows and other days it just makes grunting noises while you try to crank the lever harder and harder. I’ve been in a bit of a creative rut lately, and that’s no fun.

These dry spells don’t scare me the way they used to, though. They just run their course. The thing about ruts is that they expire, but they don’t have marked expiration dates. That would be so helpful, but you just have to keep going. Hopefully this week turns some things around. Sooner or later, the groove will be back and it’s so freeing to remember that.

National Book Month 2018

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October is #nationalbookmonth - so here are my five favorite books that I’ve read since this time last year. Over the last few months, life happened and I’ve fallen way behind on my reading goals, but I’ve still managed to read through some really good ones.

America Is Not The Heart
was a great read featuring a character’s attempt to build a new life after acting as a student revolutionary in the Philippines. Little Fires Everywhere was about the secret lives lived between two families. Both were a big reminder that everyone is going through something.

Factfulness is some of the best storytelling that I’ve seen done with data, and the story it tells us is an encouraging one- the world is getting better. Poverty is way down and opportunities are expanding. It doesn’t dismiss the work that needs to be done and Just Mercy captures how to approach that work with compassion and boldness.

How To Stop Time was a bizarre read about a man who lives a millennium and as a result has to change his identity every four years. In spite of the wild premise, the book is actually about loss, grieving, and not fearing the passing of time.

One Step at a Time

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How do things get better? One step at a time.

I’ll be honest, this past week was a rough one for me, and it seems like it went that way for a lot of people. I felt unmotivated for the days at hand and impatient to live in better days.

To get to those better days, you sometimes have to fight through the discouragement and lack of motivation. What helps me is remembering that I don’t need to solve everything all at once. I just need to take the next step for making things right that are in front of me.

Here’s to that next step, whatever that might look like for you!

Not in Montreat

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The last time I was in North Carolina, about three years ago, I hiked totally by myself in search of waterfalls and fell in love with what I saw.

I was supposed to be there last weekend, but last week I realized that I needed to be home. So I cancelled the trip, and I’m feeling happy about it being the right move.

It feels totally weird for me to be this happy about a cancelled trip. But, I know where I need to be.

I love to travel. So much. But I’m also learning that it can be a bit of a crutch or an escape for me. I’m working at figuring out when that’s the case. For now, it feels good to have made the right choice this week.

A Mid-Hike Bar

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Life has its challenges, but there are also those times when you’re in the middle of a steep hike and right there, surrounded by nothing else but the trail and its cliffs, is a tiny little bar.

Why can’t there be one of these on every hike? Italy is great.

Planting Hope Gala 2018

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Gala 2018- this night makes me really proud to be a part of the @plantwpurpose team, getting to celebrate all the trees planted, people helped, and lives changed across seven countries while raising some funds to go out and do even more.

It’s also my rare opportunity to suit up. And, I got to take along a hot date.

Philippe Lazarojournaling