getting ready

Photo credit: Unsplash – les-argonautes

What does it take to get ready for a new endeavor?

Tomorrow we fly to Spain to walk the Camino de Santiago. We are not carrying all our belongings and are doing only a short portion of the trek, but this still requires preparation.

We’ve been getting ready physically, walking regularly, occasionally long distances, and even hills when possible.

We’ve purchased our gear, the recommended “wicking” fabrics, and taking special care to break in the socks and shoes that will – hopefully (!) – prevent blisters. We have backpacks and rain gear to cover them. (Right now, the weather forecast looks like rain every day.) Everything fits in a carry-on for easy transport.

Relational prep has included connecting on WhatsApp with the people in our group, seeing photos, learning names and some personal details. We look forward to deeper conversations on the journey.

Spiritually preparing, we read The Way is Made by Walking by Arthur Paul Boers and are opening our hearts to whatever God has for us on this adventure. We are praying, asking others to pray, and asking for prayer requests from others so we can pray for them on the walk.

We are also preparing emotionally, lightly guarding expectations, being ready for the unexpected (and possibly unwanted circumstances) while excitedly anticipating this long-time dream experience.

I feel ready. As I think about this, I recognize how intentionally and thoroughly I prepared for this challenge. Sometimes, I’ve done this for some “big things,” but often, I don’t leave margin to prepare this way for others.

What difference would it make if I took time to check that I was prepared physically, logistically, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually for whatever I undertake?

It might not require as much time as this trip, but what if I intentionally checked in on each of those areas? What if I made time to pray over all and everyone involved?

I feel I’ve learned something already before even starting to walk.

How do you prepare for a challenge, experience, or adventure?


¿Qué se necesita para estar listo para un nuevo esfuerzo?

Mañana volamos a España para andar en el Camino de Santiago. No llevamos todas nuestras pertenencias y vamos a cumplir solo una pequeña parte de la caminata, pero esto aún requiere preparación.

Nos hemos preparado físicamente – caminando regularmente, ocasionalmente largas distancias e incluso colinas cuando era posible.

Hemos comprado nuestro equipo, las telas “no-absorbentes” recomendadas y hemos tenido cuidado especial de quitar el nuevo de los calcetines y los zapatos que, con suerte (!), evitarán las ampollas. Tenemos mochilas y ropa de lluvia para cubrirlos. (En este momento, el pronóstico del tiempo dice lluvia todos los días). Todo cabe en un equipaje de mano para facilitar el transporte.

La preparación relacional ha incluido conectarnos en WhatsApp con las personas de nuestro grupo, ver fotos, aprender nombres y algunos detalles personales. Esperamos conversaciones más profundas en el viaje.

Preparándonos espiritualmente, leemos “Se hace camino al andar” de Arthur Paul Boers y estamos abriendo nuestro corazón a lo que Dios tiene para nosotros en esta aventura. Estamos orando, pidiendo a otros que oren y pidiendo peticiones de oración de otros para poder orar por ellos en la caminata.

También nos estamos preparando emocionalmente, ligeramente protegiendo las expectativas, anticipando las circunstancias no esperadas (y posiblemente no deseadas) mientras anticipamos con entusiasmo esta experiencia de los sueños.

Estoy lista. Al pensar en esto, reconozco cuán intencional y minuciosamente me preparé para este desafío. A veces, he hecho esto para algunas “grandes cosas”, pero a menudo no dejo margen suficiente para prepararme de esta manera para otros.

¿Qué diferencia haría si me tomara el tiempo para asegurar que estoy preparada física, logística, emocional, relacional y espiritualmente para cualquier cosa que emprenda?

Puede que no me requiera tanto tiempo como este viaje, pero ¿qué pasaría si revisara intencionalmente cada una de esas áreas? ¿Qué pasaría si me tomara el tiempo para orar por todo y por cada una de las personas involucradas?

Siento que ya he aprendido algo incluso antes de comenzar a caminar.

¿Cómo te preparas para un desafío, una experiencia o una aventura?

What’s love got to do with it?


We are in the “love month” – a perfect opportunity to talk about how love and unhurried living intersect. What does love have to do with unhurried living? E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.

Love has everything to do with unhurried living.

Our ability to love others well requires unhurried living. We demonstrate love through thoughtful intentionality, quality time, patience, focused attention, engaged listening, perseverance, and undistracted presence… all of which require a lack of hurry.

I do not love well when I hurry.

Some of the things I try to do to unhurry my time with others:

  • remember people are valuable
  • put my phone facedown and lock eyes with the person
  • ignore the to-do list in my head
  • breathe deeply and be present
  • remember all those times when someone took time to listen to me
  • stop multi-tasking or invite the person (child) to help
  • relax and enjoy the time together
  • If I am truly unavailable temporarily because of a deadline or lack of emotional bandwidth, ask to schedule a time as soon as possible
  • leave margin in my day for unexpected interruptions
  • trust that God is ultimately in control of what I do in a day
  • repeatedly read over this list

Love and hurry are fundamentally incompatible.

Living unhurried has all kinds of benefits for our health, our reflective thought processes, our decision-making, and our productivity. It only makes sense that unhurried living can also greatly benefit those we love. 

How can you unhurry your love for others this month?

Where is your white space?

Photo by Sarah Dorweiler on Unsplash

Henry Cloud is one of my favorite teachers and authors. I began reading his books many years ago, and I now grab every new one he publishes as soon as it comes out. I have written a few summaries of his books on this blog (see links below). Now that I think about it, I may write some more this year!

Recently, I read a short post by Henry Cloud on the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) blog (which is a great blog, by the way!). Henry was talking about the importance of having WHITE SPACE (or rest) in our life.

too much stuff + too long = overwhelmed and tired brain

Henry was endorsing the valuable research and work done by a woman named Juliet Funt. Juliet spoke at the GLS, and you can find some excellent short video clips of her ideas on YouTube. Her company,, helps organizations reduce their busyness, schedules and digital habits so that people can be more engaged and creative at home and at work.

Research has shown that the highest performers in life
have a pattern of not being “on all the time.”

Henry Cloud

Juliet shares some great tips for protecting the WHITE SPACE in our schedules:

  • Take some thoughtful time and inventory your motives for saying yes.
  • Try to separate the emotional (the enjoyment of being asked) from the practical (will this opportunity truly move your goals forward?).
  • Attempt to mentally envision and realistically consider all of the inevitable to-dos and busyness of the time around the date of the request.
  • Make “No” your default answer. Let “less” be your guiding principle. You will  never regret having too much time.

Which of these tips could you apply in the next few days to find some WHITE SPACE in your week?

Henry Cloud book summaries: Integrity  •  Necessary Endings

crash and burn

computer crashI’ve been burning the candle at both ends for a while now. Not much margin. Not much sleep. Running late. Not remembering all I have to do. Just barely keeping my head above water… sometimes going under.

Last night I sank.

I have spent many, many hours during the last few months transitioning to a new computer. I have a definite love-hate relationship with that process. Its is nice to have more speed, more space, and new apps, but I dread the work it takes to set the new computer up with my programs, information, and personal settings. This new computer seemed more difficult than others before. More frustrations, more questions, more things I didn’t like… but I almost had it working the way I like…

and then it crashed last night! Dead. Black screen. No coming back.

We called technical support, and they hinted that it was probably my fault somehow – that didn’t help my frustration level (just saying). I have to ship it away, and it will be two weeks before I get it back.

Guess what? I haven’t left myself enough margin in my life for a two-week detour! I don’t have enough “free” time to do that transition work all over again. But it doesn’t really matter. I will have to find time to repeat the process.

I have been wrestling with my bad attitudes, panic, and discouragement all day. I am also feeling guilty for having my life wound up so tightly that this kind of bump in the road has me so flustered.

I mentioned my crisis in a Facebook status and received lots of empathy and encouragement – that has helped. I had my data backed up. I actually have an old computer I can use, so I remember to be grateful and not complain too strongly when others around the world have none. And I am wondering what other lessons I might need to learn…

Do I need to make some schedule changes? Am I reverting to old habits of few healthy boundaries? Is this just an inevitable season of life or a result of bad choices? What can I change to handle situations like this better in the future?

Have you been through a crash and burn experience? How do you handle it?