Have You Been Working On A New Habit?

I haven’t been to the gym in over 2 weeks!  Various (excuses) reasons. We’re starting back in a healthy rhythm today. IMG_5895

Can you relate?

The trick is to eventually pick it back up, whatever it is. Writing, exercising, reading, meditating, journaling….what new habit have you been working on?

Wishing you a wonderful and productive week.

 

 

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I Shattered A Glass This Morning

Did YOUR day start like this?  IMG_5888

First thing this morning…I was simply trying to slide it out of the way and it tipped over. Water and broken glass ALL OVER the counter. “Really? Are you freaking kidding me?” (I actually said that out loud)

Then I stopped, cleaned it up, and RESET my attitude.

Now, I don’t want you to get the impression that I am THIS DISCIPLINED all the time. Ha, that is NOT the case. And it’s not like we haven’t been informed that crappy days were going to be part of life.
John 16:33 reads,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have PEACE. In this world you will have TROUBLE. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Jesus himself PROMISES that even though TROUBLES will attempt to take over our days, weeks, and even months…YOU & I can overcome them AND HAVE PEACE!

Whether you’re in a pleasant or difficult season right now, may you have the awareness and thirst to LEAD INTO JESUS. May you also FEEL HIS in yours as he guides you on this journey.

 

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I’m more interactive there & reply to all comments!

I Need Your Input

I’ve been blogging for over 10 years now. It has become primarily an outlet for creative thought for me personally. On occasion it has also been a source of inspiration to my readers.

Lately, however, I have noticed that the level of influence and interaction I receive on content I share on social media has become far greater than the same content I share within a blog post.

So this is what I’ve been wrestling with. Should I simply stop blogging and then invest that much more effort into getting the same creative messages out there directly via social media posts?

Would you please help me? Take 60 seconds to CLICK HERE and give me your honest feedback.

Thank you in advance. And if I do make this transition be sure to stay connected with me where I’m most active. You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter….all at Brent_Dumler.

change

 

Empty Nesting & Time Zones

IMG_5663I have a love/hate relationship with watching our kids grow up!

In our 26+ years of marriage, our family has moved over 20 times.  And 5 of those have been large moves across the country.

Why?

One word.  ‘Adventure.’

What I’ve discovered as Cailey and I are quickly becoming empty nesters is that our kids are taking on the rhythm of life they were raised in.

Take exhibit A (image to the right).  This is the new world clock on my phone.  As of this week, this now represents the 3 time zones our immediate family live in.

Most of our moves, and all 5 of the big ones, were related to doing ministry.  And it wasn’t ever as simple as going where employment was.  There were always multiple options for us to choose from.  I guess we’ve just firmly believed in listening to God carefully and stepping in faith in whichever direction He sends us.  We’ve modeled this lifestyle to our kids, so it should not surprise me that we now have a 21 y/o son living in Colorado and a 23 y/o son serving the next 3 years in Guam with the U.S. Navy.  Our other two kids currently live at home, but who knows where they will end up in the next year or two?

 

All that said, here are a few lessons I’m learning about watching our kids leave our nest and become highly independent adults.

  • Our direction and influence in their lives must look different than before. It also needs to be OFFERED, not GIVEN.
  • Their life choices are THEIR life choices. Their career, family, lifestyle, and overall worldview isn’t going to look just like mine. Those are not wrong or right. They are simply going to be different…unique to the person they are becoming.
  • It is fun watching them discover ADULTING along the way. But this is a spectator sport. We must not interfere in game play when we’re on the bench. And guess what? Our kids will determine if and when we come off the sidelines, not us.
  • Lastly, I love the fact that our kids still TALK to us! Now, I’m not so naive to claim that they tell us everything and they know all there is to know about Mom and Dad. But we still share our ambitions, worries, victories, and basic joys with each other. Cailey and I call that a win for our family.

Our family is far from perfect. We’ve even been told we’re entertaining at times (that’s not always a compliment). But our kids genuinely love each other, and deep down they know that their parents love them.

Here’s to family, life transition, and simply going with the flow!

 

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How To Weather The Seasons Of Life Like A Boss!

Ha, that title is the EPITOME of click bate (and I do hate click bate).

I’m not weathering my personal current season of life like a boss, so why would I even attempt to write something like this for anyone else?

Easy.  I’ll give you two reasons.  1. This isn’t really for you.  It’s for me.  Writing helps me process my thoughts, mood, and ultimately my actions.  So there!  2. Confession.  Yep, sharing my own shortcomings will hopefully keep me humble, and might even encourage someone else along the way.

So, with that….

fall

For many of us, changes in the four seasons require certain behaviors from us.  Here are a few examples.  Our clothing changes depending upon how warm or cold it is outside.  One season may call us to shovel snow or put de-icer on the driveway.  At other times in the year cutting the grass or raking leaves might be in the cards.  And the list goes on.  There is very little, if anything, you and I can do to avoid these types of elements.  We are forced to make modifications to accommodate the particular elements of each season.

winter

The seasons of life are absolutely no different!

We must look ahead, prepare, and sometimes expect the inevitable challenging elements.

spring

Take empty nesting, for example.  As much as I knew it was coming, it felt like it came out from nowhere!  This is still a challenge, even though it is going really well.

In the past 6 months, my wife and I have:

  • Relocated back to our home state of Washington from Colorado. (with two of our kids, plus a fiance’)
  • Begun discovering what leading a Missional Community looks like.
  • Started adjusting to military life with a son in the Navy. (he’s shipping over seas next week)
  • Getting used to another son living away in Colorado.  It’s hard when they’re not close.
  • Discovered the health and beauty of doing bi-vocational ministry in our community.

summer

In all of that, here are a few ways we have tried to weather these seasons like bosses!

Community | Authenticity changes everything.  Plus, God created us to live in community with one another and with Him.  To support and encourage each other.

Meditation | Prayer, or often simply sitting in the Lord’s presence.  In this current season, sometimes all I can do is sit quietly by myself and think about Jesus.  Sitting with Him while doing nothing is so therapeutic!

Exercise | Even when we don’t feel like it.  My wife and I go to the gym 5-6 times each week.  We’re not always excited about this, so it is helpful when we hold each other accountable to go weather we feel like it or not.  The key here is simply to remain active somehow.

Talk | With each other.  For us, this has made our marriage even stronger.  We share our real anxieties & pain with each other.  I realize this is a significant struggle for most men, but trust me.  Your marriage will advance to a level it’s never been before!

Journaling | I use Evernote and blog.  If you prefer the old fashioned paper and pen, try getting yourself a nice Moleskin tablet.

In the end, all seasons come to an end so that new ones can begin. The Bible reminds us that there is a season for everything, a time for every matter under heaven.  This should encourage us when we are in a dark season that better days are coming.  Likewise, it gives us advanced warning when things are sailing smooth that …

What about you?  What season are you in, and what have you found to be helpful to weather it?

OR….which of the items I mentioned above tend to be challenging to actually implement?

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Would You Take a Selfie With God?

No matter how old you get, I think you’ll agree that none of us will ever forget the friendships we had in High School. Those were formative years of our adolescence. And if you were anything like me, you had different friendships.

Yeah, you know what I’m talking about!

I had 2-3 friends that my parents didn’t care for. They would strongly encourage me to stay clear of them. “That guy’s bad news, Brent” they would say. “They’re going to just get you into trouble.”

Generally speaking, they were wrong. One friend, however, they were dead right on with…..but that’s a different blog post 🙂

I digress.

Have you ever viewed God as a friend? You know, like the friends you associated with in school? Well, this thought entered my mind recently and I ended up mulling over it a while.

selfie.002

Whether you already have a relationship with God or not, I think this concept of the Creator of the Universe actually wanting to have a real friendship with you and I is difficult to grasp. I mean….he’s God! But he still calls us ‘friends.’

Anyway, the more I thought about it I determined that there really are two types of friend that God offers to us. See what you think.

Friend #1 – That friend you have a lot in common with. You have so much fun just being together and in each other’s company. It doesn’t even matter what you’re doing. You really look forward to spending time together. This is the friend you’ve taken selfies with in about HALF of your Instagram feed.
Friend #2 – The person you work to build a relationship with because of what you can gain from them. Maybe because of who they know, what they have, or the position they hold. This friendship is not the kind that just evolves naturally. It requires initiative, but the investment is worth it!
I would argue that there are aspects of both in God. The longer we know him and spend real time with him, the more comfortable we become. The more we learn that he really is very relational.
Additionally, I’d be willing to bet that God would take the most epic selfie! (we just might have to edit the brightness down afterward)

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Discover Just One Word To Give You Focus In 2018

During the time of the New Year, many of us ponder things we would like to BEGIN doing versus those things we desperately want to STOP. Those things have historically been referred to as resolutions.

The problem with resolutions, as you know, is they tend to only last a few short weeks or months before we fail and ultimately forget them for the remainder of the year.

For this reason I gave up completely on New Year resolutions. About six years ago I discovered a much better replacement.

OneWord365

OneWord365 is both a CONCEPT and COMMUNITY. It is simple and powerful. The idea is to come up with just one single word that will ultimately be your theme for the entire next year. One word to focus on, to offer regular direction and reflection for your priorities. And there is an ever-growing Facebook Community where you can share your struggles, victories, and dreams around your one word.

That said, I’d like to expand on MY one word for 2018.

Moments graphic.PNG

Yep, MOMENTS! Not allowing those seemingly insignificant daily interactions and experiences to pass by unnoticed. Things like taking note of special, quiet moments with Jesus. Fully being in the ‘moment’ when with my family.

When I’m at the gym I’m focused on exercise. I’m not taking phone calls or replying to texts or emails.

I listen to music through my earbuds when having my quiet time. Our home often has a lot going on. Putting my earbuds in accomplishes two things. 1) It keeps me from being distracted by all that is going on around me, and 2) It is also a subtle way of letting my family know that I don’t want to be disturbed.

So, I simply want to be dedicated in the MOMENT of whatever I’m doing. In the past, I’ve learned that being too busy creates distractions. At the end of the day I could think back over my day and literally have no memory of 40 – 60 percent of what I actually did!

That’s a problem.

Here’s to a 2018 with focus that is also memorable.  How about you?

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