Trying Too Hard….

So, I promised myself I wouldn’t, but it is just so very tempting. It’s tempting to go over and hit the “Stats” button on my blog’s dashboard. It makes me feel really good when I see that people have been reading and/or commenting on what I’ve been writing. What I’ve noticed over the past couple weeks is that if there is a dip in the numbers, I feel compelled to write something just to boost them back up again.

Don’t get me wrong, I love interact with you and hearing your stories. Your experiences grow my view of the world, humanity and my view of God. We learn from each other. I feel as though I am simply sharing my experiences with you so that if you find something useful, helpful or encouraging, great. If not, well, hopefully it was a good read. BUT, when I start writing for the results or the numbers to feed my ego or self worth, well, then I’ve replaced God with those numbers. Not cool.

I need to stop trying too hard and just, as very close friend of mine, Paul McCartney (ya right), would say….Let It Be.

So, on that note…..I love finishing books. Be they big or small, it gives me a great sense of completion. Something I’ve done for a few years now is transfer my clippings and highlights from my Kindle to my computer. Then, put them in a Pages doc and save them by book in a file by author. From time to time I go back and reflect on them. It’s super helpful. If they are printed books (get ready for the anality of this), I hand type all my notes, page numbers, etc., and do the same saving as the other. It sounds absurd, but when you’ve moved as many times as I have, you need to make sure your notes at least come with you!

I just finished two books this past week. In case you’re interested, they are both insightful and helpful and if you have the time, I’d encourage you to read them.

The first is fairly short-“The Gift of Being Yourself: The sacred call to self discovery” by David Benner. Great book and one that helps in furthering self differentiation, identity in Christ and the difference between vocation and career.

The Second is a little longer but by my favorite author. “Discernment: Reading the signs of daily life” by Henri Nouwen. Another great read and one that deals simply with being more aware of the world around you.

No doubt you’ll reading more about these two books in future posts, but thought I would share what’s been on my mind. The next two books are going to be pretty powerful and I’m pretty excited to dive into them…but more on that later!

If you’ve read either of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them as well as how you interacted with them!

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2 thoughts on “Trying Too Hard….

  1. Than you for the post, JB. I am in the identical scenario. I use the excuse when I get in that state, “maybe God doesn’t want me doing this”. A simple answer is no He doesn’t because it replaces Him. And then the need to read one of your books comes into the mix. Discernment! I struggle so much with this in my Walk.
    How is your missional journey? I pray for yours and all of the missionaries. I can’t imagine the ups and downs of that place.
    Thank you JB for this particular blog and your work in God’s Kingdom.

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    • Hey David, thanks for your kind words and encouragement! I wanted to let you know why I didn’t post this comment to my blog. Though I am open with my beliefs and interaction with those who want to discuss things, about 8 years ago stopped using the word “missionary.” I’ve found that this word doesn’t really hold the same meaning in the States that it may have decades and centuries ago, and even in our churches can have an adverse affect. The second reason is that outside of church culture in the world, this means nothing, even with an explanation. But third, is that we are not here on any type of religious affiliated visa and therefore can be kicked out if we are doing anything “missionary” related. So, if it is something religious orientated, I prefer to use the term Worker. But, coffee roaster, businessman, business owner, etc., are much more true to my role here on paper. Thanks again for your kind words!

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