lists

5 Minutes to Fresh Ideas

Coming up with topics to write about can be difficult, especially if you are your own boss. You want to feel good about what you are writing, and you want others to be inspired by it as well. Sometimes I feel like when I talk to people about my blog, they have the idea that what I am doing is silly and unimportant. I get the “that doesn’t really take much work” type of vibe.

It couldn’t be any further from the truth. Sure I’m not sitting down and sculpting a perfect piece in iambic pentameter. But what I write matters, because I love to do it. And the same goes for you too, in whatever field your passions draw you to.

I read this great blog post today by Creative Arts Pastor Stephen Brewster on the 16 habits of Creativity, and it inspired me to do a little exercise. I got out my good ‘ol pen and notepad, and started a 5 minute countdown on my iphone stop watch. I then wrote down as many ideas as I could think of, and had to stop when the five minutes were up.

Sounds simple, but the race to beat the clock actually purged from my mind some great idea. And it felt good to get them all down, even if some of them weren’t really all that special. The point of the exercise was to get the brain going and the creative juices flowing. Sometimes that is all it takes to create one smashing result that effects a great number of people.

Whether you write, create D.I.Y. tutorials, watch kids all day or take fantastic photos, this is a great exercise. It will get your day going and give you the motivation you need to be your creative and original self!

Trying To Do It All

I’ve noticed here recently that there’s been an overarching theme in my more serious writing, which is completely normal. I don’t know why I find it so surprising. We go through seasons, phases, lessons. Sometimes they take a while to harvest.

I feel like God’s been saying, “stop trying to do everything, and focus on what matters. But not what YOU think matters. Use your energy to do what I want you to do,” for weeks, months and possibly years now.

Since my vlog post on Monday, I’ve really seen how crippled I’ve made myself by all of the commitments I take on. No one thing ever gets my full attention, because there are too many tasks to accomplish. This being the case, the things that do actually get done are not the best they can be.

I’m learning that a good leader is not someone who can do everything, but who can do a few things well. Mainly because he/she has the time to do it. A good leader is able to resist the temptation to take on this and that, more and more… and more. In this resistance, he/she forsakes potential fame and glory for themselves. A good leader has his/her eyes steady upon something greater than “you did a great job!” or “man…. you’re super mom!”

Jesus showed for us a great example by letting himself be fully human (and still fully God) and had rest. His moments of rest all throughout the gospels show me that it is necessary if we want to completely and fully love others. Withdrawal and reflection is crucial to filling up again and going back out. Choosing a handful of people (or tasks) to invest in is ultimately more effective and produces a better quality of life than attempting to accept every request and opportunity presented before us.

So, with that being said, I am here and now going to publicly announce what I am giving up. I am doing this as an exercise in applying a lesson learned, and to challenge others to either let go of or take on commitments.

My Letting-Go-Of List

Trying to clean the house EVERYDAY

Wedding Planning

Media Shout at church

Blog Designing

It may not seem like much, but those four commitments are huge and time consuming, and although good things in and of themselves, are not the commitments that I feel God wants me focusing on at this time.

Just making that list is already so liberating. Mmmm, peace.

Now for the follow through.