Day 32 – 34 (of 63): Catching Up Again

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Last Post

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Saturday. It’s been a exhausting but mostly positive few days.

As anticipated there will be days when I just can’t get something posted (even though I’ve given myself permission to post less than perfect copy b/c it’s a blog after all). I’ll try to give a fast update of the last 3 days, but here’s a little recap of what I’m trying to do with this blog series.

Feel free to skip down to the update section if you’re all caught up on this blog.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Update

Let me just say, there are awkward ways in which we notice things in life. For example, I brought a 6 pack of TP over to the new house the day we got the keys. Ironically, my buddy Jeff brought some rolls and some paper towels as an early housewarming gifts (he said its the kind of thing you forget when moving until its too late.)

We’ve had contractors and subs, and we’ve been there a lot working ourselves–it’s time to bring over another 6-pack and it hit me in that odd way life does sometimes–we’ve been working on this place for a long time, AND we ain’t done yet. Holy cow.

I continue to “sleep in” to about 6 AM, weighed in one day at 295.2 lbs. I continue to be blown away by the favor God is showing us with Subs being suddenly available and coming in at or below their estimates. We’re exhausted but still on schedule. Did I mention we’re tired.

The crazy parts aren’t the time at the house crossing things off the list. I mean, yes, we’ve hit some walls there. For my wife, Kristin it was a banister that had to be painted in place (couldn’t remove it) but first had to have the gloss stripped off. It took a total of four coats (including the liquid sandpaper) and since it was all just one 4-foot section of our house over and over for two days Kristin was so frustrated. Normally she might have done part of it each day and then circled back after she got something done, but this had (ideally) to get done before carpets go down tomorrow.

For me it was a set of vertical blinds that I think were installed by the devil himself. I pulled window treatments off every window as we prepped to paint and only the blinds are going back up, so typically it takes a little longer to take it down than put it back. But this particular room was a theater room with a bunch of extra curtains (big holes to putty) and the window is 8 feet wide so it had vertical blinds instead of horizontal. The header was screwed through the valence and you couldn’t get at the support because of the center channel speaker shelf… it was a puzzle. So I had my arms over my head working for 4 hours trying to get this thing unclipped. I finally got a part loose and did a pull-up with my finger tips to tear it out–mostly. If you weigh almost 300lbs I recommend against fingertip pull-ups.

But as a I mentioned the thing that has been most challenging this week is the stuff that pulls us away from the work site. It’s my daughters spring break so we didn’t have to work around school trips and we all could sleep in a bit. But we also had scheduled her dentist (two visits b/c we went back for a seal coat?) And we established care with a new pediatrician. That guy is great but all the way out in Washougal. Then there was an appointment with the bookkeeper for my writing business (two of those as well). And I took on another writing client–for which I’m super excited because she’s in my target market/ideal client type. I can’t wait to do more writing for her agency. The timing was just crazy, LOL.

So that’s about it for catching you up. More next time… oh wait. First here’s the plan going forward. We’re down to just the thousand little things in the main house and my friend comes back from AZ at the end of this week so we can get to work on the ADU in earnest. And the carpets go down tomorrow–the vinyl is already in the new laundry room. It’s fun to finish each room one at a time. (I carried 8 loads of construction trash down the stairs yesterday–ugh. More next time.

Day 28 – 31 (of 63): Recharged!

Recharged

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Last Post

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Wednesday. I just got back from a the coast with my family. We really needed that recharge. My daughter mentioned that EVERYONE else in her class is going somewhere on Spring break and both my wife and I have been to the coast on retreats with friends…and the idea of the family trip was in our heads. There was nothing to do but go. I’m so glad we did.

Miraculously, we had a small break in our schedules both at the day jobs and the remodel. So we ended up at Long Beach. I’ve been there before and so has Kristin, but I don’t think we’ve been there as a family. It was my Mom’s first time at the coast since my father passed, 17.5 years ago, and she got to set her feet in the sand and watch the surf from my van. We got recharged and had fun–some really good restaurants out there. We had kitchen in the hotel room and Kristin packed food, but we ate out a couple times and it felt like old times, you know, Pre-Covid.

Last Wednesday I started the Grief Recovery Class. I’m finding it challenging. I’ll try to update on that as I process it. My wife and most of my friends have been through it, so I know a lot of what to expect, but it’s still very odd to do it myself. We shall see how it goes.

Here are some photos of our time at the coast.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God
– Revive my blog and start blogging one to two times a week.
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

House Update

I continue to hover between 299 lbs and 296 lbs and I continue to “over-sleep” until 6 AM.

We got a lot done, including the texture on the drywall. Now we’re waiting for the flooring for upstairs to come in (the installers are lined up). I’m still demoing some of the wood floor upstairs and I need to buy another sheet of plywood for the closet in the new laundry room so the flooring guy can help me get the smooth surface prepped for vinyl.

Kristin has been painting like crazy trying to get areas done before the floor goes in. There are still many spots to paint after those are done, but they are what’s urgent–including a banister which is super hard to paint. But I feel like we’ll be ready. I also need to design my work space in the storage shed so I know how much of the old counter top to move there. Then I need to lug out the counter top from the office so it can be painted. I’ve got blinds coming down before painting and blinds going up after painting and the list goes on and on.

We are not alone though. I give mad props to my friends and their wives who have come to help us paint and repair time and again. Also, God has showed up in timing so much. We’ve had so many times when one thing had to be done before someone could move ahead on their next thing (subcontractors) and it’s all jut worked out. God is so good and deserves all the glory.

Here are some pictures which may or may not show the tremendous progress we’re making.

Today…as soon as I finish up writing a LinkedIn profile for a client, I’m heading over to start work on the house. I need to grab supplies from storage and from the store, then get back to removing the floor upstairs. Then prep for more painting by getting the counter out of one room and window treatments out of the other. It sounds nuts to say it, and it probably is.

More tomorrow…

Day 20 – 27 (of 63): Sooo Busy, Toooo Busy

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Last Entry

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Saturday morning. It’s getting longer and longer between posts. AM Pgs, my stream of thought morning journal writing, has been one of my longtime habits for a couple years. It really works to quickly clear my mind of noise and capture all the things I feel like I should be thinking about that day. At the end of each session I quickly underline the actionable items and write a little number in a circle next to them to put them in the order that reflects their priority to me. It’s simple, effective, and relaxing. I meant to start using this blog as a sort of AM Pgs that also added in an accountability piece and kept track of my progress toward my goals.

I’m noticing that it hasn’t worked–which is totally fine. I create a lot of positive habits for myself but sometimes I need to audition some different ways of accomplishing the same effects. I don’t want to live in fear, or basically get to some place where the routine becomes the point. The routines are there to help me not enslave me if that makes sense. So I try things out once in a while. I challenge my sacred cows, even if those habits were hard to find and create.

So here’s what I learned trying to change my AM Pages routine. I’ve done it old school, paper and pen, mostly because it was how the person did it who’s routine (Morning Pages / Julia Cameron) I based my routine on. It also made the habit highly portable as sometimes I go off grid and don’t take a laptop with me. Julia stresses doing it with pen/paper because typing is less effective for her–I had my doubts. Truth is I’ve been typing a long time and I discover a lot when I’m processing through typing into a laptop too so I didn’t think that was a crucial a part of it all–I was wrong. The ability to create my own shorthand, sometimes drawing a picture or diagram to reflect a concept, not to mention feeling the repeated theme of things I write, it’s a very tactile thing.

Another aspect of morning pages (& it turns out my AM Pgs too) is that it’s for my eyes only. The stream of conscious nature, is something that gets quickly stuck when you know someone else might read it. I’ve accomplished a lot more writing this last year, by doing the informal, direct to internet, sort of writing that doesn’t get double checked by several people. I successfully adapted a take-massive-action, done-beats-perfect, attitude and it works. So I figured I could recapture a little time by combining my AM Pgs with my need to blog out my progress/accountability on this season of transition. I was wrong.

My AM Pgs can take as little as five minutes some days and keeps my brain feeling de-fragged and my attitude de-stressed. I have enjoyed blogging more. However, this is a rough season to start so many new habits at once and my failure to blog as much as I wanted blowing up isn’t that shocking. When it sank it took my morning journal habit with it and that’s put me in a world of hurt.

So conclusion #1 for this season was that I likely will never blog more than once a week, which I’m okay with. Conclusion #2 for this season is that I can’t blog out my AM Pgs. I will return to my daily routine as it worked prior to this.

Goals Update:

You’ll note that my goals for this season as listed below, include going to bed at 9:30 PM and getting up at 5 AM. That was something I didn’t anticipate struggling with. I’ve maintained that schedule before, although I’d faltered on it during the holidays. However, its taken two weeks for my body to adjust to the new level of physical exertion. I’m beat. I’ve done well at going to bed on time but I sleep in a to 6 most mornings. I did this partly so I could stay in a life rhythm but that’s been hit and miss.

The real goal behind the consistent schedule is to draw a circle around my life outside the house remodel and I haven’t totally done that either. I catch myself staying at the house longer and longer, not getting the time with my daughter I want. Some days hardly seeing my wife at all and when we do it’s only in the context of working on the house project.

Thursday night we went over and worked until 11 PM. We got up Friday and worked their all day. I’m not really getting my day job (writing done either). So I called a halt things and we booked a place at the cost for a couple days this week. We’re getting away entirely. We don’t have time for it, but it needs to happen. Our lives are more than the house remodel.

That’s my recap right now. I’ve got some amazing progress to show on the house, but I’m going to cover it in the next post this week. Right now this is enough.

God bless…

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Day 17/18/19 (of 63): Phase 1 Ending

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Last Post, To the Explanation at the Beginning, Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back/ Update

Welcome to Wednesday, Woke at 7:25 late but better rested. Got up at 7:35 AM weighed in at 296.2 lbs. Tried to go to bed early because I’ve been so physically exhausted–In bed by 8 PM. Slept horribly last night–woke up every 45 minutes until midnight. Lay in bed until 1 am and got up. Wrote a LinkedIn profile I’ve been needing to do for a client. Kristin got up and we talked until 2:30 trying to get back to sleep. Ended up getting few decent hours after that.

Also welcome to Thursday. Woke at 5:38 slept a little better, only woke up 3 times in the night. I think it’s leg pain when I roll over in my sleep that’s waking me up. Finally got up at 6 AM weighed in at 295.4 lbs.

Friday, Woke at 5:40, Rose at 6 am, Weighed 295.2 lbs. Only woke a couple times last night. Another switch place morning with Kristin, so I get Olivia ready for school and take her. I love getting to take Olivia to school but it’s hard to get her ready and fit in the other things I try to do each morning to de-frag my brain and get ready for the day.

Yesterday I hit my wall. The main reason I’m blogging this season/remodel is so that the remodel portion of it doesn’t take over my life. I have other things in life that are important to me and can’t fall off my plate. Well, last night I wanted to leave the project by 5 PM so I could build my daughter a blanket fort (something I promised her when we needed to barrow her bed for reasons I won’t get into right now). Well I stayed late to get an estimate from a sub I’d like to higher and pay another sub for work he’d done. I ended up coming home after 6 PM again and exhausted.

Kristin made a great dinner and then went to do our daughters bath, I decided to watch Jeopardy, my one guilty pleasure that I have about 150 unwatched episodes on DVR (which should tell you how often I get to watch TV by myself). It takes 18 minutes if I fast forward commercials. Well Kristin decided to make the fort during Olivia’s bath which needed my help for a few things–roughly every time I sat down to unpause Jeopardy. Then we ran into a box of cleaning supplies I’d knocked over on the garage couch. There was a small soap spot on the couch and Kristin got really upset with me about it. Then I let her barrow a box of my books to hold down a blanket on the fort and she spilled them over the banister to the bottom of the stairwell.

So I went to clean up the books, fuming because it was the 6th time I’d paused Jeopardy and gotten up to help with something I didn’t want to take on at that moment. It was not my finest hour. I had to say sorry and it was still frosty for the rest of the night.

My point in relaying that story is that I’m not holding it all together the way I wanted to. I’m fried out, and need to take some remedial actions. Tomorrow I’m taking off the project and all other work. I usually try to take Saturdays off no matter what, but I really need it tomorrow. I get to eat brunch with family and dinner with friends. I look forward to recharging.

Step 2 will be that this phase is winding down today. More on that below, but essentially for the next two weeks I anticipate a slower pace.

Step 3 is that I don’t think I can hold myself accountable for blogging everyday. I think I will try to shift to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday AM blog with Tuesday’s and Thursdays doing something else. That’s a better pace for me and it shouldn’t impact the blog much.

Reno project Update is …

Phase 1 is complete. Walls upstairs are moved, furnace moved to new mechanical room and tankless H2O heater is replaced. Door to garage is moved plumbing is installed for ADU prep. So much drywall and dust…insanity.

Our helper is flying back south and Kristin and I are left to clean up, dump runs, more painting, hang doors, and get the texture and flooring into the upstairs. That’s phase 2. Phase 3 finishing the ADU begins April 1st. Sometime around the 2nd week of April we hope to begin moving into the main space. Then we’ll finish Phase 3 in week 3 and move mom into the ADU by end of April.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Day 15/16 (of 63): Inside Out

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Last Post, To the Explanation at the Beginning, Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back/ Update

Welcome to Monday, Woke at 5:38 late but better rested. Got up at 5:55 AM weighed in at 297.8 lbs. That’s the right direction at least.

Also welcome to Tuesday. Woke at 5:20 late but better rested. Got up at 5:39 AM weighed in at 298.4 lbs. I need to spend more time with my daughter. So Kristin and I are switching places this morning for a bit. She’s going to the job site to paint before work and I’m getting my daughter ready for school and drive her there. I’m excited.

On the way back I can sneak into a referral group that I enjoy being a part of. (Power Referral Partners)

Reno project Update is great. I had snags with getting an electrician, but that’s finally working out thanks to a couple buddies who are electricians being willing to work some nights and weekends. Right now the trades are all super busy and if I didn’t have the friends I do I’d be completely hung up on this project. HVAC and Plumbing should be done today (well all the trades have to come back again to do their final install work when walls are up.) We’re putting up more drywall today. My carpenter friend is leaving next Sunday so Kristin and I will be on our own for a couple weeks. I think we’re in a good spot to continue work while they’re gone.

Jeff, John, Jon, Rick

Friendship

I have leaned on my friends so many times in the past, but this last 5 days I’ve made some big asks and they’ve really come through for me. I owe all of them a debt of gratitude and I can’t express it enough. Thanks to my friend Bruce, Rick, Jeff, John, Jon, and Mark. I’m craxy blessed to know you and so thankful to have you in my life.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Reno Pics This Week

Day 12 (of 63): The Wilderness of the Soul

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to day 8 thru 11

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

It’s Saturday. Skip down to the Recap of this Blog Series if you’re lost on where we are–I want to dive right in. It’s no coincidence that I announce week 2 theme is the Spiritual core behind the things I’m doing in this season and then get so busy I can’t post for 3 days at a time. Anything “deep Kingdom” will be opposed. It doesn’t matter though, because God wins in the end.

Update

So day 12! I was up late last night trying to unwind from the week. I didn’t actually finish my writing project until 7pm, then I finally got to join my family for pizza movie night. Woke up at 5:38 AM anyway, but lay in bed drifiting in and out till about 7am. Sorry if this is the boring part, but weighted 299lbs yesterday, and 298.2 lbs today.

We finally hit some snags that will cost delays at the house remodel. Having trouble nailing down an electrician, they’re just all busy. I got someone to pitch-in a bit to get us unstuck but they don’t have time to do the next phase in the ADU, which is okay, it will buy me some time. My wife is coming to grips with the fact that we won’t be done and moved in before April 1 so we’re paying for two places for at least the month of April. I have figured this all along because if ANYTHING went wrong we were going to blow through the early deadline.

We may also blow through deadline #2, April 17th (my little girls birthday). Which means we’re going to have to get creative in where we put relatives who are coming to visit. But in the grand scheme of things we’re taking on in this crazy (63 day) season it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay…

The Spiritual Journey

Ever here people say, “trust the process?”

I’ve always hated that. I don’t trust your process. LOL! A better way to say it might be, “trust that you are in a process.”

Now that, I can get behind. Trusting a process is religion, but the truth is we are on a journey (a process). The destination will be glorious, but so is the journey. Imagine for a second that God has a vision for your life, and He’ll tell it to you if you ask, but he doesn’t reveal the process because you might not go for it if you knew what you were biting off.

Say God tells you something you’ll have. A big something. Or maybe He reveals a giant calling on your life–like saving a nation. Ask yourself who you might have to become in order to inherit that giant calling. The chances are that God will take you through a process of becoming so that He can hand you what you and He want you to have.

The process, or journey, is one that you can stumble blindly through or one that you intentionally seek out. Usually, if you try really hard, your going to get a bit of both, and that’s okay. We live in a fallen world and we have an enemy to constantly throw in our faces just how far we’ve fallen. The truth is that God is bigger. Nothing we do takes us out of his process, so long as we’re not actively shutting God out of our lives.

So in every life circumstance God has two goals: draw us into closer intimacy with Him or to grow our character so that we can handle more journey and more inheritance. That’s been a huge comfort to me over the last couple years.

This might be easier to understand if I describe the process I see most often. (The process is unique for everyone, but there is a pattern.)

The Wilderness of the Soul

The process compares to the journey the Children of Israel took out of Egypt to the Promised Land. Step one is leaving slavery. God accomplishes that through a bit of a journey in it’s own right, but when it’s all said and done you end up crossing the Red Sea.

It actually doesn’t take a ton of faith to leave slavery. I mean you just have to hit rock bottom and realize that a loving God wants to be your father. It’s a lot but compared to what’s coming it’ll feel like child’s play. The Red Sea represents the baptism of water in the individuals journey. It’s a decision to die to sin, come alive in Christ and pursue New Life as a Spirit Filled individual. It’s typically an evangelist who leads you out of Egypt, and then they sort of turn you over to a local church in the hopes that you’ll continue to grow up in the Lord.

In reality…well I’m just going to say it. The spirit of religion is all over the local church. They love the new tithe-paying members and they’re happy to propagate the myth that God ceded the sanctification process to them. I’m not saying we shouldn’t be meeting with other Christians, or that it’s not super helpful in learning the ropes, it’s just that the church as an institution finds it handy to be officially in the path of your next steps as a Christian. Whether they know it or not they often stand between new Christians and the process God is trying to take them through.

The same God who sent your Jesus to save you, because you couldn’t do it yourself, sent you the Holy Spirit because you can’t sanctify yourself either. Let’s return to the Children of Israel. They walk across the wilderness in probably about 4 weeks and then utterly fail to lay hold of the Promised Land because they didn’t trust God of ten plagues to help them defeat the giants that lived in their Promised Land. The hadn’t put on the robs of sonship (daughtership), and who could really blame them.

It’s hard for a former slave to give up that mentality. We’re so used to the way the world thinks we have a hard time leaving it. It’s process Paul calls mortification. We have to die to the way we think. That’s what the Israel did. They wandered the wilderness until that generation died off.

See the typical Christian is saved from slavery to sin by an evangelist only to be stranded in the wilderness until they die. The church will tell you that your job is to try really hard not to sin too much until you go to heaven–your ultimate home. The Truth is you home is not in heaven. You’ll go to heaven when you die, but it’s a pit stop, then you return with Christ to a remade Earth. There is so much scripture behind this I don’t have time to play proof text poker, if you can’t buy that we come back to Earth after the enemy is driven from it just study. Probably when I say it it will sound right. God formed Adam from Earth and gave him dominion over it (I say Adam but I mean to include Eve).

I’m not trying to be anti-organized religion but we really have to be wary of some pits we can fall into or we’ll end up like the children of Israel, wandering the wilderness until we die.

So back to our journey…The key to getting out of the wilderness of the soul is beating four spirits/mentalities–Orphan, Religion, Poverty, and Political. These are battles we must fight but we win not in our own strength. It’s something that we win when our the Holy Spirit builds faith in us so that our Identity changes.

Baptism

When you leave the waters of the Red Sea you are spiritually reborn. There is an infant in your heart being nurtured by the Holy Spirit. While on Earth, the inner child will always be a part of you, but as you heal from slavery scars your spirit will grow and mature. This is according to God’s plan. As you grow up you get adopted into a royal family, aka the Kingdom, and the way God interacts with you will also mature.

I have so much more to share on this topic but I’m out of time. Love you all. More soon.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Day 11 (of 63): Inside Out

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Day 8 -10, To the Explanation at the Beginning, Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back/ Update

Welcome to Thursday, Woke at 5:48 late but better rested. Got up at 6AM weighed in at 299 lbs. Yes that’s concerting. I have had to grab lunch out the last couple days to save time and talk over the project with stake holders (family) and my contractor (friend who knows what he’s doing.) From the moment I woke I was thinking about things I need to accomplish today, but it was God prompting so I didn’t feel disconnected or distractred. I love working with God, especially when He’s “on topic.” Have you ever had those times when God seemed to be pulling you in an entirely different direction? That drives me nuts, which is why I try to really make time for God each morning before diving into the day–less whiplash when He is suddenly taking me in a new direction.

Reno project Update is simply that things are on pace. Don’t get me wrong–that’s a miracle. I love my subs. The HVAC guys at Precision Mechanical are amazing (prompt, courteous, & easy to work with). Summit plumbing is also fanstastic. They’re working easily around the HVAC crew. I just need to get an electrician started. That’s one of the things God put in my mind first thing.

The weather has been amazing. I hope it stays.

Today I need to shift gears around noon. I promised a friend/colleague I’d jump on her writing challenge and help out on the fiction side. And I’ve been neglecting the writing business a little. I need to catch up on that and other laptop work. Kristin is taking today and tomorrow off the day job to focus on the house so…this is a good day to start splitting my days. I want to hopefully do the house reno in the mornings and my day job in the afternoons–at least today and tomorrow. We’ll see what happens.

About the Spirit

Imagine an archery target. (I love Archery BTW). Each color represents a different level to your being. Gold in the middle is your Heart/thrown room of your life. It’s inhabited by your God’s Holy Spirit and your spirit and it’s where your true character lives. The red ring represents your soul where your mind, will, and emotions live. It’s the level of your personality.

The blue ring is you physical body. It’s how you interact with the world. And the Black ring is your immediate environment. The white ring is the world outside your control. Things can happen out in the white ring that impact you but most of what impacts you is in the black and blue ring, (color pun intended) and that’s most of what you can impact.

Now imagine it with lines coming out from the center dividing it like pizza slices. The tip of the slice is in the gold and the crust is out in the black. If you make a change, say you trim off a bit along the side of the pizza slice to cut it in half, the further you travel from the tip, the larger the impact. Changes made at a deep level will have a more profound effect on you than changes made at the surface.

As a spiritually dead person there is a lump of scar tissue between your heart and your soul. The way the world works, change happens at the surface and travels in. Before you were reborn, stimuli traveled in through the soul and hits the wall of flesh around your heart and then the response comes back from the scar tissue of your experience. Now that you’re alive, you’re able to have the Spirit of God respond to what’s happening in your life.

Better yet, you can live from inside out and unleash the wisdom and Kingdom of God on whatever circumstances you encounter. This is some of the realization I’ve been walking in for the last couple years. I recommend studying Dr. Miles Monroe about the Kingdom of God for more info. But the gist of my coaching is life purpose, which flows out of understanding the Kingdom your in and who you are in it.

I look forward being moved into my new house and ready to launch coaching full swing.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Reno Pics This Week

Day 8 – 10 (of 63): Catching Up

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Day 7

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Wednesday. As anticipated there will be days when I just can’t get something posted (even though I’ve given myself permission to post less than perfect copy b/c it’s a blog after all). I’ll try to give a fast update of the last 3 days. Then a quick section on the topic for week 2…the Spirit.

Feel free to skip down to the update section if you’re all caught up on this blog.

Quick Recap of this Blog Series

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. When I have a season of big changes to adapt to and big projects to take on, I like to combine it all into a plan I call a journey. I’m calling this journey Spring 2021: Cleric Journey – (It includes such things as turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching). I typically journal me progress, big wins/big flops, but this time I’m blogging it so I can…

  • Inspire or help some folks facing similar life situations.
  • Share tips I’ve learned or that people suggest to me that I decided to try out.
  • Stay committed to progress by stating to all my readers what I’m doing and if it’s working or not.
  • Eventually turn it into a written resource for the Creative Christian Entrepreneurs I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Update

Monday woke at 6 AM, weighed in at 298.6 lbs (I really hope that the couple pounds back is water weight or something.) Work began, I had a lot of trades in there all at once–concrete guys, plumber, HVAC. Holy cow. I’m blessed because it can be really hard to get that many people doing that many different things all at once on one project.

Tuesday woke at 6:30 AM, when my daughter tapped on my back and said she was hungry. Weighed in at 298.6 lbs. Managed to get to the chiropractor. Lots of sun this week, which is a miracle. Bought some tools I need for this job. And supplies. Holy cow materials are expensive right now. My buddy Bruce is a retire contractor, and he flew up to visit his daughter, and he’s been kind enough to show me the ropes on many of the skills I need to know. He’s startled how many trades we’ve got working and right at the start of the project. We have a lot of favor going.

Today woke at 5 AM, thank God, and prayed for strength since I only got 6 hours of sleep, got out of bed at 5:20 when my daughter tapped on my back and asked, “is it morning?” weighed in at 298.8 lbs. last day of sun, maybe, for a bit.

Spirit

Argh I’m so out of time... I’ll try to come back and update this afternoon.

Day 7 (of 63): The Week Ahead

Links:

Link to Day 1, Link to Day 6

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Well it’s Sunday or should I say Monday. I couldn’t get this cleaned up in time to hit publish yesterday. I meant to lay out my plans for the upcoming week and I’d written that much so I’ll throw that on and move onto day 8. Let’s dive into my plans for week 2.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Update

Saturday was an awesome painting party. My friends showed up and really helped us move the project along. Here are some pictures of the progress.

Dining Room Before and During Remodel

The Week Ahead

Aside from the new health plan, which I’ll detail below, most of the plans for this week are about the house reno.

The HVAC guys and concrete guys start work on Monday. My carpenter flies in Monday and will start Tuesday. I still don’t have a start date for the plumber, and I haven’t found the roofer or the exterior painter.

I have a day/time, location and committed participants for the grief recovery class but not quite sure which could mean Monday it’s starting. Maybe this today, that would be something wouldn’t it. AAAAHHH!

Focus

The blog so far has focused on very tactical things–the soul and body lever of being. I’m going to shift this week and talk about the Spirit level more. For more details on the levels to a human you can read my book “On Becoming a Man.”

Level 4 Environment: We can impact our environment but we don’t control it. We often spend a lot of time trying to control it, but we can’t. We have authority as restored beings through Christ, to impact that world–what Genesis calls “Fierce Mastery,” but the free will of others also has authority. God himself established man’s authority on Earth and He doesn’t violate His own command.

Level 3 Body: We do have a lot of control over our bodies. It’s a level where we interact with the world around us. We control our actions and reactions. Our bodies suffer age, illness, and injury, but we don’t have to give into all the effects. Joshua claimed in his 80’s that he was as strong as he had been in his 40’s. Was he simply bragging? I’d like to think he wasn’t.

Level 2 Soul: Our Mind, Emotions, and Will. Our personality and perspective live here. I often call it the battlefield of the soul, or the wilderness of the soul. I’m not being dramatic. This is the place of deeper clash between the outside forces trying to define us and the inside forces of true identity. We have near total control here in Christ if we choose to engage with it. This is the place the scriptures mean when they speak of the renewing of the mind. But it’s not the deepest, truest part of our being.

Level 1 Spirit: This is the place of our true identity. Before the God set the world in motion He dreamed up who we would be, uniquely. When Christ died in our place, he restored us to that intimate walk with God. He made a way for God’s original vision to come to pass. We were Spiritually dead and then we became Spiritually reborn. Our spirit is like an infant and the Spirit of God comes to dwell with us in our hearts–the thrown room of our lives. Our spirit carries the authority God intended for our lives, but we don’t know how to rule so the Spirit of God acts as an advisor, and teacher. Together we can carry out God’s plans on Earth. Binding and losing what is in heaven and on Earth.

The effective human existence on Earth is only possible when a redeemed person lives from inside out. That’s one part of three keys to reigning as a son/daughter of God in this life. I have so much more to say on this topic but I’m out of time. More later today in Monday’s official post…

Day 6 (of 63): Week 1 Review

Links:

Link to Day 1, Day 2 Link , Day 3 Link, Day 4 Link & Link to Day 5

For those who followed my previous crazy journey’s, here’s the post the Friday before I started this one, which puts it in the context of this blog as a whole: Christian Influence Peddling.

Welcome Back

Welcome to Saturday. I’ll try to give a fast update of yesterday and lay out plans for next week. Last week I gave details on my research and thinking for the health initiative portion of this journey. As promised, I’ll cap that off today with the diet & exercise plan I’m committing to the for the rest of this 63 days. Then I’ll intro my topic for week 2.

Quick Recap

I’m a writer (fiction/non-fiction/copy) who’s turning 50 in June. I’ve been journaling for a few years, but my attempts to blog come in fits and spurts. Personal blog that is, professionally I manage a blog for a car inspection service with joy and ease. Since I’ve got a huge Spring ahead of me, with turning 50, remodeling a house, expanding my writing business to include entrepreneur & life purpose coaching I’ve decided to move a large part of my journaling online.

My hopes for this is two fold:
First that my readers can glean some tips on how to handle these seasons in their life. If nothing else you’ll learn some things not to do.
Second just writing what I did, what worked and what didn’t, will keep me accountable. (I once read that people dieting were more successful simply by keeping a food journal. This is sort of that, only for my entire life for one season.)
Bonus Hope: If this is at all successful I’ll turn this blog into a resource for people I coach.

Note: The thinking behind journeys is this. When facing busy seasons in life, we need to impose some routine on life, and be flexible other places. We need to decide what our life is about, that authentic to us, and not lose site of that while taking on those big projects of crazy seasons that happen to all of us in life.

Why 63 days?

Because of a book by Dr. Leaf that recommends taking 63 days to change a habit. 21 to move the habit from short term memory where it takes active effort to do it, 21 one to move it through mid-term memory and 21 to make it stick in long term. Some of the changes I’m making are simply projects that will get done by hook or by crook, but some of these are changes I’m making to my lifestyle.

Change happens in life in two ways. Most of the time it’s thrust upon us and we must recover from it. That takes a grieving process which I’ll be learning a lot more about when I start the Grief Recovery method in early March.

Sometimes change comes by force of will. We decide to alter our way of doing life in the hopes of changing life’s trajectory. There is a few thousand methods and theories around doing that from Alcoholics Anonymous to the Genesis Process. Studying change is a passion of mine and during this 63 days I’ll be taking a journey to put into action my theories on intentional change management.

Goal Recap

My goals/priorities this season–addressed in one project (One Big Thing), include
– Losing weight & getting younger, (soon auditioning new diet/exercise plans).
– Bed by 9:30 PM & getting up at 5 AM every weekday and spending time with God (which includes writing this blog).
– Launching the coaching arm of my writing/coaching business, and faithfully stewarding opportunities with my church.
– Remodeling a new home so that we can start living multi-generational with my mom.

Last Week

Last week was about what I expect from a big transition week one. Monday and Tuesday were pretty glorious. Wednesday was bumpy, Thursday was grumpy and Friday we pulled out a win, or win-like outcome.

I mentioned that my wife lost her keys, got our daughter to school late and ultimately found her keys at the new house. I’d fallen behind on some paid writing gigs and meant to catch up Friday morning but ended up doing a bunch of other stuff first including running Kristin to get her keys. What’s funny is that my wife loses things about once for every five times I do, but when she does it’s a whopper.

We started prepping and painting yesterday, and I remembered in the early afternoon that I CAN’T PAINT. I hate doing it AND it hates me back. I also couldn’t find my grungy cloths so I ended up getting pain on one of my favorite shirts. Don’t tell my wife but that probably won’t stop me from wearing it. LOL.

We made great progress though, thanks in large part to the fact that my wife is an amazing painter. She has a steady hand and doesn’t bother to tape things off. It’s crazy, but my wife is exceptionally good at nearly everything she tries to do. I think God had her marry me as a cosmic version of a golf handicap.

We also got some great news from sub-contractors yesterday and several aspects of the build are going to happen on time and on budget. But another big reason we got back on pace yesterday is that my buddy Jeff came over to help paint and knocked out the stairwell that we weren’t even going to be able to do, because my wife and I can’t be trusted on ladders. Gravity is a cruel mistress.

So from the clutches of disaster our project is on pace. Jeff is one of my inner circle, BTW. My team. I haven’t mentioned my team yet but I have 5 guys I’ve been doing life with for more than a decade. The last few years we’ve been getting on a zoom call every weekday at 7 AM to check-in and pray for each other. The weekend between announcing this journey on this blog and starting it we ran to coast for a two day retreat, just us guys. What’s amazing is that our wives. get along and tend to go to the beach together not long after we do.

On the health front, I should mention that I’ve been on a diet this week that isn’t the one I’m moving forward with. I had lost more than 25 lbs on Optivia in January 2020. It was successful and doable, but brutal. I’d try it again sometime if I could modify it some. I had some of the food left, which I kept in case I ever weighed over 300 lbs again and in phase one of this year I popped up to 302. So I ate the rest of what I call my punishment food. I actually have 3 “feedings” left to eat today. I jokingly call them feedings because I had to keep my heart light on that diet. (Lightheartedness is a key to losing weight no one talks about).

My Health Plan

After the giant posts explaining why I think the way I think when it comes to health, this will seem a bit short and simple. But simple is a key to any health change. Most of what makes a health change work is the stuff that doesn’t involve diet and exercise–it’s the mental game. Another key “commitment”–declaring you goal publicly and having friends and family on board to support you. You may even need to cut some people who wouldn’t support your goals out of your life temporally.

Another key is faith. We need to believe what we are trying for is attainable and attainable by us. We are going to succeed at trying even if it falls short of the goal or takes more effort than anticipated.

The final key planning. Here’s my plan:

Schedule is a big part of it. Going to bed and getting up at a consistent time is a key life success in every arena, because getting enough sleep is important brain function, attitude, self control, and eating schedule. There is a rhythm to life and we need to find our stride in that rhythm or lose creativity, focus, and self discipline.

I’m a fan of intermittent fasting and no matter what else you do, eating in a window (10 hours or less) will empower a diet. I’m committed to doing just that on weekdays.

I’ve also started Thrive by Level. I can talk more about that later but it’s basically a network marketing company that separates the water soluble vitamins into capsule 1st thing in the morning, then a probiotic shake for the fat soluble vitamins 20 minutes later. This prevents me from delaying any foods first thing in the morning like a true iFast. However, it works well with the five fueling theory in Optivia. So I will be using that as my first fueling from 5 AM to 5:30 AM each weekday.

BTW My weekend will vary mostly in schedule as I try to take Saturdays off from labor. I also allow myself a cheat meal on any diet so I’ll be doing that Friday or Saturday night.

Other fuelings consist of both broth, a food bar under 200 calories, a slice of cheese or jerky, avocado/apple/banana, or a protean smoothie. I will continue to drink coffee each day, but I ad collegian powder to it, and only flavor with half-n-half and monk fruit.

I’ll be very active during the construction phase on the house so I’ll be eating both lunch and dinner. My wife makes great dinners so I’ll just have to be vigilant for lunches. Both of those meals will be keto compliant. I’ve found that if I want to control carbs the key is fats to fight cravings and lots of fiber to cushion the carbs I do eat. So lots of salmon & avocado.

I like to increase protean but not by adding a lot of meat. I’m a fan of meat, but I have to try for more veggies (legumes), cheese, and eggs. My wife and I like to use a local butcher during diets since the quality of the meat we do eat is SO much better.

That’s most of it on the diet front. Clearly I’m counting on the house remodel for both activity and exertion. If I wasn’t getting that, or on days when I end up writing instead, I do a morning round of Ti Lo Han (a type of lunge and squat from martial arts) and push ups. Then I set alarms for each fueling during the 5 times a day, and I attach some sort of walking or push ups to that fueling.

That’s about it. If I forgot something I’ll add it as I go. If this isn’t working to take weight off I’ll pivot in week 3.