018 – Whole Relationships: Margin 2

Margin is the extra that we need.   We are a world of efficiency, and efficiency can often seem like the enemy of margin.   All healthy people and healthy relationships need space in every bank account that we have – our time, money, energy, and connections.   Putting some margin in every account allows us to truly live and have the full relationships we are designed for.

018 – Whole Relationships: Margin 1

Margin is the extra that we need.   We are a world of efficiency, and efficiency can often seem like the enemy of margin.   All healthy people and healthy relationships need space in every bank account that we have – our time, money, energy, and connections.   Putting some margin in every account allows us to truly live and have the full relationships we are designed for.

017 – Whole Relationships: Motives

Our brains are always at work making sense of people through ascribing motives.  But this ancient hack can fall short of serving it’s purpose in some major ways.  Here, I give 7 (or 8) principles that can help navigate the tricky terrain of making sense of peoples’ words and actions.

016 – Whole Relationships: Truth

Whole relationships are based on trust and truth.  But what is truth?  The truth is, objective truth can’t be separated from our personal relationships, attachment, and our very humanity.  If we want to have functional relationships, we have to stop killing truth with the games that we play, and create margin for truth to grow.

015 – Whole Relationships: Power

All relationships are power seeking power.   We often don’t realize it, since power comes in so many hidden forms, but everything we do and every interaction we have is based on this singular quest.  It is a universally human appetite that underlies every squabble and conflict under the sun.   Relationships will die if our power quest is left unchecked. There is a another more powerful force that feeds relationship: grace.

014 – How to Grow Whole Relationships: Organic

Back to Podcasting and here is episode 1 of the next series!  If you are already a subscriber, you may need to unsubscribe and resubscribe as we switched hosts.

Episode 1 abstract:

Relationships don’t just happen.  They grow.  We aren’t machines.  Ancient cultures likened us to trees and fruit — this is us.  Every relationship with a spouse, a child, a friend, a parent, or a boss — grows from something into something.   The best relationships start with nothing on but our identity.  And from that they give and give – and become something the world desperately needs.

featured image © Mike Marlowe Gallery (and maybe a tad bit of attribution to the bridge builders as well)

Every Kid Needs a Trophy

Emotionally speaking, our kids today have one of the most challenging paths to adulthood of any generation in history.

My wife, Beth, finished the Cowtown Marathon in 2010. It took every ounce of willpower and determination she had to eek out a glorious 5-hour finish time in a puddle of sweat and tears.

Today, as we were cleaning out drawers, our 5 year old found her participants medal.

      “Mommy–did you get first place?!”

After a snarky laugh, the response came– “Sometimes, buddy, you get a medal just for not quitting.”

     ________________

Some people say our kids today are entitled.  That they’re too soft.  That they need a trophy for everything.

Maybe they do.

The race they are running isn’t the same one many of us coasted through 30 or 50 years ago.

Theirs runs
up mountains of expectations,
against the winds of financial hardship and class separation,
through rains of data-driven critique,
far from home,
alone from adult interaction,
lost in a cyber-world that threatens YouTube clips any time they trip or #fail.

Their race is not for the faint of Spirit.

Every distance runner knows that the worst part of any race is the head-game.  Of course they’re sensitive. But the fact that they are still running means they’re also courageous.  They may not be making record time. But just by their not quitting, we are witnessing cause for celebration.

It isn’t easy.  Disconnection and isolation can make even a comfy Suburban life seem impossibly difficult.

So cheer your kids on today.  They need you.  Resist those grumpy voices in your head from past generations that say you’re being too soft, that you’re encouraging entitlement, that youre making them too thin-skinned.

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Trust me when I say– life in the 21st century will make them calloused enough without your help.

__________________

After 15 years of youth work, I have come to this conclusion: our kids are entitled. They are entitled to every drop of our scant praise, our scarce love and our meager encouragement to keep on running.  They are entitled because they are our kids. 

The course set for them is long and hard.  And we may just be witnessing the miracle of the human spirit with every graduation, every new class, and every next step.

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So give your kids a trophy.  Let love flow freely, and critique run dry.  And with your little morsel of praise to nudge them on, who knows what mountains they may conquer next?