How do you pick up the pieces when life takes a tumble?

On our recent vacation, we flew through the Milwaukee airport.   After going through security, we spotted what they call the “recombobulation area”.  It’s the place where you

  • Put your belt back on
  • Put on and tie your shoes
  • Put your wallet back in a pocket
  • Get your laptop back in it’s case
  • And put your jacket back on.

Most people end up feeling a little discombobulated after being screened.  So it was great to see the airport had a sense of humor and provided an area where you can get it all together again.

When your life takes a tumble , or you are just are worn out from the cares of this world,  you need a recombobulation areas in your life.  As we stress out over work, as we are stripped of our dignity by others, as we start to question who we are and why we do what we do, spending time in quiet helps us pick up the pieces and put them back together again.

My recombobulation area is a small table at a downstairs window that looks out over a variety of bird feeders in our back yard.  Time with the Lord, in prayer and journaling – where I can look up and see the beauty of His creation – makes all the difference in how I approach the world.  It keeps me whole and helps me maintain my integrity.

“A lack of quiet in a leader’s life leads to soul insanity.”   –Dan Webster

Torn between Work & Family


It’s 9:00 pm on Wednesday evening and I’m caught in a dilemma.  I have spent the last several days conducting interviews in the morning and writing  on a project for a client in the afternoons.  I’m on target with the search, behind my timeline for the writing.  Tomorrow is another day with morning interviews, phone calls with clients in the afternoon, and a couple of hours for writing.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday are set aside to celebrate our 30th anniversary with family at a lake cabin.

 I’m torn and I can feel the pressure building. I have to take a deep breath, relax, and refocus.    I need Friday and part of Saturday to write and catch up – but my core values are faith, family, and then career in that order.  So this is where the rubber hits the road.  I am praying and asking  God for grace and wisdom – and self-control so that I won’t work over the weekend.  I am excited about spending time with the kids and other family members and don’t want to work and spoil this time.  I also don’t want to be worrying about my workload.

 So it’s going to be nose to the grindstone tomorrow, and then family first on the weekend.   As tough as it feels right now, I know it’s the right thing to do.  I WILL feel better because I will act with integrity.   Hold me accountable and  I’ll give you a progress update next week.  When have you chosen family over work?

How to Turn Stress into Rest

 “The absence of quiet in a man or woman’s  life leads to a state of soul insanity.” -Dan Webster

 Since integrity is doing what you say you will do, and because  my core value is faith, I believe in the value of rest and quiet.  So in our home, Sunday is a protected day of rest.  I don’t fire up the computer from work and check email or work on projects no matter how overwhelmed I may feel.  Over the course of time, I’ve learned the value of a Sabbath day.  I look forward to that day as I know I won’t be working and that I’ll be spending time with friends, family and God.

 Last week I landed a large contract and had the familiar feeling of being overwhelmed with work.   By Thursday, I was strung tight as a drum.  Thursday evening my husband and I sat on the back patio in the porch swing as the sun went down.  We watched a star as it rose in the east, as more and more stars started to twinkle in a darkening sky, and then it happened – the insects began to sing.  The pleasant music of nature had a soporific effect, washing away the stress and tension and gently wooing me to rest and relaxation.  I’m not sure how long I sat in the swing – motionless, simply listening to God’s creation.  Surrounded by insect songs,  I found soul sanity.