10 things I learned this week

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You know you do a lot of enewsletters when MailChimp sends you socks for Christmas.

“Preaching the gospel that God has come down to earth to restore small, broken humans has no place when humans don’t feel small or broken. So, to share the Good News here, first we have to be bearers of bad news.” This is so true here in Levittown, too.

The only thing more tedious than decorating for Christmas is undecorating after Christmas.

Don’t send the first draft of the angry email.

No one …


That’s Christmas

Sometimes we fall backwards into traditions.

In 2010 I stumbled across a video of two spectacularly unenthusiastic women singing “Go Tell It on the Mountain” on public access TV, and decided it had to be shared with you all. Then in 2011 a guy named Preston, in my then-city of Nashville, filmed his own music video in the local mall and it made me laugh and so it, too, was passed along. In 2012 it was elderly twins named Stella and Ella doing–let’s be generous and call it choreography–to Silent Night, and then in 2013 I discovered …


9 things I learned this week


I love David Archuleta’s Christmas album and I’m not embarrassed about it all.

After receiving a Rubik’s cube in a youth group gift exchange, my husband will spend 75 minutes solving it. This is my version of the fifth circle of hell.

The quickest way to clean the downstairs is to take everything upstairs.

When you leave your phone on an airport shuttle bus and then chase after it full-out sprinting, you will not catch it but you will get sympathetic smiles from nearby cab drivers.

Nina will decide that two hours before an …


12 things I learned this week

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Matt can make Christmas trees out of napkins.

When you have Santa at your church on a 55-degree day, he’s going to need a fan and a lot of ice water to stay cool.

It costs $24.95 to dry clean a Santa suit.

Apparently CS Lewis worked for MI6 Now I like him even more.

I also like Cheetos, a lot more than I should.

Every light in our house has to be on ALL THE TIME or the terrorists win.

The only difference between muffins and cupcakes is icing.

This might …


10 things I learned this week


I can bag 22 bags of leaves in 90 minutes on Saturday afternoon.

I will still be feeling it Tuesday night.

Miles’s discarded extra-large hoodies are the perfect winter pajamas.

The nativity set will be out for two days before we lose Mary.

You can learn something valuable in just five minutes a day.

I don’t mind being distracted from an editing job when the distraction is Nina and one of her best friends talking and laughing downstairs.

Eating 20 almonds makes my stomach say DO NOT EVER EAT 20 …


6 things I learned this week


I get an awful lot done when I wake up for the day after less than four hours of sleep.

You can hang up your towels to save the planet and the hotel staff will still give you new ones.

When we babysit four little boys, Nikki will try to hump each of them at least once.

America could learn a thing or three from Belgium.

Matt’s pretty darn good at “Just Dance.”

There is always so much to be thankful for (including that I’m friends with one of the funniest and most talented people on …


11 things I learned this week

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I correctly predicted 95% of my Facebook friends’ reactions to the refugee situation before they posted anything.

I’m never going to like my hair.

Trying to get my ICOM sermon on YouTube is enough to make me lose my religion.

The country of Niger is pronounced “Nee-zher.” Did everyone else know that??

There are few things more life-giving for me than time with old friends who get me and love me anyway.

Ninja-level ability to sleep on airplanes is one of my favorite things about myself.

Being deliberate with …


10 things I learned this week



The dining room ceiling will start leaking 30 minutes before I leave on a two-week business trip.

The pace a treadmill records me running is always different from my pace on MapMyRun. Is this just me?

Women in Switzerland didn’t get the right to vote until 1971. WHAT??

THIS is why I called it the 405 for all these years.

Do I want to have a happy life or a meaningful one? It’s a tougher choice than you might think. “People whose lives have high levels of meaning often actively seek meaning out even when they know …


15 things I learned this week (and last week, too!)


hygge-ing it up in San Francisco


I need more hygge in my life.

The 7-year-old who is too cool to say hi to you before services on Sunday morning will still appear at your side for a hug before she goes home.

I will develop a zit in the middle of my forehead four minutes before I go on stage to preach in front of a couple thousand people.

I still liked preaching a lot.

It takes less time to conceive, carry, and deliver a new baby than it does to …


10 things I learned this week


I have something new on my bucket list.

Work is more fun when drinking hot chocolate.

Some of the most insecure kids I know are in their 40s.

When Nina and I go through Miles’ clothes for Goodwill we will end up keeping half his rejects for ourselves.

This article should change how I approach my day–but that’s exceedingly difficult when most of your day is at the mercy of stepkids and clients.

“A lecture course teaches students that listening is not the same thing as thinking about …