Word of the Week

Can you remember the last time you yelled (or spoke in a harsh tone) at a family member? Can you remember the last time you were crossed up with your partner or best friend? Can you remember the last time you snapped at a co-worker?

If you are anything like me it was sometime this week! We all have our moments, don't we of not speaking kindly or putting our best selves forward. There is no such thing as a perfect person doing the perfect things all the time. Thus, the necessary next step is a word that we can all relate to: repair.

Repair: the action of fixing or mending something.

Recently, I have learned about the work of Dr. Becky Kennedy a parent, teacher, psychologist specializing in helping parents have stronger relationships with their children (but truly her work applies to anyone in a relationship with another person).

In an April 2023 Ted Talk she offers up repair as the single most important tool in a relational tool box. We all yell. We all loose our cool. We all do things that we want to walk back, she says. But at the end of the day, we can rebound and grow, she offers, if we lean into repair.

For in repair making, you SHOW your desire to be connected well beyond your temporary blunders.

Kennedy says, "Repair is really the act of going back to a moment that didn't feel good, taking responsibility, reconnecting and making a plan for going forward. You can change the ending of a story. It's not the yelling that messes up a kid [or person]. It's the lack of repair after."

Simply put: you have to be brave enough to talk about the stuff that it would be easier to pretend didn't happen. You have to be brave enough to give voice to the unhappy feelings. You have to be proactive in re-connecting heart-to-heart.

Of course, this doesn't mean that every relationship will be restored after a breakdown, but it like the old saying goes, you never know till you try!

I don't know about you, but repair often gifts my closest relationships with more closeness.

Such might sound crazy (because repairing is hard work and don't let anyone tell you otherwise!) but when heels are dug in and hearts come together to say to one another, "I love you enough to be uncomfortable and to figure this out " you know it's the real deal.

So this week, who do you need to call? Who do you need to invite to lunch? With what person do you need to linger longer in a conversation to get to that subject?

We never stop doing repair. It's a life-long journey, if we accept it, to repair and repair some more!



P.S. Interested in learning more about specific steps you can take in repair? Here's more from Dr. Becky Kennedy on this here.

I'm wondering-- what's in your heart that you want to do but haven't yet?

Maybe it's a truth-telling conversation. Maybe it's re-doing your resume so you can apply for that job or opening yourself up to a new relationship. Maybe it's starting a new side hustle or a hobby that will open up a bigger world of opportunities for you.

Whatever it is-- you can't get seem to get moving. There are so many questions in your mind about "the right time."

You're not yet ready for this week's word: launch. Launch which means to release, to set into motion; to start.

As a kid of the 1980s I can remember the anticipation of the day we all all sat around a TV in my elementary school preparing for the launch of the Challenger space shuttle carrying teacher astronaut, Christa McAuliffe. We'd just finished a unit on space in my classroom. We learned all about the parts of the space shuttle that would carry the 7 astronauts. We were excited to follow this journey.

But then we know what happened. The launch was a disaster. Christa died. So did all of her crew mates. This failure to launch was so devastating to Americans and the space program that a NASA shuttle did not fly again for 3 years.

On the night of the crash President Reagan addressed the nation saying:

“The future doesn’t belong to the faint-hearted; it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we’ll continue to follow them.”

I love these the words because as a person who doesn't want to launch until I'm pretty confident of success, the truth of the matter is: launching is not about success. It's about action.

To launch is to be faithful. It's no small thing.

The Challenger story is an extreme example of course-- so tragically sad, but in everything I've read since about Christa McAuliffe's life and story I know that day of the big launch there was no other place she wanted to be. She was "all in" and left a legacy in her death of so many school children like me deeply invested in space and brave hands-on learning.

So, this week, what's one thing you can do to inch your way closer to launch? How about making that phone call? Or writing that email? Could you sign up for that class?

Stand on the edge of God's nudge for your life and go for it. I'm cheering you on.



IMG_2077When is the last time you did something you later called brave?

Last year I went zip lining through the rainforest in Costa Rica. That felt brave.

Last month I spoke candidly with a friend, though it might have ruined our friendship. That felt brave.

Bravery to me is all about rising to the challenge, loving when it hurts, and acknowledging our fears but carrying on anyway. And, it doesn't hurt when people agree to go with you!

Stories of bravery, when we tell them, evoke feelings of pride and success. What's better than that?

But, in my experience, it's easy to place the "I" at the center of these moments. Saying things like:

I reached the top of the climb

I jumped out of a plane

I turned the other cheek

But, is bravery really a game of I?

Can any of us accomplish big feats alone?

The Christian story tells us no. We encourage one another as we go. No accomplishment comes without support staff. Together we can do more than we could ever dream of alone.

Lately, I've gravitated toward a playlist on my phone that includes the song called "Brave" as recorded by Nichole Nordeman. Brave is not a new but the lead track on her 3rd album recorded in 2005 by the same name.

These are some of my favorite lyrics.

The gate is wide, the road is paved in moderation
The crowd is kind and quick to pull you in
Welcome to the middle ground
You're safe and sound and
Until now it's where I've been

'Cause it's been fear
That ties me down to everything
But it's been love, your love
That cuts the strings

So long status quo, I think I just let go
You make me wanna be brave
The way it always was is no longer good enough
You make me wanna be brave

Though she doesn't explicitly say who the "you" is (or are) in these lyrics is, when I hear this song, I get my own visual. I think about the great community that I have come to know throughout my life.

communityI think about the foundation on which I stand called home.

And I think of all the strings of "safe middle ground" that I've cut through the years thanks to their help.

Specifically, I think about the family on earth that God has given me-- both biological and otherwise-- people who support me so beautifully.

I think about those dear friends and colleagues in my life that cheer me on, who champion my authenticity, and who see great things for my future that I can not yet see for myself.

#Mypeople rock!

And most of all, I treasure those times when they expressed their love in concrete ways.

And telling me the truth even when I didn't want to hear it.

I love how Issac Newton, one of the greatest physicist and mathematicians of all times described his own success: "If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants."

You and I stand on the witness of giants.

For each of us, giants come in different shapes, sizes, relations and nationalities. I truly believe, God sends us all some. We just must accept their presence in our lives when they arrive!

So today: for the giants, for their love, and the gift of bravery I want to declare my thankfulness.

And, I'll get back to doing the work, now. I want to be brave. Won't you join me?