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This year has been one of chaos, of change, of newness. I graduated college. Got engaged. New Job. Moved. Marriage. Bliss. Chaos.
With the beauty and the gift that change is, I’m never prepared for the grief that it’s paired with. Transition melts you and reforms you to where you feel like a piece of playdough that a 3-year old pancake-smashed, mixed with other colors, and stuck on the bottom of a desk. I almost don’t recognize myself.
This year, my husband and I created a New Year’s bucket list of all the things we wanted to do in 2016. The list included things like: ride a motorcycle through Vietnam, hike the narrows at Zion National Park, attend the RISE festival, and finally take up a ceramics class. And a graphic design class. And sewing (because why not?!).
The list was posted on our refrigerator throughout the entire year, and I looked straight into it every time I opened the door. The things on the list were inspiring and wonderful… and completely unachievable. Our plates were full.
As a child Christmas was my favorite holiday. However in recent years, the overall busyness, increased demands of the season, and the general state of the world, had taken away from much of the joy for me. It was for these and a variety of other reasons, (not the least of which was a gift request for squeaking dolphin slippers), that my husband and I made some changes that have shaped how we celebrate Christmas with our kids and it has made a positive difference in how we experience this time of year.
In this series, entitled Building Creation Economies, I’ve talked about The Confounding Merger of Work and Leisure and What is Work?. Now, let’s look at what it means to be a creator. I propose three components.
On our drive home from school, my thirteen year old son was telling me about his Christmas choir concert, and how he really did not like one of the songs. It just feels like they’re trying to make a calm holiday all jumpy and excited.
He’s our sensitive one. He often hears things differently than they are intended, is easily discouraged and offended, and takes about nine hours to tell us any kind of story. I laughed it off and turned up Baby It’s Cold Outside, which was sandwiched between Frosty the Snowman and Holly Jolly Christmas.
But there’s something true about our boy’s observation. There is this tendency to skip the dark and jump straight to the lights, the coco, the loud and bright and happy…forgetting that the silent night was what started it all-the calm, bright, quiet evening that preludes all the celebrations begin.
In the book of Genesis, we’re told a story about work. We’re introduced to a creator God as he’s performing his initial acts of work in our world. First, he created the original structure and foundation of everything–heavens and earth, light and darkness, and water, sky, and land. Then came vegetation, sun, moon, and stars in rotation, creatures of the sea, birds of the air, and beasts of the fields.
He called them good.
Then he did something different.
The holidays typically bring about the sudden urge to get the family together and go out and do some good. While I love the passion everyone has, it can also be quite stressful trying to find what it is you want to do, and how to go do it. I see families get all into a tizzy about it which lead to me getting frantic emails around December 20th saying, “omg, I want to help people. Help me.” I tell ya, it’s quite the job I get to do!
This season certainly is a great time to highlight how meaningful it is to give when we are inundated with the trappings of getting – getting yummy food, getting presents, getting peppermint mochas, etc.
This year if you want to break the cycle (or at least the sugar high) and are considering volunteering with the family, but don’t know where to start, I have a great little guide for you that breaks down what fits your family best. The more personal to the values of your family the better. I recommend getting kids involved and asking them what they think really matters. You’ll have to do the Googling once you uncover your passion, but this will get you where you need to be in terms of how and where you want to give.
On a Sunday morning in February of 2013, I began a journey that has been transforming the way I understand my life and work. In a profound spiritual encounter, I was called out of an 8 year career in banking that had brought comfort and control to me and my family, and God gave me two objectives: 1. Have my identity rooted in him, and 2. Live a life of adventure.
As I began the transition out of my job and into an unknown adventure where I would begin challenging my previously held understanding of work, a cultural transition was happening in the entertainment industry, which was also challenging my understanding of leisure.
In the middle of the hot summer of 2016 in a garage in Fullerton, CA, a few friends got together and dreamed. It may be cliché, but they wanted to create the best business they could imagine: an excellent brand with a pure heart. They wanted to do something truly good and make the world brighter.
They talked and bonded and rallied around certain indispensable values. We brainstormed 50 possible names and wrote them on a whiteboard. We lived on iced coffee from Starbucks and Del Taco burritos (and they still have hundreds of hot sauce packets).
The light streaming into the beautiful shared space was the first thing I noticed. The natural light from the atrium created this warm glow, but the most impressive light came from the passionate people who worked at FLDWRK and I only noticed it more and more as the internship continued.
What even is an internship? A part time job before an actual job? An internship is not about showing off your strengths, it’s about learning and cultivating them.