Moving

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I moved earlier this year and a herd of my friends showed up to help me move. They showed up to help us load a U-Haul. They brought their own trucks and cars to load up. They helped unload the U-Haul. They made jokes. They got the job done without thrashing our old place, our new place, or our stuff.

They showed up and helped and completely made it happen. We might have been able to do it without them using the sheer force of will and stubbornness, but it would not have been as good.

They not only blessed us but they saved us from an immense amount of frustration, headache, and loneliness. We are incredibly grateful to them all.

What can you do this week to be a help to someone else? What little or big thing can you do to add value to someone else’s life? What skill, ability, or knowledge do you have and can use to help fill a need in someone else’s life?

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Down and Dirty

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My closest friends are the people who are people who are covered in the same crap I am.

When I am down in the dumps, they get right down there with me and join me in it. Whether I am covered in mud, grease, dirt, manure, blood, sweat, or tears. They join me in the crap I am in and they are on my level.

This is how I know they are my friends, they are covered in the same thing I am.

It is hard to judge or feel judged when you are covered in the same crap the person next to you is covered in. But when someone stands at the top of a chasm tossing down a rope to a me and says, “Climb out.” It is hard to feel like they are my friend. It feels more like they want to be my savior.

Who are your friends covered in the same crap you are? Who are you getting dirty with when they are in the middle of their crap?

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Being Me

“Everything in moderation, even moderation” –Oscar Wilde

Good quote. It is especially weighty when put into the context of team and identity. The greater good of the team, community, group, or collective is always superior to the need of the one. This truth must be taken in moderation. This truth is empirical so long as I don’t completely sacrifice myself to ‘better’ the team. the best analogy I can come up with is snow. 

Snow is made up of trillions upon trillions of tiny snowflakes. These flakes all work together to become a beautiful, serene, blanket of white fluffy powder. I especially like snow when it is in the mountains and not on the roads. All of these flakes work together to not be individual snowflakes, but instead a mound of snow to ski on, snowboard, sled, snowmen, snowballs, and car accidents. It is the collective power of snowflakes working together to become this powerful snow that can take lives or insulate the winter wheat. Snowflakes must work together. However, never does one snowflake have to give up the beautiful ornate design it has to be a part of the collective. The design of this flake is never placed at a higher importance than the group, however, it is still existent from the moment it forms as a frosty snowflake to the moment it melts into a puddle. The flake has a purpose and identity that is necessary for the collective’s success. 

I have a purpose and an identity that is necessary for my team’s success. I had given up my identity, buried it in a bucket somewhere, shoved it in a closet, and ignored it. However, it was waiting for me. 

I’ve been cleaning out my closets. Emptying my buckets. Now I am who I am and I am going to be me, unapologetically. 

For the sake of the team, 

My friends, 

My family,

And everyone I get to be with.

How much of your identity have you given up for those you love? Have you given up too much or too little?

Being me,

–JT

From the Outside, Looking In

I love the community I get to be a part of. I’m a part of a group of people who love each other. They want the best for one another and they genuinely want everyone to succeed. They have their priorities in order and they aren’t bent on silly things. This community is far from perfect I assure you; but, we are all more focussed on the well being of one another than we are each others’ flaws and flukes. I can say all this because their actions align with their words, especially in my life. However, I’m beginning to see how different the community I get to be a part of is different from so many other communities. This is not a statement that my community is better, it is a statement that my community goes about things differently. I’m so glad we’re different too. 

Our methods work well in our area, better than they would someplace else. The methods of other communities works better in their areas, better than they would in my area.

The striking part of my observations is, when I am visiting a different community, it is better for me to take part in their methods and processes and encourage them to pursue their goals than it is for me to insert, discuss, or force my own ‘tried and true’ methods. I am excited about this realization. 

I now see that the guilt and weight I’ve always carried when visiting people who do things differently than I do was as unnecessary as I felt it was, even though I could never put my finger on why it was unnecessary. I’m can celebrate the differences wholeheartedly. 

How will you celebrate the differences between you and whoever and wherever you spend time this holiday season?

Excitedly,

–JT