Holiday gatherings, and the month of dread which comes beforehand, are some of the most frustrating and depressing times for many people. These are supposed to be celebrations and reunions, but one of the biggest contributing factors which makes these events problems, is that so many people are measuring themselves and others with the wrong measuring sticks.


Tradition is to compare and judge others’ lives against one’s own life, based primarily and superficially on physical accomplishments, because these are the easiest things to put into words and are most similar across humanity in western cultural terms.


Examples: awards and educational degrees earned; prestige or money from jobs and number of promotions; home size, toys, and cars; money spent on gifts; kids and their growth, involvements or accomplishments; fun activities and places visited; number or class of friends; club memberships; books read or written; childhood dreams realized; etc.


But you can HAPPILY look like a failure by all of those standards, IF you have gained (or know you are gaining) understanding of humanity and of God, your reason for existing, and what will outlast the fleeting years at hand. For if understanding a good chunk of those things is what you pour your time and resources into, you can feel confident in your abilities to be an honest benefit to fellow humans and to the entire universe.


Communicating a meaningful measurement of your life is often hard, because there’s so much value in the fleeting moments which are like little pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, and just as hard to remember or explain their context.


Examples: the times you made someone smile, were kind to a clerk, gave a hug, answered someone’s nagging question, realized the answer to your own questions, forgave someone, lovingly sacrificed your own desires for someone else’s good. The times God’s Spirit embodied you and shined through to lighten and enlighten the world with love.


So gather with grace, confidence, compassion and love for everyone, wherever they measure up at the moment–or think they measure up–on any yardstick. Hope for meaningful progress.


Happy holidays!




Long time, no post. Nice to be back.

Last year went off the track I planned, but turned out to have a valuable impact on numerous people I know, including myself.

NEW YEAR: I have no “new year’s resolutions.”  What I do have is a determination not to let my writing, the promotion of my writing, and making a living from my writing, all repeatedly fall to the end of my never-finished to-do lists.

NEW HOPE: Last year’s chores and mistakes are behind me, and I’ve grown from them. Every day is a new chance for what I could not do before.

NEW EFFORT: Determination is not enough—it’s just choosing a heading. I need action—like stepping on the gas and steering in the determined direction.

I need reminders to act—like back-seat passengers who yell “we’re gonna be late” every time I slow down and stare at the scenery. So, I’m clearing clutter and filling my field of vision with some reminders of what I need to do and why I want to do it.

I need to continually ignore unproductive distractions, while being open to unexpected beneficial opportunities. So, I’m planning time to frequently hush my own usual mental/emotional processes, in order to hear more of God’s promptings and to notice what I’ve been too busy to notice. 

(Remember that “frog” tasks* usually seem like “chicken nugget” tasks once begun.)
(Remember that at every moment I’m taking a step somewhere—so make sure it’s going in the right direction.)
Focus! Focus! Focus!
Eat today’s frog* and get on with making the right things happen!
Get it done! Move along!
Thank God at every step.

*(“Eat That Frog”, by Brian Tracy, is all about how to gain momentum from tackling your hardest task first, rather than letting procrastination drag you down.)


…Okay, enough already! Let’s get this post on the net! I’ve got more things to do tonight  😀   🙂

© 2012 Noname Porter-McShirley