Trying Too Hard to Please People

Ever since I migrated my newsletter to a blog format, I have been trying to find a rhythm that allows me to share what’s on my heart without overcrowding your inboxes. I have also been struggling with what to write: thinking that my readers will be confused or disappointed if I publish anything other than the carefully crafted life lessons they have become accustomed to.

The problem with this approach is that a lot of the information I want to pass along goes unrecorded because I don’t have time to edit my thoughts into a well-polished piece or enough time hasn’t passed since my last post.

Experience has taught me that, by trying too hard to please people, I actually annoy them. With this in mind, I’m going to post with reckless abandon (make that mild restraint) and give this blog a chance to become everything it has the potential to be. As Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend once said: Sometimes on the road of life, getting lost is how we find our way.

Going forward, look for an e-mail once a week with links to my latest posts. If you wish to receive them more frequently, or if you find that you are still getting e-mails as I post them and want to change your preferences to the publication’s default schedule of once a week, scroll to the bottom of your latest feedblitz-generated e-mail from me and click on the link to change your delivery schedule preferences.

Until my next post, I leave you with these reminders:

If you’re the only person who’s standing in your way, maybe it’s time to move.

- and -

By trying too hard to please people,  you actually annoy them.

Making the Most of What We Have

Last month, Bill and I celebrated our eighteenth wedding anniversary with a four-day trip to Las Vegas. Wanting to make the most of our long weekend, we set a goal to attend at least one show every day. In addition to watching great entertainers like Jay Leno and Garth Brooks, we saw a Cirque du Soleil performance, attended a beach party where Will.I.Am was the DJ, and signed up for a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon.

The aerial tour was our anniversary gift to each other and one of the highlights of our trip. To mentally prepare for the flight, Bill was listening to the song “Danger Zone” from the Top Gun soundtrack as we waited to board our chopper; and I had to laugh when he walked up to where I was sitting and, in his best Maverick impersonation, leaned down to say: “Talk to me Goose.”

My husband’s excitement was justified. Flying over Hoover Dam and descending 3,500 feet into the Grand Canyon was an amazing experience that we will be talking about for years to come. It was also the first thing to come to mind when the cab driver asked about our stay while taking us to the airport. After mentioning the helicopter ride and our other adventures, the man confessed that in the thirty years he’s lived in Las Vegas, he and his wife had been to maybe five shows.

Knowing how easy it is to get discounted tickets, I struggled to comprehend such a low total. We had seen more in thee days than our driver had in three decades. Was I the only person who saw something wrong with this picture?

Living well is not about having the most, but making the most of what we have. Jesus made this clear in the parable of the bags of gold when he said: “For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.” Verses like this one from Matthew 25 remind me of the time a woman at church told me about a childhood friend who had invited her family to visit them in Kansas City.

“When are you planning to go?” I asked, knowing how much her kids would enjoy attractions like Kaleidoscope, World’s of Fun, and the Crayola Cafe.

“We’re not,” she replied. “For now, it’s enough to know that we could go if we wanted to.”

It’s not enough, I thought to myself as I stood there in disbelief.

Sometimes I think we spend so much time weighing our options that we forget who placed them on the scale. I want to leave this world knowing that I have wrung every bit of good out of my circumstances. Don’t you?

God is calling all of us to “live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity.”ˆ¹ Those who do will find that the greatest risk is not stepping out in faith, but never stepping up to see what God has planned for those who are willing to give His adventurous suggestions a try.

ˆ¹See Ephesians 5:15


“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9