sounds that grip parents with fear

My kids are early risers, all 3 of them.  Saturday mornings at our house start no later than 7AM.  I am always amazed when friends mention sleeping til 9 or later on Saturday because that just doesn’t happen around our house.  On a recent Saturday morning, early Saturday morning, I was lying in bed trying to muster the energy to get up and I could hear the kids playing in the den.  I knew if I didn’t get up they would barge in and wake their mother up and that would just ruin everybody’s day (Amen?!).  Suddenly I heard pots and pans, my pulse quickened, my thoughts raced…thus the inspiration for this post…sounds that grip parents with fear early in the morning (dum, dum, duuuum)

  • pots and pans
  • the pitter patter of little feet, then THUD!
  • the pitter patter of little feet coming down the stairs then THUD, THUD, THUD, THUD…(wait for it)…THUD!
  • the pitter patter of little feet…on the roof (OK, that’s pretty much scary any time of the day)
  • power tools
  • the car starting
  • the garage door going up
  • duct tape being pulled off the roll
  • someone saying “How do you light this?”
  • the blender or mixer
  • the smoke alarm
  • someone saying “Watch this!” then hearing the dog yelp and claw at your door
  • the repeated opening of the fridge door
  • whispers just outside your bedroom door
  • whispers then giggles just outside your bedroom door

and finally, the sound that scares me most early in the morning…

  • complete silence…that’s when I know they are really up to something.

Add to the list, this ought to be fun.

JNS

A few of my favorite apps and sites

I’m a Droid guy.  My phone; the Motorola DroidX.  I love it.  I’m also an Apple guy.  My laptop; a MacBook Pro.  I love it too.

I love the simplicity and ease of use of my Mac as well as the options and ability to customize my Droid.  But the way the cloud brings them all together (notice how I said “the cloud” like I know what I’m talking about…I don’t) is the cherry on top.  Syncing apps across all 3 of these platforms is like the coming together of the perfect ratio of ice cream to chocolate syrup to whipped cream.

I’ve created a very short list of just a few of the apps I find myself going to everyday, whether it’s on my phone, my laptop or the web.

Evernote

Remember everything.  Capture anything.  Access anywhere.  Find things fast.  If you haven’t jumped on the Evernote bandwagon, what in the world are you waiting for.  Evernote is one of those apps that you start off using and think “Oh, this is a simple little filing system” but you soon discover just how powerful it can be depending on what exactly your doing with it.  I use Evernote to keep up with blog ideas, articles or website clips I want to share or use later, recipes (…yes, I said recipes), and the numerous contacts that I need to keep notes on.  If you haven’t read Michael Hyatt’s Evernote posts you really should.  He will open your eyes to the power of this amazing app.

Read It Later

ReadItLater has become my way of dogearing everything electronic.  If I come across a blog post, an article, something in my Google reader, something on my Pulse reader, a tweet, a tweet with a link…anything I want to come back to later, with a simple click, or two, I’m able to dogeared that link, page, article, post to come back to it later.  I use it most often on my phone as I’m running through my Google Reader or Pulse feeds and then rifle through my dogears when I’m sitting at my laptop.  There is a Firefox Add-on as well so I can choose to login to the website or sort through my dogeears in my Firefox sidebar.

TweetCaster*

I tried several Twitter apps on my Droid before I landed on TweetCaster.  The TweetCaster app is robust and does a fantastic job of handling all that I ask of it.  In addition to my @jesusneversaid account I also run 2 other Twitter accounts on my TweetCaster app (1 personal & another secret identity…mmmwwwahahahaha).  TweetCaster’s interface keeps them separated so I don’t have to worry about tweeting on the wrong account.  I’m able to choose my URL shortening service, image service, video service and there are a few other customizable features.  Lastly, the guys at OneLouder Apps are always updating and improving the app, tweaking and refining and so far the tweaks have been right on.

Pulse

I feel like I’m just beginning to scratch the surface of Pulse.  I am overwhelmed by the flexibility and the customizable interface of this app.  Honestly, my review won’t do this app justice, it’s just that good.  Try it and you will love it.

Pulse is technically a mobile app only, but via Pulse.me you can access articles that you’ve saved in sort of a pseudo-ReadItLater format.  I also love the fact that Pulse incorporates ReadItLater in it’s share menu, so you don’t really need to use the Pulse.me capabilities if you don’t want to.

YouVersion Bible app by LifeChurch.tv

I think most everyone can agree that this is by far the best Bible app out there.  Reading plans, bookmarks, translations and recently I have totally fallen in love with the audio Bibles.  I haven’t seen another bible app that comes close and the folks over at LifeChurch.tv continue to improve it so I don’t see it loosing it’s top spot anytime soon.  I’m still amazed by the fact that on any given Sunday people all around me pull out their phones to access their Bible now.

Here are a few Honorable Mentions that I access quite often as well…

JNS

*TweetCaster is only available as a mobile app.

people who “make no apologies” should

I recently overheard one person speaking of another person say that she is “comfortable with who she is and she makes no apologies for it“…really?

This didn’t sit well with me and I was forced to ponder why I suddenly was taken back by this statement.  Here are my unapologetic thoughts.

If a someone says “she makes no apologies for it (it being her personality, behavior, attitude, etc.)” then that begs the questions what is so obviously different and disturbing about this person that an apology would be necessary.  And if an apology is necessary and they won’t make it then why would I want to know or get involved with this person.  And if she is “comfortable with who she is” but the rest of us would believe that she needs to apologize for who she is, wouldn’t that get real uncomfortable after a while?  Us waiting for her to apologize, her oblivious of her need to apologize.  It’s like talking to someone with a booger vibrating in their nostril, or with a pee spot on their pants, or with food in their beard and feeling the tension between their embarrassment when the realize it and their potential embarrassment if you tell them.  I digress.  Let’s be honest, people who say “I make no apology!” generally need to and when you feel obliged to tell the rest of us that “she makes no apology” for “being comfortable with who she is” you probably aren’t very comfortable with who she is either, or with who you are in relation to her.

I’m comfortable with who I am about 25% of the time, 65% of the time I’m apologizing for who I am, and the last 10% of the time I just gave up on a long time ago…sorry about that.  Oh dang, I just apologized.  Sorry…crap!

Just for fun,

JNS

pulling the plug on twitter (sort of)

I’ve complained more than once in recent months about the DM spam that is filling up my inbox.  My solution; unfollow anyone from whom I receive DM spam.  Unfortunately this hasn’t helped.  Then a week or so ago I read Michael Hyatt’s post “Why I Stopped Following You on Twitter” and found myself more than a little emboldened to take the “radical” approach that Michael took…

unfollow everyone and start over.

Now I don’t have 100,000+ followers like Michael and I certainly don’t have his influence, credibility or demand.  People aren’t knocking my door down to interview me, send me a new product or ask me to support their latest project, but they are spamming me and I’m tired of it.

Just like Michael I do expect to loose some followers, I’m sorry if you’re one of them.  And just like Michael I plan on building my follow list back to a manageable and healthy list of those who support my tweets, my blog and interact with me on a regular basis.

I’m posting this on Friday at Noon and around 2PM I plan on pulling the plug.  Stay tuned to see how this whole thing plays out.  Oh, and if you do want to interview me, send me a product or ask me to support your latest project you can always email me at jesusneversaid@gmial.com.

JNS

What I’ve learned about blogging so far

I haven’t posted anything in 3 weeks; in part because I’m in a very busy season and in part because I wasn’t prepared.  I hadn’t prepared any rainy day posts and so I went silent.  I hated knowing that I had posted twice a week for 2 straight months and now my blog was just sitting, inactive and boring, generating nothing new.  I’m trying to get back on track and for my first post back I’ve listed a few lessons I’ve learned about blogging during these past couple of months of fumbling through the process.

Be conscious of your schedule and plan ahead

I should have had a few post prepared ahead of the blow up in my schedule, or at least some re-post scheduled.

Don’t overthink your posts

For 2 reasons.  One, I simply don’t have the time to devote 30 or 45 minutes to writing a post.  I must be able to clearly say what I want to say in 15 minutes or so.  When I overthink I stagnate, and when i stagnate I can’t write, and when I can’t write I overthink, and when I overthink….aaarrrgghh.  You get the point.  Second, when I allow myself to overthink and overwork my post they get out of hand and rather schizophrenic.  Nothing is worse to me than a rambling post that goes nowhere and has no center.  My soulution, use Evernote to jot notes throughout the day and come back to them later.  During the writing process, when the overthinking begins, save my post as a draft and come back to it another time.

Don’t check your stats every day, but learn how to read them

It’s so tempting to check the stats on my blog every day, multiple times per day, but I’ve learned that I need to use them as a tool to understand how folks are finding my blog, what they are reading, and what they’re not.  Instead of an indicator of my success I need to view the stats as a tool to be more successful.

Including the keywords “sex” and “video” in a blog post or tags will drive some serious traffic to your blog

This cracks me up.  I have more traffic on one video post than any other post simply because of people searching the key words “sex” or “sex video”.  Obviously I wouldn’t intentionally add these keywords to my post tags but it does make me realize how tagging your post the right way can bring traffic and help people find what they’re looking for on your blog…even if it is a porn video.

Finding a voice is harder than I thought it would be

I had ideas for what I wanted this blog to be.  Funny, thought-provoking, entertaining, a place where discussions could take place, but figuring out my voice and how to bring all of these characteristics together is more difficult than I expected.  I imagine that those who blog in a specific industry or write only about certain topics have a little easier time finding that voice.  I know it will come with practice and refinement but how it will look and sound I’m just not sure.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, just a few of the thoughts that popped into my head.  I’m sure I will be writing this post all over again in another year or so and it will look very different from the way it does right now.

JNS

A few things I’ve learned in marriage

This summer my wife and I celebrated 15 years of marriage, woo hoo!  I truly cannot believe how quickly the time has passed.  The following are just a few things I’ve learned in that 15 years.

God uses my wife to speak to me – Men if you’ve been married for any length of time you’ve probably stumbled across this truth, or been hit upside the head with it.  God uses our wives to speak into our lives because the way they see and think about life is so different from the way we do.  Their perspective is sometimes shifted just enough from ours to help us see what we can’t in a relationship or situation.

Unvoiced, unmet and assumed expectations are very often the reason for our arguments – Most of the arguments that my wife and I have could be avoided with a little prior communication of our expectations when it comes to handling a situation or dealing with the kids.  And a little in the moment communication to say “Oh, I thought you were expecting ___” or “I’m sorry, I expected ____ and didn’t tell you” would keep many of our arguments from escalating.  We live with our own selves all day long creating expectations for others and situations and sometimes we simply forget to let them know what those expectations are.

Someone has got to say “I’m sorry” first – This is the pride killer but the marriage saver.  Someone has got to decide to say the first word, to make the first apology, to take that step towards the other.  Men I hope it’s you because we need to model humility, servant hood and love to and for our wives.  It’s not and easy thing to do but after 15 years it get’s easier every time and the duration of our “misunderstandings” shorten every year.  An argument that would have gone on for a couple of days is acknowledged, talked out, worked through and reconciled in a couple of hours now because we have learned to trust the other when we take that first step.  Oh and wives, when your husband puts himself out there and does take that first step please don’t cut him off at the knees or he won’t do it the next time.

The sex gets better and better – I can’t stand the stereotype of the older couple who have been married so long that everything is the same, work, kids, routine and sex.  I’m sorry but this has not been the case for my wife and I, we refuse to let it be.  The first few years of sex in our marriage were great…but the last several years of sex in our marriage have been mind blowing.  It’s one thing to join together as one, it’s another to enjoy each other as one, and that is the place that we’ve come to.  Understanding that sex is not just for me and making it for us is a small shift in your thinking but a huge shift in your approach and enjoyment.

There is always more to learn about your spouse –  I love the moments when my wife is talking to me and I find myself looking at her realizing that I still have so much to learn about this woman, it’s as if I’m seeing her again for the first time.  I have known my wife for 23 years and I still feel like I’ve only scratched the surface of who she is.  Part of that lies in the fact that she continues to grow and change and be shaped by God and I get to witness that growth and learn something new about her character almost daily.

Figure out their love language, then speak it – I kinda suck at this.  I mean, I know my wife’s love language, it’s gifts, but I fail so often to speak it when it’s such an easy thing to do.  A card or a note in her lunch would mean the world to her, but I don’t think that way and I am continually reminded that a small gift that let’s her know I’m thinking about her will pay huge dividends for us.

These are just a few thoughts that popped into my head as I quickly wrote this post. I do want to throw a part 2 in here later to flesh out some more pearls of wisdom and share some of the books and resources that have been helpful for us, but for the time being, lets hear from you, what have you learned?

Giving credit where credit is due: I quickly wrote these thoughts down after reading this post by Michael Hyatt.  If you don’t follow Michael’s blog you should he’s an absolutely amazing thinker, leader and writer.