Do the Next Thing: Thoughts on Writing, Running, and Life

As some of you know, I’m writing a book about recovering from a life of performance and perfectionism. Subscribe here to get early access! 

Writing is a lot like running. The hardest part is often simply getting started. Before I go for a run, I sometimes pause and try to rationalize my way out of it.

Woman above the cityDo I really want to go out in the fog? Do I really want to get all sweaty? Do I really want to feel the burn in my legs and the cold in my lungs?

As I ask myself these questions, I simply do the next thing: I put on my workout clothes and lace up my shoes. I pull up the run tracker on my phone and pick my playlist (usually something poppy and upbeat to motivate me or worship music, since running is one of my favorite ways of communing with God). Before I know it, I’m out the door and on my way. Even my overly-analytical mind can’t compete with legs that are ready to run.

The process of writing is extremely similar. I love writing – just like I love running. I know it’s benefits, and I know I will love it once I start. But it’s not as romantic as it may seem. It’s not like locking yourself away in a cozy cabin or beautiful beach house, getting inspired, and letting the words pour out of you. It is an amazing, inspiring, transformative process. But like most life-altering pursuits, writing can be painful or just plain hard. It takes initiative, momentum, and a constant placing of one foot – or one word – in front of the next.

Since returning from my month-long sabbatical, keeping up the momentum of writing my book on recovering from perfectionism has certainly been difficult. The silence on this blog over the last couple weeks is evidence of that. But as my primary writing focus right now is on the book, I’m trying to prioritize that, and let the blogging come as it may. Continue reading

The Joys of Berry-Picking & Other Discoveries from My Week in Oregon

1. Front porches should be a thing everywhere.

I’ve been to several cities where front porches rule the day: Columbus, Charlotte, Portland. California – at least, the Bay Area – is seriously missing out.

I long for a good front porch – it seems like the perfect place to both relax and get some good alone time and also be available to spontaneous chats with friends and passersby.

I don’t know that everyone takes advantage of their front-yard space, but I’m telling you: if I had a front porch, I would be out there almost every night. I love sitting out with tea or a glass of wine, chatting with friends, and saying hi to the neighbors. If the Lord ever sees to bless me with a house with a front porch, I promise to put it to good use.

2. Church is everywhere God’s people are gathered. As my pastor in San Francisco has often said, “We’re the body gathered and scattered.”

While I completely believe in the importance of regular gatherings with other believers – for accountability, teaching, and inter-generational wisdom – I don’t think that church is limited to Sunday mornings.

I saw this truth play out over and over again during my week in Oregon. Whether we’re talking over coffee or during a long car ride, conversations with dear friends is one of the primary ways I connect with God. I love learning other people’s stories, asking hard questions about our struggles, and “spurring one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24).

There’s a reason God gave us each other; he knew we’d need each other to be a full and complete body – with all our vital limbs and organs – able to live out his love in the world. Continue reading

The Uncomfortable Gift of Stillness

Sabbatical is awkward. Rest and stillness feels foreign. Nearly one week in, and I feel like I’m still trying to settle into this slower pace of life.

Part of this may be due to the fact that I’m no longer at home – I’m traveling, living out of a suitcase, sleeping in a new place. But I think it has much more to do with the state of my mind and heart.

Even while I’m writing about being enough and not finding your worth in your productivity or performance, I’m still fighting the urge to make the most of every minute and operate under a tight schedule. Must get to barre class at 8:30. Must be writing in coffee shop by 10. Must draft first chapter today. So many must’s that I’m trying to muster the strength and energy to complete. The irony is not lost on me.

But I hold onto the hope that God is teaching me through my discomfort and he’s using this internal battle to reveal more of himself to me. In this process, I’m trying to give myself grace as I break in these new shoes of Sabbath, silence, and slowness.

That’s the journey of enough – it’s a continuous cycle of shedding old habits and trying on new ways of thinking and being.

Continue reading

Get Early Access & Insider Updates on My Book!

Yesterday I did not go to work. No, I wasn’t playing hooky. And I wasn’t sick. Instead, I’m incredibly grateful and excited to say that yesterday marked the first day of my four-week sabbatical.

This month is dedicated to kick-starting my book writing process – something I’ve been so enjoying sharing with you. Throughout this journey, I will continue to invite you in to give you sneak peeks at what’s coming and to receive your feedback. To get early access and updates I only send over email, sign up here. No spam. Just love.

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I first started talking about this sabbatical a year ago. My company, One Medical Group, has this crazy awesome perk of offering a sabbatical after five years at the organization. I’m a year behind in taking mine as April marked the start of my seventh year at One Medical – time is flying! But I know the Lord’s timing was perfect. Continue reading