The End of the Moving Sidewalk

 Photo courtesy of  Nick Fisher

Photo courtesy of Nick Fisher

I love moving sidewalks. Whenever I’m trucking through an airport trying to get from A13 to B47 as quickly as possible, I always take the moving sidewalk when available. I love the feel of the wind at my face and that sense of superior speed and time management I feel when I blow past others walking on the non-moving walkway. I walk quickly normally, and I always walk on the moving sidewalk (stand right when I’m coming, OK?), so I can really make some tracks. 

But like all good things, the moving sidewalk eventually ends. Dismounting the moving sidewalk requires skill and balance, lest you face plant into the now stationary terra firma. Christmas week (or the few weeks leading up to Christmas, depending on your church) is a lot like walking quickly on a moving sidewalk; especially for church techs. We move pretty quickly all the time, but come Christmastime (and Easter, for that matter), we really get up a head of steam.

Then, just like the end of the moving sidewalk, it all comes to a halt. Today is the Monday after Christmas, and I suspect most of you feel a bit like I did—face planted into the no-longer-moving ground. As an experienced church tech, I’ve lived through this before; and I’d like to share some survival tips for you. 

First, however, I want to give you permission to feel tired, used up and generally spent. I also want you to feel free to not do anything productive for a few days. I know that goes against your very nature; you’ve been running so hard over the last few weeks that doing nothing—yes nothing—feels entirely wrong today. It’s OK. Sit down, relax, and don’t try to do anything. It’s harder than it sounds, but completely necessary.

To help with this, I want to give you a list of things I enjoy doing—or not doing—the week after a big push at church. You don’t have to do (or not do) all of these things, but consider this a starter list to give you some ideas. Here goes: 

The Top Ten Things To Do (or Not Do) During Christmas Break

Sit on the couch and watch TV.

This is one of my favorites. I love to binge-watch an entire season or seasons of a show on Netflix.

Lounge around and listen to music.

Cue up some of your favorite tracks, sit back, relax and take it all in. So peaceful.

Take a nap.

Sure, it’s only 9:30. AM. But take a nap anyway.

Go see a movie.

We always get movie tickets for Christmas. It’s nice to go every once in a while.

Take your wife out to dinner.

You don’t want to cook, and she could use the break. And you probably haven’t seen each other in two weeks anyway. It doesn’t have to be fancy…

Go to the beach.

OK, if you’re in the midwest, this can be tough. But there’s something about the action of the waves that’s very calming.

Take a nap.

It doesn’t matter that you just woke up from your 9:30 nap. Take another.

Have lunch with friends.

There is something restorative about sharing a meal with friends. 

Go shooting.

Almost every year between Christmas and New Year’s I head to the range with the pistols. It’s both exhilarating and relaxing. 

Take a nap.

Hey, we’re tired. Get some rest.

Consider this post official permission to not do much of anything productive this week. Rest up, get recharged and you’ll be in better shape to thrive in the New Year. 

What do you do to relax this week?

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Merry Christmas

 Photo courtesy of  Five Furlongs

Photo courtesy of Five Furlongs

Well, here we are on Christmas Day. If you’re reading this, you made it. You pulled off the 2, 5 or 25 Christmas Eve services. Hopefully all was calm and all was bright. This year, I was able to simply attend a Christmas Eve service with my family for the second time in about 12 years. It felt really good, and it was a wonderful service. 

Today, I don’t have a lot of profound things to say, other than Merry Christmas. It has been a year full of crazy change for me and my family and I truly appreciate all of you sticking with us through it. I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting so many of you at conferences, trade shows and other gatherings this year. I appreciate your emails, tweets and post comments. My prayer for you this day is that you get to relax, spend time with loved ones and enjoy a wonderful Christmas. 

Thank you for all you do for the Kingdom. Most people have no idea what goes on in that little booth back there or backstage, but I do. I know all too well how hard you work, how many hours you put in to make it look like everyone just showed up to a magical evening. 

So kick back, relax and throw another Yule log on the fire. You deserve it. Merry Christmas!

Thanksgiving

 Turkey, bacon and smoke. What's not to love?

Turkey, bacon and smoke. What's not to love?

It’s Thanksgiving Day in the U.S. And as I reflect on the past year, I am again realizing that I have a lot to be thankful for. Yesterday, I was baking with my oldest daughter in preparation for today and I said, “It’s pretty amazing what’s happened in the last year, huh?” We’ve had so many changes in the last few months our stress-for-change score is pretty much off the charts. But as we settle in to our sixth month in our new home, in a new city, I think we’re beginning to realize the upsides of all that change.

A year ago, we had some pretty big stress in our family that almost caused us to cancel Thanksgiving. None of us felt like celebrating, and we almost gave up on it. But we decided that being thankful was a choice, and while things looked bleak, we chose to celebrate God’s goodness despite our situation.

A year later, most of those issues have been resolved, and we are set to enjoy a great day today. It’s nothing short of amazing what God has done in the last 12 months. Even as recently as six months ago, I couldn’t see where we’d be today, and yet, here we are. This is in no small part to the prayers of so many of my friends. You know who you are, and if I haven’t said it lately, I’m very thankful for all of you!

Every time I show someone around our new home, I’m reminded of how thankful I am for it. After being crammed into a perfectly adequate but really small town home in SoCal, it’s so, so nice to have some room to spread out and host guests. The fact that it costs us 1/2 as much per month as the other house is an added bonus. 

I’m thankful to have joined the staff of CCI Solutions just months before my old company imploded. I get to work with some insanely talented people who love the Church and love what they do. It’s great to be working along side my friends. 

I’m also grateful for those of you who read this website and listen to our podcasts. I hear from many of you, and really enjoy meeting you at trade shows. I’m thankful for what you are doing to further the Kingdom. I’m also thankful I get to play a small role in encouraging and equipping you to do your job. We live in fascinating times. 

Finally, I’m thankful to live in a city where smoking my Thanksgiving turkey is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged. Speaking of which, I need to get back to tending the smoker. Which is really just my way of coming up with an excuse to stand out there and enjoy the smell of hickory and oak turning my ordinary bird into something extraordinary. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all!

Roland

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