My morning ritual is to make a coffee at the kitchen counter with a window looking out over our backyard. Usually I am the first up and the house is still, filled only with the sounds of animals other than humans. Peeping of small hatched chickens inside, the raucous morning squawk of my Amazonian parrot, and the clucking of hens right outside the window. Sometimes my wife is up first and out in the yard tending to her chickens, and sometimes my youngest daughter is up (often she rises to the sound of the coffee machine) and then I am bombarded with her inquisitiveness.
i gaze out the backdoor and i see the comforts of home. The familiar clutter of bikes, the BBQ lawnmower, birdcages and chickens.
Zooming in as the chickens come for their food we see each has a personality, a pecking order and they are “so adorable” as the girls say.
This is where I live.
My family is my familiar clutter, my girls are my background noise. Yet I need to remember to zoom in. Focus on the individuals amongst the crowd and noise, listen to the request for love an attention and provide that as a husband and father. Sometimes I neglect this. That is not what I want to do. This reminder is good.
And this morning my youngest (the teens are all in dreamland) was excited to show me her new rip stick skills so out in the middle of the street I lie with my camera – giving her attention.
This is where I live.
This blog is part of a blog circle. Our theme for this month is Where I Live. Please come back this week, and read the posts of the others in my circle:
So I am in San Antonio. I want to go riding with Gordon. Reggie freakin Regan gave Gordon an old mountain bike but he had only ever ridden it on the road. I had a quick look. Its a decent bike. i pumped up the tyres and checked the brakes. Gordon jumped on for a test ride but the front gears were not working. My wife Judith had given me a list of bike shops here in SA before I left. She is good like that. So I opened them up in a browser and Gordon recognised one shop cyclelogic as being 2 miles away. We go there and the shop was crammed with bikes. Interestingly for me they were Marin dealers. My first bike was a Marin Pine Mountain. Here is a dodgy mobile phone pic of the new 29’er. Anyway we had a great chat, they fixed the gears on the spot and told us where to ride. Local knowledge is always best. We organised to come back to get a small Issue with my brakes fixed after the ride.
Gordon got lost while we were riding but that is just par for the course with him. It took 30 minutes for me and 4 other riders to find him. I’m getting used to it. If I was Jeanene I would have had him fitted with a GPS tracker under his skin by now.
After a great ride we headed back to the shop. I had noticed that they had a fish sign on the business card and a crown of thorns hanging above the counter. I said “hey we are Christians too” and asked about the crown of thorns.
Allen told us a story in the most humble way about how he had helped a blind girl who wanted to ride by getting her and her mother fixed up with a tandem bike and how they had hand made this crown and given it to him. They were so touched by the way he had helped when no other shop would.
While he was telling the story we were both fascinated and my gut feeling was that this guy was living out his High Calling in his shop. In fact he said what he does is help people and that his work place just looked like a bike shop. After telling him a bit about why we were here and www.thehighcalling.org website he recognised the radio broadcasts and said he listened to them each morning.
Allen is a real neat bloke. His shop is great. i can heartily recommend him.
We hear a lot about work life balance these days. ITs a big problem for a lot of people and its something i definitely struggle with also.
One of the main reasons i struggle with it is because my life is my work. I am passionate and excited about what i do – well most of it anyway, and as such my every waking moment and some of my sleeping ones are planning and thinking about work.
But what is my work? For me it includes web development, photography, sports coaching and software development (those dreams are nightmares usually). I have fun doing all those things, I love the interaction with clients customers and staff and I am passionate about my art.
My relax and off times are often found with a camera in hand having fun with my family. We go the beach, the park, fly a kite and i have two motives, one is to go and hang our with the girls and have fun and the other is to take some photos. I explore new ideas, try new techniques and still manage to interact with the girls.
My Spiritual side – my Christian life – is completely bound up in who I am and what I do. I am a member of the High Calling Website because i completely believe that my work is as much a part of my spiritual being as anything else. They are featuring a fair number of my photos there in their articles which is fantastic.
My sports and exercise are more than ever involved with my family now. I used to play sports that did not involve the family such as AFL football and Soccer and squash. three years ago i made a decision to quit football, not because i wasn’t excited about playing anymore but because i wanted to put that time into sports and exercise pursuits with my family. Now I run, cycle and exercise with all my family on a regular basis. I still do more extreme riding than the family is up to both on the road and mountain bike.
Instead I prefer an overlapping holistic view that to some extent allows separation but also shows the overlapping nature of life’s components.
How do you manage balance in your life? Do you have techniques or ideas that work for you? Comment below or on Facebook.
Here are some links from The High Calling about balance.
I just had to write of some of the awesome things that have been happening around here. This blog has been a little empty of late - and that's partly because of the new business taking up time, the photography business kicking along and just the sheer business of life. But some things have been happening that are connected in ways that are amazing giving me cause to write this article. The photo here was taken Sunday afternoon as a planned shoot for a connected human or a cyborg theme. In this case the two people are totally connected and entangled in the cables and trappings of computer hardware. It was a very interesting concept to put together and shoot and the whole team had a great amount of fun doing it.
Lets start with Sunday - the beginning of the week. For just over a year now our church has been searching for a new pastor after the leaving of the last one. Sunday the search ended with the pastor the search committee and the leadership recommended being accepted by the church. At the conclusion of that meeting we had a BBQ lunch and I was able to share with the church first the little miracle that took place where god miraculously provided the two trays of sliced bread we needed for that lunch. I used that as an example to show how Gods care for us in even the little things is an example of his absolute care for us in all things. Stressing and having anxiety over things in our life is wrong, hurtful and unhealthy.