Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Got gratitude?

Life is stressful at times and we all flow through general ups and downs of happiness and exasperation. I call my most stressed times “white flag moments”. These are times when I truly feel just like giving up. I have reached the end of my ability and do not think there is any way to move on. The good news is that in these moments I have learned to instead of throwing the flag to open up my Bible. I have also in my deepest moments learned to take time to look over my gratitude list.
What is a gratitude list? (Glad you asked) During times of simple and even great joy over the last several years I have taken just a moment to jot down just a couple of words to describe that moment and what about it made me grateful. I keep this document on my computer and on my phone so that I can access and update at any time. Here are just a few past entries as an example:

The love of my wife
the power of hope
hide and seek with Conner
The promise of a new day
the love of others
friendly people
Lunch with my wife
lunch with old friends
my dog Cayman
friends at work
planes that run late when I need them to
getting home early
Good movies
ice cream
the smell of fresh cut grass
spring rains
unknown friends
solved problems
long walks
long talks
The feel of dirt

Each entry represents an actual moment in time for me and the words help trigger the memory that will take me back. After many years, my list has grown to several hundred moments. The funny thing about white flag moments is that sometimes we can get so caught up in them that we forget all the wonderful things in our past and in our present that really make life so joyful.

Do you have a gratitude list? If not, you might want to consider one. It just might make a difference in your life as it has in mine.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Twitterversary to me!

I realized the other day this is my one year anniversary on Twitter! I had heard about this Twitter thing for months and then when I started reading @scottwilliams blog I became even more convinced that I should check it out. Here I am a year and 2,700+ tweets later! What have I learned?

Twitter is a connector: I have mostly concentrated my following on people who also live here in OKC. I grew up in a small town and these loose connections with people like @dangordan @chefrp @pandabeara @okc_casey @rmphotgraphy @therasor as well as others in a very hard to explain way have helped me feel more connected to my community.

Twitter is selfish: I once described Twitter is a large room filled with people talking about themselves with little concern for the others in the room. This is true for the vast majority of users it seems. These are the folks that follow you for some reason but never take time to DM, RT, @reply or read your blog. I think this is what frustrates me the most.

Twitter is educational: My personal interests are as diverse as the people I follow. Through Twitter I have learned much about restaurants, technology, local events, and much more. I have even created a second account @okcscouter specifically to connect and learn from other Scout volunteers all over the world.

Twitter is a stress reliever: I am not a pretend guru or some guy with a hidden agenda. My timeline of comments and observations are basically a micro reality show into the life of the Copeland family. These connections have especially been helpful when I travel for work. It is nice to have a voice back home when out of town.

Twitter is just plain fun: This is the bottom line for me. I have truly enjoyed the experience and sincerely appreciate everyone I have become connected with over this last year. Thank you for following and for reading.

Monday, November 2, 2009

I am a fraud...

I am a fraud…

There I said it and it feels so good.

David #1 (the David I desire to be)

Charming, thin, athletic, wonderful husband, greatest dad, Bible reader, friend, listener, prayer warrior, leader, adventurer, mentor, grateful volunteer, joyful giver, difference maker…..

David (the David I seem to be more often)

Overeater, couch potato, distracted husband, impatient father, selfish leader, negative thinker, reluctant giver, life skater….

At least I have good company. Paul says in Romans
“ What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise.” Later he says, “I’ve tried everything and nothing helps. I’m at the end of my rope. (from The Message)

Gosh his words could be my own. Could they be yours? Do you struggle with the person you are vs. the person you want to be? It seems so often that the desires of our heart do not translate positively into the actions of our hands and feet.

I would love to add another sentence with some grand guru advice on how to solve this conundrum for you and I but have no words to give. My only hope is the same hope that Paul later expresses.

“Is there no one who can do anything for me?” “The answer, thank God is that Jesus Christ can and does”

A new month has arrived and it is time to get my heart working to get my hands and feet moving. I so pray that you will do the same. Even if we fail at times at least we are trying.

How have you solved this problem? How do you get your actions to match your dreams and plans?