Joe’s 40 for 40 . . My Perspective

Joe bday cardsOn May 24 my husband turned the big 4-0! There are times in life when we take extra care to look back over our lives and look forward to what lies ahead. Turning 40 is definitely one of those moments.

I spent my 40th birthday on a beautiful beach in Hawaii with Joe and our friends Andy and Jodie. Then, twenty-four days later, I celebrated the next phase of life by donating my kidney.

My friend Danny celebrated his 40th birthday recently by running 40 miles with a different friend or family member each running one mile with him. It was a great picture of how we ought to run the race of life.

It took my husband, Joe, 40 days to turn 40. Joe took the 40 days leading up to his 40th birthday to write a post on his blog. Many of you read Joe’s posts and know that they were not fluffy little notes about his first 40 years of life. There were no short-cuts. Each post was filled with humor (of course!), events, stories, meaning, and challenge to live life outside the confines of the comfortable boat. You can read his 40 for 40 here.

Whether you read every blog post or not, there is something I’m confident you did not see. . . behind the scenes. Here is a behind-the-scenes glance of 40 blogs in 40 days from my perspective.

Joe lived these 40 days with incredible discipline. He set the alarm clock earlier and even avoided the snooze button. He stayed up later on many occasions. Sometimes this involved conversations with coaches, writing blog posts, or thinking through ideas. There were photo albums opened and pored through looking for pictures. (You know, the ones you remember seeing, but have no idea where they actually are. Oh, and not everything is digital!)

On top of the discipline of producing a meaningful blog post each and every day for 40 days, other aspects of life did not stop or even slow down. Joe did not take 40 days off from his job at Lake Ann Camp. In fact life around here is amping up with summer camp right around the corner. Home life did not slow down either. Kids still need their dad and he did not let them down. Joe and I are also in the midst of navigating one of our most difficult seasons to date. (Don’t worry, not marriage issues, but still a matter for lots of prayer!)

If it is importantIt is in the midst of life and challenge that I have personally witnessed Joe take on 40 blogs in 40 days. It would have been easy to do nothing because work is demanding, family life is busy, situations are stressful, and a number of other excuses. It is in these moments – when it seems most inconvenient – that the greatest impact happens and the greatest results in life occur.

This is Joe. He is not just telling us how to live the Overboard, out-of-the-boat life. He is showing us how to live that kind of extraordinary life.

This is not about writing blogs, running great distances, or giving kidneys. It is about letting go of the comfortable, ordinary, common life and choosing to live for something greater. It is giving, inspiring, impacting, and living bigger than we ever thought possible. It is making a difference first in our own lives and then allowing that to make a difference in others.

What about you? What step do you need to take next? Is there a challenge you are avoiding because the timing,  money, fear, or feelings of “too hard” are keeping you from getting started? The extraordinary life is not always the easiest or most comfortable life, but it is the life worth living.

Be Extraordinary!

Are you super busy…doing nothing?

This is an incredibly thought-provoking blog post that lines up perfectly with what it means to “Be Extraordinary!”

I have been doing my fair share of ‘busy nothing’ lately. My energy has been put into worry and uncertainty rather than taking action on the things that I know to do and moving in the direction I ultimately want to go.

It is time to release the worry and the desire for things to feel a little more together before taking action.
It is time to let go of the safety and comfort I find in the boat of mediocrity.
It is time to stop dipping my toe in the water while I cling to the side of the boat.
It is time to take the leap of faith – in full faith and trust – and go after the extraordinary dreams God has placed inside my heart.

Be challenged by this post and then . . be changed!

Be Extraordinary!

The Overboard life

A few months back I made a commitment to my wife, and publicly shared it through this blog, that I was planning to run a half marathon with Traci in the fall. At the time, I had nine months to prepare for this race. Keep in mind that when I made this announcement, I had never run more than one mile at any one time in my life and I have never particularly enjoyed running.

Today I’m at the five month mark and I’m glad to say I’ve been running. Last week I had my longest single run for distance, at 3.57 miles, and little by little I’m stretching out the distance I am able to run. My goal is that when the 13.1 mile event rolls around, I’ll be strong enough to run the whole time, even if it’s at a snail’s pace down the stretch.

Now imagine if…

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In March of 2013 our family made a big move across the country, from suburban Oregon to rural northern Michigan. We left family, friends, church, job, and schools we loved to pursue the next step in our extraordinary life journey. One of my biggest struggles was finding girlfriends. I honestly didn’t realize how much I needed them or missed them until Joe and I attended Ultimate Leadership, a seminar in California earlier this year. At that seminar I came face to face with my resistance to and need for deep and serious — as well as fun and silly — girlfriend relationships.

girlfriendLesson #1: I need girlfriends.

It is easy for me to be the Lone Ranger. I am strong and able to figure things out on my own. Making friends in the area we now live was not particularly easy, so staying strong on my own seemed a good enough solution. However, I have come to realize the great need in my soul for connection. My connection with my husband is awesome and I am grateful for such a strong relationship, but I also need girlfriends. Finding girlfriends wasn’t as easy as I thought it should be, but avoiding those relationships didn’t make life any easier either.

Lesson #2: Finding girlfriends requires personal initiative.

It has been a number of years since I have been “the new girl” in town. No one in the area (kids’ school, church, etc.) was waiting with open arms to welcome me into their 20-years-in-the-making circle of friends. I actually had to take the initiative over and over again. I chose (most of the time) to let go of my care for what others think of me, be courageous, and invite myself into friendship with others. It was difficult and even painful at times, yet so worth it!

Lesson #3: Girlfriends understand you in ways that men cannot.

Joe and I faced a challenging situation recently. It was a private matter in our home and it was emotionally draining for both of us. There were many decisions to be made and challenges to be faced each day. Joe and I leaned on God and each other during this time. I also need the connection and care that can only come from a girlfriend. I am thankful that I took time to work on some of these girlfriend relationships so that I had a friend to call. We, women are very . . complicated . . and there are some ways that our souls can only be fed by another female.


Women: How are your girlfriend relationships? Are your girlfriends encouraging you to live an extraordinary life and have an extraordinary marriage? Are you contributing positively to the lives of other women?

Are you encouraging your husband to enjoy friendships, man nights, and man-cave time with his friends too? I am so grateful for the close guy friends that invest in my husband on a regular basis. It actually enhances our marriage in big ways.

Men: How about your man-relationships? Are you investing in and learning from other men in your life? Are you spending your man time building each other up and motivating each other to live extraordinary lives? Are you encouraging your wife to have girlfriends and invest in those relationships too?

The extraordinary life is not lived alone, but in the company of great friends.

Be Extraordinary!

I’m a liar.

This is such a humble blog post to be read and pondered without judgement. Living an extraordinary life demands that we live a life of honesty, humility, and integrity. Are you willing to admit your short-comings and make necessary changes to live that kind of life? If you are, then you are ready to live the extraordinary life.

Be Extraordinary!

The Overboard life

Just over one year ago, Lance Armstrong admitted, on national television, that he had been doping his blood and using illegal drugs to enhance his ability as a world-class cyclist. Winner of 7 Tour de France races after he conquered cancer, Lance was an icon to millions of cancer patients and he gave hope to everyone who had great odds to overcome. And he was a liar.

He lied to people for over a decade. He denied using drugs. He swore that he never doped. He threw teammates under the bus who were calling him out and he looked people right in the eye and said, “I’m the real deal.” I believed him, and I was one of the many who defended him when the evidence was mounting. (Read my post, “I Believed Lance”)

Lance ArmstrongToday, Lance is a man who has been humbled. Over half of his assets…

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