Tony Dungy: Uncommon Life Reflection 11.30.11

The passage for today was another great one. I think each person who reads the reflection for today will approach it differently. Being that I not overall a religious person, I perceived the message differently than someone who is more religious than myself.

The passage told the story of Mary and Martha and how they responded differently to the presence of God. Martha was getting quite frustrated that Mary was not helping with the big dinner that was at hand. Mary was just sitting soaking in the moment of being with the Lord. – Luke 10:40-42

Tony goes on to discuss how many of us lose focus of the bigger picture. Coaches get so caught up in the small details of practice and games. Teachers get caught up in the big stack of papers to grade, lessons to plan, etc. Parents get caught up in driving here and there, making dinner, checking for homework, etc. We all get caught up in the daily activities and miss the big picture.

Tony proceeds to talk about taking time to appreciate God. I view this passage as taking time to be in the moment. To enjoy what we have at our disposal. I get caught up with my To Do List. I cannot tell you how many times I tell Addy I will play store with her when I finish cleaning up after dinner, then changing Ava, then doing homework with Aiden. I know I have let her down many times. I need to stop and pause. I need to let the dishes be dirty for another 30 minutes and go buy something from her store. She won’t always ask me to do this. She will grow up…and way too soon. If I don’t connect with her more and more and do these little things she will find somebody else who will. I want to make sure that she never stops asking me to play and help her. It is hard, but in the big scheme of things what is more important – dirty dishes or playing store?

Store
The checkout counter

This passage hit home with me because last night both Amanda and myself both took time to play store. She had this complicated and rather creative system where this little stand served as the conveyor belt used at stores to move the food down to the cashier. She had baskets of food stowed away. She was using a Wii controller as the scanner. Had I continued worrying about this and that I would have missed her creative flare that she possesses. To read this passage this morning reminded me that I NEED and MUST do this more with my family. It was also weird because as I booted up my Mac this morning for some reason I came across a photo of Addy from July 2010. It was so strange to see how much she has grown up. It all seemed to hit me like a ton of bricks over the course of a few hours and then to read this passage simply solidified all my thoughts.

Man vs. wild
Aiden on his raft portraying Man vs. Wild

This post has focused on Addy, but all of this holds true for my kids and wife. Aiden was busy recreating his own Man vs. Wild(he loves nature and all of these types of shows). He would pretend sleep, wake up, paddle his way and pretend he was seeing animals and looking for a dry spot to set up camp. He took his dinner and pretended it was fish he caught eating like Bear does on the show. He was just loaded with knowledge and you could tell he was completely in the moment. Once again I don’t want him to ever lose his creativity and the confidence to pursue his passions. One of the things that happen in school and life is that after being told no or being made fun of so many times it eventually wears on a person to the point where they adapt to the norm. I don’t want my kids to adapt to the norm. I want them to keep their passion for life(both the good and bad).

In closing, it has been weird. Since I have started reading Uncommon Life by Today Dungy I am seeing things unravel right in front of me that  may not have taken the time to enjoy and process. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, but for now I will enjoy what I have in front of me.

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Tony Dungy: Uncommon Life Daily Challenge Reflection 10.28.11

I started reading this book two days ago and I cannot believe how addicted I am already to reading the passage for the day and trying to apply it to my life as a father/husband/coach/exercise enthusiast.

Today the passage dealt with miracles. It talks about being in the moment and really taking time to appreciate all the miracles that are around us. We are busy people. Busy doing whatever you do during your 24 hours each day. The “busy” aspect of our lives can be different depending on our families, schedules, and hobbies, but essentially we are all connected by the fact that we so easily become distracted with all that has to be done. We start to stress about doing this and doing that. We become frustrated and lose sight very easily about the important things. The passage today reminds me to slow down and make sure I don’t miss the miracles at hand.

Let me give you an example of a few miracles that have happened since I took time to notice them.

1. Today a sporadic moment at the end of the school day had me walking into the classroom of another teacher. I shared with him the book and how I thought it was the perfect book for him. This lead to to two discussions. One with another teacher in the hallway and one with him after he read the passage for today and we discussed the topic at hand. These two discussions were miracles in my mind because we took time to listen, share, and make a connection that we could have easily lost in the shuffle of teaching, lesson planning, cleaning up, rushing to our next job as coach or parent. It felt good to talk about something that drew passion out of other people. This lead me to…..

2. Thinking back to yesterday when we decorated the Christmas Tree. I was so worried about getting all these things done before school today that I grew impatient with my children. I was not the joyous person I typically am around the the Christmas Tree decorating time. My wife gave me a look, said my name when I became angry at my daughter and she instantly put me into place. This miracle of my wife caused me to calm down, collect myself, and enjoy the moment. I don’t care where the ornaments are located. Is it really important? It is more important that my kids decorate. They have a reason for the placement of the ornaments. I also was allowed the miracle of listening to my kids remember all the ornaments. These already have sentimental value to them as they could remember so many of them. I was blown away by their memory. Some of them were wadded up paper that they created years ago that they called “gifts”. They remembered they made them and it meant the world to them that we still had them. Had my wife not performed her miracle I would have missed these moments in exchange for anger and that would have lead to regret.

3. I loaded up some pictures from my phone from this weekend and reading the passage today had me think about all the things I am thankful for. The pictures lend themselves perfectly to this and I will be crafting a little slide show/blog post about these pictures when I have some more time.

I cannot wait to read the passage for tomorrow. I never read ahead so I must wait until tomorrow. Until then, don’t forget to slow down and look for the miracles around you. They are everywhere and everyone has a story to share about miracles. Don’t lose sight of the important things in life. They are not always what is on your To Do List.

Live Uncommon!!

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