What do you really need? What's important? What is dispensable, and what is indispensable? 

This picture represents much of my life. I'm packed and ready to go with all of the items I need fit neatly inside of my Tumi suitcase. I have a house with lots of rooms, a garage for my cars and toys, closets and compartments to conceal my excess stuff, and bins to hold onto those things I 'might' need one day. Really, all I need I can fit into my Tumi. A few things to wear, a gadget or seven, and something to write with. I have always been minimal, but over the past several years I have become even more so. I have learned that you just don't need much. 

Now I am not proposing trying to live out of a suitcase full-time, that wouldn't be good for me or anyone around me, but it has shown me that less is more. That so often the things we own end up owning us. We live and exist everyday to maintain the life we have created rather then living life freely. I am just as guilty...and I'm tired of it. I am not saying that I want to relinquish my obligations and responsibilities, I simply want to apply what I have learned from traveling minimally to living minimally. 

We are really all travelers in this life. We are eternal beings that are given a few short years to decide what life is about and where we will spend eternity. We come into life with nothing and we leave with nothing. At worst, we live and die and have no impact or significance in the lives of those around us. At best, we come to know the one that is love and life itself, we view everyday as a gift and learn to love like He loves us. I have been reminded recently, or maybe seen for the first time from a dear friend, that life is about love, and that our hearts were made for it. 

My hope and desire, now more than ever, is to spend the rest of my days not seeking more stuff to fit inside my Tumi, but to spend the rest of my days loving those that are in my life, fully and completely, because that is all that lasts. My heart has been set aflame, and I want to let it burn for all eternity. 


Back roads - WI

Back roads - WI

* Please listen to 'Holocene' by Bon Iver while reading 

I spend a lot of time by myself. The open road has become an old and good friend. I have spent more hours than I could count on it. A lot of people hate traveling. I have always loved it. It's an opportunity to take a step out of your normal, everyday life and to gain perspective. To see and feel, to come to know that your are not as significant as you think. You are one of many that live in this world, each with their own story, their own hopes and dreams, their own loves and losses.  

Each one of us has our own road. Some roads are caused by circumstances beyond our control. Some are chosen. Some of our roads intersect. Some are lonely. Some roads are right. Some are wrong. All are uncertain. 

Recently, on a trip to Wisconsin, I saw this more clearly than I ever have; None of us know our own way. We are all searching. We try desperately to check the signs, search the map, check the conditions and plot our course. But in life, the truth is we don't really know where the road we are on will lead. We want certainty. We want clarity. We want confirmation that the road we are on is the right one, the one that will get us to where we want to be. 

With all of my years and all of my choices and all of the roads I have gone down, I have learned that life is like this picture. You see what's around you, and a little ahead, but anything beyond that is uncertain. It is exhilarating to some, but scary to most. It is the certainty of the unknown. I find myself on this road right now. I can see what's around me, and a little ahead, but I don't know what lies beyond. I am afraid and confused. I have so many regrets and made so many poor choices. I know where I want it to lead, but can't be for certain if I will get there. I have a decision to make; Do I go back towards what I know and feel comfortable with, or do I forge ahead, uncertain, but holding onto what I hope to be at the end?

I know this...I can't stand still. 

What happens if I go back? Will I always regret not knowing what was at the end? What if I forge ahead and am wrong? What will it cost me? Is the road I am on my doing, or Gods? Are they one in the same? What can I live with and what can I not live without?

I want a compass, directions, a map. I want certainty.

I am lost.

Even though I feel lonely and lost, uncertain and afraid, I have been shown, maybe for the first time ever on the back roads of Wisconsin, that I am not alone. That though the road ahead is uncertain...there is hope.



Florida Blvd.  

Florida Blvd.  

I have had the great opportunity to travel extensively. I have seen and done more than I ever thought I would when I was young. I could have never imagined the world as I have come to know it. I have a favorite bench in Central Park. I know the best place for happy hour in Chicago. I've gotten a cup of dark roast from the first Starbcuks in Seattle and know the most beautiful place to watch the sunset over the Pacific west of Santa Rosa. 

In all of my travels though, I never have felt the same sense of peace and calm, the sense of home and belonging the way I do when I come over the dunes in Neptune Beach. It's the first beach I've known. It's the first time my toes touched the sand and my ears heard that beautiful sound of the waves hitting the white sand beach. It's my peace and rest; where my soul breathes. 

It's my home. 


Honda CB750 - Amelia Island

Honda CB750 - Amelia Island

There is somehting about the open road that has always appealed to me. I remember when I was young and my dad would come and pick me up for weekend or extended visits, it always involved a road trip heading to some new destination. That sense of adventure and freedom became engrained in me and as I have gotten older and my career has allowed me to travel extesively all over the country, that passion for the open road and that child-like sense of adventure has only deepened.  

That desire for freedom, unshackled from the stale air of a 737, the packed airport hallways, the traffic of major cities, the never ending stream of emails, the meetings...lots and lots of meetings. It's a desire for an oasis, margin; a reprieve. It's not easy to find that, but I think everyone needs to find that place of peace, just to slow down, think, process, reflect and be still. I find that place on the back of a 1981 Honda. It's therapy...my oasis. 



Pen and Paper

I have struggled with this for a long time; How do I "write"?

I have used the DayOne app for almost 4 years for journaling and have moved to Evernote to keep most of my work captured digitally. I love the idea of having everything captured digitally in the cloud and always accessible. These are great resources and ones that I plan to continue using, however, what I discovered this morning is that nothing can really take the place of a pen and paper.

I found myself at a coffee shop this morning with so much on my mind I had no idea where to start. Rather than grabbing the iPad to try and type out my thoughts, my Moleskine and a trade show pen seemed to be a better fit. 

I wrote 6 pages of thoughts, prayers, fears and verses. It was freeing and just what I needed.
I have been feeling over the past few months stuck in my relationship with God and in my life. Journaling has become such a huge part of my quiet time that I feel how I am journaling may be the thing I need to change. Because there is often so much in my head, slowing my mind down enough to write out my thoughts and gain perspective is of great help to me. The problem is that I have become stagnate in how I go about it. The iPad is amazing, but it is almost distracting and confining at the same time. I hope that changing things up will have the impact I am looking for, and if this morning is any sign of things to come, I think it will.