Portland, Hotel Bathroom 3 am, Thoughts on being better

where awake parents are exiled to.
where awake parents are exiled to.

Good morning or whatever it is for you when you read this. I am currently in the bathroom of of our hotel room in Portland, OR, and the time is about 3:00 am. More on why I’m in the bathroom later, and more on why I am awake later. I have a couple blog posts in the hopper and will be getting them up soon. I’m also going to try my hand at some videos soon, but for now, I just have a lot on my mind that I feel like I have to get out.

Well, now is later.

I’m in a bathroom
So, I’m here in Portland to attend my church’s Bishop’s Symposium, a time for all the United Methodist pastors in Oregon-Idaho to get together, hear big speakers, dream, worship, and make plans on how to better equip people to be awesome. Joanna and Clementine are joining me in Portland. We have family and friends here, and Clementine has never seen the ocean, which is what we’ll do tomorrow today.

Things are never that bad with these two.
Things are never that bad with these two.

So why am I in the bathroom blogging away on my iPad? Because we haven’t quite mastered the fine art of traveling with a 9 mo old. The trip’s been a little rough for baby Clementine-lemon-lime. She pretty much didn’t sleep yesterday and is pretty frustrated that her english just isn’t where she wants it to be right now. I try to encourage her, but she’s pretty hard on herself. So, I’m in the bathroom because C-town is asleep in the hotel room we’re sharing, and when she’s asleep, only sleeping people can be in that room. All the awake people have to go to the bathroom.

I’m awake at 3 am
Baby Buzzle isn’t the only one having a rough night. Joanna’s been up, not feeling so great. She’s sleeping now, but she’s had a rough couple of days with the babes, and I guess I just kinda feel bad for them, and hope they get some rejuvenating sleep tonight. So, my hope and love for them are keeping me awake. I fricken love them.

I’ve also got a lot on my mind as far as church stuff goes. That’s par for the course. Hanging out with pastor types gets your brain moving. There are so many things that I’ve grabbed on to this week as far as strategy and what not, but for now, let me just give you a few things that I’m working on and might be helpful to y’all:

Find people that are better than you
And I mean, figure out what you want to do, look around for the person doing it the best, and attach yourself to them while you can. Musicians do this right? They get better by playing with better people. Pastors gotta do the same. Unfortunately, we sometimes look at each other like competitors for the best churches. I don’t worry about that, I just try to find the bright spots in the room and stick to them like glue. Duane Anders at Cathedral of the Rockies is one of the brightest spots we have around here. I left Cathedral of the Rockies before I could really steal all the wisdom I could from that guy. I’m thankful that he’s a friend, that he still drops me texts and calls every couple of weeks. Whenever I’m in proximity to Pastor D, I’m not letting him out of my sights. Every chance I get at a lunch or coffee, I’m making it happen. I don’t idolize PD, and there are plenty of reasons to make fun of him, but i recognize that he’s good at what he does. He’s better than me at what I want to do. In most places, he’s the best in the room, so when I can, I am where he is. Find the people that are better than you.

Don’t take yourself too seriously
This kinda goes with the other one, be humble. You’re not the best. You’re not the smartest. You’re not the deepest. So just relax, laugh at yourself. Work hard, but realize that you live in an economy of grace, that you work with God and that your work is blessed and made effective by something bigger than you. Your reach and impact is bigger than you, thanks be to God. Don’t take yourself too seriously. I’m learning this.

someone wants J's trout scramble.
someone wants J’s trout scramble.

The Portland trip with the family
I don’t want this to sound like the trip has been bad! We’ve had a great time! Look at the pictures! We’re just having a rough night. We’re getting better at parenting with God’s help. Wednesday morning we had an incredible breakfast of local trout scramble and catfish hash. Yesterday we dove into Stumptown coffee, spent time with Joanna’s uncle Richard, and had dinner with a friend from seminary (little big burger in NW PDX, bleu cheese, truffle fries). We’re having a blast. Today, we’re running out to the coast and we’ll see J’s Dad and grandma. Saturday, We’ll head back to IF, and I’ll see you in church in the morning. Peace.

Ric

Greatuncle Richard, Clementine, and Joanna
Greatuncle Richard, Clementine, and Joanna
Near the Tualatin River
Near the Tualatin River