I know, it's not Friday. Forgive me!
As Friday came and went, I was not near Internet. These last seven days we were on our first family cruise to the Caribbean, and I opted to not purchase the "fastest Internet on the Seas". I considered it an opportunity to be unplugged. The time away was fantastic! We left the port of Galveston and cruised to Roatan, Honduras - Costa Meya, Mexico - and finally Cozumel, Mexico. We count it a pure blessing we are able to do vacations like this, and have time away as a family. Sidebar; we are able to do vacations because we budget it, save for it monthly and make it a priority. Just another plug for the Dave Ramsey way. Ok, back on track...I can already see my girls minds open a bit and their perspective broader now having this new experience. For example, one of them is processing what it would be like to start her business on a cruise ship, able to see the world and learn new cultures. The other for the first time really saw life outside the US when we were driving through Honduras, she commented in ways that signaled her perspective was broadened. Another reminder for me, experiences over things! 👍🏼
##Needed and Known##
Years and years ago, when I worked for pastor Ed Young at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, TX, he often talked about being needed and known. I am not sure if this was his original idea, but I give him credit for it. The simple idea and concept is humans have a hard coded desire to feel needed, and to be known. I really connected with this simple concept and it was true of my life, and I started integrating this into my leading people and teams for the past 16-17yrs.
On the cruise ship, we ate dinner as a family every night at the deck 3 restaraunt, the Rembrandt. We were served by Johnny and Jomet - both from Kerala, India. Johnny and Jomet were good waiters and servers. But, what made them stand out was their ability to make us feel known. Every night they would learn about our eating and dining habits. After a few days we would arrive and the wine glasses were off the table since we didn't order wine with dinner. The alcohol menu was gone...iced tea was automatically served to Reese and Robin, and coffee was delivered just in time for me. These small touches really made a big impact on us.
Johnny and Jomet created a great dinner discussion around this "being known" concept. How could we be better at integrating this into our daily lives. How making our others feeling "known" would improve and bless those relationships. We all discussed some ideas and areas we could integrate this into our daily lives. Thanks Ed for teaching and modeling this for me nearly two decades ago, and thanks Johnny and Jomet for making us feel known in a sea of thousands of dinner guests.
Needed and know. How about you, any ideas of how you could integrate this more into your daily life?
##Random Observations from the cruise##
Staff is geographically diverse. While on the cruise we started logging names and locations the staff were from. India was by far the most represented, however England, Russia, Nicaragua and others were also represented.
Our cruise staff worked 7 months, then got a two month break. Most we talked with used the ports to find free wifi and called home.
The rooms on the ship would be great models for tiny houses. They really know how to maximize 150sqft.
Everyday it got a little more jittery on the boat. Day 1 was smooth as silk. Everyday after it was a little more noticeable you were in a boat. But never real bad.
Ports kinda suck! Well at least they are stereotypical tourist traps. And no Uber in Mexico I could find. Oh yea, thanks T-Mobile for free international data!
The ships fitness center was incredible, and was busier than I predicted.
Lot's of white people like to cruise. At least our cruise was 80-85% white folk. Interesting.
At home, dinner time is at best 25min. Our average sit down dinner on the cruise was an hour and a half. The time and reflection was awesome. Every night I threw out a topic we discussed.
Funny quote from Reese:
"I think I am going to order this (pointing to sea scallops). Robin said, do you know what scallops are Reese? No, but the breadsticks sound good.
##My odd self##
There are a lot of odd things about me or
maybe I should say unique. I think as I get older and more mature I am becoming more comfortable in my skin and in my brain. One very odd thing about me is the "how it's made" gene. Or maybe even the "how it works". While on the cruise ship I am thinking deeply about how it all works - the business model. Cost of the ship, time until they recoup their investment, ways to enhance profits, closest business models, and most fun, what they do I could learn from. These are just a few examples - seriously when I locked in on this, I would get lost in a wormhole of thoughts. Just a odd or unique thing about me. You can pray for Robin, I know it's not always easy being married to me. :)
##Quotes and Notes While Cruising##
"Often times God's best follows him closing doors. " - Mark Batterson
Pride goes before destruction. Likewise, humility comes before honor.
"You don't get anywhere with a drip, drip, drip series. You get somewhere by an extreme event." Art DeVany, Tim Ferris Podcast
>>While a very interesting concept and true, I feel it's half the story. The story of my life, and many others is the catalytic (big) event that causes disruption & momentum, then is followed by consistent and regular drip, drip, drip efforts following the new momentum. Then, rinse and repeat until death.
Finally one from Donald Miller's book Scary Close. This is a great book - started and finished on the 🚢 ! I know I really struggle with true intimacy and being vulnerable. This book has been really helpful to navigate much of those areas of my life. I look forward to processing more if this book with others.
"The more fully we live into ourselves, the more impact we will have. Acting may get us the applause we want, but taking a risk on being ourselves is the only path towards true intimacy." - Donald Miller, Scary Close
This exert from Mark Batterson is really pressing into me. Thought I would close with it.
I don’t believe that our greatest shortcoming is not feeling bad enough about what we’ve done wrong. I think our greatest shortcoming is not feeling good enough about what God has done right. When we under-celebrate, we fall short of the glory of God.