New Year’s resolutions

When Business and Heart Combine

When Business and Heart Combine

December 31.

If there’s ever a day to be introspective, this is it. The Super Bowl for the spiritually inclined and the ultra-organized.

It’s resolution day.

And I fully intend to get busy, not setting resolutions but establishing goals.

But before I do that, I wanted to post an email I received from Chris Brogan yesterday. Chris is pretty much a rockstar in the marketing and blogging world, and like thousands of others, if Chris talks I listen. I loved this email, because Chris really doesn’t gain much by writing it to me. It’s his New Year wishes for the people who care enough to follow his work, and it shows his heart for people.

I’m not sharing this to drive you all to Chris Brogan’s site, although if you are interested in content marketing and small business ownership, his blog is certainly a must-read. I’m sharing it because I love seeing someone who isn’t afraid of combining their business with their heart. He isn’t afraid to let his business followers see who he is. He is transparent.

It’s really hard to be transparent out in the business world. We have clients to reassure, prospects to impress, competitors to stay ahead of. It’s hard to risk transparency. When we write our business blog, it’s hard to maintain a commitment to authenticity. But I think Chris’s New Year’s letter inspires me to greater transparency in 2015.

So I guess I have started my contemplation after all!


Hi Marla!

This email to you is full of wishes. I mean every single one of them, and I hope to be able to help in some small way. I hope this email finds you in that moment of contemplation and mild guilt we all slip into this time of year. Because I want to help with what’s to come. 

I’ve got a mug of mulled cider because, you know, holidays and winter and stuff. You? 

My Wish for You

My wish in this coming year is that people know more about you, that they understand what you’re about. My wish for the coming year is that people get as excited about what you’re doing as you yourself do. 

My wish for 2015 is that you find within yourself the commitment and discipline to keep your passions alive and share them with all those people who need what you’re doing and providing. And if, for reasons of fate and circumstance, you’re not working on something you feel strongly about, I wish that this coming year is your breakaway year, and that you find a way to be where you belong, instead of trying to fit in. 

I hope that you find the misfits and world dominators, the instigators and crazies, the people who freak out over what you bring to the picnic. I hope that you dare to dye your hair blue or get that tattoo, or tell that person you’ve loved forever but never told that you love them. I hope you shave your head, grow your hair long, buy that purple hat, use that purple crayon. 

My wish is that you crave more but be so grateful for what you have. Make the “more” be about your capabilities and your ability to serve. Make the “what you have” serve you well, but never look for anchors when success comes from sails. 

Wealth comes from serving others. Find those you can help and help them. Don’t worry about the details at first. Be helpful. All my money came from two places: failure, and helping others. And remember that money isn’t the definition of wealth. It’s a byproduct. 

My wish for you is that you face the fears that need facing, and that you banish those fears that were silly to begin with but have somehow held residence in your soul for far too long. The fears that need facing can be trained for, prepared for, practiced for, and then you go to war. The silly fears? Well, those just have to go. 

My wish for you is that you know those around you. I’m just a fire you’ve gathered around. But if you sought out the monchu (Heck, tweet something with the word #monchu and see who tweets back), you’d have so much more than what I alone can offer. That’s been my dream since I started. So far, no one ever goes far enough to make it true. You’re the star. I’m just the fire. 

Finally, remember that my annual “My 3 Words” experience starts on January 1st. Just go to my blog (on the 1st, not sooner!) to see how to do it, and then dive in. I can’t WAIT to hear yours. 

And thank you for all you’ve done this year. It’s been a great ride so far. I’m here to help you own your 2015. 

With love, 


Turnpikes and Fireplaces


God definitely wants my undivided attention. That’s a tough thing to get from a scatterbrained person like me. Nevertheless, that’s his message to me for this coming year and I’m having a hard time buying into it. The conversation, if it were audible, would have been something like this:

“So what goals do you have for me this year, God?”

“Be. Try not to DO everything. Just BE who I want you to be.”

“Oh, be all things to all people?”

“No, just BE what I created you to be.”

“Well you created me to be David’s wife. Got that. I’m Kylie and Jillian’s mom…that takes a bit of time but I love it. I’m daughter, friend, church member, infrequent (these days) blogger and aspiring writer. I’m a family member who loves all her family. Let’s not forget that I’m Toby-the-white-dog’s master and the love of his life. Is there anything else I’m supposed to be?”

“You aren’t quite getting this, are you.”

So the conversation didn’t happen, but then again maybe it did. God’s definitely made it clear that he wants me to stop worrying about all those roles and just be — each day — what He has asked me to be that day. To drive the point home, I’ve started off this year driving up and down the Florida Turnpike for various trips. There’s not much to look at on the Turnpike. There’s not much to do if you get carsick like me. David and I love to talk, but not for hours at a time and he’s really busy thinking of killer Scrabble words. So I got to watch the road and…be. And after a few hours, it was really comforting not to have to do anything, but just to watch the world fly by in a trancelike state while I wondered what it was like to be.

Be humble, be gentle, be kind, be compassionate. There’s a lot to be.

When I got home to arctic South Florida (don’t laugh…it really was), i turned on my fireplace and sat down in front of it. It’s the real world. It’s the new year. And it’s time for me to be. Pray for me.

The missing New Year’s posts…


I tend to go MIA around New Year’s for no other reason than I am a stubborn person underneath my calm (!) exterior. It’s the same reason why I won’t go to the gym today even though I’m craving a little exercise. I just hate to do the thing that is expected of “everyone.”

So you haven’t read any end of the year retrospectives, or best of 2009 posts. No lists of what’s to come in 2010. At least not from me.

But I may have to rethink that strategy. Two people lately have challenged my thinking in this area.

Mark Batterson, in his new book Primal, puts a new spin on the idea of “taking every thought captive.” I don’t have the book with me, but the concept was that God speaks to us in “God ideas” and we have a responsibility to capture them so that He can use them. Anything less is being an unfaithful steward of the imagination, intellect and creativity that God has given us.

And last Sunday, John Poitevent (Christ Fellowship’s City Place campus pastor) challenged us to spend time reflecting on the year and relationships past. His point was that we need to constantly try to bring the kingdom into our relationships. This requires reflection. Further, we need to spend time pondering both our successes and goals as well as our failures. When you fail, you need to immediately turn and worship God, allowing your soul to reconnect to God and denying the enemy a chance to beat you over the head with the failure.

So I guess some reflection time needs to be scheduled in the next few days after all! But hey…at least it isn’t New Year’s Eve anymore.

Windex, paper towels, batteries and lightbulbs…

Oh I feel better!

The next time I get myself stressed and overwhelmed, you must all prescribe a trip to Costco/Target for me. I went today and restocked my house. Humongous sizes of Bounty paper towels, five bottles of laundry detergent, softeners, new Windex bottles and refills, red plastic cups for company, and (oh delight) new socks for running at the gym! David and I took a couple of hours today to fill up the nooks and crannies in household management that have been depleted by the season.

And when we got home I realized how good it feels to be prepared around here.

I think there’s a spiritual application here, too. So many times we run ourselves dry of the very things that keep us centered and in touch with what God wants to say to us. We all have seasons like that, and it’s fine for a short time during a season. But eventualy we need to go back to the source and “stock up” again. I did that yesterday by sitting in the Life Center and reading, writing, connecting. When my spiritual “pantry” is full, I have a reserve to meet the next need.

So how about you? What supplies do you need to stock up on in this first month of the new year?