Filling Your Bucket

The Minnesota State Fair started last week.  The unofficial mark to the beginning of the end.

The end of the glorious season of going “up north”, going to DQ, and not going inside til neighborhood kids stop playing tag when the sun finally fades at 9:00.  Biking the lakes, going without shoes and without makeup.


We estimate church attendance goes down by 30-40% in the summer and we get it.  We live in a state where the only month that hasn’t had snow in recorded history is July.

People in MN play hard in the summer.  There’s a concerted effort to fill up.  To fill up with family time, sunshine, hide-n-seek playing, tubing, and kayaking.  We do summer big.

And then all of a sudden it’s school time again and we’re all about busy and schedules and no margin.  And sure, there’s a part of us that craves the order, but with it comes the stress of too much stuff and too little time.  

It’s got me thinking about the rhythms of our lives.

Bill Hybels says, “As a leader, the best thing you bring to the table every day is a filled up bucket.” 

I’m thinking you could substitute “parent”, “teacher”, “”boss”, “coach”….or just “person” for “leader”.

As a person, the best thing you bring to the world every day [of the year!] is a filled up bucket.

So how do you do that?  If you think of some the different areas of your life – spiritual, physical, relational – what rhythms do you have that keep you replenished so that you don’t just deplete, deplete, deplete, and then madly try to fill up?

Take a look at this video to learn more about filling your bucket.

I want to offer you a resource today that can help keep your bucket full through the year.

I’m privileged to facilitate online classes for the Willow Creek Association called LIFT – Leadership Institute for Transformation.  LIFT utilizes world class teachers like Hybels, Henry Cloud, Gary Haugen, Nancy Beach, and John Ortberg.

Each class is 7 weeks long.  You receive a weekly assignment that might include watching a video clip, doing a personal assessment, reading an article, and then interacting in a discussion forum online with participants from all over the world.  Super practical!  You can learn more about LIFT here.

For readers of this blog here’s the deal!  If you enter the code SUMMIT12 you will get a 20% discount on any class for the Fall session!

I’ve facilitated all the courses offered this fall.  Some may be better suited to your season of life or context than others.  If you have questions, I’d be delighted to help you choose a course that’s right for you!

If LIFT isn’t for you, but you’re interested in other ways to “fill up”, you might look at the resources in this post.

One of Bill’s questions on the video is “Do you have a ‘planned negligence’ strategy?”  In other words, what good things are you going to let go in order to prioritize the best and make sure your bucket is filled?  Thoughts?

Because everyone is out playing this last week before school starts, and because I think this resource is valuable and important, this will be the only post for this week.  Also!  The winner of Love Does was Austin Dannhaus, but he graciously is allowing me to give it to Carrie Gleason who took time to write a comment that disappeared into cyberspace when she posted.  Thanks to all of you who responded!!

I'd love to hear from you and others will be enriched by your thoughts! Share here and continue the conversation.

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