Corrie and I have 4 kids. I realize that doesn’t make us 19 kids and counting or even the Brady Bunch, but at times it’s overwhelming to me. She handles our lives with a grace and poise beyond explanation.
I recently wrote about our new habit of making our bed every morning and how it changed to the rhythm of our household.
One of the things that is crazy in our house is socks. From conversations with others I realize we are not alone, but 6 sets of feet produces lots of dirty socks and the washing machine really does seem to eat them from time to time.
When we do laundry we have a sock basket that we throw all the socks in since pairs don’t always get washed together (yes we realize there are ways to insure this, but we like our system just fine). Then every few days we dump the whole basket out in the middle of our floor and pair them up and separate them into everyone’s drawers.
Last week when we were doing this I had a stack of white socks in front of me, Corrie had a stack of dress socks in front of her, and the older boys had a stack of their socks in front of them. Eventually I came to a stopping place where I couldn’t find anymore pairs…and then Corrie looked in my stack and pointed out 2 socks that were a match. At first I was somewhat insulted, until I looked over in her pile after she got stuck and I immediately saw a pair or 2 that she had missed as well.
I previously wrote about our dust pan being broken for an “extended period of time” and repairing it with duct tape in a post on Forward Leadership. You can read it HERE. Here’s a portion of what I wrote:
The sad thing is we’ve used the dustpan tons of times since I added the tape, but always seem to forget we need one when it’s time to go shopping. It just doesn’t bother us anymore. Then a few days ago my mother-in-law was at our house and went to get the dustpan and started laughing. She said, “You know these things are only a couple bucks to replace.” It wasn’t that we didn’t know, we just got used to it, and didn’t think about changing it until an outside set of eyes noticed something we had long overlooked.
It’s the same reason potential buyers and real estate agents can spot a crack or water spot in a house they walk into for the first time, or you don’t notice how bad your car smokes until you go to sell it. We get comfortable with how things are, and don’t notice potential issues until we look at it through a different set of eyes, or someone else does that for us.
In our churches we are comfortable with the stacks of chairs over in the corner until we are walking through with our friend who finally agreed to come to church with us after months of invites.
It takes the new staff member to point out that grass is growing through the cracks in the parking lot.
It takes a visiting family member to ask why we still have copies of last week’s bulletins in the back of the pews.
Corrie wasn’t insulting me by finding a pair I’d overlooked, anymore than my mother-in-law was insulting me by pointing out the duct tape on our dust pan.
Looking at the same things over and over dulls our ability to see them for what they really are.
Andy Stanley says “Time in erodes awareness of.”
Consultants walk in and help point out overlooked things to reshape conversation.
Counselors ask questions to help marriages or people get back on the right track.
Coaches help you make small adjustments to find more consistent success.
It’s why I love consulting with church leaders, counseling hurting people, and coaching pastors. The answers are often right in front of them. They just need fresh eyes to help them see it.
What have you been staring at for a while that needs a fresh set of eyes? Who can you ask to look over your shoulder and make observations?