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important nothings blog

"which of all my important nothings should i tell you first?" – jane austen

Q&A with Quiet Science

We got a few minutes to sit down with Nathan Walter from one of our new favorite bands – Quiet Science.  Their album “The Rekindling of the Stars” has been on repeat here at I.N.H.Q. for weeks – so we wanted to get a little info on heart behind the album!   Give their single Bonfires a play and check out what they have to say!

We are loving the new Quiet Science album – “The Rekindling of the Stars” – what’s the inspiration behind the album?  What pulled you to want to create a worship project?

It was the perfect title for this album. There is so much meaning behind it. I see it two ways: 1) When you realize that there is a God who created all this and He loves and desires a relationship with you, you can’t help but see His hand and His beauty in the world around us. It makes the stars brighter. It’s like falling more in love with the artist through His art.

2) In another sense, I imagine that we are the stars and we have grown dim. As we grow closer to Him, we reflect His light and we shine all the brighter for the world to see.

Honestly, I feel like it may be what God was doing in me during that long process of working on this album. He brought me closer to Him and refined me.  We just want others to have that same feeling when they listen to this album, that God is drawing them close.

We have always been asked to do worship shows on tour as an add on to our rock show. Honestly, we could have made more money doing them, but we always turned them down.  We just didn’t feel called to it. I don’t think that every Christian musician is called to be a worship leader. I think it is a big responsibility.  One summer, our church was looking for a band for summer camp and they tasked Daisy with finding one, but we knew that it would be very difficult with the budget they had. Eventually, we bit the bullet and did it ourselves, even though I fought it all the way.  After that week of leading worship, I just felt like there was no going back. I thought, “Why would I want to do anything but this?”

Can you talk to us about the single “Bonfires”? 

I came across “infinite beauty” in a book somewhere and just thought it was a great line for a song. It came together pretty easily. I love how the song is fun and big but also has these small, soft worshipful moments with the same lyrics.  I am not sure you get all that in the radio edit.

Quiet Science took a break to start a family. Would you say that parenthood has changed your writing style? Or your focus as a band?

No, not really. Our writing style has changed, definitely, but not because of parenthood. Honestly, being home for awhile and being heavily involved in our church changed it the most. We didn’t want to make an album that was really cool and experimental, but no one would be able to sing it. It really changed our focus, and many songs were eliminated because of it. We started writing songs for the people of God to sing, rather than ourselves.

What’s next for Quiet Science? Any tours or festivals? 

We will definitely tour. We want to give people time with the album first so that the shows can be more worship centered. We don’t want to go play a show or give a performance. We want people to be able to worship with us.

If we are invited to play any festivals, we will be there.

Rapid Fire Questions: Any albums that are on repeat right now?

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I’ve been listening to the new Jesus Culture album and Peter Gabriel’s album Melt.

What’s the last book you read?

I am currently reading “The James Code” by O.S. Hawkins and “Shadows of Self” by Brandon Sanderson. I tend to read two books at a time. One fiction and one nonfiction.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would go to New Zealand and tour all the Lord of the Rings film sites. I am a dork like that.

How can we get more info on Quiet Science?

Go to www.thequietscience.com. If you aren’t familiar with our older works, our first album is actually a free download right now. We also added chord charts for “The Rekindling…”, that’s something entirely new for us.

Permission to dream – first thing in the morning

Destin sunrise

Since I was a young child, I have always loved mornings. Cup of coffee, chilly air, birds chirping, indirect light – I love it all.

Two different times, I’ve been able to live above coffee shops. I would awake to the sound of people laughing or having conversations, which would cause me to jump out of bed and run downstairs, realizing that life was potentially happening without me. This is likely because I’m a huge extrovert, and just the thought of missing a moment with friends is enough to put me over the edge.

But over the past few months, I’ve had to change my strategy. I work from home, in a HOME, so that jolt of joy in the morning has to happen internally. That hasn’t always been easy.

So for the past few months, I’ve been more focused on not only waking up early, but to be intentional about what I do with that time. That means no TV. No looking at messages on my phone. That especially means no Facebook.

First – I’ve forced myself to breathe.

Now, I do 5 minutes of sun salutations (which translates to short series of yoga moves, to the uninitiated) every morning. This requires me to breathe deeply. To concentrate on nothing for a few minutes. It’s joyful. It’s centering. And wow, has it helped me at the gym. Even though life has kept me from working out as much as I would like, my lung capacity and my flexibility is better than it has been in decades.

Second – I write something. With a pen. On paper.

I write anything. Notes. A paragraph. Thoughts. A letter. While often this is just a 3-minute brain dump, it helps me get my creative brain in motion and helps me get a jumpstart on work writing. There was an immediate result, as writing for work has become something I actually enjoy. It’s given me a focus that has made my work more efficient. This has kept my clients are happy, and when they are happy then I am happy.

Third – I read something. That is printed. On paper. No screens.

And the result?

In just 4 months of 2016, I have read more books than I did all last year. Fiction, business books, memoirs, history books – all have an equal platform now. But the funny thing about reading – it’s addictive. I’m finding myself more drawn to reading at night, and likely it’s because my brain needs to wind down. My eyes need it after looking at a computer screen all day. By bookending my day (pun intended), I’m not only learning, but I feel like I’m resting better.

This little 4-month discipline has succeeded in another way – it’s given me permission to dream. Now, I am focused on becoming even more focused.

I plan to add into this morning ritual actual writing. Either for a certain amount of time each day or a certain number of words. That’s what I want to do in my life, so why wouldn’t I set aside time for that? I’m also prioritizing working out. I put meetings and events on my calendar, why wouldn’t I schedule my health?

So what do you want to do with your life? Where do you want to be?

I’m realizing, at least for me, I need to focus on my goals first thing in the morning. I need to set my mind on the stuff that matters for the marathon that will transport my life and my work to a better place.

Avoiding the storm…

It is Monday – a crazy busy Mofishing-sea-boat-large.jpgnday. I get a few of these days per year where all of the forces that be converge, and you just know deep in your soul that it’s just going to be a brutal day.

Brutal. Things are a mix of good and challenging. I have deadlines. Parents have appointments. Friends are staying here. Our dog is injured. Projects are starting. Projects are ending. Celebrations and thank yous need to be a priority and fit in. Life is, well, life.

Last night, I was trying to finish devotional, and I ran across the story of Jesus sleeping in the boat and the storm arises (Mark 4).

You likely know the story – Jesus had just recently begun his ministry, the disciples were new to this whole concept. Jesus had a few brutal days. He’d been called out by the church leaders and his family, parables were flowing, crowds were gathering. Jesus suggests they get in the boat and go to the other side of the lake to get away from the people. Jesus sleeps on a cushion. Storms come. Disciples panic. Jesus calms the wind. Disciples say “Who is this guy.”

I have read this passage over and over over the years, but two things really struck out in this one particular reading:

First – The disciples’ boat wasn’t the only boat in the water.

And second – Jesus calmed the storm after they mentioned it to him. Mark 4:39 – and he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be Still!” and the wind ceased and there was a great calm.

I think I need to take these 2 things in consideration.

In my life, my boat isn’t the only one that faces storms. While the passage doesn’t say anything about the condition of the other boats, I can just imagine that they were all struggling against the storm as well. They didn’t have Jesus physically in their boat – but when Jesus calmed the storm for one, he calmed the storm for many. I need to remember that when I call on Jesus, when I live my life understanding that He is the source of peace, it affects those around me. My faith is not my own. It can’t be. By design, it has to resonate to those around me.

Second, Jesus calmed the storm when they asked him. Not even like the widow who nagged the judge so much that he gave her what she wanted. They woke up Jesus, asked for help and he calmed the storm. In my life, why don’t I just call on Jesus when I see the storm approaching? Why do I wait for the storm to be in a full scary, dark assault before I admit that it’s out of my control?   My first inclination was to ask why didn’t they just wake up Jesus to begin with…but then I realize just how often I get underwater before I ask for guidance, and often I never ever mention it to those in the boats around me.

It’s time. Before the sun rises, before the phone rings; before the emails start, the distractions arise and  noise and clutter start to cloud my focus and let Jesus know about my concern for the day. #Give it to him. Ask him to weather the storm with me and bring peace to not only my day – but to the day of those around me.

 

Goals, etc.

Decide what you want.jpgDo you ever find it strange that the boss has time to go to the gym and work out, but everyone else in the office doesn’t?  I’m realizing that is because they have set goals for themselves and their companies…and they pay people like us to get the busywork done.

There’s nothing wrong with that – that’s good business.

But there seems to be a divide going on more than just risk vs. reward. Going to the gym has long-term benefits. Eating healthy has long-term benefits. Prioritizing me has benefits that are far beyond me.

So yesterday, I tried it. Mid-day, I went to the gym. My phone had temporarily stopped ringing, so I went to the gym, did 20 minutes on the treadmill and did the all-painful pull up machine.  The world didn’t end.

Granted, missed three calls, about 20 emails and I did have to work a bit later in the evening. I wasn’t able to pop out to grab coffee with a friend who is in town – but that’s ok because we have other set plans to get together at a different time.  That dinner is on my calendar – why isn’t going to the gym?

This week is a logistical mess, but I am going to attempt to schedule the gym in my calendar at least 2 days a business week for the month of April.  I may even try to make one day a week have no meetings.  Just a day for catch up work.

And a day a week where the computer stays completely shut.

Good things are ahead – but better things are ahead IF I make it a point to make the important things a priority.

Here’s to morning writing, drinking a cup of coffee, having the phone turned off and prioritizing 20 minutes at the gym…

 

 

#MondayMotivation

“Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are right” – Henry Ford

Whether you believe you can do a thing or not, you are Right

Now, go take on the week!  You can do it!

MondayMotivation

Have you ever just sat, looking at a blank page?  You have the paints and the canvas but no vision?  You got up early to write that song, start that new chapter, build that furniture, but then your mind just hits a blank?

I think every creative person knows that struggle.

jacklondon

Today’s Monday Motivation comes from Jack London, and I am realizing this my need to be my mantra for the day – “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” – Jack London.

Here’s to a productive week!

Prioritizing … and some Snow Patrol

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It’s been too long since I’ve been to the gym. A conference. A work trip. A sore foot. Life. Excuse. Excuse. Excuse. Excuse.

What I’ve realized is, when I don’t go to the gym, I have a tendency to be terribly crabby to my husband!  Since we’re together about 90% of the time, he’s the one who gets the joy of experiencing all of my stress, hormones, emotions… sometimes that’s good, but most days it’s not.

I’ve been spending a lot of time listening to podcasts and one thing keeps sticking in my brain – schedule the stuff that’s important.  That means, put going to the gym on the schedule. Don’t fit it in.

If it matters, you have to prioritize it, or the important stuff will get mixed in with those little irritating things that just have to get done. Lock in the time to have coffee with Chris. Don’t fit it in. Write down when I will spend time alone. Don’t fit it in. Schedule a time to write. Don’t fit it in. Drop by and see my parents. Don’t fit it in.

As an ENFP (for your Meyers-Briggs types) and a 7 (for you Enneagram types), this goes against everything I love, believe and stand for.  But it makes sense.  Richard Foster says “Discipline brings freedom” and there is so much truth there.

Join me!  Get the good stuff on your calendar.  Make room for what’s important. And if you need a little motivation at the gym today, how about some Snow Patrol!

The Echo Factor –

Wow-last week work felt like work and I walked into the weekend just feeling…tired, lost and wondering if, perhaps, self-employment was a huge mistake and I needed just walk over to Starbucks and apply to spend my life in a green apron.

Ever felt that way?

If you’re like me, sometimes you need a little boost – you need to remember just why you were created. You feel drained by the routine and wonder if your voice doesn’t matter.  Well…

I just picked up this new book called The Echo Factor: Living A Life that Resonates Freedom by Kinda Wilson, and you need to read it.

Why? Well, it is a little hard to explain.

Is iecho factort a business book? – yes. A psych book? – yes. Motivational book? Inspirational book? Interactive book? – yes, yes, yes. The book is incredibly creative, merging fascinating tales from science and history with the writer’s personal stories.  Kinda is incredibly transparent about her fears and her hesitations.  She is able to give bold challenges simply because she has needed to hear these reminders herself.

echo factor 2Design-wise it deserves a lot of props as well. Please don’t do an audiobook on this one, because the print version is loaded with inserts, bookmarks, postcards, and even the author’s grandma’s pie recipe! (warning, one of the puzzles is making me a little crazy.)

echo factor 3The book boils down to this: Your life matters. Your voice matters. You resonate. Science can prove it.

If you’ve been feeling the push to speak up, to start that business, to begin writing, to speak at that event, it’s time to act. You have the power to change your environment. You have the freedom to make an impact. You have the ability to breathe life to those around you….

Just do yourself a favor…pick up 2 copies of the Echo Factor. Read 1 then follow the instructions at the end and give that one to a friend. Then keep the other for yourself, cause the content of the book and the creative packaging are worth adding to any book collection.

Found this little ditty by Kinda about being weird…this can be your pep talk for the day!

You can buy The Echo Factor here:http://www.kindawilson.com/echofactor/

Taking Advice from a Kardashian

“You become what you think about” – Earl Nightingale

I’ve been holding to my resolutions this year…and I’m GIVING myself ammunition for work, for productivity, for success….for change.

Eating better – check.  Working out (except this last week) – check.  Reading – check. Turning off the TV – check.  Facebook is disabled from my phone – check.  Box of thank you notes sitting on my desk ready to be addressed – check.

And I started reading a book by…

A Kardashian (GASP!)

I know. I’m not even sure where the book came from. But it was on the shelf, and during a GoodWill pick-up purge a couple of weeks ago, I found it and started reading it.

Dang. Ron Kardashian nails it.

ron kardashian

His book is 30 Second Solution. It’s about taking a beat before making a decision, before speaking, before committing. It’s about making 30 second positive statements.  It’s about changing your focus.

And ultimately it’s about action.

When I started the book, I had to get over a bit of the, well, Kardashianisms: I’m a succcess, I’m great, I’m in great shape, I’m quoting myself…but maybe that’s part of the point. We want change? We want to be healthy (mentally, physically, emotionally, financially)? First we have to believe that we can be. Once our brain believes it, we can become it.

In a nutshell, 30 Second Solution is about 3 things:

  • Think Positively
  • Speak Precisely
  • Act Purposefully

Small changes can lead to big results. The Unhealthy Anonymous program that I’m also doing proves that with our health. The same is with our mind. 30 Seconds of “I can do this” can transform our workout.  30 Seconds of “I’m good enough” can transform a job interview.  30 Seconds of “I am beautiful” can change our relationships.  And positive is addictive…and it spreads to those around us.

I want to have the integrity to speak with precision so I am true to my word. Sometimes I need to take 30 Seconds before I speak to make sure that is a reasonable offer.

I want to make sure I am a person of action, who doesn’t talk about what I am supposed to do – I just start doing what I’m supposed to do.

I want to be a person of happiness, who brings a positive spin into the world. I’m better about this when I’m out in public. At home, it’s not always the case.

I want to honor God, my family, my business, my community with my words, thoughts and actions.  I may need to set a little timer to go off a few times each day to make sure that I’m in check with those statements.

So – what can you do in 30 Seconds to change your life? Here’s a few ideas to get you started:  Say a prayer, say thank you, take a deep breath, read a food label, send a positive text message, write down a goal, plan ahead for a healthy dinner, tell someone you love them…

If you want to check out a copy of 30 Second Solution: Transform your body, business, relationships and life in just seconds at a time,  you can find it at Barnes and Noble (used for a really low price!) here.

 

 

 

 

 

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