This idea started with a timely captured picture of the sunset on my drive home from work. It was inescapable. The sky was clear and the sun still bright before turning orange as it would begin to touch the horizon.

That captured image led to a thought about the all the moments of 2020 and how I was a bit — dare I say it? — saddened to see the year close out.

There have been so many experiences over the last year. Some good, some meh. And, there have been the absences of experiences we had planned on. …

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

My home “office” is little more than a card table for a desk and an exercise ball for a chair. I’ve got a few books, random notes, my MacBook, an iPad, charging cords, a glass of water and cup of coffee.

It works fine — though I have to get up and move fairly regularly because I notice my lower back stiffening up.

My regular office has a window behind me that faces the woods. On any given day I can turn around and see the trees bending in the wind, deer grazing, turkeys pecking for food, rabbits and squirrels…

Can I? Should I? Do I?

Photo by Joshua Ness on Unsplash

I heard a song recently called “You Better Run As Fast As You Can”. And it made me think:

Can I? Should I? Do I?

What would it actually take to make me run as fast as I can? And then, how long would I be able to do it? How long can I sustain that kind of pace?

What would cause me to do that? To take off at such a speed?

I don’t know. I may never know. But shouldn’t I be prepared anyhow?

Putting Feet to Pavement

And so, I did run that day. From my house to my daughter’s tennis…

What is it like to be included?

Photo by Evan Dennis on Unsplash

20 Questions

When we camped as a family earlier this summer, we played 20 questions around the campfire. This is, of course, a straightforward game — unless you’re playing with an 8-year-old boy recently adopted from China.

Then, everything changes.

It became difficult to keep the game going at the same pace everyone else was used to because we had one participant (our adopted son) who had a hard time keeping up with just the language, let alone understanding how asking yes or no questions to guess the answer worked.

And forget about when it was finally his turn to come up…

It’s the difference between doing and being

There are so many questions about what to write: Where do we begin? What should we say? What will capture readers’ attention?

Photo by Anna Auza on Unsplash

I think one of the easiest ways to answer those questions is to just look around. Life is full of the greatest stories. They’re just waiting to be discovered, written and shared with the world.

But if you’re like me, you know how hard it is to see those stories because it feels like life is moving too fast for me to notice them.

When I truly stop to be present in a moment I start to notice…

Where I Park Affects My Heart

Okay, yes, this is admittedly another title stolen from Pearl Jam; this one from an album of their’s. What can I say? I’m a fan and oftentimes their lyrics and titles connect ideas for me.

One of the common questions I get when people visit me at my office at church is “Why do you park where you do?”

Now, I need to give you the context. We’ve got a pretty good size parking lot and during the week there’s only 4–5 cars parked in it all day. Those cars belong to our staff.

Sure, there are groups that come…

Let them see you seeing them

Cobblestone street through a cemetery
Cobblestone street through a cemetery
Photo by Echo Grid on Unsplash

I saw something today I haven’t seen in a while: a funeral procession, led by a police escort, with lights flashing. The motorcade followed the immediate family, who followed directly behind the hearse carrying their beloved.

There was this moment as I saw the police lights come over the crest of the hill that I wondered what was happening. I pulled to the right and stopped. When I realized it was a funeral procession, I recalled a conversation my wife and I had had some months earlier about such an event.

We talked about how many people are unsure of…

These are the moments we get

Photo by Ryan Jacobson on Unsplash

During the school year it seems so much of my time can be spent in the vehicle just taking my kids from one thing to another. It starts in the morning with 5 kids heading to 3 different schools. We get an early start so it only takes about a half hour from the time we leave the house to the time I roll into the parking lot at my office.

Mornings are the easy part — as long as there isn’t rain, snow or ice. Those weather changes tend to throw people’s schedules and tempers into chaos.

Afternoons to…

There is no enemy as dangerous as self-sabotage

Faces of a man and a woman interposed on one another
Faces of a man and a woman interposed on one another
Photo by Callum Skelton on Unsplash

There is nothing as dangerous as self-sabotage.

How do I know this? I have the self-wound scars to prove it. But they’re not external — that’d be too obvious.

That’s not how self-sabotage works. It doesn’t attack you in ways you can see. That’d be too easy to combat and defend yourself against.

No, self-sabotage has to work in secret, undermining ways because you already know yourself so well. So, somehow, in our subconscious, we attack in ways that are calculated, sneaky, and full of duplicity. …

Often you wake up in a fog.

Sometimes you willingly go into that fog.

Usually you find the fog was veiling beauty.

That was my experience this morning. Well, I won’t say I woke up in a figurative fog today, but I’ve been there plenty of other times. No, today I woke up to a literal fog. And I decided to go for a run in it.

What I learned along the way can be summarized simply: sometimes you have to willingly choose to run into the fog.

Here’s the thing, the fog may not be literal and so the…

Brett Shilton

Husband. Father. Leader. Connector. Learning to write, run, and enjoy sustainable rhythms. Writing about faith and what it looks like trying to live it out.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store