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Here is how to make art out of deadwood

During this quarantine, I have seen a few different postures taken by leaders. Some are in panic mode, while others are in prayer.

Some are not only in a physical lockdown but also a mental lockdown. They can’t seem to do anything productive.

While others are doubling down on serving customers and improving processes.

Some are constantly on their phones scrolling social media for cutting edge news of this situation, while others are putting their phones down instead for solitude and discernment.

Lemonade out of lemons.

During this lockdown it can be so easy to just get into a routine of wine and movies every night, followed by a leisurely morning.

If we are not careful we will start accepting everything as mediocrity and just hit pause on our life until the social distancing restrictions are lifted.

I’m encouraging you to make lemonade out of lemons.

Yes, I know that can be a cheesy phrase but it recently resonated with many viewers on social media. While on a family hike, we shot a video on this topic when I saw an awesome wood tepee made from the deadwood.

The transformation of individual pieces of deadwood made into beautiful art was inspiring.

Not only to me, but many that either liked or private messaged me about the video.

Check out the post here (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram – whichever you prefer). Also, while you are there, please connect with me on social media for encouragement during this time.

Why? Because we all need to be reminded to find the positive in this situation.

Here are ten ways to turn this lockdown into something positive.

Learn something new. My middle daughter has taught herself how to play the ukulele. I have recorded 7 podcasts that I am excited to share with all of you in the coming weeks. I have a friend that has learned how to make bread.

What can you learn?

Watch something inspiring. Yes, there are moments we think this quarantine is the worst thing ever, but when you watch a WWII movie, you are reminded how good we still have it. Our family watched Dunkirk as a way to find inspiration in wartime heroes, but also a reminder of what we are grateful for.

What can you watch that is inspiring? WWII movie? A hero movie?

Read something inspiring. In the last two months, I have read Shoe Dog (story of Nike), The Ride of a Lifetime (story of Bob Iger’s role at Disney), and currently The Everything Store (story of Jeff Bezos at Amazon). I have chosen all these for inspiration for what these leaders did during their difficult seasons.

What can you read for growth? Maybe Win at Home First 🙂

Family dinners. I have a client who is a busy executive and has three athletic teenagers. He told me the other day that they have had more family meals in the last two weeks than probably the last 6 months. That’s good news!

Are you making time for everyone to eat and talk around the table?

Spending time with our spouse. This one has been more difficult for Holly and me during the quarantine with 3 kids always around. However, we have tried to grab alone time by riding together to pick up groceries or carry out dinner.

How can you get quality date time with your spouse during this quarantine?

Spending time with our kids. We have to grab this time because this will come to an end when school and activities start back up. Start work later or end the day earlier to play with your kids.

How can you spend more intentional time with your kids this week doing what they want to do?

Zoom time with friends. On Monday nights I meet with my men’s group to check in and see how everyone is doing. It does not replace our normal face-to-face group meetings, however, it is a huge help to stay connected.

I also have had the opportunity to reconnect with old friends during this time. I went to the University of Missouri and had a great fraternity pledge class. However, as life went on, my family and I moved to 3 different cities, I lost touch with a lot of them. However, this past Friday night, we were on a Zoom call with 21 guys from our pledge class. Lots of laughs. The plan is to do this weekly until the quarantine is lifted. I hope this rhythm stays monthly or at least quarterly.

Are you connecting with your current friends? How about any old friends you need to connect with?

Zoom time with family. We have a Zoom call about every four days with my side of the family. We have talked more during this quarantine as a family than before.

How are you connecting with your extended family during this time?

Rest. Before we all had this force slowdown, many of us were running a hundred miles an hour from meeting to meeting, activity to activity. Some functioned on limited sleep and lots of caffeine. Give yourself the grace to rest and relax. It is often said that with ‘change of pace and place, can be a change of perspective’. Allow yourself to slow down, and in that new pace, hopefully there will be some new insights and ideas on areas of your life.

More time with God. With more of my calendar freed up, I have found myself spending more time in the Bible. Combination of online devotions but also reading through some books in the Bible, like Esther and Nehemiah. Finding not only inspiration but also establishing what is really important in life. The idea of investing in the unshakeable instead of the shakeable (Hebrews [12:27])

What are you hearing from God during this time?

What about you?

Yes, I have had a couple of low days in this quarantine, but I have had more positive days due to the above actions my family and I have implemented.

So while you are in this quarantine think through how you can take what is kind of dead in your life or just ‘normal’ and make something better out of it.

What good habit or relationship have you allowed to die that you need to breathe life into?

Those that are determined and disciplined during this time will gain much ground spiritually and relationally.

Invest in what and who matters during this time.

Thanks for reading,



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