Tag Archives: Rick Warren

Trying to Re-live Your Glory Days

Wisdom from Children’s Books & Movies II

image courtesy of Disney Pixar

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
-Rick Warren

Point to Ponder:
Have you become numb or blind to what’s around you, preventing you from enjoying the greatest adventure of your life?

Action Item:
Create a list of all things in your life that you find yourself wishing you still had. Then, be creative and reinvent that part of your life so it fits your current life.

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

If you’ve never seen the movie The Incredibles  I highly recommend it!  I would not have suggested it ten days ago, as it simply served as a source of visual stimulation and superhero fun for my son Durant while I scurried around the house. As I’ve watched from a distance, it appears to be your everyday superhero kid flick, but this 2004 Disney Pixar movie is exploding with relative adult issues and messaging, including marital stress. It’s a doozy! Most recently, however, when paying close attention, there were two scenes and a few lines that blew my mind, in a good way. Here is a quick summary:

Pre-marriage, Bob Parr, a.k.a., “Mr. Incredible,” (the large man in the picture) and Helen, a.k.a., “Elastigirl,” (the woman in the picture) were crime-fighting, life-saving, and evil-slaying superheroes. Unfortunately their government and public support came to an abrupt stop when Mr. Incredible was sued for saving a man who didn’t want to be saved. Fifteen years later and married with three children (also born with superhero powers), they are forced to live the “civilian life.” They live in the suburbs and consequently have retired their superhero status. They are living the “normal life.”

As you might expect, Helen is focused on raising their children and is not bothered by “the retired life.” Bob, on the other hand, is obsessed with his glory days. Being a superhero is his passion and identity, and without it he is unfulfilled and miserable. He’s lethargic, semi checked-out and is not an active or involved husband or father. Because he loves being a superhero, at night he secretly leaves the house to fight crime and save lives. One night while entering the house late Bob was caught red-handed. He and Helen had this rich exchange:

Helen: “Is this rubble?” (she spots something on his jacket)
Bob: “It was just a little workout, to stay loose.” (workout meaning his superhero outing)
Helen: “You know how I feel about that Bob! Darn you! We can’t blow cover again!”
Bob: “The building was coming down anyway.”
Helen: “What?! You knocked down a building!”
Bob: “It was structurally unsound. It was coming down anyway.”
Helen: “Tell me you haven’t been listening to the police scanner again?”
Bob: “Look, I performed a public service. You act like that’s a bad thing!”
Helen: “It is a bad thing Bob! Uprooting our family again so you can re-live the glory days is a very. bad. thing!”
Bob: “Reliving the glory days is better than acting like they didn’t happen!”
Helen: “Yes, they happened, but this, our family is what’s happening NOW Bob, and YOU ARE MISSING THIS!”

Ho-ly cow. That last line is huge! Trust me, I’m not railing on men or fathers, as I think living in our past and trying to re-live our past, like wishing we looked how we once looked or wishing we could do what we once did is like trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. It’s impossible! This is a universal issue that absolutely keeps us in regret and denial and out of joy. It prevents us from recognizing our present blessings, gifts and potential and enjoying our current life.

To fast-forward, without knowing he is actually being set up by the villain “Syndrome,” Bob secretly takes an undercover superhero job. Helen finds out and recognizes that just because she’s retired from superhero life doesn’t mean she can ignore her special powers, especially in times of crisis. So she and her two oldest children set out to rescue Bob. After coming together as a team but being captured by “Syndrome,” Bob realizes he’s been missing out on his family and says this to them:

“I’m sorry. This is my fault. I’ve been a lousy father – blind to what I have.
So obsessed with being undervalued that I undervalued all of you.
So caught up in the past.
YOU are my greatest adventure and I almost missed it.”

In conclusion, the whole family learned valuable lessons from one another and of course lived happily every after, however the adult message I felt was so inspiring, brilliant and wise is this: just because we are in different season of our life doesn’t mean we have to quit or ignore our passions or gifts from our “glory days”. And, quitting or suppressing the things that fulfill us creates an existence status, which prevents us from realizing the abundant life that is laid out for us. We can have it all, and we can experience our glory days, we simply have to re-invent them, and that’s the exciting part- the opportunity- THE ADVENTURE!



You Can Make A Difference

“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you ever can.”

-John Wesley

Within one week’s time and during various and unrelated occasions, the message of serving others has been brought to my attention.

The first came last Monday while visiting with my sister about a conference she recently attended. The keynote speaker, a former United States President, reminded his audience that making a difference in only one life is significant, and our service doesn’t have to be monumental either. In other words, we don’t have to travel to the ends of the earth, volunteer endless hours of our time or start a non-profit organization in order to make a positive difference in a life.

A few days later while watching the evening news, an anchor was asked what he was giving up for Lent. He responded by saying that he wasn’t giving up anything. Rather, his focus would be on others, as his goal was to pay one kind act to a stranger, everyday.

Finally, upon waking up this morning I randomly picked up Rick Warren’s new and expanded version of A Purpose Driven Life. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, rather, I simply felt called to grab it off of my night stand. Sure enough, the first page I turned to was the chapter on serving others.

I wish I could say that the series of service reminders was pure coincidence, but I’d be naive to ignore this important message.

One of the lines from a Purpose Driven Life suggests that we miss service opportunities because we lack spontaneity. Shamefully, I fall into this category, as my day and time is structured in a way that if something interrupts my specific plan and timeline, I get frustrated. With this attitude, I am certainly not creating any space to serve or help others. In addition, I tend to think in terms of grandiose proportions, and if I can’t donate hours of my time or feel that I am contributing to the masses, then my time is not worth it and I am not making a difference. Ridiculous? Yes!  As we all know, this could not be further from the truth.

Opportunities to make a difference for others comes in a variety of ways, and each of us are called to serve how we can. Sometimes it’s a smile, while other times it’s a meal, our money, our time or something as simple yet personal as making eye contact and saying hello to a total stranger. Service comes in all shapes and sizes, and what’s important is that we do not diminish our ability to impact a life.

Point To Ponder:
What opportunities do you have each day to impact a life?

Action Item:
Find one way, everyday, to make a difference in a life.

by Neissa

Neissa Springmann

Love is Spelled T-I-M-E


When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.

-Rick Warren, A Purpose Driven Life

About Neissa

by Neissa Springmann

For as long as I can remember I have been wired to work. From a job, to exercise, to filling my plate with busy to-do’s, achievement in the form of action has been my mode of fulfillment and success. Eight years ago and upon marrying, my husband hinted that he’d appreciate me stopping to spend time with him before crashing in bed. I would honor his wishes out of necessity for our relationship, but I still felt the itch to move and do. In addition, when I wasn’t “achieving” or sleeping, I would feel a sense of guilt.

Now, eight years later, some wisdom has set in and time has become my primary love language. While I cherish the time I specifically set aside for my husband and son, I still struggle with the ridiculous guilt from not working or doing. In addition, and because I have figured out my busy predisposition, I have put in place rules and boundaries around this time. For example, I try to avoid my phone and computer because the second I look at either I am doomed. One missed call, text message or email can immediately change my focus from “T-I-M-E” back to achievement mode.

Since having put in place my self-imposed “time laws,” I still experience guilt (which is a waste of time and I must get over it), but my relationship with my husband is the most healthy it has ever been. Please know that I am not boasting as this is step one of a million-mile journey, rather I’m indicating that I am a work in progress and understanding the true value of time.

Now, more than ever, our lives are infiltrated with seemingly innocent distractions. From 515 television channels, never-ending commitments, and the world-wide web, if we aren’t careful our time is consumed with these things and not with what is most important. Side note — isn’t it ironic that the internet is called the “web?”

In conclusion, I leave you with a monumental excerpt from The Purpose Driven Life and wish you a week and holiday season filled with T-I-M-E.

I have been at the bedside of many people in their final moments, when they stand on the edge of eternity, and I have never heard anyone say, “Bring me my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.”  When life on earth is ending, people don’t surround themselves with objects. What we want around us is people – people we love and have relationships with. In our final moments we all realize that relationships are what life is all about.


Point To Ponder:
Are your relationships your first priority?


Action Item:
Determine who you need to start spending more time with and make the necessary sacrifices to fulfill this relationship.


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