Back to all posts

Blog: Top 7 = The week between Christmas & New Year's

blog top 7 Jan 03, 2022

The week between Christmas and New Year's is a "different" kind of week each year...

Not fully at work, yet not "off," most people aren't sure how to take it.

Turns out, it's one of my favorites of the year.

Here's the top 7 from last week.



Fitness = off social media, etc… 

Someone reached out the other day and asked, “Where you been…?”

“At home,” I replied. “We’ve been here— and haven’t left— since we got back from Nashville early December…”

“No. I just haven’t see you online.”

“That was intentional,” I told them…

About a week or so ago, I decided to quit. Just for a few weeks. Step back. Finish the big projects I wanted to complete. Focus on the people around the house— in person. And then get back into the online world first of the year.

Here’s why: you can’t be “ON” all the time. In fact, we were created to be ON and OFF in distinct patterns…

So, I decided…

  •  When I’m OFF I’m off.
  •  When I’m ON I’m full throttle and totally on.

You can learn more about what I’m talking about here: — on one of the videos from the Soul Wholeness workshop.



Finance = The Green Gap

Over the past few days I’ve been “green gapping” 2022.

Let me explain. The Green Gap (created by my friend Troy Amdahl) involves four steps…



1️⃣ Step 1: Budget for the Coming Month, Making Two Separate Lists. 

 Detail what income you’ll be earning and which expenses will be due. 

Total everything on the two lists. 



2️⃣ Step 2: Identify the Gap. 

 Subtract the money going out from the money coming in. This equals the gap. 

πŸ‘‰  Money OUT - Money IN = Green Gap πŸ‘ˆ

(Hopefully, you’ve got more income than expenses which creates “The Green Gap.” If you have more expenses than income, it’s a “Red Gap” and signals a financial emergency.) 



3️⃣ Step 3: Maximize The Green Gap. 

Maximize The Green Gap, that is make the gap bigger, by…

πŸ‘Œ First, identifying ways to bring in more money—whether it’s garage sales, selling unused sports equipment, or taking on extra work. 

πŸ‘Œ Second, cut down your expenses by cancelling anything that’s not needed. 

Yes, you might need to ❌ some things….



4️⃣ Step 4: Apportion The Green Gap. 

Commit 45% of the gap to debt reduction, 45% to investments, and 10% to fun, such as weekend trips, eating out, hobbies, or good times with the kids. 

This works, b/c…

πŸ‘‰  You’ll experience the joy of the journey and see your investments grow, too, which keeps you focused on the long-term goal of getting out of debt. 

πŸ‘‰  This Green Gap 45-45-10 formula provides a financial feel-good way to become debt-free and increase wealth. 

πŸ‘‰  By following this plan, you will see your debt going down, while your investment portfolio is going up, all while having a little fun along the way. 

That’s it…



Here’s how it relates to this season…

I thought, “What if I looked at the next year like this? What if I determined what I’d like to see by the end of 2022— and started making a roadmap there…?”

The truth is that most adults spend more time planning the trip to Walmart or Target than we do planing our year— much less, our life. 

A little intentionality, I believe, goes a loonnggggg way.



Family = Emma turns 21

That’s a snap of Zach (Emm’s BF), Emma, Me, Salter in the back (head-down), Beth, Isaac, Blake, and Anna…

Wednesday night, we took a few hours to celebrate Emma’s 21st. Emma is officially the oldest in the string of 10 kids Beth and I have between the two of us. Salter, middle of the pic, is the youngest.

Emma is a fantastic artist— she can replicate anything (person, place, animal, thing, whatever) she sees in real life or a photograph and transfer it a canvas or a piece of paper. She’a creative who can ALSO paint things from her mind’s eye, giving you a glimpse Into her own world. 

More importantly than that, she’s a great human.

She’s tender and kind— and hates it when anyone messes with anyone else (always roots for the underdog).

I’ve watched her transition from a teenage high-schooler to a young adult over the past few years, making that difficult-for-anyone-to-do transition with poise and careful consideration on each step. 



Field = LifeLift book in AND workbook done

I received some “happy mail” earlier this week. That’s the LifeLift book— all 550+ pages. The book will be available LIKE THAT… as well as (it has four parts to it) a series of four smaller paperbacks… 

And then there’s the workbook. 

And the course. 

And the training… 

This week— Saturday the 1st!— I finished my final run through on the workbook.

I have a few meetings this week about the project— and then will post more as dates + times + training + other aspects of this project roll out. 



Faith = The book above…

I read and re-read the workbook 5-6 times this week, as part of my editing process. In the end, I had to go back and write the introductory words, in part explaining why the book has four parts…

… and why, in a book about finding your purpose (i.e., your created design + your spiritual gifts) we begin with IDENTITY.

I wrote,

πŸ“£ It’s essential we begin here, because if we don’t we’ll likely seek to “do ministry” or “live our purpose” to fill a void which we don’t already realize has been made whole. πŸ“£ 

Going back through the core concepts… 

πŸ‘‰ Jesus shows us what the Father is really like (chapter 1).

πŸ‘‰ He reveals who we’re designed to be (chapter 2). 

πŸ‘‰ We've been “included” in Christ, so everything that happened to Him happened to us (so our old self is dead, and a new self is alive) (chapter 3).

πŸ‘‰  We’re empowered to live the resurrection life now (chapter 4).

… was the boost I needed to push through the end of 2021 and right into 2022.

For the next few weeks, I plan to teach this concept of IDENTITY on the podcast.



Friends = πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”πŸ€”

We didn’t interact with friends a whole lot, because we had all the kids here and decided to go “all in” with them.

But, they like to have friends over to the #hilltop when they can, and we’re always good with it.

Levi invited several of the guys from the wrestling team over NYE, through NYD.



Fun = Movies…

I like movies. I have been— a LOT— to the theatre by myself, even.

Last weekend, Beth and I went to see the “I Love Lucy” movie. I wrote about that in my previous Top 7 post.

This week, I took a few more trips to the Vestavia theatre (I still call it “The Rave,” because that’s what it was called before it was taken over by AMC). 

🍿 Judah + Mini and I went to see Spiderman 2 Monday… 

🍿  Levi and I saw The King’s Man this Tuesday

🍿  Mini + Salter + Beth and I went to watch Sing 2 this Thursday…

I’ll tell you this, Sing 2 is a great movie with the kids— and with a room full of kids. They all laugh on queue at just about everything, amplifying the entire experience in the best way possible. 



The only “regret”

The only regret about this week is that I didn’t take more pics. Sure, I absolutely LOVE being in the moment and not thinking about pics, etc…

Then, again, we’ve got this wall in our house— at the entrance. We decided to use it for a “family wall” when I first moved in, effectively sticking snapshots all over it— as a “wallpaper” of sorts. 

Every week or so, I catch glimpse of one of the kids sitting on the stairs— or standing— and just looking. Each pic tells a story, and we’ve included them from years ago, as well as really new… 

Here’s the entrance…

And here’s the close up.



That’s the highlight reel for the week.

Every week, I look back as part of my weekly review, scanning the 3 things I’m thankful for each day (from the journal prompts in my planner). Then, I pull them all together and post a few here…

Download the planner free at 



Never miss a new post + podcast!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.