Category Archives: Cases of Mondays

Thank You

If you used to be a reader of this will seem a bit familiar to you. If not, great. Either way I think you should take the time to give it a read today.

We have a problem saying thank you. Because we have a problem saying thank you, many of us have a problem receiving a thank you. I don’t think we have any issue saying the actual words. We say them all the time. To a waiter or waitress, to a spouse when they do something for us, to a friend when they’ve helped us out. We say a cursory “Thanks” without eye contact and in our best mumble more times a day than I care to think about.

No, our issue is with genuine, sincere thanks to another person.

Over the last few semesters I’ve had a few classes that I seem to miss (for real reasons – I don’t skip), and there’s been a person in each of those classes that has taken notes for me when I’ve been gone. In 2013 it’s not a huge deal to give someone notes they missed. Most people type them and all they have to do is copy and paste it into an e-mail. But it’s still a bit out of the way of their normal activity.

So I buy them Sonic gift cards and a thank you card. It’s not much, but it’s more than an obligatory “thanks” under the breath and then being moved on from.

Hillary and I also try to do this when someone watches Dobby for us. We’re rarely gone for more than 24-36 hours, so all we need is someone to come let him out to go to the bathroom a few times, and eat once or twice until we get back. I’t never for very long, and it doesn’t take much, but we’re still incredible thankful for the people who have been bale to do it for us over the past year.

So we buy them Sonic gift cards. Again, it’s not much but we want people to know how thankful we are.

We’re working more and more to make thankfulness and gratitude a part of who we are.

More often than not though, there’s a bit of resistance from the person we’re thanking. I even got made fun of by mutual friends of someone who took notes for me. I got made fun of for trying to show appreciation. It blows my mind.

Like I said, we’re just now working to make this a part of who we are and we’re by no means perfect at it, or do it every time we should. But we’re working at it.

Being intentionally thankful about some things has made me aware of all the things I have to be thankful for. I’m willing to bet it can do the same for you.

I’f you’ve go a Case of the Mondays right now, I’d challenge you to think about how thankful and grateful you are on a regular basis. Spend some time thinking of the things people have done for you lately and make time to actually thank them in some way shape or from. When you start making thankfulness a part of your daily routine you might be surprised at all the things you have to be thankful for.


What’s the most memorable thanks you’ve ever gotten? How can you “pay it forward” to someone else?


Grace & Peace,


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Posted by on July 22, 2013 in Cases of Mondays


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Don’t Be Stupid

The other day I saw a friend tweet about a a newish Nike ad campaign that says this:

lazy but tlaented


He the commented that I’d rather have someone who worked hard and was marginally talented than someone who thought they were too good to work hard at what they’re doing.

I just have one thing to say to Nike about this:

Don’t be stupid.

There’s already so much going around in our culture that talks about a generation that is unwilling to work for what they want or have…why on earth would you contribute to that?!

The simple explanation is that some of us believe it. Some of us are glad to see that. Some of us are glad that a multi-million (billion?) dollar world-wide company is giving us an excuse to rest on something we’re better at than others and not work at anything.

I just have one thing to say to those folks (myself included at times):

Don’t be stupid.

We’ve got to stop believing we’re entitled to things we haven’t worked for. I.E. Respect, Position, Authority. Our “talent” means very little to men and women who have been working hard at what they’re doing for 10, 15, and 20+ years. It means less to peers who work themselves to death to outperform us only to be given limited acknowledgement.

If you’re walking around with A Case of The Mondays today maybe it’s because you’ve relied too much on your talent. 

I believe God made people to be good at different things than other people. I believe he made some people incredibly gifted in some areas beyond what others might be able to accomplish. That’s fine. That’s ok.

It’s not an excuse not to work though. It’s a matter of stewardship.

If you’re talented don’t be lazy. Work harder.

Grace & peace,



Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Cases of Mondays


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Stick To Your Guns (Or Go With Your Gut)

You can decide which saying you like best, I know there’s all kinds of hell being raised about guns…but I’m way off topic here.


The Goal

Hillary and I have a goal to be 100% debt free within the next five years.

Will it be difficult? Absolutely.

Will it be impossible? Absolutely not.

Will it be worth it? More than we can imagine.

We currently follow the Dave Ramsey model and it’s not likely that we’ll change. It works for us and we’re really excited about the prospects of the next few years. We love to talk, plan, and dream about a future unimpeded by the confines of debt to this, that, and the other.

Part of what that means is that we take on no new debt. With the exception of two small school loans for me we’ve done a really good job at this so far.

The Challenge

The challenge to having that goal is having the determination to stick to it. We’re subscribed to the My Total Money Makeover site which helps us manage our budget, has great community forums (for advice and encouragement), as well as several other useful tools. Every now and then though we come across something that glimmers of being worth deviating from the plan.

On Friday and Saturday Hillary and I started talking about the possibility of buying a car. We were looking to spend the trade in value of the bug plus about $1,300 that we had in cash-on-hand. We’re not super excited about the prospect of carting the kid around in a two door bug…mostly because it (having only two doors) already makes doing anything else in that car annoying and we can’t imagine all of the getting into and out of we;ll have to do.

So we started looking around. We found what we felt like was a really good deal, and we were really excited. So excited that we discussed what we would need to change in our budget to take on a small car payment if need be.

We took the car to get it cleaned up a bit (wanted to put our best foot forward and all), and took it to the dealership. We let them check out our car, and they let us drive around the vehicle we were thinking about getting. It was all fun and games until we sat down to talk possibilities.

Turns out we were still going to be about $4,000 short of what we needed. We exchanged glances and listened as the incredibly nice, helpful, and understanding (I really mean all of those things. Seriously. No sarcasm.) salesman explained how little we’d be paying per month if we decided to do it.

The Decision

In the end we decided not to do it.

We’ve talked a lot recently about how excited we are to be debt free. We’ve talked with various friends and family about how we’re not taking on new debt and that we understand it means we’ll have to pass on some things now and then.

We’d have had to eat a lot of crow if we’d decided to finance the car.

We had to make the decision to stick to our guns on how we feel about debt and financial management. It was an alright deal, but it wasn’t good for us at the time because we couldn’t do it the way we’ve decided to live our lives.


If you’re walking around with a Case of the Mondays right now I want to know when was the last time you decided not to stick to your guns? We have the opportunity often enough. To fudge here or there and still come across the way we want to. To see something too good to hold on to something we’ve decided will guide us.

If we’d have made the deal on that car on Saturday I’d have been walking around with a Case of the Mondays all weekend.

I can’t help but feel that sticking to our principles, whatever they may be, have a lot to do with our attitude and outlook. If we continually give in on them…then what’s the point of having them? If, in the face of Easy, we’re going to set aside what we believe, why believe anything at all?

When was the last time you gave in on something you were pretty set on sticking to?


Grace & Peace,

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Posted by on July 8, 2013 in Cases of Mondays


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My Baby And Your “Baby”

If I know you in real life, on facebook, or on twitter it’s likely that you’ve already heard this news in the last 22 hours, but in case you haven’t:

Hillary and I are expecting our first baby in February 2014. 

Or if you prefer the simpler way of putting it:

#StippickBaby2014 y’all!

stippick baby

We’re beyond excited. I mean. We’re nervous/anxious too. But. Mostly we’re completely stoked to have our lives turned absolutely upside down (or so we hear) by this new tiny human.

I’m not going to keep you long today, but here’s what I want to share:

  1. Days and weeks get really long when you have something you want to share that you can’t. We’d told some close friends and family over the last few weeks, but in a world where every detail of most of our lives is online, it was hard to “keep this to myself”.
  2. We know that folks traditionally wait until after the twelve week (1st Trimester) mark to go public with this because the risk of miscarriage is so high. At nine weeks we’ve gotten a few raised eyebrows, and that’s alright. We decided to go ahead and do it though because if we’re going to invite our family, friends, and faith family to celebrate with us, then we’re absolutely going to give them the opportunity to grieve with us if that should happen.
  3. I can’t believe the level of excitement I’ve got about this already. I can only assume it will build as time goes on. To say nothing of how I can/probably can’t imagine I’ll feel once he/she gets here.

It wouldn’t be a Case of the Mondays conversation if we didn’t talk about how this beats Monday though. Now, there’s the obvious: We’re going to get to be parents! We’re thrilled. But more than that specifically there’s a few underlying things that can be said about when we have something big going on in our lives.

  1. If you’re big thing feels like it makes a day feel like a week when you’re talking to someone and you can’t tell them? It might be time to take that bad boy public. If it’s only been a day…maybe not. But maybe you’ve been sitting on this for weeks, or months! If it’s not going to compromise the progression of whatever it is you want to share, go ahead and share it.
  2. You’re going to get a few eyebrows raised. There’s going to be a few people who have done something similar that are going to tell you that you went public too soon, or that you’re doing something wrong. There’s a time and a place to smile, nod, and thank them for their input. There’s also a time and place to politely let them know that your situation is unique to you and your circumstances. Or not so politely. It’s up to you, really.
  3. It’s ok to be excited! Whatever your “baby” is (and don’t our goals and dreams often feel that close to us?), you should be excited about it. Don’t let anything get in the way of the feeling of excitement you get when you get five minutes here and there to just dream about whatever it is!

If you’ve got a Case of the Mondays today is there a “baby” you need to take public? What’s keeping you from doing it?

Grace & Peace,


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Posted by on July 1, 2013 in Cases of Mondays


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Will Power Sucks.

Over the last few months I’ve started to be way more intentional about working toward personal and professional goals. I’ve been reading tons of blogs, articles and books on the subject of “dream chasing”, goal setting, and similar subjects. There’s several things they all have in common, but here’s the one I’ve struggled with the most:

Getting up earlier.

I’m a night owl. Staying up late is no big deal for me. But getting up early? That’s rough. I’ve become a master at knowing just how long I need to get ready and get somewhere and rolling out of bed no earlier than needed.The thing about night time? Even though I’m fine staying up later, I don’t feel like doing much of anything other than watching whatever tv show I happen to be cruising through (I’ve currently started “Hart of Dixie” and dropped “Gossip Girl”).

Then it happened. I was reading “Start” by Jon Acuff and he addressed this very issue. He talks about a research project that studied will power, he talks about several other books that use the same study to talk about habits and work…the conclusion of the study? We have a limited amount of will power. I stopped and thought…“Will-power sucks…” This great resource that helps us determine what will and won’t get done based on how much we want to…isn’t endless? Miserable. The point? If we’re looking to fully invest in the things we want to work on? Why not work on them when we’ve got the most amount of will power available to us? First thing in the morning.

So, for the last several weeks I’ve tried to do things incrementally. I set my alarm clock a little earlier every day. Unfortunately I haven’t gotten up any earlier once. In two and a half weeks, I just hit the “off” button on my phone alarm and keep on snoozing.

This morning? I was determined. I was going to get up at 6:15 and hit the ground running. Instead I woke up at 3:28 a.m. with a  migraine. I don’t know if you’ve ever had an honest to goodness migraine headache, but they’re pretty much the worst. This one was mild compared to some I’ve had that have rendered me completely useless. I got up and popped some medicine anyway – I wanted to be rested to wake up in a few hours.

I never got back to sleep. The migraine left, but I kept tossing and turning. It was like my body was determined to keep me awake for my wake-up call. At 5 I got tired of listening to our neighbors rooster. So I got up, showered, made breakfast, spent time reading my BIble, spent time in prayer, and wrote this post in place of what was supposed to go up today.

Alright, hang with me. Maybe we actually do need to get up earlier. If you’re like me, sometimes you get a Case of the Mondays because you feel like there’s not enough time to do the things you want to do, and the things you need to do. There’s never going to be more time in the day, but we can use the time there is better. It may mean going to bed earlier (first to build the discipline, and then because you’re exhausted).

This week I’m going to keep getting up at 5. I’m giving this whole idea a one week trial run, because I’m tired of getting to the end of the day and having the desire to read, or write, or do something I enjoy, but not having the will power to do it. So. If you’re up at 5 a.m.? Call or text me and keep me honest. If you’re up for it, join me this week to get up at 5 a.m. and do whatever it is that you wish you had the will-power to do at 9 p.m.

Are you a “night owl”, or a morning person? What would you work on if you had more will-power at the end of the day?

Grace & Peace,


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Posted by on June 24, 2013 in Cases of Mondays


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