Never Enough

praying for our childrenWe can never pray for our children enough. Next time you are sending your child off to school or some other activity and feel the need to cover them in prayer, perhaps this will help.

I like that this gives specific parts of their body. Is your teen beginning a new job and need to focus on instruction? Pray for their mind. Is your child starting a new school? Pray for their journey and where their feet will go. Are they going to meet new friends? May their words be encouraging.

The world is different than when we were young. It’s harder and there is more information and attitudes for our children to navigate. We need to be available for them to ask questions. Be there to guide them through as they mature.

When we can’t be with them, we can pray for them. God is always available and watching over.

Keep calm and pray on,

KK

 

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Happy New Year!

party hats and hornsI love that the first day of a new year is a holiday. Many wake up ready to throw away the old bad habits and jump into healthier living and better financial decisions. Gung ho! Not me. Yes, there are things I’d like to do and change in 2016, but today is a day of relaxing and family. It’s our last day or two of this holiday season. New Year’s day and (because of how it falls this year) the weekend that follows is a great way to ease into a new year. Take these few days to wrap up your holiday mindset. Make decisions about goals for 2016 and steps you will take to accomplish them. Look at your calendar and plan time to work on your goals. Is it exercise? Is it eating right? How will your meals change this first week/month of the year? Are you going to take a class? When will you be in class and when will you do homework?

Here’s to a well-paced goal-accomplishing 2016.

KK

 

Is everything important on the list?

Fair_volleyball_wingsSunday evening it occurred to me that we would be going straight from Thanksgiving into Christmas. Like within a week. The first weekend in December my father and his wife are coming for their Christmas visit. Given that they will be staying with us and we will be hosting the entire family for a Christmas celebration I needed to make a list.

Actually, there are three lists. Groceries for Thanksgiving week, groceries for the week of their visit and the other “to dos” I want to make happen for it to be a wonderful time. By December 3rd my house will be completely decorated for the holiday and there will be cookies baked. That’s the goal that getting all the things on my list marked off will accomplish. Reviewing my plan and lists something was missing. Something was nagging at me that I needed to do. What was it?

The AHA moment hit when I laid my notebook and pencil down. As I let go of my plan, I realized I needed to be sure I took time to be grateful and enjoy the planning AND the doing. No matter how many things get marked off the list, my dad won’t care and my family won’t notice. It will be preparing my heart for the holiday and the time together that will be the most important thing to do.

Blessings,

KK

 

What’s the worst that can happen?

The tall strong father felt his little girl’s grip squeeze just a little tighter. Their steps were shortening the distance. After eight weeks of swimming lessons the determined reward was to get to go off the diving board by herself.

“You ok? Still want to do this?” The father spoke gently.

“Yea daddy.”

“Then why are you squeezing my hand?”

“Well, uh, I may be a little scared.”

The father nodded and kept walking. Arriving a few feet from the end of the line. The father knelt down and pulled the pony-tailed girl’s towel from around her shoulders. “You’re going to do great. It’s just like we talked about and practiced. You hold your breath, jump, big splash, then come up swimming toward the ladder.”

The little girl laughed at the big splash part. Her father’s reassuring words were as warm as the summer sunshine, melting her anxiousness. But the butterflies still bounced around her stomach.

“I, I, I, think I’m afraid, daddy.”

Knowing this was all his daughter had talked about during her swimming lessons. Having watched her watch the big kids every week at the pool; she at the shallow end and them laughing and doing all kinds of funny jumps, the father knew his daughter would enjoy.

“Remember the question I always ask you when you are feeling afraid.”16089391-Little-girl-standing-on-the-end-of-a-diving-board-Stock-Photo-swimming-pool-children

In her small voice the girl said with rote memory, “Yes, what’s the worst thing that could happen?”

“That’s right. And we’ve talked about how to jump safely. You just got your completion certificate for all your lessons. AND” the father stressed, “You just swam three times the distance you will after jumping. I know you will do fine and if you get in pickle, I’m right here and will jump in. Look up in the chair, it’s Ms. Sara. She will be watching too.”

Ms. Sara waived. The little girl smiled real big and waved back. The site of one of her teachers as the life guard and her father’s reassurance was the last dose of encouragement she needed.

The little girl walked up to the line. Took the two steps up the low dive. Her toes wiggled at the first feel of the rough board. Walking to the edge, with a smile and a wave to her father, she puffed air into her cheeks and jumped. The splash washed over the diving area and in the rings of success the little girl popped to the surface and into a free style stroke. Climbing out of the pool her success dripped off of her and splashed in her words, “I did it! Did you see me daddy? Can I go again?”

With a congratulatory squeeze the father chimed, “Of course you can.”

*** 

This scene demonstrates the many times in our children’s lives when we as parents need to remind them of what they know to be true and encourage them to take the next step. Anxiousness is a good emotion when it gives pause to ensure we are going in the right direction. A direction for which we have prepared. A direction that fits with our values, beliefs, and talents. There have been many times that I’ve asked that same question, “What’s the worst that can happen?” Short of death or dismemberment, the worst thing that can happen is a mistake that, no doubt, I will learn more from than allowing anxiety to paralyze my life. As our children grow we continue to be ready to jump in the pool to catch them. I’m wondering, is it sometimes better, knowing they are ready for the next step, for us to stay on the sidelines and cheer them on?

 Your thoughts,

KK

“Dive” — Steven Curtis Chapman

 

Away at College

Going away to college or just moving into the dorm at the college nearby was once an exciting prospect. Away from home and the parents. Out on your own and taking charge of your time. As parents, we spend the first 18 years of our children’s lives preparing them with the right jewels of wisdom. We hope and pray that by the time they leave, they are ready for all the good, and the bad that they will encounter.college time

We hope we’ve given them a firm foundation in their faith. We teach them that it will be only a matter of time when drugs will be offered to them and how to say no. We talk to them about sex and the virtues of not sleeping around. But there is a new issue on the block. One that our parents didn’t need to talk to us about – the lone shooter.

In the late 1940’s at the height of the atomic and nuclear bomb scare, students and citizens learned the term, “duck and cover.” There were drills in neighborhoods, offices and public places. Those of us who grew up in the late 60’s and early 70’s hardly remember these drills. And young parents today know them only as a section in their history books. Today, our “duck and cover” lessons need to be about what to do if a lone shooter comes into your classroom, dorm, mall, church, theater or any large public gathering.

Reportedly In the first 10 months of this year, there have been 10 university shooting sprees. That’s one a month. We don’t want to send our kids off to school in fear, but we need to add the terrorists to the list of “what to do if” conversations we have with them.

Thankfully, I still have some time for working this lesson into our conversation. I’m already praying for the wise words to use. We want to send our kids out into that big world with confidence and boldness. We want to launch them saying, “look out world, here I come,” just as we left home. To do so they need to be armed with the weapons of wisdom, discernment, faith, hope, positive disciplines in their lives and “what to do if.”

What do you think?

KK

De-Screen

At least twice a month my husband and I have a date night. Yes, he calls me and asks me out for dinner or whatever I’d like to go and do. Our date nights are an important part of the success of our marriage so far. I’ve noticed on recent outings a phenomenon that seems to be growing. The restaurants we frequent all have television screens posted around or other screens with promotional messaging for the restaurant. One restaurant even had a television in the ladies room. Really, is all this necessary? Is there no place (within the dating budget) outside my home dining room we canscreen free escape for a lovely meal and some good conversation? Once when we were traveling there was a screen with a scrolling commercial on a gas pump!

I’m not convinced our attention deficit problem comes from video games. It comes from our constant barrage of messaging and tele-entertainment. We have phones, tablets, computers, tv’s all screaming at us. We come into the house and we turn on a television. Consider this exercise, eliminate half of your screen exposure for one day or one week (that’s after you finish this post and perhaps choose to follow my blog). The second thing I would challenge you to do is spend at least 10 minutes a day focusing on something positive, watching your children playing, watching a sunset, reading a devotion; or just be still and listen to the silence. Perhaps have a face to face conversation (in the flesh, not FaceTime) with someone.

How will this exercise change you? I say exercise, because for some, this will hurt. You’re going to feel it. After the initial twitching stops and you look around, I would imagine you will see things more clearly than HD can ever deliver. There is a freedom to letting go of trying to keep up with what the world is shoving at you and taking control of what you watch or listen to.

Don’t disconnect from your family or your responsibilities. But let go of uninvited intrusions and see what happens.

Let me know.

KK

Would you know what to do?

The request sounds innocent. The talk is smooth. So smooth you slide into the driver’s seat having ignored the twinge in your gut and the thought in the back of your head. It’s probably not a good idea to provide this ride. What am I doing? Before you know it you are being directed onto an abandoned road far from traffic and neighborhoods.

This is not the beginning of a bad horror movie. The situation is very real and was survived by a good friend of mine SharonPortraitwhen a former client of hers schmoozed her into her own car and then proceeded to kidnap and attack her. Today, nine years later, seven of which she spent in a legal battle, Sharon launched her movement, Own Your Moment (www.OwnYourMoment.org). Her goal is to empower, prepare, and inform others on how to protect themselves or prevent a personal attack.

Many women are given mace for their key rings when they learn to drive. In defense of a personal attack, could we get to it? Do we know how to use it fast enough before it’s taken from us? Do we trust our instincts over the risk of offending someone we don’t fully trust?

Sharon is an intelligent woman with a successful law practice. This attack took hours, but the experience has changed her life. Check her website, read her story, watch the video with her 911 call. Then tell me that you are not moved to be armed with the information and confidence to stay safe.

KK