A Gift Your Mom Will Cherish Forever.

My Tribute to my Mom

Bethel Littlefield Griggs Jackson Kip

 

Mom, with this tribute, I honor and bless you concerning who you are to me.  There is no other person in my life that has impacted me more than you, Mom.  I thank God for you, that He allowed me to be your daughter, and for the legacy of integrity you modeled for us as we were growing up.  The first thing I remember about you, Mom, is how you cared.  You loved me and Esther so much.  You showed up at my basketball games and softball games.  No matter what I was doing, you got behind me all the way.  You taught me how not to judge people by the color of their skin, and to respect other people no matter what they look like.

I want to say that I respect you; I’m proud of you.  You are a wonderful and passionate person.   

 

I want to thank you for allowing me to grow up in an intact home.  Through the good years and the hard years you stayed true to your vows.  It was apparent that you and Dad loved, cared for, and liked each other.  I never felt insecure or fearful that one of you would leave or divorce the other.  I treasure the gift of your good, solid, happy marriage.  I attribute a great deal of the success of my marriage to the example I saw in yours.  Thank you for remaining faithful to my dad.  I admire and appreciate your faithfulness.

 

I praise God that you have always prayed faithfully for me and your grandkids.  I thank God for every spanking (I know I was a challenge, and you did it because you cared about and loved me), for every lesson you taught us, for staying with Dad and him staying with you, for leading us in prayer, for making tough stands as we were growing up, for working hard after Dad died to put food on the table.  I have noticed lately how much of what I do I don’t even think about.  I just do it because I saw it done by you:  managing money, making the most out of little, taking care of my belongings, fixing things, working hard.  You always laughed easily, and I love the way you love my family, my kids, and my husband.  I respect you and I just don’t think the word LOVE is a big enough word for you. 

 

One of the most priceless gifts you gave me was a good spiritual foundation.  We faithfully attended church and Sunday school as a family.  I was encouraged to attend Vacation Bible School and youth group.  I learned the central importance of God in my life because we were always there.  I praise God for a mother who helped introduce me to my heavenly Father, and who said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”  I have seen you impact untold numbers of people because of your faith and because of your consistency.  Mom, I want to say that I love you.  It is an honor to pass on this same faith in Jesus Christ to our children.  I love you deeply, and I look forward to passing on this legacy to your grandkids, and great grandchildren.

 

I am so grateful that you are still with me here on this earth.  Thank you for taking such good care of yourself.  I will always be grateful for the love that you extended to me and for teaching me how to accept love from others.  Your love for dogs big and small is priceless.  Thank you for the wisdom that you shared with me during my growing up days, the protection of a roof over my head, food to eat, and a Christian education.  I have so much respect for you, mom, and the hard choices you had to make raising four kids, running multiple businesses, and managing apartments. 

 

Thank you for the courage that you gave me to keep going even when life got rough.  The love I have for you is tremendous and I’m so grateful that God chose YOU for my mom.  When Dad died, there were so many things you could have done:   turn inward feeling sorry for yourself, become angry and give up, or blame God for all your problems; but you didn’t.  You are a gift to me.  You taught me to love God by demonstrating that yourself.  Your struggles were real to me and I saw you seek the Lord to overcome those struggles.  For that, I’m deeply grateful.  When I look at you, I do not see a perfect mom; I see a mom who was very real in her faith.  Thank you for forgiving those who hurt you and for demonstrating to me that there is a Holy God in heaven that loves us and wants the best for us.  We can trust Him with our life; I learned that from you.

 

Thank you for saying “I love you” when I was a child and even now as I’m an adult.  I have never doubted or questioned your love for me.  Thank you for telling me that I have done a good job raising my kids.  Some of my adult friends never hear their parents say that to them.  You never had a harsh word for me.  I’m sorry for not calling you or coming to visit you more.  I’m sorry for not being more sensitive to your feelings when we moved your treasured grandkids to Georgia. 

 

I am thankful for the gift of self-confidence.  I always knew you believed in me.  I remember you and Dad allowing me to do a lot of adventurous things:  driving go-carts and motorcycles long before I could drive a car.  Doing all those things helped me have self-confidence.  I can also remember being in my room, as a little girl falling asleep to the sound of you playing the piano and singing, while Dad laid on the couch, drinking in the talents of his wife.  To this day when I hear piano music, it takes me back to the simple innocence of my childhood.

 

The quality of my life and the substance of my character, I attribute to you.  You are the boldest person I know, which makes me bold.  Your faith in Jesus, no matter what life throws at you, is a constant source of inspiration to me.  Thank you for always teaching me to work hard, making sure that I always finished what I started.  When it comes to parenting, you taught me the importance of always affirming my children.  Because you affirmed me often, I affirm my own children often.  I have a strong character because of you and Dad.  As the twig is bent and as a young child is led, so determines the direction of that life…… The sacrifices you made to invest in me impact my children and my children’s children.  Thank you for all that you are and all you have done….I respect you.  You are a great lady, and I love you.

 

And so, some 50 years after you gave me the gift of life, I give you this tribute, with a heart of gratitude.  I give you my appreciation, my admiration, and my love.    I love you Mom!

 

Your daughter, Naomi

There is no other person in my life that has impacted me more than you, Mom. I thank God for you, that He allowed me to be your daughter, and for the legacy of integrity you modeled for us as we were growing up.

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Bedtime Battles

Bed Time Battles

Separation anxiety in toddlers is a very real thing.  Let’s face it bedtime can be the most stressful time of the day if you have toddlers.  When my kids were younger I would tell them that they could do what they wanted in bed, but if their feet touched the floor they would get a spanking.    Here are some of things I did with my children to help ease their stress of separation anxiety and keep the bedtime battles at a minimum. 

  1. I would put the extra photos of them in a cheap 99 cent album so they could look at the pictures before they would fall asleep.
  2. I made a tape of my voice praying over them and they could play the tape on their portable hand held tape player while they were in bed.
  3. I would lay down with each child for 15 minutes every night before they went to bed.  This gave each child one on one time with just them and mommy.  They loved it!! Each child wanted to do something difference.  My daughter wanted me to read to her.  My middle son TJ had an Ernie puppet that he liked to talk to. He would tell Ernie things he would never tell mommy, it didn’t occur to him that it was Mommy who was asking him all the questions as she made Ernie’s mouth speak.  My youngest child just wanted to cuddle.  I would always set the timer so the boundaries were clear, that when the timer went ding, it was time for mommy to get up and for them to fall asleep on their own. 
  4. Clown face was another bedtime ritual. I would take my finger and “draw” a clown face on their face.  I would give them, big red cheeks. Draw the big white eyes, the big red lips and then I’d end by popping the red round nose on their nose. After doing this 3 times they were nearly asleep, since this would help them to relax and they had to keep their eyes closed for the white eye shadow.

We never really had any huge battles at bedtime.  

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Shedd Family Values

What are the Shedd’s Family Values?

1. A Safe Home. An environment where people feel safe.
2. A home full of Peace, Laughter, & Love.
3. A home that a person can go to and not have to fear compromising their innocence or Christianity.
4. A Home that encourages Freedom of Speech.
5. A Home where everyone deeply desires to hear what is on your heart and what is on your mind.
6. Good Health
7. A home that models healthy conflict resolution.
8. A Home that understands the power of the spoken word, and attempts to encourage, comfort and strengthen everyone that comes through our front door.
9. A home that is big on communication, games, and creative use of time.
10. A home that is alive with creative fun, where if you are watching TV you must be really bored.
11. A Family that is committed to our church family.

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Failure to Launch or Soaring Solo – Pt. 5

Instilling Vision – Part Five
One of the main purposes that I began this blog is to make it easier for parents that come behind me. So here are a few tools that you can easily cut and paste out of my blog and into the files of your own computer, and use for your own children. I strongly encourage you to start a file in your computer and include these documents so that when the time is right for your own children to need them you can easily access them.

Cheering you on,
Naomi

TOOLS FOR INSTILLING VISION

CHOOSING WHAT TO DO AFTER HIGH SCHOOL IS PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST VITAL DECISIONS YOU WILL MAKE.
Pam Farrel in her book “Got Teens?” suggests some options:

  1. travel
  2. work
  3. join the military
  4. go to a Jr. College
  5. intern program, trade school
  6. technical school
  7. 4-year public college
  8. 4-year private college
  9. year-long Bible college
  10. Bible college in Jackson Hole, Wyoming (this is right on the border of Yellowstone National Park and skiing/snowboarding days are built into the program)
  11. YWAM offers training for those wanting careers in vocational ministry (their headquarters are in Hawaii)
  12. Honors Academy (with Ron Luce in Texas)
    13. 24/7 Leadership School in Birmingham, Alabama

    If __________________________ decides to live at home and work or attend Jr. college you will be required to pay for tuition, and transportation.

    What are your academic goals for your life?

    An excellent way to learn more about an occupation is to talk with people who are doing the kinds of work you are investigating. Secure interviews with experienced people by calling them, introducing yourself and explaining that you’re seeking first-hand information about their job or profession. Let them know you are not seeking employment but are just looking for good advice from a knowledgeable source.

    Here are suggested questions to ask:

    1.        How long have you been a ________________?

    2.        How did you decide to become a  _____________?

    3.        What kinds of schooling/training were required

    4.        How did you get your first job in this field?

    5.        What do you like best about being a  _____________?

    6.        What do you like least about being a  _____________?

    7.        How has this job changed since you got into it?

    8.        What do you do during a typical day?

    9.        What does a beginning   _____________ earn and how much can a person earn after ten years of experience?

    10.        What are the intangible benefits of being a  _____________?

    11.        Apart from formal training, what kinds of experience should I try to get that would help me prepare to be a  _____________?

    12.        What could I read that would help me learn more about being a  _____________?

    13.        Where else could I look for more information about a career in this field?

    Use additional sheets of paper to write more questions you want to ask.

    Career Survey

    Make a copy of this page for each occupational title for which you have a high percentage match. Write in the occupational title and SOC code and begin acquiring information from the O*NET.
    Occupational Title: ________________________________ SOC Code: _____________

    Gather information and make notes regarding the career you are investigating.
    1. What schooling/training is required for this career?
    2. How long will it take me to acquire the schooling/training required?
    3. How does this career align with my gifts?
    4. How much money will I need to prepare for this career? $__________
    5. How will I get it?
    6. Am I willing and able to devote the time and expense required to prepare for this career?
    7. I expect to receive the following benefits from my career:
    8. I am willing to do the following to achieve success in my career:

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Failure to Launch or Soaring Solo – Pt. 4

Instilling Vision- Part Four

If you have more than one child you understand that each one of your children is unique and different. We have three children and each one of their personalities vary greatly. So the challenge for us parents is that just when you think you have your first child’s “bents” figured out, along comes your second child that requires you to start the process all over again. It never ceases to amaze me how two guys can come from the same family and be so completely different. I have already shared with you how I instilled vision into my oldest son TJ. Well here is what I did for his brother who was two years younger than TJ and the youngest of the family.

I would like to revisit the verse in Proverbs that I mentioned a couple of blogs ago. “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” What I understand that phrase to mean is that every child has a “bent.” Every child has a unique disposition for how they see the world, and how they live, speak and engage in the world. Do you know your child well enough to know the actual structure of the wood? You don’t want to just cut across a grain; you want to be able to cut with the grain. So our task as parents is to become studiers and students of our children. One of the things I have done is to keep records of comments, thoughts, perspectives of our children, so that we can actually study and think about our kids and their unique bents. If you know the bent of your child and follow it as you train them, they will not depart from it. It’s not just about teaching them, it’s teaching them within the way that your child learns best and how they experience the world. I had 3 children and all 3 children had different learning styles. My daughter our first born is a visual learner. She just loves to read. My second born son TJ, is an auditory learner. He prefers to learn by listening to CD’s. My third born son Tyler was more of a hands on learner.

When my kids were young I read a very good book that helped me to discern their different learning styles: “The Way They Learn” By: Cynthia Ulrich Tobias. I know you might think I don’t have time to read books and study my kids, it’s important for you to know that UNDERSTANDING RELEASES GRACE. The better you UNDERSTAND your child the MORE GRACE you will have for them. Once I understood that the typical school setting which is geared towards those who are visual and audio learners did not work for my youngest child who was a hands on learner, I had MORE GRACE for him when his grades did not reflect his intelligence. I was also able to devise a plan of action to help him learn using his unique bent. I remember one time in particular when he was being faced with having to pass a history test that contained all kinds of dates that he would have to know. If he did not pass his final test, then he was going to have to retake the class. Understanding that he was a hands on learner I went up to “The School Box” and bought four sets of magnetic block numbers. As I read the historical events he would arrange the numbers into the correct date on the fridge using these block numbers. He got a B on that test. Tyler has always been very good with his hands. He is a very talented drummer. He can also play the keyboard, the bass guitar, electric guitar and a little violin. Tyler’s sister Amanda would sometimes suffer from headaches and Tyler was very good at massaging her head and back until her headache was gone. All these talents require you to be good with your hands. He has also excelled as a goalie thru out his whole life. Being a goalie also requires you to be very good with your hands as well as being able to respond quickly and accurately in intense emergency situations. So I thought that perhaps a firefighter or EMT might fit his personality. Tyler is my most compassionate child as well. He enjoys helping people. He was also a hands on learner as I already mentioned. So as I started thinking about Tyler and his unique giftings that God has given him, I began to contemplate what possible career choices that might fit his bent. Based on my study of Tyler, here are some of the possible career choices that I came up with. You will notice that many of them include the ability to be good with his hands. So here are the records that I kept on Tyler as I studied him throughout his growing up years.

Possible career options for Tyler:

1. Mechanic (He went and spent a day working with Colby who was his youth deacon when he was in 9th grade. Colby worked at a tire place.)
2. Firefighter: Physical and Heroic (See interview)
3. Plumber
4. Electrician (Interview with Robert’s stepsister Jessica’s husband.)
5. Builder (He really liked the building project he did while on the mission trip in New Orleans to help out the Hurricane Victims.) He also worked to help build Steve Ruplin’s house and loved it.
6. Inventor ( Word of prophecy)
7. Physical Therapist (Interview with Brad Ruger)
8. Chiropractor
9. Mortgage Writer (Interview with Brandon, Robert’s brother)
10. Financial Planner
11. Air Force
12. It would be good if Tyler volunteered for hurricane victims cutting trees etc. So that when he tells the person responsible for hiring him, they will be able to see that he really does enjoy helping people, because he has already been doing that his whole life. (Note: He did this Summer of 2008 when he went to New Orleans to help rebuild the homes.)
13. Possible volunteer opportunities: Special Olympics, Homeless shelter (He did spend 10 days rebuilding the houses for the victims of Hurricane Katrina July 6 -16, 2008)
14. Full Time Christian service: Missionary
15. Tyler could volunteer at Human Society shelter to help abandoned pets finds homes
16. Tyler already volunteered at the YMCA for the summer of 2006. He ran a clinic and volunteered his time as goalie since the team did not have any goalie. Be sure to mention this when he applies as firefighter. Or when applying for financial aid for scholarships for school.
17. Tyler donated 90 hours of his time to campaign for Dr. Cindy Coates who is running for State House in the 37th district of Ga.

Deciding what you will BE is more important than deciding what you will DO!

“Your character –the kind of person you are—will determine what kind of leader you will be in whatever career you choose.”

Perhaps Tyler could get people to pledge money for every mile that he rides in Brag. We could put it up on our website and people could put their pledge money there. Ask Lisa how much money she raised for her mission trip during brag.

I know how to influence others, I am a person of integrity, I am flexible and willing to go in new directions, I know how to prioritize, I am good at problem solving, I have the will power to do the right thing and I have a positive attitude. Why should I hire you? Because I have a good positive attitude and I am a winner. There may be others out there that are tougher, smarter, etc. But no one has a better attitude than me. It is my positive attitude in life that has gotten me through. The cup is always half full. If the wind is not blowing to my advantage, I know how to adjust the sails. I learned this through watching my mom. She is the most positive, flexible person I have ever known. Note: The ones in red are the interviews that he has already completed.

Below is the interview that he did with the Fire Fighter:

Interviewing Someone with Experience
in Your Chosen Career

Note: Tyler interviewed 4 men at Station 11 on September 6, 2006

Chandler was the name of one of the guys. His wife worked as a nurse.

An excellent way to learn more about an occupation is to talk with people who are doing the kinds of work you are investigating. Secure interviews with experienced people by calling them, introducing yourself and explaining that you’re seeking first hand information about their job or profession. Let them know you are not seeking employment but are just looking for good advice from a knowledgeable source.

Here are suggested questions to ask:

1. How long have you been a fireman? Two men had been there 7 years and 2 had been there for 10 years.

2. How did you decide to become a fireman?

1. Chandler: “I planned to be a fireman.”

2. An older gentleman: “I got tired of running a construction company.”

3. “I went to 2 years of college and I was trying to finish my degree, but it was too difficult trying to work here and go to school. I talked to my friend who encouraged me to take the test, so I decided on a whim to go and take the test and I got the job.”

4. Another man volunteered when he was 18.

3. What kinds of schooling/training were required? High School diploma. Beneficial if you have EMT (Emergency Medical Training) degree. You can get that in one year at Chattanooga. Tech. North Metro Tech. The “Hope Scholarship” will pay for it.

“If you can just take the test and get hired on it is better because you get paid while you are being trained. The training: 3 months. I know Marietta has an Explorer program, and I think Paulding County might have one too.”

4. How did you get your first job in this field? See answers in question # 2.

5. What do you like best about being a fireman? “The schedule of 24 on and 48 off. This allows you to work another job. (The money from your other job is your play money.) “Firemen work about ever other kind of job you can think of: Framers, Lawn care service, construction, real-estate agents.

“You have job security; you don’t have to worry about being fired. As long as there are stupid people doing stupid stuff, you will always have a job. 90% of the terminations (getting fired) come from off duty incidents: fighting, DUI, Drugs.

6. What do you like least about being a fireman? I have not found anything I don’t like about it. The smells are bad sometimes. If something is a very dramatic incident, the department will send us to a counselor to help us process the pain of the incident. Sometimes not being able to sleep a full night in days, and then having to go to your other job the next day. Lack of sleep.

7. How has this job changed since you got into it? “When I tested out they were testing 1,500 people and picking 25.

8. What is the most dangerous part of the job? “Interstate driving. People don’t stop. You can have your lights on, siren, they don’t care, they just keep going.”

9. What do you do during a typical day? Eat, sleep, and watch movies, talk, 85% of our calls are traffic related. The other 15% are brush fires, furnace fires. Sprinkler systems have pretty much put firefighters out of business. By the time we get there the sprinkler systems have already put out the fire.

10. What does a beginning fireman earn and how much can a person earn after ten years of experience? A beginning fireman earns $33,100.00, then you get a 5% pay raise every six months. Then an additional 2% raise. Some people work here strictly for the benefits. You are eligible to retire at age 50 if you start young, and go on to pursue other interest. “I’m making twice what I started at and I have only been here 7 years.” So he is making $66,000 in just 7 years. You can get raises by promotions too.

11. What are the intangible benefits of being a Fireman? Schedule/Benefits. “Job security, you really don’t get fired unless you do something stupid. 90% of the people who get fired are fired due to off hour incidents. DUI, drugs.

12. Apart from formal training, what kinds of experience should I try to get that would help me prepare to be a fireman? “Do well in school. EMT degree.”

13. What could I read that would help me learn more about being a fireman. (The guy who got tired of the corporate world read a book entitled: “Live A Life Not Just Make A Living.” That was instrumental in him going into fireman training.)

14. Where else could I look for more information about a career in this field?

Use additional sheets of paper to write more questions you want to ask.

Additional Notes:

They test about 250 people and out of those 250 they actually hire 25. They divide these people up into different brackets. Such as:

1. Bracket one is everyone who scored 98 – 100 on the written test. High test scores help but it is not necessary. You can still be hired even if you are not in the top bracket.
2. Anything below 70% is considered failing.
3. Bracket 2 is your background check: They will ask you for the names and numbers of your neighbors on both sides of you as well as in front and behind you and they call every one of them.
4. Bracket 3 is drug test: this is where they look for speeding tickets, DUI’s, drug test.
5. Chandler was actually in bracket two but moved up to bracket one because they lost some people on the background check in bracket one. So he ended up getting the job over those who scored higher than him on the test, because his background was cleaner then those in bracket one.

The test itself is pretty basic. They give you a paragraph to read and then ask you questions about it. The math is pretty basic, it has some algebra on it. The majority of the test is to determine whether you are a team player. They ask you some physiological questions; they give you a situation and ask you what you would do in it. There are questions that decide whether you are a team player or not.

The guy I interviewed asked one question, “Why do you want to work, here?” “Because I want to help people. Because I don’t just want to work to make a living, I want to live a life with meaning and purpose. Because I will get to help people in their hour that they need it most. If I can help someone it will add meaning to my life, and enrich their life as well. I feel that my personality is well suited for this career. I have been part of a team for the past 13 years of my life, as I played as a goalie for a hockey team, and I know what it takes to make a winning team. I have been part of a team that went to the “Jr. Olympics” and took 3rd place out of 42 teams. I know what a winning team takes: Chemistry, Competence and Character and I know I am competent and I have Character, and I would like to prove to you that my personality will prove to be an asset to the chemistry of the team.”

You are on probation the first 18 months you are there. If you are tardy 3 times you are automatically fired. If you mess up, the government can automatically fire you for “no cause.” Meaning you cannot go before the board and contest your firing. If you fail a drug test you are out. They randomly choose people to be tested, if you are not there for your drug test within 3 hours you are fired.

Additional Comments: “Everyone loves us. No one likes the cops, but when we get there everyone loves us.” Note: Tyler wants people to like him, and he wants respect.

“Wade Green Station #27, ran 5,000 calls the first year it was opened. You can’t eat, sleep, nothing it is constant. Our station runs about 1,800 calls a year, which is 7 -12 calls a week.” They are opening a new station on 41. They bought the land and it will be opening within 2 years.”

“Paramedics are the only ones that get a choice as to which station they go to.”

People travel from all over to work in Cobb County. We have people that travel from Alabama, N. Carolina. obb County is a great place to work. It is hard to get in at Cobb. Cherokee County requires you to volunteer first.

“We have a “first response” team that makes more money.”

“Our fire chief is a woman.”

My recap of Tyler’s notes:

Career Planning for Tyler:

Fireman:

Can apply at age 18! Must pass physical, obstacle course, drug test, lie detector test! If the county chooses you and decides to train you they pay for everything. “If you can drive to work in your underwear then the county pays for everything else.”

County pays for your schooling which is 16 weeks. After the 16 weeks of schooling you are an EMT. Your starting pay is $34,000.00. If you want to advance you can go back to school to become a paramedic for another 16 weeks, which gives you a 10% pay increase, which would move you to: $37,400.00. Then you can advance again by going to school to get your training in hazardous material which gives you another pay increase. This moves you to $41,000.00. You can also move up by rankings. Like the guy I talked to was a Sargent. You max out as a Fireman at about $100,000.00.

The thing he liked about his job was the hours. You work 24 hours and are off 48 hours. So if you want to do nothing on those days you are off you can, or if you want to go out and get another job to supplement your income you can easily do that also.

They had a hard time coming up with anything that they did not like about their job, but you are working with sick and injured people. Everyone has a soft spot in their heart somewhere, for me it is kids. But if you like your job then the hard stuff really does not matter. It might bother you at first, but after a while you get used to it.

Why I think this might be a good career for Tyler: Tyler is a big picture person. He does well in intense situations, such as goalie. Tyler is not a detail person, but can really get a job done when the goal is well defined, such as putting out a fire or helping someone who has been in an accident. Since the county pays everything he could come out in 16 weeks making as much or more ($34,000.00) than what some college graduates make, without college debt. So by age 19 he would be making enough to support himself and live on his own. Another reason I think this career would fit Tyler is because it is very physical. You must be in good physical shape to pass the obstacle course. At one point Tyler was attracted to the Military. I have never had a peace about this line of work for him, due to the low pay and the negative influences and being demoralized by some boot camp guy. However, being able to move up in rankings, such as sergeants etc., I think would have an appeal to Tyler once again because the goal is well defined.

How to prepare for this career. Don’t make any stupid mistakes in your teen years. Keep your nose clean. You have to pass drug tests, background tests and lie detector tests.

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Tuesday Toddler Tips:

I know that there are many moms who follow my blog whose children are toddlers. Much of what I write about does not yet apply to them, so I wanted to try to include useful tips that they could use with their little ones, as well as give them some insight to what future parenting looks like. So Tuesdays will be dedicated to those moms with toddlers.

When my kids were toddlers, I was faced with the nightly ritual of brushing their teeth. One of the things I did to help make this chore fun was, I would pretend that there was a little man in their mouth named “Mustard”. I had to chase Mustard around and try to catch him with their toothbrush. They were eager to let me chase Mustard around their mouths. I would say, ”Oh wait, Mustard jumped to the top, I gotta get Mustard off the top of your mouth. Oh darn, Mustard jumped back down, I gotta get Mustard off your bottom teeth!” Then they would start to point to where Mustard was in their mouth. It was a fun game for them and fun for me, because I knew they were going to bed with really clean teeth.

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Failure to Launch or Soaring Solo – Pt. 3

Soaring Eagles vs. Sitting Ducks

Instilling Vision – Part Four

Comfortable  vs. Uncomfortable:

I want to share two stories with you today.  One about comfort and one about discomfort, and how those two concepts play into our children’s future outcomes of “Failure to Launch or Soaring Solo”.

Story number one: Uncomfortable

When it’s time for the baby eagles to leave the nest and start to fly, the mama eagle will make the nest uncomfortable so that the nest will poke the baby eagle. This will encourage the eagle to move to the edge of the nest and inspire them to want to learn to fly and leave the nest.  It’s important that we was parents don’t make the nest so comfortable that our kids don’t ever feel motivated to get out of their comfort zone and fly solo.

Too Comfortable:

This story was told by Gaye Martin on the Focus on the Family daily program on Oct. 20, 2010:

A farmer had acres of land that were swarming with Mallard Ducks. I asked the Farmer “Where did you get these Mallard Ducks?”  He said, “Well, I found 3 eggs in the woods, brought them home, put them under a hen, and they hatched.  They hatched 2 females and 1 male Mallard Duck and they in turn attracted other ducks to my farm. Then months passed and my baby ducks began to see other ducks flying and my baby ducks began to start getting nervous and excited. I realized that a little time clock had gone off in their little duck hearts, and they were ready to defy gravity and take to the wind.  The farmer said, “I didn’t want to lose them, so what I began to do was, I began to over feed them and they got so comfortable they forgot to fly.  He said they were so satisfied and so comfortable, they never migrated.  What that farmer did was he stifled the urge to soar and they denied that upward call when they felt it.  Those ducks did not respond promptly to the tug that was calling them to higher places, so they didn’t achieve their assigned destiny. Instead of being SOARING eagles they became SITTING ducks.

Don’t stifle the urge in your teenager’s hearts to lift off. I believe that we all touch someone’s life, and to touch the future we must encourage those who are trying their wings today.

We must encourage those who are trying their wings to fly and one of the ways we do that is by not making our “nest” so comfortable that they don’t want to move out. We must encourage our kids to soar even higher and further than we have. We want them to break our speeds, to test their limits, to examine their boundaries, and before they are out of our nest we must clear them for take off. We as parents must learn to trust the skies, to trust the winds, to trust their wings.  And I hope that before they get to where they can’t hear us, they will hear us shout “FLY HIGH, FLY PROUD!”

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