Friday, October 14, 2011

REACH is a Verb

The dictionary defines reach as "to stretch out or put forth, to touch or grasp, to succeed in getting in contact with or communicating with".  It is a verb - an action. I started researching this because I am blessed to be a part of a group called Reach Them to Teach Them.  In a nutshell, our mission is to remind those who play a role in the lives of children of the tremendous influence that they have and of the amazing privilege they have to affect the lives of those children.  In this day and age of standardized test scores and social challenges, we work to help motivate and keep the spark alive in educators and others who work with children by providing motivational events and materials.  As I was thinking about this concept of "reaching" our children, I was reminded that to reach something we must take action - make a move. 

Let's take this as an example (mostly because I haven't had breakfast yet and we seem to all be able to relate to food analogies!).  I can walk through the grocery store, look at the bananas, smile and think about how they would make a delicious banana pudding.  But unless I actually reach out and pick them up, put them in my cart, buy them, take them home and put some time into making the pudding, it will never happen.  It's the same with our children.  Unless we actually make a conscious effort to see our children, reach out and connect with them, invest our time and heart into creating something wonderful, we might as well just be passing by.  Think about those children in your life. It may be your own children, it may be your students, it may be your Sunday school class - whatever opportunities you have throughout your day to connect with kids. Are you really making an effort to reach them?  Are you taking action to move toward connecting and communicating with them so that they can truly feel that you care about them and who they are becoming?  Reaching our kids is critical and the payoff is priceless!  Take time today to think about how you can reach those children in your life.  Take action!  Invest some time and heart and create something wonderful!

PS:  You can visit our website at   

Thursday, October 13, 2011

S.L.O.W. Down!

I'll admit it.  I'm a busy girl.  I like having something to do and rarely sit still.  I have lovely furniture that I only sit on when my in-laws visit and closets and drawers that inevitably need to be cleaned out.  Our family is in constant motion like little gyroscopes rotating around each other, sometimes together sometimes separately, but always moving.  That's why today I turned around and it's already mid-October.  I haven't touched this blog (which is one of the things I really enjoy) since school started and they've already started putting out the Christmas trees at Target. And I don't even want to think about the amount of fast food that my family has consumed since August.  Sound familiar?  I'm sure that my crazy life is not so different from yours.  That's why I’m sending out a desperate plea for us all - SLOW DOWN! 

This morning while on Fall Break with my family in one of my favorite locations on the planet, I found myself in a rare, but wonderful position. It was a beautiful morning and we were sitting around the table eating breakfast on the porch while everyone chatted and planned the day.  I was enjoying my third cup of coffee (not in a 'to go' cup) and taking time to literally drink in the moment.  I noticed that my fifteen year old needs to shave and that my thirteen year old’s voice is starting to change.  As I listened to them talking and laughing with their friends, I realized that life is zooming by and that I so rarely stop to enjoy the moment.  I need to SLOW DOWN -and not just on school holidays or when I think I have time, but every day.  What kind of example am I setting for my children?  That it's ok to live life based on a day planner?

Realistically, I know myself and know that in order to do this I am going to need some reminders.  Maybe a picture of a turtle on the fridge or more likely a programmed text alert that arrives at a specific time each day.  Whatever it takes, I will slow down. I have to. In fact, let's ALL slow down.  Let's send a message to our kids that says that stopping every once in a while is just fine; in fact it's a really good idea!  We'll call it "S.L.O.W. - Stopping to LIVE in Our World".  Are you in?  Let's commit today to slow down and enjoy the things around us - our families, our friends, our surroundings, our creative thoughts.  Whatever brings joy to your life - SLOW DOWN and enjoy it today. I'll bet that you, and those around you, will be glad you did!