In an instant a perfectly beautiful day can turn into an “inferno” you must survive.
The day was beautiful. One of those typical bright sunny Florida days. I sat watching the wake from the boat propellers as we headed back to shore. At eight years old I didn’t have a care in the world.
We were returning from a fun day of deep sea fishing. My brother was putting away all the fishing gear, mom was down in the galley cleaning up, Jay Jay (my dog) was sleeping on the seat pad covering one of the outboard engines, and dad was on the fly bridge steering us back to the marina.
Then suddenly there was the sound of an explosion coming from behind me. I spun around to witness fire and smoke billowing from the engines.
With one phone call your life can change. Would you be ready?
The phone rang during work hours. “Hello, Connie. Your mom is in the hospital.” I sat in silence. Suddenly nothing matter but getting to her. I shut down my computer, packed an overnight bag, and made the drive to the hospital.
My mind was swirling. It is hard to explain how your thoughts can bounce all over the place… my mom, my work, my travel schedule, my book. What does this mean? God help me!
During my drive I felt the need to call the president of the company I was working for and share the news. His first response was like none other I had received – “Family first, and we will be praying for your mom.” I had heard him say this many, many times, but this time it was directed at me. They were life-giving words when I needed them most. Even knowing that my work load was very high, his concern was for my mom.
Once I arrived at the hospital, I had to assess the situation. What was wrong? How long would Mom be there? What would be our game plan going forward?
A new year! One of my favorite things about beginning a new year, is the chance for a fresh start. A time to reflect on the past and begin casting a vision for a new year. This allows you to look forward to what the next year might bring.
New Year’s resolutions abound every January. Do you make any? I’ve been known to make, and break, a few!
Many resolutions focus on something we can do better, whether it’s losing weight, eating healthier, making more money, or having a better outlook on life.
Instead of focusing solely on what I can improve upon, our family would focus on where we are as a family and where would we like to be in the future. With an emphasis on relationships within the family unit. (more…)
Once, while swimming in the ocean, I could feel the current pulling my body towards the swell as a wave was building. At the right moment, the wave was going to break and continue toward the shoreline. Would we catch it or let it pass us by?
This made me think about how we have lived our lives. We were enjoying where we are when, without notice, we would feel a pulling to go in a different direction.
Eighteen years ago my husband and I had a dream. To have a thriving business at home. I had already left my career in the corporate world but now we wanted to figure out how we could we get dad home too.
He was a director at an engineering firm in the big city. Life was going well; he was even voted “Young Engineer of the Year” by his peers. Problem was we didn’t want the 8-5 life for our family. We wanted dad around more. Our five children were hitting the teen years and we wanted to have as much time with them as possible during these important years.
That’s when we made a decision to do something that no one around us was doing. To start our own engineering firm from our home. This was during a time when working from home wasn’t acceptable, practical, or even doable for an engineer.
That didn’t stop us, for our lives were marked by doing the impossible.
It’s that time of year when we receive end of the year test results or portfolio reviews stating, in print, how our children are doing. This means excitement for a job well done for some and anxiety for those whose kids did not do so well.
One phase I hear often is, “My child is performing ahead of grade level!” How many times have your heard that phrase uttered in conversations by well-meaning moms? My guess is more often than you can count. As a matter of fact, I too have spoken them publicly a time or two.
Understandably, Moms feel a sense of pride when their child excels and they want to share this good news. Sometimes we share because validation is needed for a job well done. Goodness knows a homeschool mom doesn’t usually get many pats on the back. It’s not likely that the kids will say good job.
I remember times when some of my children did really well and others didn’t. I learned early on how my words, innocent as they were, could cause others to doubt their own ability to teach or their child’s ability to learn. That was troubling to me as that wasn’t my intent.
What happens to the mom who has a child that is not performing at grade level? Their child is well, average or worse below average. The pressure she feels can create anxiety. This internal stress can begin a downward spiral for both the parent and child if not properly thought through.
Here are couple principles to think about regardless of what your child’s results are:
Why can’t we all just get along? That’s a question I’m sure we’ve all wrestled with time and time again. Well, truth is, we can! God provided the greatest model for us through is His Son, and when we take a look at how Christ lived and worked among the people you will see common characteristics.
So exactly how do we go about obtaining unity? By practicing these 3 principles.
Remember the common goal. Understanding there is a common goal allows us to focus on what we are really trying to accomplish, not on who came up the solution. By outlining what the real goal is helps everyone involved in the decision making process. It is also important to create the mindset of one team trying to get something done. Not two teams competing against each other. Once the later takes hold hard feelings and togetherness are lost.
Listen to others. When we purpose to put others first we tend to listen more to their ideas. This shows respect and value to them. In dealing with situations we tend to think our approach is the best. Why? That’s easy, because it make sense to us. That in turn, causes us to forget others might come up with a different solution or even have a better plan.
Be slow to speak. This one is crucial. It is really the key to unity. In scripture we are reminded a wise man holds his tongue but a fool blurts out. By simply holding your tongue provides time to process the information being shared. When passion, knowledge and insight are bubbling inside we naturally want to speak out, but if not properly filtered that wisdom can fall on deaf ears. Making the distinction between exchanging ideas and deflating or attacking others can also play a role in how information is shared and received.