Saturday, January 27, 2007

Freedom Day is Coming!

Hey - save the last weekend in March to attend this event!! I will post more info about it as it becomes available.

• 3-8 PMVanguard University
• Costa Mesa, California

Many believe slavery ended in the 1800s, but the face of slavery has simply changed. There are an estimated 27 million slaves in our world today. They are enslaved in every nation of the world, including our own neighborhoods. The US State Department estimates that at least 17,500 people are trafficked against their will into the US every year. These numbers are intolerable. They are devastating to the individuals who are enslaved. What will you do about it?Shake off the slumber of apathy, see the injustice, rage against this evil and never give up hope. Raise your voice and join as we gather as one people with one voice to end slavery.

Join us on Sunday, March 25, 2007, from 3-8 PM as we gather as one people with one voice to champion once again for the end of modern-day slavery in all its forms.

We will gather at Vanguard University in Costa Mesa, California, to feature films, music, and workshops on what is being done to eradicate slavery and how you can participate.
Stay tuned here as we roll out the Freedom Day campaign as one voice to end slavery. We will soon have flyers and posters ready to be distributed among your family, friends, places of worship, campuses and social centres.

If you would like more immediate information, please email the following people:
Greg RussingerFreedom Day
Ruthi Hoffman HanchettVolunteer Recruiter/
Charles Lee
Joel HickenbottomGraphic
The website address is

Friday, January 26, 2007

A Few More Minutes

A friend and I were talking last night about death....not in a morbid way....but how, sometimes, right before a person dies, a person who has been chronically ill, they seem to get really better. They seem to be healing, and then they die.

"Why does God let this happen?" she asked. "Why do we get hope that there are going to get better?"

So I shared my take on it with her. This has happened to me twice. When my grandfather had been sick with lung/heart disease, he was very sick. I was in college, came home to see him one weekend and he looked fantastic! I remember telling my mom, "This is great! Grandpa is his old self. He is getting better!" The next week he died, and I was devastated.

Then it was my Gram. She too had been very ill for a few years and was becoming more and more incoherent and had a lot of trouble expressing herself. I was at her house staying with her one afternoon and I was watching Jaws. She woke up from a nap and immediately began talking to me about the movie, when she first saw it, we had an amazing conversation. Again, I remember going to my mom and telling her, "Gram's taking a turn for the better!" The next week she died, and again I was devastated.

So why does this happen? I think it happens specifically for the hope. I was given one last amazing memory/time with each of my grandparents. A time to remember who they had been my whole life....something great to hold on to. And I am so grateful to have had that....and lucky too I'm sure because not everyone gets that.

So if you ever do get a few more minutes, enjoy them!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Danger of Raising Nice Kids - Ch. 5

More great stuff from Timothy Smith's book. This chapter is called Learning to Listen. Last year one of my New Year's resolutions was learning to be a better listener. At the time I made that resolution I was thinking more of listening to Greg and my friends. I hadn't really extended that to my kids.

This chapter made me realize that often I try to jump in and finishe their thoughts, offer advice or criticism when that's not really why they're talking to me. I need to let them finish, come to some conclusions on their own, offer advice when they are totally off base, direct their thoughts when necessary....but I really need to listen.

Here are some of my favorite quotes from the chapter:

Listening without interrupting allow our child to get themselves out of difficult situations and become the hero of their own story.

The context of this quote came from a time the author picked his teenaged daughter up after a party. He asked how it was and she began to tell him about all the alcohol that was there. The author resisted the temptation to immediately jump in and let her finish. She continued to tell him about the drugs that were at the party and the sex that was happening. He would have missed all that if he would have jumped in. Then she got to be the hero....she continued and told him that she and her friends left and went to In n Out for a shake.

Not every moment is a teachable moment. Let some go by. Your kids will give you plenty of opportunities to interrupt, scold and interrogate. Resist the temptation. It's a test! They are baiting you. They are checking to see if you really care enough to listen, just listen, without correcting, lecturing or getting the details.

This happened in our house not to long ago. Kade started sharing something that really shocked me. A few times he stopped and looked at me to see what I was going to do. I wanted so badly to jump in, but I just kept my mouth shut and he continued. I found out sooooo much more than I would have if I would have laid into him right away. Later that evening, after being able to really think about what he had said, I went back to him and asked a few questions and it opened up a very productive conversation.

Comments such as: Sit up straight, your posture is terrible; Chew with your mouth shut, what are you an animal?; You behave like monkeys, knock it off; You aren't working up to your potential; I don't like your attitude...Such comments erupting from our lips destroy communication with our kids. Constant criticism and correction destroy communication with our kids. I am not saying never to correct your child, just be strategic about it. Know when and where. Connect first, correct second.

The key is this section for me was the word erupt. I compare it to a volcano......destructive. I know that I have said some of these things, because when I was younger I heard them. It's like we're conditioned to them. I like the idea of strategic correction.

There's a lot more to this chapter, but I will stop here for today and do the rest tomorrow. Every time I go back and re-read this book, or the posts, the overall message is shockingly clear to me. Active parenting. We cannot be passive or selfish. The time God has given us with our children is short......we must enjoy it, value it and create as much good with it as we can while we have it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

The Danger of Raising Nice Kids - Ch. 4

So some people (well, just Liz :) ) have asked if I finished the Nice Kids book. I did in fact. So I will share some more with you.

Ch. 4 - Embracing Authenticity

I know I say I love each chapter....and I do! This one especially as it related to me being real to my kids. Am I who I say I am? So here are some of the quotes from the book that struck me the most.

1. Don't ruin your relationship with your child over an issue of discipline. You can influence your child if you have a relationship with her, but you can't if you are alienated from her. Don't sacrifice the relationship over one area of misbehavior. Kids will act up. They will make mistakes. They will disappoint us. They will act immature, impulsive and irrational. They'll act like children.

I grew up in a house of fairly heavy discipline....not that it was a bad thing....and I know we were fairly heavy handed with Kade's discipline early on. We accepting no misbehavior....really didn't allow much room for kid-ish mistakes. But I have realized that for Kade, that kind of discipline, doesn't work. He needs relationship through the discipline and that is how we get through to him.

2. The values you model in your daily dealings with your child will determine the result. Your authenticity will pass along your values to your child. Everything we do teaches our children something about life and becoming a mature individual.

I'm a yeller. When I get frustrated or upset, I yell. Yet I'm always telling the kids not to yell. Last night I yelled at Kade after he had yelled at me out of frustration. Then I realized, it's what I've modeled for him. So I apologized and we sat down and talked about how yelling won't help solve our problems and how we need to help hold each other to that. Our problem got solved quickly because I was honest and authentic with him (I think!)

3. We are held hostage by a cultural climate suggesting that moral training of our kids is inappropriate. Take a look around. Most kids don't have a clear, internalized sense of right and wrong. They don't respect rules. They don't respect authority. And they don't perceive the consequences of their unethical behavior. They may have refined their manipulative techniques and know how to put the right 'spin' on things, but their duplicity doesn't produce integrity.

Kids with integrity are becoming more and more rare. Parents need to realize that the little lie they tell about their child's age, to get the cheaper movie price, is speaking volumes to their integrity.

4. Looking good on the outside and not having it together on the inside leads to deception as the standard operating procedure in the home. It becomes an unspoken but practiced value. and then a little further on When you are authentic, you create an atmosphere of truth and grace. Within that environment your child will grow to become authentic as well.

I do not want my kids growing up under the burden of 'everything is fine.' Because sometimes it is not fine. It seems to me that we often say we are fine because we don't want anyone else to know we're undone, causing them discomfort in knowing how to deal with us. I have quit saying I am fine if I am not fine.

5. If we are going to teach our kids values, we need to give them some training wheels. We need to let them have a few crashes and a few bandaged knees. It is better for them to learn while they are under our protection and watchful eye than to have them learn in the big, bad world when they are on their own. The home is where they can learn without the full impact of negative consequences. They can learn between trial and error without being devastated. Try to affirm progress and don't expect perfection.

This last year Kade has had a lot of opportunties arise to learn about trial and error. I am pleased to say that there is some progress!!

6. Authenticity is grace and truth in relationship. It's the kind of truth seen when we are courageously honest with each other. No pretending. Nothing hidden. It's the kind of relationship that is grounded in grace. I define grace as love in relationship: not allowing anything to interfere with our relationship because I love you.

For our kids to have it, we need to have it.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Resolutions 2007

okay so I've been thinking about this year's resolutions....i try to change things on a 'need to be changed' basis....but there are things i put some of these are the ones I didn't meet last year....some are revised from last year....and some are new.

1. Don't gain any weight - i think this could be easier than losing weight - and who knows - maybe I will lose some along the way

2. Get something published - whether it's a layout, letter to the editor, altered's just got to be something and it's got to be published :)

3. Create a family mission statement - what does our family stand for? this was something we read about in the Nice Kids book....if i know what my family's main goals are then my kids will too

4. Live my faith on a day to day, minute by minute, second by second basis - i want the way i live my life to speak louder than the words that i speak

So how about you? What's on your agenda this year?

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Resolution Rewind

So I haven't made any resolutions this year....yet. But I thought I should look back and see how I did on the ones I made last year. Thank goodness for blog was what I said last year.

1. Lose 8 pounds - harder than 5 but easier than 10 and doesn't everyone have some kind of weightloss goal?? Okay - so not all 8 are gone. We threw out all of our scales so I'm not sure how much is gone but I know that my pants aren't tight and I was able to buy a smaller size last month so I'm feeling pretty good about this one.

2. Be a better listener - really try to hear what other people are actually telling me - hmmm.....hard to say....but I definitely worked on this and I think I did better.....I guess only those that have talked to me could really answer this

3. Get a layout or project published....I guess this is my selfish goal....I think it would be very cool to see something I have created in print - well, this didn't happen. I started the year submitting things but nothing got picked up. It's kind of a process to get it all going and I really didn't devote very much time to stuff really isn't publishable....which I'm totally fine with....I like it :)

4. Trust and never doubt my faith - I can say that this one has been 100% accomplished this year. And I guess it's really the most important one

So now to contemplate this years..............................