The Best Game Plan for a New Year

Happy 2015 everyone! If you’re like most people, you probably started off the year compiling a list of resolutions and goals for the new year. At least that’s the way I’ve started the year for as long as I can remember. The only problem is that my resolutions tended to be overly ambitious; and if not ambitious, they were completely forgotten or ignored by the time June rolled around. That’s why last year, I decided to try a one word resolution. Just one word to strive for. One word to guide my actions and thoughts throughout the year. One word that when facing a choice between two decisions would help me decide what to do.

Last year, that word was Discipline. This year my one word resolution is LEAP.

I’m not sure why or how that word came to mind (definitely a God-thing), but with a new baby on the way, a new job I’m starting and several other adventures on the horizon, it’s seems like a perfect word for the coming year. I love these definitions…

leap

I think this word leap is a call for more. More faith, more action, more adventure, more resolve.

When you think of someone leaping, it’s an all-in thing. Whether it’s leaping over a puddle of water or rocks or leaping into a pool, no one leaps with hesitancy or timidness. Well…maybe they’re hesitant at first; but once you decide to leap, you have to really go for it. I believe that’s what God is calling me to do this year, and I’m sure he’d like to see the same for you.

But, what does this look like on a day to day basis? Honestly, I’m not 100% sure, but for starters, I think it means:

  • Going for it and trying something new
  • Choosing faith-based over fear-based responses when making decisions
  • Committing 100% when taking on tasks, goals and responsibilities
  • Overcoming obstacles and challenges instead of giving them the upper hand
  • Expecting to see and do big things in 2015

With this word leap in my head now, I’m excited to see what the year holds. I don’t expect it to be a cake walk, because, frankly, most of these actions don’t come naturally to me. However, I do expect this to be a year of moving past what’s comfortable to me and growing and increasing in ways I never thought possible.

 

 

 

How to Quickly Test Your Communication Skills

Even before our children can utter their first “mama,” we’re communicating with them on a daily basis. What I’m learning though, after 6+ years of being a parent, is that often what I say and what gets heard are two totally different things.

I say, Hurry up, we’re running late for church…my kids hear, Let’s see who can take the longest to put on their shoes.

I say, It’s time to take a nap…to my kids that translates to, Time to play in our rooms.

I say, Eat all your dinner…my kids hear, Time for let’s make a deal. Can I eat 1 carrot or 2 carrots?

If you’re like me and have ever struggled with getting your point across with your kids, here’s how to quickly test your communication skills:

Gather the family together and hand everyone a blank sheet of paper.

Give them two rules: One, they cannot ask any questions. Two, they should not look at what anyone else is doing.

Next, without showing them what to do, instruct them to fold their pieces of paper in half and then tear off the top corner. (Again, no questions and no showing them what to do.)

Once they’re done, have them fold their pieces of paper in half and then tear off the top corner two or three more times, depending on the size of the paper.

After the third round of folding and tearing, ask everyone to unfold their paper and hold them up.

What you all will most likely see is that everyone’s paper looks different. Why? Because everyone hears and receives what’s communicated to them differently.

I was at my son’s school’s PTA program when a presenter asked us go through this very exercise. While the instructions seemed so simple, it was amazing how differently all the papers being held up across the room looked. It was funny to think that we’d all heard the same instructions, and yet we all took them in many different ways.

It was a fantastic reminder that while we think we may be speaking clearly to our kids, it’s not a guarantee they’re hearing what we’re trying to say. So before we lose it, we might take a moment to ask ourselves:

  • Have I been as specific as I can be?
  • Have I provided examples or models of what I’m asking or telling my kids to do?
  • Have I allowed room for questions–either for the kids to ask me questions or for me to ask questions of the kids to make sure they understand what I’ve said?

Becoming an inTENtional Mama

The InTENtional Mama

Mamas out there – I get it. Mamas with infants up at night, mysteriously crying, in need of constant snuggles – you there with the tired eyes, you are seen. Mamas with toddlers climbing and jumping, “helping” as they undo what you've done, defying … [Continue reading]

Ebola and Other Conversations We Didn’t Need When We Were Kids

Protecting My Children

Wash your hands. Why? Because I said so. Wash your hands! WHY? BECAUSE I SAID SO. WASH YOUR HANDS! WHHHHYYYYY? Because you don’t want to get Ebola. It was just the other day that I actually heard these exact words come out of my mouth. As with … [Continue reading]

How I’m Beating Compulsive-Project-Starteritis and Yes Girl Syndrome (Part II)

The Best Yes

I'm a little overwhelmed and a lot worn out. I'm drowning in the regrets of too many commitments. I dread saying yes but am too scared, too cowardly, too busy or too something to just be honest and  say no. I hope there's more to life … [Continue reading]

How I’m Beating Compulsive-Project-Starteritis and Yes Girl Syndrome (Part I)

How I Beat the Yes Girl Syndrome

Can I fill y'all in on something? I love to start projects. I don't know what it is--but if there's a 14-day or 30-day challenge for something, I'm all over it. And it's not just defined time projects, I love the challenge of starting just about … [Continue reading]