A Personal Letter

Dear Friends, Today I offer a personal letter – and a confession of sorts – to those of you who know me and also to those of you I have never met, but take the time to read my blog. Thank you! I find myself in a somewhat dark season right now, a time when I feel like I am going nowhere and unable to accomplish much. Even writing a blog feels difficult. I find myself posting less and the blogs I do write feel hollow. My mind feels like it’s stuck in neutral and has been for over 8 months. That’s when my life took a “detour” with my 89-year-old mom moving in with us. Immediately the pace of my life slowed down. I no longer had the freedom to come and go as I pleased or to do much outside the home, except for those activities that could be done with a person in late stage Alzheimer’s. My greatest challenged morphed into how to find contentment in these circumstances –  In doing the same things all day long, day after day.  In trying to be interested in the same limited, circular conversations.  In serving my mother even in the most simplest of tasks.  In maintaining the simplest of schedules in order to accommodate her needs.  In continually having to answer the same questions.  In keeping her safe while allowing for her need to be independent. I consider myself pretty tough. Resilient. I am a Finn with SISU. I have learned how to meet major challenges and to rise up when I have fallen, but God is teaching...

Resilient Kids

Last week we talked about having the right amount of healthy challenges for our kids but what happens when mistakes are made and failure occurs in the face of challenges? All too frequently kids quit trying and choose instead to underachieve rather than bounce back quickly from their mistakes or failures. Personal disappointment is heightened by a belief that others are disappointed as well and soon discouragement colors the lens by which they view their lives. “If you don’t try you can’t mess up” is all too common of a mindset in kids today.  To become resilient, one must be willing to risk however. Getting overly upset by mistakes and failures is making mountains out of what are likely molehills.  Failures are “overrated” issues whereas they should serve as signals that it’s time to get down to work and try again, to back track and fix something or perhaps even start all over. Real success is what you learn in the process of bouncing back. Fear of failing or making a mistake cripples students in their academic endeavors, and cripples them as athletes, musicians or artists and even impacts their relationships with others. When things don’t go the way they desire, they grow discouraged. Oswald Chambers called discouragement disenchanted egotism: “Things are not happening in the way I expected they would, therefore I am going to give it all up.” What can you do to encourage resiliency in your kids? Stay calm and don’t over react yourself to their mistakes and failures. Kids often fear your disappointment and response more than the mistake or failure itself. Understand and respond...