Yep, it’s on the books, in the plans and we’re crossing our fingers for seriously fab weather! Will we brave the slides and terrors of family raft rides!? (um, yes, I *am* mostly referring to the little accident we had last year!)…we shall see. Till then, here’s a recap of last year’s adventure including our PHOTO JOURNAL! W.W., here we come!!!
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day
Worldly pressures, images and persuasions can be confusing and often misleading. If we are not careful, we can quickly stray from our original goals. We are continually exposed to media, social ideals and various other forms of information and unsolicited feedback, but thankfully, we have some insight and knowledge of these pressure pits which can help us thwart the mass of it…unfortunately, our children are still young and not as well prepared…but we are here to help them along their way!
Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6
This transitional time of year is a perfect opportunity to help remind ourselves – and our children – of what our values and priorities are, and take a closer look at our goals…in order to reevaluate our cause. Learning more about who we are wonderfully made to be will help navigate this wide open space. Discovering more about who we *want* to be and less about what the world is *pressuring* us to be can be the key to true happiness.
So, how do we help our families achieve these ideals?
It helps to start with a list of values. Prioritize your top ten values and have your children do the same. The below list can be used to generate ideas, but choose your list according to what is most important to you.
There are no wrong answers on the values assessment list because every person is a unique individual! If we all shared exactly the same values and strengths, we wouldn’t be nearly as effective in working together.
Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function, so it is with Christ’s body. We are many parts of one body, and we all belong to each other. In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. Romans 12:4-6
Do your actions match your values?
Once you’ve determined your priorities, it’s helpful to check that you are appropriating your time accordingly. I like to do this using percentages, but you can simply rearrange your above list according to your current schedule. Now, compare the two lists and see where adjustments need to be made. Being aware of what we are doing and the reasons why can help in setting positive long-term goals.
Now that we know our values and can see where we are spending our time, we can use the information to set new goals and align our daily lives to reflect our beliefs. It’s not uncommon to slip into a bad habit of doing too much of that in which we would rather not…a whole lot less of that in which we should.
One of the best ways to get back on track and moving toward the original goal is to set a main long-term goal with several, reachable short-term goals along the way.
All goals should be SMART:
Your goal setting sheet should look something like this:
Main Goal = _____________ (keep it positive)
Short-term Goal #1 (include specifics and an achievable date)
Short-term Goal #2 (cross s-t goals off as they are accomplished!)
Short-term Goal #3 (almost there…stay on track)
Motivators: (I like to put encouraging words and helpful reminders here – something to keep the focus. Sticky notes on mirrors, in the car or somewhere they will be viewed daily can help too!)
I think you might be surprised at the many things you can learn about your children and their amazing, loving hearts as you help them set and keep their goals. They may be surprised to learn some pretty cool things about you too (and gain some wisdom into the reasons *why* you do the things you do!) …so in whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men. Colossians 3:23
I recently made a most amazing discovery – a treasure, if you will – hidden deep in the suburban basement of a neighbor’s home. No, I wasn’t in search of a valuable find…it was just random luck as I helped good friends in the clearing of cobwebs in preparation for their summer company. The unexpected find was a serendipitous bonus.
“Manners are the way we communicate good intentions.”
Wise words from another friend of mine, spoken to our children. Being that this particular friend was from another country and English was a second language made it all the more interesting. I began to ponder the vast importance of this politeness stuff…making translation unnecessary.
It was pristine, untouched, recklessly abandoned beneath tattered copies of Harry Potter and the latest Lucado…Emily Post’s Etiquette book. So, it wasn’t an original, first edition – but it was a 75th Anniversary, 16th Edition, revised and updated by Emily’s great-grand-daughter-in-law, Peggy Post. I had been searching for this book for years (um, ok, so I could have gone to a bit more trouble in accessing a copy…but lets not take away from the moment.). I believe my friend’s response to that admission was something of the, “You’re so weird!” sort, but I suppose that much is true. (And with that, I was confident that she had *not* read the book, ha!)
Etiquette, according to Wikipedia, is a code of behavior that delineates expectations for social behavior according to contemporary conventional norms within a society, social class or group. Let me paraphrase here: RuLEs FoR NorMaLCy. Oh, and this stuff can be hysterically funny too!
Food For Thought…
“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” Emily Post
“Nothing is less important than which fork you use. Etiquette is the science of living. It embraces everything. It is ethics. It is honor.” Emily Post
“A compliment is baloney sliced so thin that it is delectable. Flattery is baloney sliced so thick that it is indigestible.” Archbishiop Fulton Sheen via Emily Post
“When it comes to general conversation, the old adage ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all” is good advice.” Emily Post
“Suitability should be a factor in choosing your stationery, just as it is in choosing your wardrobe.” Emily
“Graceful standing and walking posture includes the following components: shoulders back, chin in and slightly
up, abdomen and stomach in, back straight and knees relaxed.” Emily Post
“There is little you can do about the annoying speech mannerisms of others, but there is a lot you can do about your own.” Emily Post
So, yes, some of this stuff is seriously funny…BUT
Laughter aside, rules for appropriate behavior according to social norms are great ways to help our children excel in their world, and there is now information on internet etiquette in the updated edition…a concept called “netiquette.” Read, laugh, enjoy, giggle…but in the end, you might have a few extra insights that could come in handy – personally and professionally.
Take it from me… and my proven success in raising well-behaved children. Etiquette, manners and the way in which we conduct ourselves speaks volumes about our good intentions and the person we hope to be.
“Women frequently ask whether they should call an unzipped fly to the wearer’s attention. Unless you are total strangers, do.” Emily Post
It’s easier than you might think…and it starts tomorrow! Ok, ya, it would be ideal if you were able to run out today and invest a little bling for baby Penelope. She could spend her college years on the slopes, buy a snazzy condo in Boulder and chill with her insouciant trustafarian friends – picking up random gigs with the band and entertaining for cash on Pearl Street in her free time. But, if you’re a parent of a young child, you probably have a list of obligations – and the list outweighth. The good news ~ Penelope might learn to manage her hard earned dollars AND you don’t need cash flow now to set your child up for successful financial management later!!!
Attend this FREE event to learn more about the many ways Young Americans works to educate our youth for a successful financial future. More than $1,500 will be given away in cash prizes ~ rain or shine the Birthday Carnival is on!