Monday, November 28, 2011

Who's Talking About You?

Yesterday, I heard a story and knew immediately that I wanted to share it with this audience. It was shared by my friend Donna Ward, whom I hope to see joining the "blogosphere" in the near future. She has a great perspective on the Bible, loves teaching it and does so with much passion.

Donna shared how she was in the midst of a challenge in her life. At the same time, her teenage daughter, Hannah, was having her own challenges that frequently raise their head in the life of a teenager. As any mom would do, Donna was carrying both challenges, seeking resolution and closure. As she lay in bed one morning, praying through her situation and feeling as though no one had ever been in this place before, the Lord asked her, "How do you think Hannah feels?" It was as if He was reminding her that she wasn't alone and that others are in the same boat.

Later that morning, Donna was sharing this experience with her daughter. She was simply trying to encourage her by telling her how God's Holy Spirit had brought her situation to mind. (This is where it gets good.) As she continued about her morning routine, she noticed the room had grown silent. She turned around to see her teenage daughter standing there with a tear gliding down her cheek.

Donna: "What's wrong, Hannah?"

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Are you a Risk-Taker?

When I was in college, a group of friends and I were out trekking through the woods on a hot summer day, near Lake Hartwell, SC. As we made our way along the bank, someone in our group said, "What's that?" We all looked up to see a rope-swing dangling from a branch that reached out over the lake.

There was no question as to what to do next. We scurried over to make our accent up this tree to see who would be first to fly through the air with Tarzan-like grace and into the cool, refreshing waters of Lake Hartwell. Somehow in this race of champions, I made it to the tree first and ascended to the launch site. The last guy there had honor of retrieving the dangling rope.

As the end of the rope was passed up the tree, I began to pick the best spot for  my descent. I took the rope, gave it a tug and....

Wait, I took the rope, gave it a tug and...and....and...

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Leveraging Your Influence [Video: Tebow]

If you're at all connected to the sports world, you are aware of the buzz surrounding Tim Tebow. This is a young man who knows his purpose in life and leverages his influence to bring honor to God. He's a gifted athlete and as he mentions here, to be given such talent and not use it off the field would be a shame.

This is good...

[I invite and want your feedback. Use the "Comment" box below and where it asks to "Comment As", select "Name/URL" and provide that information if you like. You can also post your comment as an "Anonymous" guest.]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How to Help Your Kids be Successful, Part 3

(This is part 3 of How to Help Your Kids be Successful. Here are links to the previous post: Part 1 / Part 2. In order to conclude this series of posts, this one will be a little lengthy.)

The book, Different Children Different Needs (see below) was an instrumental tool in guiding us to explore how God wired our three children. Through a series of observational questions, we were able to identify where each child landed on Dr. Boyd's spectrum. It turns out that the genetic code is different in each child. I'll unfold this in birth-order.

Taylor was our firstborn. She was our trial-and-error child. Fortunately, we used another resource that really helped direct our path as first-time parents (see the link below for Baby Wise.)  As I eluded to earlier, she is our "life is a party" child. Everything to her is an experience full of inward and outward emotions. She smiles and laughs a lot. Part of the identifiable traits for her personality is expressiveness. Not only with emotions, but in other areas as well.

When she was two years old, she loved puzzles. She would just sit in the floor and work puzzles. One would think how fortunate we were to have a child that would find a spot, sit still and occupy themselves with something like puzzles. This would be accurate were it not for the fact that in her concentration, she uttered this LOUD humming noise. We never had to wonder where she was...we just traced down the buzz.

As she grew older, she moved from puzzles to drawing. It was about this time that we discovered the DCDC book. The basis for Dr. Boyd's book was that once a parent had an inkling of the gifts, abilities and personality traits their child has, they should explore those areas further. Not with the notion that their child is the next prodigy, but to allow them to develop their natural, gifted abilities. Taylor's kindergarten teacher recognized her ability to draw very well and suggested art lessons. We jumped on the idea.

The photo to the right reveals Taylor's ability. As you can see, she really has a gift. It was apparent early on that she has a flair for expressive art. Along the way to the present day she has been an award-winning dancer, won public speaking contests and has won championships with teammates in Competitive Cheer and Cross-Country. We simply discovered that she thrives in environments where she can engage with others and outwardly express who she is on the inside through art (dance, drawing, and speaking.)

Logan has the honor of being the "middle child."

Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Help Your Kids be Successful, Part 2

(This is the second installment of a series of post on how my wife and I sought to develop our children's gifts and abilities that are enabling them to fulfill their God-given potential.  You may want to go back and read How to Help Your Kids be Successful.)

As a young dad early in my parenting days, I made it a discipline to listen to the wisdom of those who were already raising children. Two observations that seemed to be consistent were: "Enjoy your children as much as you can because they grow up so fast" and "You will be amazed at how two children who come from the same parents and live in the same home will be absolute opposite of each other." This last bit of wisdom proved to be 100% true in our home.

Our firstborn was the "life is a party" child. I picked up on this when I entered my bathroom one night to see her as a three-year-old standing on a step giving her mom an enthusiastic rendition of "Jesus Loves the Little Children" without one stitch of clothing. Yep! This one was going to enjoy life.

When her sister came along, I fully expected another version of our first child. Apparently, the wisdom I had gleaned from others had escaped my mind and I was in for an eye-opening experience. Where our first child appeared to be the life of the party, our second one was the party planner. She was the organizer, server and cleaner all in one. We should have used "Detail" as her middle name.

A few years later, their brother came along. Just the mere fact that he's a boy says enough. He's all boy...there's no confusion on that part. Yet, he has his own outlook on life and strangely enough, he fits somewhere in the middle between his sisters.

So here I was in my own Behavioral Science laboratory, trying to figure out "the way they should go."