GRACE: How to Find the Path to BETTER

A child sat worried that he was unable to complete the task I had given him.  One that was not timed,  but clearly not going to be finished before the day would come to an end.

A child not sure why anger or annoyance surfaces spilling over into friendships.

A child that arrives late most every day with a look of worry.

A child walking down the hall, head down.

Not to mention the interactions with friends, family, coworkers, parents, community members… and the list goes on and on.

Did I mention me?  Probably not… but I too need GRACE 

Grace comes in so many forms.  Find just one way to show it to others.  To yourself.  A path to BETTER.

GRACE IS:

a bridge… extended from one to another so no one ever feels alone.  A simple hello when a child enters your room or you pass someone walking by.

forgiveness… because any other way builds resentment and lays a poor foundation for both you and others on this journey of life.  It is a heart changer… a life breaker… don’t just push to forgive others, but even more challenging forgive yourself when needed.

hope… this is nourishment for the soul… for emotional and physical well-being

happiness… everyone deserves happiness!  Be the positive… go out of your way to spread goodness.  Be the one to share it… it will come back to you in abundance.

mercy… this is such a huge component of grace.  Not one of us is beyond needing mercy.  Think of how often you need this as an adult… now think of a child.

love…  love a child enough to know what they love… what they are passionate about… what they thrive on… find their good on their worst day. 

kindness… spread it with a smile… a kind word… a hug… acknowledgement of one’s presence… find one way that you can share this part of grace and you will change lives!

blessed… never forget what you have.  Challenge yourself to not ask for one thing and simply acknowledge your blessings.  Blessings are gifts.  Count yours.  Help others to see their own.  Do this during a difficult time when you want to ask for so much… it opens your eyes and you feel the purest form of GRACE!

Grace can mean so many things.  What does it mean to you?

CTA: (Call To Action): find what it means to you and share it.  Bestow it on yourself and others.

For me, I think… Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound

 

#grateful

 

Take a Risk and Get Into the RING!

Introducing first…. from the innovative mindset of education…  He hails from Edmonton, Canada and was rated by many as the best influence on change in education… and for best change agent of the last decade.  With a leading book in education, sought after keynote, and leadership consultant…  Weighing in on student voice and giving their education a purpose.   He is a former teacher champion, principal champion, and CHAMPION FOR ALL STUDENTS AND EDUCATORS…

GEOOORGE

COUROSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!

Yes, that is how I think of #IMMOOC… it is powerful and commands attention.  It is a game changer for all educators.  Just imagine what this season will be like when we LEVEL UP OUR LEARNING with Innovator’s Mindset, EMPOWER AND…  Learner-Centered Innovation

Whether you lurk or take the risk and join in, you grow by being part of the experience.  JOIN US… you know you want to!  

How do I get in to the #IMMOOC ROUND 4 ring you ask? 

  1. SIGN UP… just do it!  Once you add your name to the list of EDUrisktakers you have already stepped forward in your thinking. (sign ups will be posted soon!)
  2. YOUR VOICE AND CHOICE will steer your learning… you decide how much you can give and in return that is what you will take away.  Big or small the takeaways ALWAYS impact!
  3. DON’T FEAR THE BLOG… this may be the biggest issue for many educators.  Worrying that they do not know how or may not know what to write.  THAT IS HOW MOST OF YOUR STUDENTS FEEL EVERY DAY!  This is your safe place just like you provide to your students… growing together in place of isolation is powerful!
  4. TWITTER CHATS… you won’t receive a personal invite in a fancy envelope.  This is a platform open to EVERYONE.  Type in #IMMOOC and you will see the questions posted.  It is a typical Q and A style format.  You will see Q1 for Question 1 and you will respond with A1 for Answer 1.  Just don’t forget to put #IMMOOC at the end of your answer (If it isn’t there automatically) to keep your response in the chat itself.  
  5. BE A CONTRIBUTOR not just a consumer… WE NEED YOU!  If everyone simply consumed we would be self absorbed mirror images of one isolated way of thinking.  Give… get into conversation… SMASH up your ideas with others and let EDUrelationships form for the betterment of your students, colleagues, and YOU! 
  6. Most often there are weekly videos to watch and reflect on… this is usually the jump-start to your blogging.  There is no one way to reflect.  This is your blog… JUST SPEAK YOUR TRUTH and others will chime in!

Here is your opportunity… get ready to do something AMAZING

change by george

 

 

Because I Can

Did you ever say the words “I wish I would have”?  Like many others, I have too.  Today though, I won’t.  No regrets.  I will say what is on my heart because I can.

I have a very special person in my life.  One that God blessed me with, even when I wasn’t most deserving.  He brought her in my life at the age of 18.  I was so vulnerable to the world.  I had ridden the roller coaster of divorce.  I had been stripped of trust in ways unimaginable.  I had felt defeat.  I had a skewed vision of normal.  I was at the mercy of my own decisions.  I had chosen to take on the world in spite of the statistics that said I would not succeed.  Then the unimaginable happened… I had fallen in love with her son.

I remember meeting her for the first time.  I was in awe of her grace.  She had a way of making me feel comfortable in my unsettling skin.  She struck up conversation, bringing me into her world, and making me feel important… visible.  This woman I would one day call mom because mother in law didn’t come close to the relationship we were about to build together.

God knew I needed her then as much as I do now, but for different reasons.  At 18, I needed someone to believe in me and she did.  I needed a gentle soul to encourage me… and she did.  I needed God to shine his light on me… and so he gave me her eyes to look in.  The ones that brought me closer to Him.  The eyes that told me I would be okay.  The eyes that shaped my heart so that I could love her son… and myself.

Have you ever felt unconditional love?  The kind that supports you through thick and thin.  The kind that holds judgement knowing it will do more harm than good.  The kind that never ever leaves your side no matter how undeserving you may be.  The kind that gives endlessly as if you are all that matters in the world.  The kind that wants “better” for you in every way.  The kind that would go to the ends of the earth to find it for you.  I have… and today I want to say thank you because I can.

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Mom, Dad, and Trent in Myrtle Beach, NC.  2005

Dear Mom,

“Thank you” will never seem like enough… those words are supposed to be so much bigger than they sound, then they look.  They are supposed to tell you that you saved me.  You saved me from being less than what your son deserves.  Less than who I was meant to be.  You gave me an example to strive for as a wife and mother.  You helped me look through the lens of others in place of the selfish view I had come to rely on.  Those words, “thank you”, are supposed to tell you that you showed me how to love with my heart and not my mind.  Thank you for the man you raised to be my husband.  The one who has lived by your example.  Thank you for being you.  You taught me that the word BUT negates everything beautiful one can say in a split moment.  You mom, taught me how to be in the moment and be grateful for what I have.  You showed me that good exists in the world and I can be a part of it if I choose.  You held me when I needed held and pushed me back on my feet when I couldn’t stand on my own.  You have shown me faith.  You have been an example of respect.  You have led me.  You have walked behind and pushed me forward.  You have walked next to me, holding my hand.

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Mom, Trent, Jack, and me on Easter 2009

You have been my friend.  My confidant.  My go to shopping diva.  Our time together has always been chosen.  The kind that can’t be lived without.  How often do you hear that about a mother in law and daughter in law? Oh we know, right… everyone tells us how lucky we are to have one another.  Our time has been filled with endless talks, 12 hour shopping days (using up a personal day for the grand opening of The Mall at Robinson.. who does that?), women’s retreats, babies being born and raised, countless vacations, Sunday football games, beautiful dinners, Broadway Shows galore, sitting poolside, spas, holidays, baking, cooking (remember that time we decided to pull off our best Julia Child’s recipe of beef bourguignon? OH MY!), our trips to Bedford Springs, and the list goes on and on…

Here we are 27 years later.  We have witnessed so much together… sadness and sorrow, disappointments, hurt, happiness, love, and the kind of joy we always have known how to celebrate.  Your love defines all goodness.  Your smile.  Your touch.  Your words of wisdom.  Your uncanny way of saying it how it is… and the ultimate Sandy Nan phrase of “this too shall pass”.  Through it all, when I look into your eyes I still see God.  You are joy mom… the kind to celebrate.

Despite all my imperfections,  I hope I have made you proud.  I hope I have shown you faith.  With each day, I will strive to be an example of respect.  I will lead.  I will walk behind and push others forward.  I will love.

But for now, I am here right next to you mom, holding your hand because I can.

All My Love,

Kristen