A Question I Couldn’t Ignore~

 

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I spend a great deal of time in my career as a Leadership Coach asking powerful questions to help leaders gain greater perspective, vet out limited thinking, and to help them to see their leadership in a fresh way.

Recently, I was faced with a challenging question from an unexpected source! I have the  privilege of having my granddaughter come to my house every Thursday for an hour for her “lessons”. For the first 30 minutes we learn to draw and to paint, for the second 30 seconds I try to give her piano lessons on my keyboard. It’s a sweet time as you can imagine.

This past week, as she silently painted, Scout put her hand on my hand and asked me a profound question: “Mimi, you will be at my wedding when I grow up won’t you?”( she is 4 1/2)

I just turned 60 about a week ago so that was a poignant question. I could tell her I hope so, I could tell her I want to, or I could tell her I will do everything I can to make sure that I can be there!

I told her the latter. With that promise from her Mimi comes a real responsibility to do just that ~ to do EVERYTHING I can, in my power and decisions, to be here for her.

Certainly, there are things that catch us by surprise in our health and circumstances; some things are beyond our control. Yet, when this little darlin’ asked me that sweet question I realized I needed to shore up some areas in my life to fulfill my commitment to her. She is depending on me to be there.

I am committed to be sure to get the check ups I need , watch what I eat better, get needed exercise , work on getting a good nights sleep, using my time well, and taking richer time to pray and ponder. Those are things I can control.

What about you? Are you precious to someone who wants to you be in their life over all the seasons? If you were asked a poignant question just as I was would you be challenged to make some changes to do all you can do to “be there”?

Let’s do all WE can for those who are counting on us!

 

What is it?

 

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Anyone who knows me knows that I have a large fun-filled playroom in my home and I love watching little ones playing with all the treasures I have joyfully gathered for them. My granddaughter Scout often enters the playroom, looks from corner to corner and then replies “Is there anything new?” because almost always there are new “fun” things that I add to the room.

A week ago I found a cute pink “old fashioned phone” and placed it on the child-sized  vanity table. Within a week I had 3 different little girls come into the room and upon finding the item asked me “What is this, Mimi?” I was forced to face the stark reality that so many elements of life  have changed all around me; phones, record players, and typewriters all obsolete.  I was reminded  just how quickly time passes.

The use of our time, how we spend our days, the activities we engage in, or people we pour into is very personal and unique to whom each of us are.  Yet, we all have the same amount of hours in our days to waste or to use well.

In an article written by Grace Bluerock she lists the 9 most common regrets people express at the end of life:

I wish I had been more loving to the people who matter the most.

I wish I had been a better spouse, parent, or child.

I wish I had not spent so much time working.

I  wish I had taken more risks.

I wish I had made better choices and took time to enjoy life more.

I wish I had followed my dreams.

I wish I had taken better care of myself.

I wish I’d have done more for others.

I wish I had chosen work that was meaningful.

The day will come when our present online gadgets my find themselves in a playroom somewhere; time will have marched on.  Choose to use the time you’ve been gifted incredibly well ~ may there be no regrets! 🙂

 

 

What will be said of Me?

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I have a wonderful privilege of gathering with some amazing women every other week to spend time talking about the things that we care deeply about.  We discuss the season of life we are presently in and look for quality ways to navigate the many challenges and opportunities we encounter everyday. We talk about learning to say our “best yes”, to make sure we find ways to re-fuel in order to be the best version of ourselves, and we look at focusing on those things we consider the highest priorities at this time, using them as a good filter when choosing how to best use our time.  These conversations are always rich and encouraging.

Last night we spent our time talking about Legacy.  We were all able to point to a person in our life who impacted us in a powerful way. Each one of us teared up simply talking about it! We could clearly see that without the gift of that person having touched our lives we would not be the women we are today.  Then we turned our attention to the fact that each one of us could be “that” person in someone’s life.  Down the road when a group of women gather, perhaps our name with be the one mentioned when expressing appreciation for key impact on their lives.  This is what leaving a Legacy looks like.  Lasting impact.

In a small study written by Dr. James Dobson, he expresses Legacy this way:

“Legacy is what future generations recall about you. You are a patriarch or a matriarch and your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren will take what you have done with your life and build on their own lives.  It is the continuation of your ministry and influence (both positive and negative) beyond your lifetime, reflecting what you value and what you believe is important.”

Wow, does that mean that the choices, behaviours, values, and traditions we do ( or don’t) intentionally choose will be passed on to our future family? You bet!  Think about your family of origin; is there a legacy you feel compelled to carry forward?  Perhaps that legacy was unhealthy and you now have the chance to make choices that will turn it around in your generation.  Choosing to leave a good and lasting Legacy requires intentionality, long-term vision, strong values, and time spent building rich relationships.  We all have a choice as to the Legacy we leave behind.

Look at your life today and answer this question: “Who influenced you to be who you are today and how does their Legacy encourage you to leave behind a Legacy that continues to bear good fruit in the lives of those you dearly love? Take time to write out the type of Legacy you would like to leave behind and then make choices consistent with your hearts desire.  🙂

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” ~ Shannon L. Alder

But, You Live Too Far Away~~

 

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Our culture is very fluid these days.  I look back at my childhood where I spent my early years, ages 6-24 in the same town.  Most of my family lived in the same state that I did. However, in our culture today many families not only live in different states; but on different continents.   More and more people are finding themselves in long distance relationships that will require real intentionality to maintain.  I have many of them myself and I always appreciate learning new ways to remain connected!

I would like to give you some tips I’ve learned of and some tips I’ve used to help my long-distance relationships flourish!

1.  Set calendared phone /Skype appointments.  Putting a bi-weekly or monthly call on your calendar will save you from the “dreaded” term; “We should talk again soon………”.  Then it never happens.

2.  Send a written card.  Everyone wants to be remembered and even in this culture of automated interaction, there is still something to be said for the written word.  When I receive a card I actually save it because it feels so special to me.

3.  Send videos or pictures of your children or hobbies you share.  On your iPhone this will take about 10 seconds.  Even this small “soft touch” can make you feel closer in the middle of a busy day!

4.  Plan ahead to visit one another if possible.  I have a sister who has served over-seas much of her adult life.  Though I haven’t gotten to see her as much as I would have liked; I have been able to visit her in England and in France. Those visits to see “her world” drew us closer and were well worth the finances it cost to get there.

5.  When you do get a chance to talk or visit; take time to talk about “the good ol’ days ” and memories you have shared.  These memories create laughter and remind you as to why your relationship is valuable and worth working on.

6.  Remember birthdays and holidays creatively.  These times, especially when you are apart can feel lonely and disconnected.  Making a personal effort to remember them will help keep your hearts close.

7.  Sometimes, out of the blue, just pick up the phone and call–even if you just get the message machine, you can still let them know that they were on your mind.  I’ve had that happen to me and it’s such a boost!

8.  Facebook–messages, wall posts–pictures.  All these possibilities will keep you both connected to how you are doing on the day-to-day!

9.  Send a care package just for fun.  I remember that when I was in college and a package came in by surprise it just rocked my world–even if it was something tiny.  It meant so very much!

10.  Pray for one another.  Knowing you have this rich type of support is priceless.

All of us have friends and family who are far from us! Grab a few of these ideas, test them out, and see if your relationships begin to grow and flourish in fresh ways!! They are worth it!!  🙂