My baby girl starts kindergarten this fall.
It’s crazy, loco, kookoo, , nuts-o, cray-cray.
She is totally ready and excited about it. She’s going to be in the new elementary building, which is a big deal around here.
She will have two big brothers to look out for her when she rides the bus…
or will she?
My husband and I have always told the kids we’re a team, that each person in our family is important, and that we need to look out for each other.
Will any of that come into play when they’re out on their own?
Will they create a bond, independent of us?
Will her big brothers include her, and not begrudgingly?
I want her to have a sense of belonging, of being a valued part of something important.
I want her to be comfortable in herself.
I know this is a big year for her, and I want her to have the security of belonging, but without compromising or changing herself to make it happen.
And it is even more important to me that she feels that she belongs in our family. We should be that safe place, that welcoming, warm, guard-down kind of place where she can be grumpy, scared, sad or goofy without fear of mocking or rejection.
Our home is supposed to be an accepting place for others — we’ve talked about how to be a good host.
My hope is that we’ve translated that into being accepting of our own family as well.
???? What kind of atmosphere are you cultivating in your home? What made you feel like you belonged when you were a child? ????
This Five Minute Friday thing has become a habit around here. It’s a lot of fun and you can be a part of it too. Check out all the details at http://lisajobaker.com . If you’re visiting because of FMF(or if you just happened to show up and it’s Friday), hello and thanks for coming by today!
This post is part of Five Minute Friday, a link up through www.lisajobaker.com . If you’re here as a part of it, hello! and thanks for stopping by! You can find out more on her website, but here’s a quick summary of what Five Minute Friday is:
It started because I’d been thinking about writing and how often our perfectionism gets in the way of our words. And I figured, why not take 5 minutes and see what comes out: not a perfect post, not a profound post, just five minutes of focused writing.
Today’s prompt is the word Friend.
I’ve been the new girl a lot. Growing up we moved a few times (nothing compared to a military brat – those kids have it hard) and not always at easy transition points. Even saying that, though, I realize that over time I’ve adopted the role of being the new girl as part of my historical identity, and that has given me a gift, whether I was the new girl all that much or not.
I don’t mind making new friends.
And being someone who has had to make new friends has given me an eye for being the new girl.
I notice it a lot at church.
The things people take for granted at church are astounding. If you are the new girl at a church, you probably don’t know the layout of the building, therefore signs or lables are very helpful. Friendly greeters or people with a girft of saying hello are extremely helpful. It’s important to cultivate an environment of hospitality. (Am I supposed to take communion if I accidentally come when it is being served? Do you guys charge for donuts and will I get the cold stare if I don’t put a quarter in your little wicker basket?) Use terminology that everyone can understand.
Church friends can be the best friends because they share a common value of investing in spiritual life and making time for it each week. On the flip side, churches have cliques just like high schools, and coming into a new church can be an intimidating experience.
Do you have an eye for what new people see when they enter your church or place of worship? Is it a place where new people feel welcomed?
A virtual friend of mine (virtual meaning online, not someone who is almost my friend) mentioned this week that he was feeling discouraged. My initial desire was to cheer him up, but then I got scared that his discouragement might be contagious, that if I tried to say anything to shed some positivity on him that the blue shadow of his mood might transfer to me. I also worried that because I don’t know his specific situation, my attempts at encouragement might be misplaced and come across as trite.
This week I found out that I did not make it into the top 30 finalists of a writing contest I entered. There were over 450 entries and I didn’t expect to win; however, I really thought this would be the year I’d at least make it to the top 30. I know that my writing isn’t a fit for every publisher/publication out there but it’s hard to remember that when you scan the list and your name isn’t there.
As I’ve tried to put my writing out into the public world more, rejection is a recurring theme. In order to choose one piece, another must be rejected. I get that. And while I’m usually a pretty upbeat person, I will admit that I’ve been knocked down by rejections more than I thought I would. It has affected me more than I would have predicted at the beginning.
Rejection feels personal, even when it’s not.
When facing discouragement, from whatever source, what can you do to get through it? How can you get up from feeling down?
Just as we all have widely different personalities, what works for one person might not be effective for someone else. It is also surprising how the source of the discouragement and the intensity of it can elicit different responses. For example, I’m not usually a huge crier, but when my novel was returned to me with extensive notes pointing out all the bad things about it, you better believe I cried.
Crying works wonders. It’s like a sauna for your eyeballs, sweating out through tears all your body’s impurities and sadness, but without all that heat and inability to breathe.
A long, fast walk outside can do the same thing.
Moaning works too.
Praying about it is useful, but during those times my prayers usually tend to be one-sided whine-fests. I’m convinced that God wants to hear about it anyway, though, even if it’s not eloquent or lofty.
Chocolate chip cookie dough is also effective.
The thing that works the best, at least for me, is talking to a trusted friend, somebody who “gets it” and understands the significance of your discouragement, or doesn’t mind sitting in it with you. To hear that you are understood and not alone can be the most powerful way out of discouragement.
Have you been discouraged? What caused it? How long did it last? How did you turn things around? I hope that you find encouragement at this blog, if only from knowing you’re not alone. Hang in there, and in the words of that old gospel song, joy’s gonna come in the morning.