Growing Up Scared-Chapter 2, 11-20 Years


Chapter 2                 11-20 Years             Achiever Girls

Once I started middle school, I felt a little more “cool” and a little less “shy.” I entered “Achiever Girl” mode, found two close friend, and we shared classes together.  We spent time after school together and did sleepovers on the weekends.  Each of us were achievers.

With all A’s or A’s and B’s on our report cards, we were the honor roll kids; the geeks, had arrived. As a tween and teen, I found a few close friends who were “gifted or high achievers” like me.  We were academically and socially rock stars (or so we believed)!

As girlfriends, we shared similar interests and knew how to achieve in and out of the classroom together.   We were known to have crushes and act on them.  My first love—John.  He was in the church youth group and went to my middle school.  We kissed only once in his backyard orange grove.  However, he was one of my fondest memories of these early teen years.  I learned I liked holding a boy’s hand, and I loved the small notes we would pass one another.

When I was in my late teens I discovered a few more boyfriends but not too many.  I dated one young man who was older than me, one young man who was younger than me, and a few dates during college.  But, my favorite love of all—my now husband.  He and I met in 1999.  I was not quite 20.

Sadly, I have lost touch with most of my childhood preteen and teen friends in terms of real life phone conversations or seeing them in person.  Now, that we are in our 40s a lot has changed.  We have jobs, are parents, and geographically we are spread out.

Of course I still follow via Twitter or Facebook and remain friends with some on Instagram too.  We live in a modern day memory book of sorts.  We get flash briefings.  We dialogue our favorite pics on Instagram, and we tweet about topics near and dear to our hearts.

We are still “Achiever Women.”  We are much more powerful than the fictional super heroes on movies.  Achiever girls become achieving women.  Ages 11-20 are those formative years in my opinion where you find your place in society.  You often pick a mate or play the field.  You start to settle into work or graduate school in your teens and twenties.

In our teens & twenties we work in and outside the home.  We are impacting our families and our communities for the good.  Some of the achiever girls, including myself, post pictures or tweet about life’s adventures.  I have not tried every social media arena, but I am sure the Achiever Girls from today could give me a lesson or explain why it is good or bad for communication on social media.

Communications on and off-line matter.  We are creating a digital history. Now, as educators and parents, we can keep kids off of screens to an extent.  We now have a son in this 11-20 year age bracket.  Our sons are not allowed to have social media accounts until we deem necessary.  They are now 10 and 13 years old.  Perhaps in high school we will let them.

However, we do allow our boys to have a private YouTube account to record videos they create themselves.  They are the “Tinker Brothers.”  It is fun for them to be cool “YouTubers,” and our family has a private record of their voices and shenanigans.  By archiving funny or cool stuff, and ear-marking them as “Private” in the settings.  We acknowledge that staying off of social media altogether is unrealistic.  The Achiever Girls (and Achiever Boys) still desire interactions with adults and peers in person and on technology.

The Achievers stand out from their peers.  They are the ones excelling with top grades in the classroom, stellar performances for athletic coaches, and taking the stage as incredible artists and actresses.  They also wisely use tech tools.

Tech tools help me maintain friendships.  One of my girlfriends even pre-dates my sister.  Traci is my oldest and dearest friend.  Our mothers shared pregnancy days in the same Sunday school class.  Now, we are in our 40s and still friends.  Achiever Girls make friendships that are deep.  That is a gift.

Achiever Girls also often make friends with The Father (GOD), a primary friend, and confidant.  We learn in our preteen and teen years what faith really means.  It is not about a denomination it is about a relationship with a God of your unique choosing.  There are many faiths being introduced by families and others.

A faith community is about relationships.

During my “Achiever Girl” decade, I chose to follow Jesus and started to read more about him in my little red Bible and Hot Pink & Black Student Bible. I still have the Student Bible and read it from time to time.  I have like 10 Bibles so it depends on which one is handy.

I believe reading books is an Achiever Girl trait. I try to read my Bible often.  And, I really want to read one from cover to cover.  I never succeeded to read Genesis to Revelation. I read the stories of the old and new Testaments, and I read the commentaries.  During my teens I remember paying more attention at church to the sermons and to what Youth Leaders were saying. These men and women, living examples of God’s love, were my adult mentors.

I look back at my teen years fondly.  I was confident, had lots of social time with many high achieving friends, and I shaped my persona and faith.  Being loved by my parents, extended family, teachers, coaches, and youth leaders at church made me a very blessed Achiever Girl.

You see…coaches and adult leaders recognize the Achievers.  They help these kids stand out even more. For example, even though I was an introvert, I was asked to be the Team Captain of three women’s sports teams.  I was Captain to the cross country, tennis, and track teams—a highlight of high school. I felt pretty awesome.

I mentored younger girls on those teams.  I rose in the ranks of a very competitive and large high school athletic program.  I rose to the occasion of each competition earning ribbons, trophies, plaques, and good old fashioned varsity letters with pins.  Not sure how I juggled school and sports, but I did.  I did it well.  After all, I was, and I still am an Achiever Girl.

Thankfully, I was also able to attend church where achievements do not matter.

2 Chronicles 9:5

She said to the king,

“The report I heard in my own country about your achievements and your wisdom is true.

4pk Ceramic Small Things Great Love Coasters - Thirstystone - image 1 of 2

Psalm 45:4

In your majesty ride forth victoriously in the cause of truth, humility and justice;

 Let your right hand achieve awesome deeds

Ecclesiastes 2:11

Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve,

Everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.

Dear God,

You created us to be achievers. 

Forgive us when we want to achieve more than is necessary. 

Thank you for reigning in our need to extend ourselves too far or too perfectly. 

Give us the willingness to recognize that you are ever more powerful than me. 

Amen.

Growing Up Scared–Chapter 1, 0-10 Years


Chapter 1

What is your earliest memory?  I recall memories tied to photographs that I have saved and reviewed.  A bright red, hardcover, good old-fashioned scrapbook with black circular binding contains photos of my childhood:

Going to art festivals with my mom just off Park Ave,

Playing with friends in the neighborhood or from school,

Church plays, etc.

Other memories are tied to people:

Canoeing as a family in our big Green Genoe (aka a flat-bottomed canoe) on lakes and channels, and so thankful we have that boat now to share paddling memories with our sons.

Camping as an Indian Princess with my dad or as a family in our popup camper.

As an Indian Princess, I was named Pretty Rock.

My younger sister was named Happy Feather, and my dad was Curly Bear.  A group of fathers and daughters gathered for meetings, parades, and camping trips.  Our family would also include mom when we camped at Disney’s Fort Wilderness.  We continue to camp as a family, but use a tent.

Attending church…Preschool, Kids Club, and Sunday school at the Methodist Church seeped goodness into my mind’s eye.  I liked going to church.  The people were always kind there.  The church remains a place of comfort.

My parents’ kindness extended into supporting us in the athletic and musical areas of hobbies too.  I played tennis with my dad at local tennis courts.  My mom carted my sister and me to ballet, gymnastics, and baton twirling.  We took keyboard and piano lessons.  I learned to play the hand-chimes and hand-bells at church. Also sang in a choir.  I am a mediocre singer at best, but my sister was and is pretty amazing in the vocal department.  Eventually I learned to play the flute briefly in middle school.  Our sons play golf and soccer.  They also are musical with the trombone, piano, and percussion.

Our family went to Central Florida’s Amusement Parks with friends and extended family and still do.  We rode bikes in the neighborhood and to school. I collected rocks on vacations.  I wrote in a little pink diary.  I remember quite a lot of my first decade of life.  We continue to do “stay cation” activities in Central Florida.

During that first decade of life, I also remember going to my friend Julie’s house down the street on the day my sister was born. Creating a secret hide-out in a bush, and swimming in her pool was awesome.  I was happy to have a friend and a new baby sibling.  Our children are also pals being three years apart just like my sister and me.

I recall both my sister and I gaining confidence as I we grew up.  I won several awards through the years at field day and in academics.  I was even the Disney Dreamer and Doer in 5th grade.  That earned me a medal and a trip behind the scenes at Walt Disney World.  It was a sweet memory.  Parents, teachers, and church leaders impacted me by boosting my confidence during the first ten years of my life.  Our first born is similar to me as an achiever, and our second born is more like my husband as footloose and fancy free, more laid back.

Although, I was born with a shy temperament and at times a worrier, I believe this inborn trait is valuable.  We are empathetic, good listeners, and ponder life deeply.  Anxiety can be a super power.

What is your temperament?  Your partners?  Your child’s?

The Child Development Institute says:

Temperament is a set of in-born traits that organize the child’s approach to the world.”  Our internal selves are instrumental in the development of our own unique personalities.  Traits determine how a child goes about learning or experiencing the world.

https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/child-development/temperament_and_your_child/#.XJ33yKR7ncs

With God-given genetics making us what we are, and an environment with people and experiences that make us who we are…who are we really?

Shyness is not always favored by society.  We, the scared kids, are watchers and thinkers.  We see details and act cautiously.  Birth order also plays a role in temperament.  First born children are often rule-driven.  Trying to do as we are told and not wanting to disappoint any adults or peers, we perpetually remain afraid of failure.  We may walk lightly or run away from problems.

A problem for shy children is that adults often make us uncomfortable or nervous depending on who they are, and what they ask of us.  How I am feeling at the moment determines what we do.  I recall being scared.  I used self-soothing habits like sucking my thumb from birth to the fourth grade.  Fiercely, I held onto this habit quite literally until I was about 9 years old.  Then, after a pediatric orthodontist placed a metallic rake (aka “appliance” or medical device) on my palate at my parent’s request, I was able to break the habit.  Our youngest son needed the same intervention.

We replace one habit with another: nail biting and chewing on non-food items.  I chewed on erasers even the metal parts of a pencils at school.  I see these same behaviors in our young son.  His go to is chewing on Lego tires.

These habits come in handy when you’re bored or worried.  I still bite my nails sometimes.  Even after decades of rational thinking that I could or should break the habit, I only manage to stop on a short term basis.  When fear, anxiety, or boredom pop up, I return to picking or biting my fingernails.  Manicures are fruitless.  The biting or picking on my nails eventually returns. But, I try.

Isaiah 41:10

“But you, Israel, are my servant. You’re Jacob, my first choice, descendants of my good friend Abraham. I pulled you in from all over the world, called you in every dark corner of the earth,

Telling you, ‘You’re my servant, serving on my side.

I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you.’ Don’t panic. I’m with you.

There’s no need to fear for I’m your God.

I’ll give you strength.

I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.

"Fear Not for I am With You | Isaiah 41:10" Posters by PraiseQuotes | Redbubble

If your child is shy…take heart!  They, or you, will morph into something new with time.  Or, they may become that butterfly that knows instinctively how to fly even with little help from us.  God knows them better than we do, and it is okay to be scared.

Watch them, love them, and teach them to accept who they are

Dear Heavenly Father,

We praise you for knitting us together in our mother’s womb, and for knitting our fear knots with structure and purpose. 

Forgive me for being afraid and not asking for help. 

Grant us the courage to ask for help when we need it. 

Help parents to know if their child needs encouragement, counseling, and or medicines to ease anxiety. 

Amen.

Prologue, Growing Up Scared


Prologue

”If you’re brave enough to start, you will.”–Stephen King"The truth will set you free" (John 8:32). #bibleverse #quotes #truth

Writing bravely, I am afraid.  Bravery comes with time, experience, and loss.  When we raise our voices, we show vulnerability.  Our truth becomes His Truth.  “The truth will set you free;” a common quoted phrase is actually from the Bible.  Someone recorded it.  Did you know this?  My husband told me.

John 8:32

Jesus turned to the Jews who had claimed to believe in Him.

He said, “If you stick with this, living out what I tell you…

You become Disciples for sure.

You will experience for yourselves the truth, and the Truth will free you.”

The Holy Bible and many other books remain a source of strength for me.

I read one to seven books at a time. I need books and journals in many places and of multiple genres.  Why?  My mind and body move quickly.

My counselor chuckled at my description of reading “about ten” books at a time.  I was exaggerating, but she said she likes to sit and read one book from start to finish.  My mind and day’s activities do not work that way.

If I make time for it, reading positive books heals my body, mind, and spirit.  Stillness is a gift to oneself, but it is often difficult for me to slow down.  My heart rate rises a lot in a day, and I sometimes forget to breathe or concentrate.  Reading helps me sit, lay down, and slow my mind a bit.

Concentration on books helps me stay focused on being a Disciple of Christ.

I read a lot of authors who write about: HOPE, JOY, PEACE, GRATITUDE, and even REST.  They speak of Jesus.  I enjoy hidden things they bring to light and reminders of His Light and Truth.

Now a days, many authors use Facebook or Instagram to form groups to market their books in advance or during release week.  I have become a behind the scenes promotor for several book launch teams.  It usually entails an easy social media project and sometimes free stuff i.e. a copy of the book or products related to the book.

I have been privately reading about God and Jesus Christ since the third grade or age 8 years old. I was given a small red Bible by the church I grew up in.  Along with other third graders growing up in a special little aspect of a church service, we received God’s Word.  Unlike most kids though, I tried to read it cover to cover.  I have never been able to complete that task.  The Bible remains a favorite book, but I still have not found the ability to read it start to finish.

When we start to follow Jesus Christ, the church becomes a key to life.

I grew up with my parents taking my sister and me to church often.  I mean almost every Sunday and Wednesday.  We would go on Wednesday nights to Kids Club, Sundays to early church, Sunday school, youth choir, and youth group.  That’s a lot of church hours.  And folks, this matters. 

Faith formation occurred during my childhood family, and I felt it valuable.  I want to pass on the rich blessing of church to our own kids.  I find it interesting that my sister raises her family as we were raised also.  We all go to church.

My younger sister and her family are strong Believers who attend a church that is a bit different than the church we grew up in.  My sister and I have both changed denominations to fit with our husband and children’s tastes.   We bravely made some changes to our present faith formation.

In my opinion our family units help us grow up to be brave.  My parents, married nearly 50 years, still attend their church most Sundays.  Dad is an usher and mom is a part of a women’s circle at their church.   You may retire from work, but you never retire from church.  Our family was founded on being a part of the Body of Christ.

As Believers what if we do not take ourselves or families to church?

I feel you may fall away from faith formation.

It is important to go to gatherings of Believers at church because it is the right way to feed our souls.  In Christ we grow when we are attached to the vine.  I see the vine in multiple aspects: God’s Word, Church, Fellowship and Prayer.  My husband and I live our best broken but healing lives with church as a part of our story.  We take our two sons to church often.  We aim for every week but sometimes we do not make it.

Church can be scary or frustrating.  It is not all sunshine and roses.  It is easier when your spouse or partner is like-minded.  Our kids feed off of our Spiritual energy.  Our children can be joyful in the Lord.

They learn to question and find answers from the Lord and us.  They find Salvation in their own time, but in our family we baptized our babies as infants.  I have one son who took his First Communion in second grade, and one child who has yet to take Communion as a fifth grader.  Kids need personal experiences within their faith community and within their family.

I have to admit, over time, I found kids versions of Bibles and specifically the “Jesus Calling” series [1]to be more helpful to me than our kids.  I keep it in our guest bathroom for a little Light Reading.  My favorite book for reading at night with our kids is “Q & A.” a three year scripted journal.  It is an easy way to dialogue with your kids.  I completed three years of bedtime questions with our now thirteen year old.  I am still working on the final year of questions with our now ten year old.  I am thankful my friend Sarah Williams introduced me to this journal.

The Bible remains another Q and A type book.  It is a tricky book.  It has many layers.  As a literal Living Word, I realize that the Old and New Testaments help uncover a beautiful Christ any day that we open the Book.  It can change us both outside and inside daily.

Daily, I smile, laugh, cry inwardly, sometimes cry outwardly, and have fear.  I try to crack open a Bible each day.  It helps. 

If you need fellowship to help discipline you in the Word–Hello Mornings is a great group of believing women who gather to study God’s Word.  It is a free community.  If you want some virtual “company” as you rise daily to study God’s word, check it out: https://www.hellomornings.org/

I also enjoy https://www.biblegateway.com/ for a daily verse and topical searches like Google for the Bible.  You can even set a reminder on your phone to daily read the Word.  That is a notification I need not swipe right.  Bible verses speak loudly or softly.  If we open The Book physically or with technology and write the Words down by hand or on a screen, the Lord himself reminds us that He is love.

“This mystery has been kept in the dark for a long time, but now it’s out in the open. God wanted everyone, not just Jews, to know this rich and glorious secret inside and out, regardless of their background, regardless of their religious standing. The mystery in a nutshell is just this: Christ is in you, so therefore you can look forward to sharing in God’s glory. It’s that simple. That is the substance of our Message. We preach Christ, warning people not to add to the Message. We teach in a spirit of profound common sense so that we can bring each person to maturity. To be mature is to be basic. Christ! No more, no less. That’s what I’m working so hard at day after day, year after year, doing my best with the energy God so generously gives me.”

Colossians 1:27-28 MSG

Be ready today to enjoy the mystery.  Be “Armed with Truth.”  Literally write it down on a piece of paper, tattoo it on your skin, or post it in the form of art.  Place it where you can see it often, and others too can read The Word on or through you.  Love others more than they may be able to love you.  Rise up!

 John 4:18

God is love.

There is no room for fear because well-formed love banishes it.

I go into child’s pose and breathe or stretch on the carpet or on my yoga mat.

I sit on the floor of the cold tile.  I wait and rest in the Lord in quiet places.  He speaks to me then.  It is a gentle whisper.  It is my heart talking.

I dedicate a quiet place at our home too.  One hour a week I host *Moms in Prayer.  One to five women show up on a given morning.

We gather with girlfriends to pray for our kids, families, schools, and one another.  Our lives become quiet for a while, peaceful, and focused during that one hour. These women become like sisters.  My real sister and I pray too via phone and in person.  But, praying in unison is Spirit filled and yields beautiful moments.

https://momsinprayer.org/

Find your people.  Find a counselor or trusted friend.  A woman needs a female counselor, doctor, and lots of grownup friends.  People you can trust matter immensely.  A male child or adult with mental health concerns or general anxiety or depression may prefer a male therapist.  We need positive people to help rid us of fear.

Fear is not formed in love.  Remember in the Gray’s Anatomy television show, Christina and Meredith always called each other, “my person?”  Through physically moving during my own adult years, I had “my person” in each suburb.  A person who loved me well and got me out of the dumps.  She calmed me when I was anxious or moving too fast.  “Let me take your kids for a bit, help you unpack boxes, or go out for coffee.” “Want to walk?” Say “Yes!”  My husband taught me that.  When you move, you always say “yes” to offers otherwise they may never ask you again.

 Pause a moment and make time to have tea with a friend or Jesus.  Find your person.

Text, call, tag someone in a post on social media. Say “thank you” often and even use snail mail!  Take another mom’s kids when she is stressed or commitments outside of the home would be easier without littles.  Make play dates even for teens and their parents.

Go in the direction God leads.  He has a path for each of us and seemingly allows doors to open and shut.  Follow his still small voice; our Holy Spirit is never wrong.  Sometimes we, ourselves, are wrong.  Thankfully, our sins will all be wiped clean by the blood of Jesus.  We must confess our sins to The Lord and truly repent and turn away from our sins.

Sin is messy, but salvation is bright and shines like a diamond.

Luke 1:50

His mercy extends to those who fear Him, from generation to generation.

His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. Luke 1:50

1 Jesus Calling 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young and

2  Q & A, A Three Year Journal of Questions and Answers

3 2000 Questions about Me by

4 Websites for Hello Mornings and Bible Gateway

Growing Up Scared, Introduction


Dear Reader,

Are you scared? Afraid?  Or, is someone you love showing anxiety?

What has happened in the past, what is happening now, and the scary moments of what may come create fear.  My own fear came in real and unreal possibilities.  In this book I discern the thoughts of growing up and being scared through reflection on past events.

If you know someone who has anxiety or fear, I recommend loving your loved ones with a delicate empathy.  Take heart.  You are not alone in the journey.  Our God is with you at your right hand.  He is Mighty.  He is a Savior. He loves you and me just the way we are.

In knowing God’s Truth we grasp that we are never alone, but we are rather always held closely to Him.  Do not run away in fear, but rather open your eyes, heart, and body to the One who can help you relax and be free.

Growing up scared, I found myself showing attention to details, sensitivity, and a need for constant movement.  My mind, a spinning top, calms as I write.

Words…I type them and write them.  Script them in my mind, and thus I always write.

You or your loved one may need to write things down in their phone or on paper to share with physicians.  A designated notepad or journal may help.  Read with them if you have their permission to do so.  Help them.

Help the anxious person by going to a counselor.  Go WITH them.

Find a psychologist and psychiatrist for them.  Again, go with them if they appear scared or anxious.  And, again go WITH them.  We are scared and need back-up.  We appreciate you holding our hand.

Our biggest back-up hero remains Jesus though.  Remember he is at our right hand.

He is always creating change within and around us.  His power is made perfect in our brokenness, and His peace is possible.  Be brave.

Share your story when you can, and be silent to listen.  Your inside “good” voice can be loud if you turn it up.  The Holy Spirit is speaking to us and around us if we listen and love well.

That other voice, the critical or depressing one, is not God.

That is Satan whispering false truths.  Tease him out and pray him away.  God is fighting for you.  Fight with Him.  This is a battle for your Spirit.  Choose to spend time with God and your feelings.

Matthew 7:13-14

“Don’t look for shortcuts to God.

The market is flooded with surefire, easygoing formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. 

Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do.

The way to life—to God—is vigorous and requires TOTAL ATTENTION.”

Matthew 7:13-14 (NIV)“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

Look for Jesus.  He is still among us, the people of The Earth.

If you see a need love someone.  Do not be afraid.  Instead, speak up.

Give a compliment to a stranger.  Act on those feelings that nudge you to give a hug or high five.  God is on the move as a song says.  He is on the move today.

There will always be someone who needs YOU.

Lean into Him and the people (aka pebbles) He placed for YOU in YOUR PATH.  Play the happy music louder than your unquiet mind.  And “Look up child.” – Lauren Daigle

I share these words to come because I want to reveal my story.  Some may call this book a testimony.  Whatever you may call these words, they are for you, for my family, and for me.

This Book is dedicated to My Family—Thank you.

You always accept me,

And your kindness never goes unnoticed. 

I am thankful to grow alongside of you, and I know that being scared is okay.

Thanks for the hugs, kisses, smiles, walks, and prayers. 

Thank you for letting me use you as a sounding board. 

Forgive me when I retreat in fear or anger.

Thank you for interceding for me in prayers.

Love, Jennifer

 

 

Matthew 6:25-26

If you decide for God, living a life of God worship, it follows that you will not fuss about what is on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are fashionable.

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you have on your body.

Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to job description, careless in the care of God. 

And you count far more to him than bird.

Full of Gratitude


I am full of gratitude this week.  Last week was a rough one, but this week has been so much better.  Do you ever have a rough week or rough day followed up by a polar opposite week/day?  Perhaps you do, and perhaps you don’t.

Christian Living | Christian Faith | Bible Verses | Bible Study | Love Quotes | Christian Marriage #bible #quotes #christian #faith #inspirational #love #marriage

Perhaps you’re just coasting through life on medium speed.

By medium speed I mean in the middle of rough/smooth sailing.  You’re not extra happy or extra sad—you’re just meh.  Meh is the word our teenage son uses often when asked how his day was.  Meh.

Meh days are real too.

We are constantly surrounded by variable in people we interact with and situations.  This week we have been off of school and work.  We have had lots of extra time, and it has been lovely!  I am thankful and grateful.  I am full of gratitude.

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
Dear God,
Thank you for being our source of gratitude.
Forgive me when I forget to say thanks.
Give me insight and gratitude daily.
Be with me always.
Amen
p.s. This post is a part of the Five Minute Friday Community, a weekly link-up of blog writers.

Business Wit & Wisdom


I own a small business; I am an “Entrepreneur.” And, I work part time at a local private school as a speech language pathologist.  I love both paid positions, but I also have unpaid work to do daily.

Do you work?  Where and how often?  Are you paid or unpaid?

I have a job that I was trained in at a University. I am a speech-language pathologist (aka Speech Therapist) or SLP.  I have jobs that I acquired; I am a wife and mother.  I have another unpaid job that I enjoy on the side—blogging and photography.  And, I also have a business with our now 13 year old. He created a device that we, as parents, deemed worthy of trademarking three years ago.  Due to logistics and privacy with special education students we have not been able to test the product, but it does relate to speech.  It is a device called Talkily (rhymes with broccoli).

Image result for wisdom

So what is my wit and wisdom as it relates to business?

I’m not totally sure, but I am enjoying the journey of daily figuring it out with God’s direction what is my purpose.  I look for pebbles in my path as my friend Renee calls them.  Where is God directing me to be present and purposeful?

Now, let’s take a look at the definitions of wit and wisdom.

wit
noun
1. mental sharpness and inventiveness; keen intelligence: “he does not lack perception or native wit” synonyms: intelligence, shrewdness, astuteness, cleverness, canniness. Antonym: stupidity

  1. a natural aptitude for using words and ideas in a quick and inventive way to create humor: “a player with a sharp tongue and a quick wit” synonyms: wittiness, humor, funniness, facetiousness, drollery. Antonym: humorlessness

wisdom

noun

1. the quality or state of being wise; knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action; sagacity, discernment, or insight.
2. scholarly knowledge or learning: the wisdom of the schools.
3. wise sayings or teachings; precepts.
4. a wise act or saying
5. (initial capital letter) Douay Bible theWisdom of Solomon
Image result for wisdom
Dear God,
May we always begin and end our days with You.
Forgive us when we forget to include you in our daily decisions.
Thank you for loving us always and giving us Your Word to guide our choices and love.
May we always see each sunrise and sunset for what they are—gifts.
Amen.

The Cost of Mental Illness


The cost of mental illness?

It’s a lot. It’s a lot for the individual, the family, the friends, and others. It’s a cost that is intangible.

Image result for mental illnessImage from: Harvard Business Review, AI’s Potential to Diagnose and Treat Mental Illness

 

However, the cost of mental illness is tangible in bills from counselors, psychiatrists, and possibly hospital stays. It is a cost that is necessary and hard. It’s a cost that becomes a cross to bear.

A cross to bear? Mental illness is just that–a cross or a thorn or a pesky sneaky little horror. It is what many deal with, and it includes me. I have shown the signs of mental illness since I was a child. I was anxious and shy. I withdrew and wasn’t as social as my sister or others. However, I did come out of my shell in middle, high school, college, and even adulthood.

The cost of an adulthood mental illness is profound. It is real. It is difficult, but it is common. I hope that if you or someone you know/love has a mental illness you will be patient…you will be kind…you will see the costs and still love on that person anyways.

Dear God,
It’s me Jennifer. I appreciate you intervening in my mental illness with family, friends, doctors, and counselors. I realize I am not alone although at times I feel alone. Help me to accept my mental illness as a super-power that defines me in a unique way.
Amen.

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