Sunday, June 24, 2012

Fam-ily = I Love You

This past weekend our family attended an amazing thing called "Parent Summit." This mini-conference for anyone living or working with kids (parents, aunts, uncles, future parents, grandparents) was put on by our church and followed by a family fun day with different activities for the kids. 

I took notes like a maniac on my phone and was so looking forward to sharing some of those notes here with readers. We attended a session on the 5 Love Languages, one called Say Goodbye to Complaining, Whining, and Bad Attitudes, and then one with our pastor's family.

This morning I was intent on sitting down and using my notes to write a blog for OTWG. That was before my notes were deleted. Such is life and technology, as I'm sure you've experienced at least once.

Nothing is an accident and while I did try to sit down and scribble down what I could remember, I couldn't remember a lot word for word.

Even that little accident, reshaped this week's message. The few things I did remember from our parent summit? 

Daily Affirmations
Family Affirmations
Family Rules

I'm a HUGE believer in daily affirmations and positive affirmations all through the day. If you follow On the Wings of Gratitude on Twitter or Facebook, you have found that words have great power in your day to day self-talk. What we say to our selves will shape how our day goes and how it turns out in the long run. Most parents, according to author, Dr. Chapman (5 Love Languages), love their kids, but many children don't believe their parents love them.

As a high school teacher, I had my students repeat what I called a "Class Creed." They thought it was super corny, but by the end of the year, many of them could say it by memory and for some it was an affirmation that they could do anything they set their minds to do. 

I am smart. 
I am loved.
I am important. 
I am a leader
I am part of the solution, not the problem. 
I can do anything I choose.

That isn't exactly how it went, but it's pretty close. 

Even I thought I was a little corny for having them say a daily affirmation everyday. I knew many of their families were not telling them these things and even more sad, their teachers weren't telling them these things either. If they only heard it in my class, then maybe that would make an impact on just one of them for the rest of their lives.

Yesterday confirmed, I am not crazy. :)

Daily affirmations ARE important. Family Affirmations are even more important. Affirmations are not something I grew up with. Family rules were not something we sat down to create together. We never sat down with an intention to outline family expectations or affirmations. Honestly, praying together became a very rare occurrence the older I got.

While many people are like me and did not have an experience like that described above, we have decided that our family is going to be better than the families we grew up in and just like we want to be better, we hope that our kids will want to be better than us. We don't expect they will take on all the traditions we have nor will they create the exact same family culture we have, but we do hope they will take some of the things we've created and pass them on to their kids and grand kids.

So, today we sat down with intention and reshaped an affirmation that we were already saying every morning and discussed with intent a few family rules. 

I encourage you and your family to do the same. Don't have a family? That shouldn't stop you from creating your own daily affirmation to say to yourself first thing in the morning or out loud in your car on the way to work or school. Those couple of minutes in the car before you go out into the world are some of the most crucial. If you can get in the habit of saying some positive things to yourself, your kids, or your family, they really will have the power to deal with anything that comes their way.

It's never too late to instill some sort of legacy and love into your life.

Our family affirmation:

Thank you, Lord, for this day. I will rejoice and be glad in it. I will not have a spirit of fear because I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I will feel the fear and do it anyway. I will be a light bringer, an honor giver, and I will make someone feel awesome and not awful. I was intended to serve, be thankful in all circumstances and to elevate my thinking, being and doing. I will do that today.

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