Today’s wisdom from Dr. Alice, “Practical Suggestions for Teaching Moments”

Breathe, Pray, Give: Dr. Alice’s Guide to the Universe

Okay, that’s my title for the bits of wisdom I have learned over the past ten years from my friend and counselor, Dr. Alice. She has guided and mentored me and many others in so many ways, that they can never be counted. She has helped me through many of the Murphy’s Law Moments in my life, as well as the normal chaos that comes with life, work, marriage, parenting four children, and all the unexpected (such as falling off a longboard–see previous post).

To me, she is one of the wisest, godliest, kindest women I have ever met, and I thank God for bringing her into my life. May her wisdom be spread. But as she would say, “It’s all from God.”

Today’s wisdom from Dr. Alice:

“Practical Suggestions for Teaching Moments”

Each of these ideas can enhance the life of you and your teen.

1. Keep your promises: Let your word be your honor! Keeping a promise that you made is one of the ways you demonstrate integrity and the value you place on your relationship with your teen.

Continue reading

The Handy-woman Chronicles

The Handy-woman Chronicles

For every woman with her own toolbox, this is for you.

I enjoy doing things around the house. Over the years my handy skills have expanded from basic painting, to caulking (which took me four years to perfect), to plumbing, installing chandeliers, tile floors, thresholds, cleaning gutters, and after my latest—hanging doors.

Tip 1: Know the location of your fuse box and water main. This will help many of your handy-woman projects. Also makes you look knowledgeable when the handyman comes.

Continue reading

A Day in the Light, It begins

Moment by moment

Moment by moment

One Writer’s Musings

Recognizing a moment in time can be like a light going on in my mind–not the bulb-over-head variety, more the “A-Ha” epiphany variety. Having four children, I have learned to treasure stolen moments of quality, one-on-one time I get with each child (and also my husband–not that he’s like my fifth child or anything).

When they were younger, it was easier to tune out all else (laundry, writing, reading), and look into my child’s eyes as I fed them. And just sit there, watching him or her eat while he or she watched me back. But even then it was hard to unplug and empty my mind of  all worries and simply just be.

The arrival of each child brought more joy but less chances for one-on-one time. As they’ve grown and become more involved and social,  there are even fewer opportunities, but I catch them.

Thank you God for this moment in time with my daughter…

When they were first born, I thanked God silently. Then I started saying it out loud, maybe during feedings or when we went for a walk, until it became a habit. It wasn’t a big deal when the kids were infants and toddlers, but then came that awkward moment when they were suddenly older, understood more, and simply too cool. They still “tolerated” me saying it, but if there was any chance of being overheard, it was, Seriously, Mom! Whatever!

With my oldest entering college this fall, I realize even more how time is fleeting and encouragement is so important. Even if the kids seem too cool, they do care. My high school graduate may look like a man, and my second son might be all that, but acknowledging special moments as they happen builds them up, lets them know they are important, encourages them, and reminds me to treasure every moment (even if I’m playing chauffeur to a bunch of ingrates).

One recent morning as I drove my son to Football Dawn Patrol (capitals intentional), he was tired and pushing me away, “Don’t mess with me Mom!”, two syllables on Mo-om,  attitude dripping. But I said anyway:

“I love you, I’m so proud of you for persevering and going every morning to Dawn Patrol.”

A thriving football player, through him I have come to know the world of high school sports, where they take football very seriously

What he said next surprised me. In a joking-but-not-really voice he said, “For my games you never come to!”

It was true. I hadn’t gone to many games, which was one of the reasons I have gone back to working at home. And I told him that. To share in Milestone Moments—big and small.

My own Milestone Moment

As of March 31, 2014, I left my editing job as middle-grade acquisitions editor for Zonderkidz, a division of Zondervan, an imprint under HarperCollins Christian Publishing, in order to pursue my own writing, regain family balance, and to reclaim my sanity. I believe God led me to Zondervan, and since then, as I have ventured on this new path in my journey, God has reassured me that this is where I’m supposed to be. (How? You might ask. Ah, those are God Moments. Look for them on ChildressInk.com.) In the few short months since I have been “working at home,” I have gone to games, school events, and field trips, which has given me great joy. I have been present for graduations, first jobs, driver’s ed, and I was there when my oldest daughter entered a new season in her life, transitioning from a child to a woman.

On this night of nights, as I hugged her, she asked, “Are you crying?”

I wasn’t. Then. “Crying for you,” I said, joking (but not really).

And at that moment I thanked God, because right then a light went off in my mind and my heart, and I knew this was where God wanted me to be. So i continue to thank God, out loud, and yes sometimes I feel awkward, but each time I thank God for my time together with the people I love, I see them stand a little taller and smile, maybe, if only to themselves, thinking I don’t see it as they turn their heads.

And with that, I encourage you to treasure every moment, today and every day. When times are tough, chances are you can find one thing to be thankful for. Thanks for reading this writer’s musings.

Kim

(PS. The next day I gave my daughter a copy of The Ultimate Girls’ Body Book, by doctors Walt Larimore and Mari Sánchez, a book I edited while at Zondervan. You will also learn that I am a shameless marketer, and I believe in helping my fellow writers. In this industry, we have to stick together.)

The Ultimate Girls' Body Book

The Ultimate Girls’ Body Book, by doctors Walt Larimore and Amaryllis Sánchez Wohlever

    

A Day in the Light

Ouch!

My latest Murphy’s Law Moment.

Reality is Stranger than Fiction

Me, Spill, and Murphy’s Law

Welcome to my new blog, which has been long in the making and much anticipated among certain circles who know that the nickname I earned in college applies to me still—spill. Not for reasons you may think (although, truth be told maybe sometimes), but it was uncanny! I would walk into a room and spill something. One recent example, one Friday during snack time at work, I met with my coworkers in our usual gathering, I walk to the snack table and promptly knock over a drink (or plate, I don’t remember…). Anyways, I bend over to pick it up, apologizing profusely, and while doing so, knock the snack table as I’m standing up, and topple another item which turned out to be a birthday gift one of my coworkers had just received right before I got into the room. And it broke. I piece of it did. She was very gracious and said don’t worry I can superglue it later, but like I said, Spill. 

I’ve said before that Murphy’s Law follows me around, and some people have been like, “Yeah, whatever.” But as time passed these skeptics have said, “Wow, crazy stuff really does happen to you!” In case you you’ve never heard of Murphy’s Law, it is simply this: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”

Today I will share my most recent event. On July 3, my family and I took a lovely walk around our neighborhood, when my oldest son invited me to try his new longboard (a bigger, easier version of the skateboard). I had longboarded before, but on this day I said, “I’m not so sure about this because of my shoulder.”

I’ve been nursing a six-week shoulder injury, for which I had finally seen my doctor two days prior, who asked, “Are you ready for your MRI?”

My son said, “You don’t use your shoulder while longboarding, Mom,” with two syllables on Mo-om and a scoffing little laugh.

“You do if you fall down,” I said. Still, I got on the board. And I did it! For about 20 seconds. Then the board magically flew out from under my feet, and in an instant I crashed down hard, hitting in this order: my right wrist, right elbow, then butt bone, which sent a wave of force upwards along my spine until it ended with a loud clack and my jaw snapped.  

As I lay on the ground assessing the damage, I thought to myself, That did not just happen. Followed  by, I’m such an idiot. By 5:30 I was home in a cast (half-cast covered by ace bandages).

The irony is, while I was in the ER getting my cast, my phone rang, and it was the nurse calling to preregister my left-shoulder MRI. I commented on the irony of the situation and asked if she might be able to call back.

I shared my ordeal with a new friend while we sat waiting for the Fourth of July fireworks. The last thing I said was, “Oh yes, did I mention the poison ivy under my cast?”

She was staring at me strangely, when I finished telling her, so I asked, “Why are you looking at me like that?”

She said, “These things just don’t happen to people.”

I said, “You’re not the first person to tell me that.”

I don’t know if I attract chaos from the universe, if I’m just accident prone, or I need more character development, but I invite you to follow along to hear some of the wild and strange things that take place in my household. (Believe me, truth is stranger than fiction!) 

#GodMoment

Originally I had planned to call my blog “A Day in the Life,” but after a recent, Divinely Inspired conversation with a fellow writer, friend, and Man of God, I have decided to call my blog “A Day in the Light.” Because each day, no matter what life throws my way, I will seek to live in the light, and I will trust in the Lord to sustain me during times of darkness, including the dark spell I have experienced recently.

(Disclaimer: Giving your worries to God and actually letting go are two different things. I’m still learning this.)

I will speak of humor, chaos, joys and storms. You’ll find editing trivia, writing tips, quotes (I’m a quotes girl), reflections on the humorous side of life, and bits of wisdom. (Usually humorous advice I’ve picked up along the way—thank you Dr. Alice!)

And books! Did I mention books? I can talk books for hours. I have worked in the publishing industry in a variety of roles for nearly 25 years. As a child, I was at the library daily. I’ve worked as a bookseller, reviewer, writer, and editor. In addition to Zondervan and Girls’ Life, I have published more than two hundred articles and short stories in books and magazines. I also helped found a student-run newspaper while in college at Ohio Wesleyan University, a “rag” called The Righteous Times (think like The Onion). After college I worked as a reporter and newspaper advertising salesperson. I tried out different areas of the publishing industry, until I found my calling–children’s books.

Oh yes, I have also been a waitress, landscaper, real estate title searcher, movie theater check-in girl, ice cream scooper, ear-piercer, secretary, and Frontier Fruit and Nut girl. (I started working when I was fourteen.) But above all, I love writing, reviewing, and editing books for children. (Watch for the ChildressInk.com relaunch for more details, coming soon.)

Thanks for reading this writer’s musings.

I humbly ask you to follow or share my blog with every social network in the universe (shameless marketer–I follow back), and return to a Day in the Light for stories, encouragement, inspiration, a good laugh, or at the very least, a new book to check out.

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you. All the days of your life. Kim