Monday, March 10, 2014

BREAKthrough

Break throughs require action on our part. In our minds we create a plan. That plan in the famous words of Beyonce is FLAWLESS. And then reality hits. That straight line that was once visualized, now turns into valley lows, rainstorms, and plenty unforeseen issues. And often times the unforeseen issue is accompanied by a brick wall. Break throughs are often times what excites us...until we reach that proverbial wall for ourselves. Don't let the wall discourage you. There's still work to be done. The assignment is still the same. That business still needs to be started.  That book still needs to be written. Your victory is on the other side of that brick wall. Just how badly do you want it? Walls are not always meant to be climbed. And hence the break through comes. Time to get thrifty. Time to change some habits. Time to get to the other side. Who's with me?

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

TRP is Finished!

Guess What?! I finally finished my first book. I am SO excited. I missed my 2013 deadline by a week, but I'm grateful it is finally complete! Of course the work doesn't stop there. There's editing to do. (Thanks Ms. Darlene.) There's so much more to do, but my labor of love is complete! SO just in case you were wondering why I was MIA for a while. That's why!!! Onto book number two! But look forward to more blogs and vlogs from me this year. 2014 will be EPIC for Ask TPJ. Don't believe me just watch.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Creative Family Time


Forty to sixty hour weeks. Dance/gymnastic classes. Mid-week church services. Sports tournaments. Choir rehearsal. Doctor’s appointments. Play dates. Soccer practice. Marriage boot camp. Prayer services. Date night. Vocal lessons. Business meetings. Conference calls.


There’s always something filling the calendar and forcing us to constantly having to be on the go. There has to be time that the family can spend together other than in front of the television.

Get off the Couch  

Think outside the box. Sitting on the couch and watching TV or a movie is off limits. Minimize that as family time. Too often, TV is used as a crutch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fun, but in moderation. J In order to get different results, you have to do some things differently. The couch is easy! Let’s go for something more creative.

Avoid the Dining Room Table too

Well maybe. If the table is your prop or work station. Fine. But other than that…Back away from the table. Dinner time is a sacred time in itself. You don’t want to try to cram special family time and dinner in all at once.

Daddy/Daughter Dates & Mother/Son Time

Individual dates give each child an opportunity to feel special and not lost in the shuffle. They don’t even have to cost money or can be very inexpensive. Let the child pick something to do with you. This affords you an opportunity to get inside their world and pick their brain or you can just enjoy the time and make memories.

Use Your Imagination or Borrow Your Child’s

Kids can be pretty creative. You’d be surprised at what they can come up with (you too!!) I’m sure you’ve watched enough Dora the Explorer, Diego, Sesame Street, Syd the Science Kid, & other kid friendly shows to think of a few activities that your family would enjoy doing. Between the two (or more of you) there’s so much to be discovered! Explore a little and most importantly, HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!!

Stop and Smell the Dandelions…errrr…Roses

We always have some chore to do, some errand to run, something to fix, or clean. Being a parent of smaller children can be a very time consuming season, but it’s general knowledge that seasons do change. Although this may be a longer season depending on how many children you have, it won’t last forever. Those small cutie pies won’t always need your help. They won’t always be at home. And at some point they will have a family of their own. So enjoy them now! While they still need you most. When they grow up you’ll need those memories to console you concerning your empty nest and they’ll use those memories to create new ones with their children.

Here are a few ideas to creatively spend time with one another:

·       Playing their favorite board/card games
·        Playing with their favorite action figure/Barbies
·        Bike riding
·        skating
·       A walk at the park
·       Sharing an ice cream sundae
·       Dance battles
·       Sports tournament (parents vs. kids, girls vs. boys, etc.)
·       Play video games
·       Eat at favorite restaurant
·       Mommy/daughter manicures
·       Father/son gym time
·       Make a band
·       Create song lyrics
·       Make jewelry
·       Use your imagination
·       Have a picnic
·       Take a nature walk
·       Play dress up
·       Be superheroes
·       Have a fashion show
·       Do each other’s hair
·       Go camping (outside, back yard, living room, basement)
·       Make movies
·       Scrapbook
·       Create family slideshows
·       Tell stories
·       Cook/Bake together
·       Take a family drive (although a walk is much healthier)
·       Paint (finger/easel )

·       Draw on the sidewalk with chalk

Monday, November 18, 2013

Raising Up Little Leaders Part 2

If you didn't check out last weeks blog covering he first five ways to raise up your little leader check it out first. Here's the link: http://asktpj.blogspot.com/2013/11/raising-up-little-leaders-part-1.html. And after that, you can pick up here! Here's some things I do to cultivate leadership skills in my children.

Celebrate Failures

In the famous words of Walt Disney, “Keep moving forward!” Failures help pave the way to successes. Life is all about perception. Failures are mere lessons. Once the lesson is learned, “Keep moving forward.” In life we receive more “no’s” than “yes’s.” Michael Jordan said it best, I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.” Help your child keep failure in perspective. Celebrate the failures and continue to encourage them to try again. It builds resilience. It is only a mistake if you don’t learn from it. Teach them to make it count! Failure helps build character. We can't always learn by winning. 

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

No one can accomplish great purpose alone. Moses had Aaron & Hur. Jesus had John the Baptist & the 12 disciples. Elijah had Elisha.  David had Jonathan. It is important your family operates as a team. It helps each child have a sense of ownership and they understand exactly where they fit. I encourage you to write a family mission & vision statement if you have not already. This will help illustrate where your family plans on going and everyone will assemble a role to help get there.

Hone Character Traits:

There’s nothing like having an anointed leader, however the anointing will not carry far without proper character. Fruits of the spirit, discipline, diligence, hard work, meekness, kindness, patience, longsuffering, and devotion help constantly hone you and your child into the person God intended for you to be. Bishop Ben Gibert always says, “Character is the cup that holds the anointing.” Make sure you hone those traits so that when the anointing does come, it is not spilled all over the place because of character issues. When you see a character issue in your “baby,” check it, because if you don’t, they’ll go out in the world thinking it is okay to act the way they do and do the things they do. When you do not correct character issues they grow up having an “above the law” attitude thinking they can do anything they want to do without any repercussions. 

Purpose

 Every company has mission, vision, and value statements. Every family should too! When your child knows his/her purpose it is easy to steer clear of any paths not meant to be trotted upon. Your child may not know what profession he/she wants to join, but the Bible teaches purpose for us: to love one another, serve one another, help one another, teach one another, and introduce Jesus to anyone that is willing and wants to have a relationship with Him as you do. That is as good of a start as any.

Communication

Teach your child how to properly communicate how he/she feels with words. Encourage journaling to help cultivate communication skills. Also help them talk through situations that may have occurred at school, church, with a sibling or friend, etc. Passiveness will prompt your child to hold in feelings that he/she should be able to respectfully communicate. Conflict is not a bad thing when handled with proper communication. Leaders must be able to communicate effectively despite feelings/circumstances!

I pray that you take your time and prayerfully consider areas that need improvement. We all can use a leadership tune up from time to time.  


Monday, November 11, 2013

Raising Up Little Leaders Part 1

Empower them with options

Giving children options gives them the opportunity to make decisions and we all know a good leader has to be able to think for him/her self and make sound decisions. Home is the training ground. Here is where most children pick up good habits, bad habits, dysfunctions, and character traits are honed. 

Lead By Example

Daniel was an amazing leader. His story also shows so many keys to possessing the spirit of excellence. (Please refer to the devotions for more on leadership/excellence.) Leaders lead by example. Even when the best example was not being set in front of Daniel, he still chose to raise the standard. He chose to change his diet while training because all of the foods did not please God. (They had been prayed over and worshipped by unbelievers to a pagan god.) Because he stood up and set the standard, his friends, (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) stepped up also. This is an important parallel for peers today. It only takes one person to step up and do the right thing.

Every Situation is a Teaching opportunity

I was taught that trends change every three months. People pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for something with a person’s name on it. When in truth the item only cost dollars to be made. Once you spend all your money it’s time to switch out your entire wardrobe and buy the next trend. Why not teach children to be trendsetters & trailblazers? A leader would want to put his/her own name in clothing or wear what he/she liked, not because it was the most popular thing to wear, but because it fit his/her style. and It wouldn’t matter that three unrealistic months later, everyone else would be on to the next trend.

Delegate Responsibilities

Tasks/chores help create a responsible young adult. Just because your child turns 18, does not mean they are “grown.” It is important to teach them along the way so when that rite of passage occurs, your child is ready for it. Start with tasks/chores now. By the time they are college aged they understand the dynamics of running a household efficiently and the intricate and tedious tasks involved which include washing dishes, taking out the trash, washing clothes, cooking meals, vacuuming, mopping, sweeping, etc. If First Lady Obama affords her children an opportunity to be responsible for cleaning their rooms, we can follow suit and train the future leaders of the next generation. The obligations help build confident, capable, and independent adults.

Teach A Servant’s Attitude

A great leader is an even better follower. It’s one thing to dish out all of the orders, but it takes a humble person to follow along when they know how to lead. In some capacity or another we are servants to one another. A mother and father serve their family, older siblings serve younger siblings, church leaders serve the congregation, etc. It is important for a child not to have a proud, haughty, or ungrateful attitude while serving. A true leader counts it as an honor and a privilege to serve God’s children.