Thursday, February 11, 2016

The "Little Things" Aren't Always So Little

My heart melted as we walked away and my daughter squeezed my hand and said, "I like it when you're here because you do stuff like that!"

It's the little things...

It was her second volleyball tournament of the season and after their first win, the coach rounded up all the girls for a team photo.  As you can imagine, the parents were gathered around like the paparazzi excitedly taking pictures of the team and I was right there front and center snapping away!  

You see, I didn't get to go to her first tournament because I had nursery duty at church that Sunday.  My husband happily stepped up to the plate to play the role of chauffeur, chef, cheerleader, and family reporter!  As hard as he tries, something was still missing...

It's the little things...

When I went to a Women's Expo a couple of weeks ago with a friend we had the opportunity to hear Rachel Stafford from Hands Free Mama. She spoke about her journey from being over whelmed and distracted with life to becoming hands free and more present and purposeful in her relationships and the way she lives.

She shared an excerpt from her blog post titled:  "The Life of the Party is Closer than You Think."  She points out that as we become present with our children and spend time nurturing our relationships we become the life of the party.  The heartbeat of the family.  The little things really do matter!

"You are the party because of the love you offer in small, daily doses.  So don’t worry about how you look.  Don’t worry about what you did or didn’t do yesterday.  Don’t worry about that long list of flaws and failings no one is keeping but you.  Your love and presence are the highlight of someone’s life—the highlight of someone’s life.  Keep waking up.  Keep showing up.  Keep picking yourself up from off the floor.  You are the party—the Life of the Party.  Your daily doses of love and presence make it so." (Rachel Stafford, Hands Free Mama)

I started reflecting on what that means for me.

Could I be the life of the party?

Could it really be as simple as putting a note in your child's lunch box, stopping for a hug, taking a team photo or sitting down to listen while your daughter settles into bed for the night?

Of course it is!

In fact, my friend and I were so inspired by Rachel that we decided to start putting fun little notes in our teenager's lunch boxes every day!  We've had lots of fun coming up with creative ways to surprise them when they open their lunch and find a message from mom!

I've written on sticky notes, napkins, fruit and baggies!  You never know where you'll find a little "party" in your lunch box!

I did a little searching on the internet and found TONS of blogs with FREE printable lunch box notes.

I'm going to include links to those sites for you, but keep a couple of things in mind!

1.  Keep it personal!  A hand written note that has meaning for you and the child is better than anything else!
2.  This is a great way to remind your child that you are thinking of them throughout their day.  It reminds them of the connection you have with one another.  If they like jokes, make sure you include some joke notes!  If they find strength in scriptures include those too!  I even found lunch box notes with beloved characters such as Legos and Frozen!

These are just a few of my favorite posts that include FREE Lunch Box Notes Printables!

I think sometimes we make Conscious Discipline too complicated.  At it's core it is about being safe, present, and connected with your child.  It doesn't have to be complex.

The TRUTH is that more often than not it's the little things that matter the most!

Keep it simple.

After I shared with you last week about how difficult it can be for me to connect with my teenagers, I realized that it's not as hard as I make it sometimes!

There are many times throughout our week that offer us special opportunities to connect.

My son is now 14 years old and he's about 6 foot 2.  He is a pretty typical teenage boy, who, at least once a day, gives me a huge smile and looks at me out of the corner of his eye as he charges over for a BIG HUG! Even though he has to lean over to hug me now, it's our little ritual.  As he snuggles close, I feel so happy.  I can't help but think he does too!

Remember, the little things aren't always so little.