Feeling good…

Well my my, I think this is one of the first years I have managed to do a complete overhaul of the Christmas shopping and wrap presents for all the cousins and small people. There is still a lot to do. My man asked me if he could help – nah, not really. He has also asked if I need to do all the Christmas jobs I set myself. Like Christmas baking, making an advent calendar, plan a family Advent activity, prepare cards and notes and handmade gifts for teachers, music teachers, ballet teachers, rowing coaches, the crossing lady and so on. Well, I think the answer is yes.

Christmas is about Jesus’ birth. One day a year I can go for the whole “let me tell you about Jesus” thing with abandon. I need to make the most of this opportunity and help to encourage friends, family and community to SLOW down as we rest and reflect on why Jesus’ birth is so special. That makes me feel good.

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Communication

Can you remember your prep year at school?

Today our new prep child said she had a ‘good day’ and had made two new friends. One name escapes her, but the other new friend happens to be the girl I introduced her to at the drawing table this morning. I didn’t know her either but I read her name badge and did the introductions around the table.

What I am learning in prep is how important names are.
As a teacher I used to pride myself in how quickly I learnt all the students names. Now, in the wake of baby brain and busyness I tend to remember a few key friends that the children have and sometimes the parent’s names. But usually the grown ups become “Sarah’s mummy” or “Riley’s Mum” and their real, adult name escapes me.

 
image by b_d_solis

Any good communication workshop will tell you that you need to say someone’s name at least 5-6 times upon meeting them.

“So Sarah, how is your son doing?”
“And what did he say after the first day Sarah?”
“Good to meet you Sarah.”
“We hope to catch up again Sarah.”
“Oh will you be staying for assembly Sarah.”

As you know this kind of conversation can sometimes feel awkward and forced. But when someone remembers your name it is such a gift.
Someone wants to communicate with me.

So as I encourage my kids to introduce themselves to new children and remember their names I am mindful that I need to put this very important communication tool into action as well. So as you plan your week with the kids the challenge is to remember as many new names as you can from your child’s class. Are you up for the challenge?

Let me know how you go!

Growing up without advent

Perhaps you grew up without advent just like me. We celebrated Christmas with gusto – tree, santa, presents and good food. But the whole concept of advent is about preparation, an anticipation of what is to come…..and I don’t remember the deliberate, thoughtful consideration of Christ at Christmas. Maybe we thought it was too Catholic, at the very least too ritualistic. But as I grow in years I grow in the knowledge that whatever I can do to help my children anticipate Christ’s birth is a blessing.
This season of Advent is of course about the coming of the person and work of Jesus. And how I make this a reality for my children is the challenge.
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”  Isaiah 7:14.
The intention behind recognizing Advent is  to think about:

promise, rebellion, sin, death, deliverance, anticipation, preparation, hope, joy and the second coming of Jesus.


So….we have talked about preparing our home for a guest to visit and making it tidy and clean, a welcoming place to be and spend time. And we have considered how it would be for the guest and indeed for our family if we had not made the bed or tidied our space to receive company? How much more should we be preparing our hearts for celebrating  Jesus’ birth?

So one aspect of Advent is about PREPARATION.