Monday, 31 January 2011

2011 Challenge

''If you’re going to risk and maybe fail, fail at something that matters. Fail gloriously so that even in failure, lives change''
-John Acuff
What a great quote. You can find it in John's new book and you should. He is one of the funniest and most honest people I've read.
But that's not why it's my quote for the year. It's my quote for the year because I want to get more done in a way that is life changing and glorious. I may fail spectacularly, but if we learn from it, then it wasn't wasted. I regularly tell Will that it's okay to make mistakes, that is how we learn. Will it ever sink in if I don't model it for him?

So I've been thinking about it a lot lately and my personal conclusion is that as educators and parents we would do our children a great service if we told them it's okay to fail.  "If something appeals to you, try it!  Give it your best effort and maybe it'll work out well.  Maybe it won't.  It's okay to try and fail!"  I think in our society our appreciation of childhood (and adult) excellence and success far outweighs our appreciation of real effort.  The dangerous outcome of that for some is a sense of defeat before they even try.

Acknowledging that great plans and best efforts might nonetheless fail and that sometimes failure is perfectly okay will remove the fear of the social stigma and embarrassment of failure.  These same kids will pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and try again or try something else without a sense of total defeat from the first failure.

Remember, Michael Jordan went home crying when he was cut from his high school basketball team because he wasn't good enough.  The rest is history.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Daily Devotionals

Okay, so things have been a little hectic recently (buying a house, serving an eviction notice on the previous owners who refused to leave, renovating said house, car breaking, christmas, new year, relatives, house guests, sick children, etc...) and I have had much chance to be blogging, so my apologies for that. I haven't forgotten you and I will try to do better!

I'm sure I've blogged before about devotionals, if I haven't I certainly intended to. We have a family devotional time, which my husband leads, at breakfast and dinner. But I want my children to regularly build into their routines their own devotional time (quite a tall order for a 5 month old and a 3 year old!)

Still, even though they probably can't manage entirely alone yet, I want to have the habit set. So we are going to start visiting the Kids 4 truth website everyday. If you've never been on it I encourage you to. It really is a great resource. There are new devotionals put up every day, written in a style that is simple for children to understand, and for non-readers (or lazy readers!) they have audio files with the devotional read out to you. They are well produced and short enough to keep the children interested.

There's also some great little animations for older kids, the watchmaker would make a particularly interesting study alongside some basic apologetics.

We've also been enjoying the very silly, but fun and wholesome jellytelly from Focus on the Family. It introduces and explains bible verses, but also fun facts about 'God's amazing animals', 'Missionary stories' and much more. There's new free content available weekly, but you can also register for free and subscribe to get more content.

With the kids being ill it's been a real blessing to have access to this kind of material instead of nickelodeon or cBeebies on all day. What's great about content like this, is that there is a start and a finish. When the show is over, it's over - and I don't have to deal with nagging about being allowed to watch the next thing which has been advertised.

I'm still looking forward to warmer weather, stronger immune systems and longer days to get outside though!