PLEASE! BE THE PARENT!

This world is full of adorable, talented, intelligent and expressive kids. I am a teacher; so, I have the privilege of working with dozens on a regular basis. I teach kids at conferences, drama camps, church and musical theatre.

It takes me about ten minutes, with a child, to know if he or she is from a healthy, loving family; or if, in fact, the child is the one in charge at home – running the family.

On day three of a drama camp, this past summer, a nine year old boy hadn’t been following my directions as to where he was to stand on the stage. I repeated my instructions a third time; because, I seriously thought he hadn’t heard me.
He finally spoke up, “I don’t want to stand there and why are you telling me what to do?”
I calmly smiled, “Because, I’m your teacher”.
He came back with, “You are not my teacher. This isn’t school.”
I continued with a much stronger answer, “I AM your teacher this week and from now on, when I give a direction, you will say, “Okay, Kathleen’- and, do it.”

He was so stunned at my response; he slowly obeyed and never talked back to me the rest of the week. In fact, he became my buddy. By the time opening night arrived, he asked for an extra hug before the show started.

When I met his parents, and saw his interaction with them, I knew the problem. He didn’t respect either one of them. He was ordering them around!

Can You Pin-Point Your Passion in Life?

What is your true PASSION in life? I have heard it said, if you spend your life doing what you are PASSIONATE about- you’ll never have to work one day!

Most of my life has been spent working with kids. Kids theatre, kids ministry and teaching church school. I love working with kids. I figured working with kids was my passion.

However, I have a dark secret. A secret I have struggled with for decades and finally I need to come clean.

Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with ‘Vacation Bible School’. I dread it every summer. Summertime Vacation Bible Schools’ are intentionally geared to engaging kids for a fun week, with a goal of reaching young hearts for Jesus.

So what has been my struggle with VBS these past decades?

Do You TALK Too Much?

When I was a teen, there was a popular song by Joe Jones entitled,

“You Talk Too Much:”

“You talk too much, You worry me to death You talk too much, You even worry my pet

You just talk, talk, talk Talk too much

You talk about people, That you don’t know You talk about people, Wherever you go

You just talk too much!”

Have I mentioned my Temperament is half YELLOW?

YELLOWS are fun and delightful; but, one blatant negative is their need to TALK. YELLOWS love people, need friends and by nature TALK easily.

My mouth has gotten me in more trouble, in my lifetime, than anything else.

Are You SELFISH?

We all know folks whom we would consider to be tight or cheap with their money. This is not the same as being SELFISH.

SELFISH is defined as (of a person, action, or motive) lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.  This is one of those quiet, deadly sins that sneak up in our lives without much notice at first.

About a month ago, I was shopping in a relatively new store in our city, a type of décor shop where you can purchase items to decorate your home.

An interesting conversation took place next to me. Two nice friends were discussing a 3rd person’s dilemma of owning a new home and not having a clue as to how to decorate it.

One of the ladies said, “Why don’t you help her? You are a professional decorator and she would absolutely love your help.” To which the woman sweetly replied, “No thanks.”

The conversation escalated, “Come on, why won’t you help her a little? It won’t cost you anything; and, I bet she would pay you.”  The woman sweetly said, “Please drop it, too much effort.”

The story gets better:

ARE YOU RUDE?

Okay, try something.  To the next person you meet today, simply smile and say, “Have a nice day.”  Notice what happens.

My Temperament has an abrupt side to it. I am half RED. Of the four human temperaments, one is more easily RUDE. (To read up on the Temperaments, subscribe to my blog and download my FREE eBook on Temperaments.)

While pushing my cart through the grocery store the other day, I was suddenly bumped from behind by a woman half my age. Immediately, I said, “Excuse me,” as I pulled over- even though it hadn’t been my fault. The woman quickly turned toward me as she walked by, asking, “What did you just say?” I repeated, “I said, ‘Excuse me.’ ” She grunted as she mumbled, “That better be what you said.”

I was stunned. What did she mean? Was she angry with me? That 5 second encounter left a mark!  “I bet she is RED,” I thought to myself!

My Results are IN!

For my Mother’s Day gift, I sent away (six weeks ago) to Ancestry.com for my DNA results, curious as to my ancestors’ beginnings.

I discovered I am 39% Dutch, 25% British, 25% Irish, 8% Scandinavian and 2% Jewish! I knew I was mostly Dutch; but, it is fun to see the extent of my grandparents’ and great grandparents’ history.

Of course, I immediately identified with Audrey Hepburn, a famous actress, who was also Dutch! I’m certain we are cousins! Look at the resemblance!

Born Audrey Kathleen Ruston, (did you know her middle name was Kathleen?) did you know Audrey was inducted into the International Best Dressed List Hall of Fame? She loved performing and looking fabulous.

Ah, the similarities between us are mind boggling!

I enjoyed finding out about some other distant cousins: Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt – both of Dutch decent and both Presidents of the U. S.!

Do you remember Martin Van Buren, the eighth President of the United States, and the first president who was not of English, Irish, or Scottish descent? Dutch was spoken in his house when he was a boy.

Thomas Edison, also Dutch, was an inventor and businessman.  Another Dutchman, Walter Cronkite, became a CBS Evening News anchor. Perhaps, my creative and inquiring mind comes from such as these?

Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt may be the most famous Dutch painters. Okay, sadly, I have nothing in common with either of them.

My, it’s been so interesting investigating since my DNA results have come back!

God has a PLAN for every Life!

I prefer living in a fantasy world. It is more fun. As a child, I loved reading fiction. I grew up dreaming and pretending, because my childhood seemed boring and uneventful. Nancy Drew Mysteries filled my days with excitement!

By high school, I had read every Grace Livingston Hill book in our school library. I was determined to grow up experiencing thrilling romance, and of course, meeting the Christian man of my dreams. We would have beautiful children, buy our dream home and live happily ever after.

I accepted Jesus into my heart as a small child, but never gave much thought to God having a PLAN for my life.

A Child is Watching You!

One of “my kids,” who grew up in musical theatre as a small child, made a point to say good-bye to me the weekend he left for college. I was leaving church, out the side door to make a quick getaway, and he surprised me with a big hug as I came around the corner.

“I knew I’d see you if I came to this side door, he smiled, “You always went out this way when you were in a rush to leave church.”

“Seriously? You knew that about me?”

“Yes,” he said, almost blushing as he stood over 6 feet tall now. “Miss Kathleen, you were my favorite teacher.  I watched every move you made for most the years I was growing up in this church.”

Hoping he had no stalker tendencies, I questioned, “Can I ask you why?”

“Sure, because you were one of the people who I knew loved me; and, I watched everything you did.”

Whoa. I never knew that.

The rest of that afternoon I walked around the house, doing my Sunday afternoon routine stuff, wondering what ELSE he might have seen me do.

GOD WINKS!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Valentine’s Day should have something to do with love…and smiles.

We were out of laundry detergent. I realized I needed a certain article of clothing washed for the next morning. I was seriously bummed.  This meant another trip to the store.  Already exhausted from the days chores, I remember thinking, Oh Lord what should I do? It wasn’t really a prayer- but, it could have been. I was putting on my shoes, as the mail arrived. How long has it been since YOU have gotten a sample laundry detergent in the mail?? Years! There it was – THE BRAND we use!

Wow, I felt loved.

Ask for HELP!

You know those times you see or read something that unexpectedly takes your breath away?

I’ll admit, it has been a stressful couple of months.

help-sign

I have no idea where my thought process was headed this morning; but, when I read today’s Bible verse of the day www.biblegateway.com as it popped up on my computer screen, I felt like the weight of the world was lifted from my life – literally!

“O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” Ps.86:5

I read it again.

I am certain I’ve read this verse before.  After all, it is in the Psalms and, at some point in my Sunday School past, Psalms was required reading! I probably have a “completed Psalms” badge somewhere in some bottom drawer.

God has unfailing love for all who ask for His help!

In December we desperately asked God for help when our son-in-law was in a serious accident. God performed miracles and Bob is on the road to complete healing. (Thank you for your prayers!)

I know I have prayed for help many times in my life.

However, this morning, the “so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help” words jumped out at me as if for the first time ever.