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This week I wanted to talk a little bit about family and how it is defined. There are so many families in the world and each of them are unique and made up in their own ways. Family structure is so different  all around the world and who people consider their family changes with each individual. I think when most people think of “family” they think of those blood relatives. For some this may be the case completely but for others they may not consider anyone in their bloodline family.  I think the subject of and definition of family is so interesting because it is something that can only be defined by the individual. No matter how many dictionaries, encyclopedias, or research you look at you are never going to find a definition of family that says who YOUR family is. They may have an idea or their definition may fit your definition, but at the end of the day family is something that only the individual can define. It may be your brother or sister, mom or dad, aunt or uncle, cousin, best friend, mentor, leader, ,co-worker, classmate, teammate, etc. It all depends on you and the relationships you build and what those mean to you. I just love this because there are so many things out there we struggle with how to define and yet family is something we can all define and be sure of, yet neither of our definitions are the same. 

Keep Calm and Play On

This past weekend I volunteered at the Community Wide Play Day through the Community Partnership of the Ozarks. This was a great opportunity! Despite the terrible weather and all the rain over a hundred families showed up for the event and we had so many volunteers, we didn’t even know what to do with them! Which is never a bad thing by any means.  This Play Day was opportunity for families to come with their children to play games and do crafts, while also learning about the community resources in the area. There were so many organizations at the event and everyone seemed just as excited as the children and had a good time. I was surprised how many families showed up in the pouring rain to take advantage of this event.  It just goes to show how much families really appreciate and value events like these! This was just such a great opportunity for me and I look forward to helping with it again in the future! 

A Positive Attitude

Today, I was just thinking about how much a positive attitude can change a situation or at least your perspective of it.  So many times in life, bad things happen and we focus on the negative and tend to complain a lot, but you would be amazed that just a little change in perspective can have on your day.  Today, I experience this first hand because I found out I had to go get another MRI for a hip injury that returned after 6 months of treatment. At first I just wanted to wallow in my own sorrows, but I then tried to keep my head up and hope for the best and soon enough I was having a better day than I could have ever imagined. Not to say that a positive attitude will take away any of your problems, because that’s not the case, but at least it can give you a silver lining in the situation and maybe you’ll realize that whatever was stressing you out may not be quite as bad as you think, or at least not bad enough to ruin a unique and blessed day. 

Community Wide Play Day

This week I just wanted to talk about the Community Wide Play Day that is coming up at the end of April.  This is an event that is put on by the Community Partnership, here in Springfield.  The purpose of the play day is to just get kids moving around and play! It also provides parents with inexpensive or free play ideas at home. We typically don’t think of it, but play is such a huge factor in a child’s development, so the more they do and the better the play is, the better the child’s develop.  This is a free opportunity open to any families in Springfield. Also, if you are interested in helping with the event, they are always taking volunteers as well! The Play Day takes place on April 27th as Fassnight Park from 10-2. For more information you can visit their website at http://www.commpartnership.org/ or contact Amber Bozarth at (417)888-2020 or email her at abozarth@commpartnership.org 

Thoughts About Parenting

In one of my classes we talk a lot about parenting and made me think about what makes a good parent. This made me realize there are no perfect parents. As a parent no matter what you do, you are going to make mistakes, but that’s still okay because parenting is a learning experience. If you mess up once, you just have to do better the next time around.  That is kind of a scary thought, but is hopeful to know that that is how it is for every parent and no one person is completely prepared. When thinking about this however, I thought of a few things that make a good parent. These include:

– Realizing that you will and have made mistakes 

– Use each day and situation as a learning experience 

– Don’t give up 

– Enjoy the little moments and victories 

– Take it day by day 

– Realize that every child will be unique so you can’t compare them to everyone else

– Love your child! This is probably the important one and even without the rest, you will still build some kind of positive relationship 

Turn that Frown Upside Down

This week I want to talk about something that is so simple but yet so complex and that is being happy in whatever you do.  So often we complain about the daily hassels of the day but why don’t we change our perspective a little and think about all the wonderful opportunities we have.  So many people search for the key to happiness but really it can be anything depending on how you approach each day and activity.  So I invite you all to take a step back and look at things a little differently today and appreciate every little aspect, even that long never ending day and those long list of deadlines that never end because afterall each day is a gift and that is why is why it is called the present.

Once upon a time…

Stories they are something we all know of and something we have all heard about but do we ever think about how important they are and how much of an effect they can have? Stories set up the foundation for our perceptions and knowledge of certain events.  This is especially seen when we think about family stories.  We all can think of that one story that our family tells over and over again and sometimes this is a story that is passed through the generations.  Each of the stories say a little something about us as a family and pull us together as a family. Each story is unique to us and depending on who is telling the story, changes what is actually being said.  Some stories tell us about what kind of people we are or should be. For me this is the story about my great grandma getting up at the break of dawn with her family and working all day long until it was time for bed.  This is always told to show that we need to be hard workers in everything we do. But then we hear other stories that tell us about a person and who they are. These can be things like remember when Sally did so and so as a child and look at her now, she still does the same thing! We can use stories to define others, ourselves, and even our family as a group in general and that is something that is very powerful.  Stories are fun and usually we don’t think much of them, but it is important to remember the power that is held in stories and how those stories and the people telling those stories can change our perspective of the things around us and the things to come.  Each one shows a unique aspect of us and those around us.  So next time when dad begins tellling the same story of back in the day when blah blah blah happened instead of thinking I’ve heard this a thousand times, rather think what does this say about me, my dad, or my family. Who knows there may be a little more to that story that you thought!