Adult Development

I'm Sorry I Made You Say Thank You by Mary O'Connell

I was a young mom of three small children, sometimes overwhelmed and always worried. Would the aunts and uncles leave the house on Christmas and say, “God, those kids are brats?" Would you grow up to be polite, friendly, and considerate human beings? As a stay-at-home mom, my street cred depended on it so with every gift received, with every piece of birthday cake cut for you, with every kindness offered to you, I demanded a show of gratitude.













Working with a Child's Angel and Sleep, Part 3 of 3 by Cindy Brooks and Joya Birns

You may wish to dialogue with the Angel of your child (or of someone else with whom you have a conflict or for whom you are concerned) to gain guidance. This exercise gives suggestions for how to approach the Angel of another person and engage in a continuing dialogue.  


Self & Child Observation and Imagination Exercise, Part 2 of 3 by Cindy Brooks and Joya Birns

This Self & Child Observation and Imagination Exercise is divided into two parts. The first part involves reflection and writing to foster imaginative thinking. You may do the first part as a means towards greater imagination in your relationship with your child and stop there. The first part is also the preparation for the second part, which involves drawing and creative writing. The second part should enhance and deepen your imaginative thinking in parenting.

For Part 1 you will need a few pages of writing paper and a pen or pencil. For Parts 1 and 2 you will need several pages of writing paper, a pen, a piece of unlined drawing paper and some beeswax crayons or other art media.

Spiritual Guidance in Parenting, Part 1 of 3 by Cindy Brooks and Joya Birns

May wisdom shine through me

May love glow within me

May strength penetrate me

That in me might arise 

LifeWays Commencement Address by Susan Silverio

Commencement Address by Susan Silverio at the LifeWays Early Childhood Training Graduation, July 18, 2015, Rockport, Maine

            Life is good!

            How do we know that?

            There are many opportunities here in Maine to experience all that a T-shirt can proclaim as goodness. I hope that you all have had many moments during these summer sessions to be near the water or around a campfire, to share food and to be at play.

Hidden Blessings by Mara Spiropoulos

Mara writes:  As a tired, busy mama of three kids, six years and under, who often finds herself out of the present moment, it is easy for me to get caught up in what’s going wrong, what I’m not able to do, and how tough parenthood is. In these moments, I admit that sometimes life gets the best of me. Given all that life has handed me in the past two months, it would be understandable to throw in the towel, turn on the TV, and let the kids run amok (more to come on that in a bit). Yet, then a blessing occurs, a tiny miracle happens, and my perspective shifts from what I don’t have and what is “wrong” with my life to what I have right in front of me and all that God has blessed me with. It isn’t a picture-perfect life, but rather a perfectly imperfect one.

Using Our Voices with the Young Child, Part 2 by Jennifer Sullivan

This piece, taken from Jennifer's 2013 LifeWays paper, is the second of three installments:

Becoming Worthy of Imitation

Looking into a child’s beautiful face, one realizes the responsibility that comes with the role of caregiver.  It is a mighty thought to conceive: You, with all of your essence, have the power to alter and shape a life with your thoughts, gestures, voice, and sound.  That is quite a bit to carry with you every moment of every day as we deal with life’s stresses and find ourselves deep in the future instead of living in the moment.  What can we do with this power?  How can we change if we find ourselves not who we want to be right now?

Using Our Voices with the Young Child, Part 1 by Jennifer Sullivan

This piece, taken from Jennifer’s 2013 LifeWays paper on "Becoming Worthy of Imitation," is the first of three installments on “Using Our Voices.”

My World of Language

When I first discovered my daughter was hiding snug in my tummy, my life changed.  As the months progressed, I found myself humming quietly as I prepared for her arrival.  I did not seem to notice the drastic changes within myself until I had spent weeks, perhaps months, after the birth staring at her beautiful body and witnessing the life that was continuously transformed in front of me. 

At My Child's Pace by Jennifer Sullivan

Jennifer writes: I am one of those people.  One of those annoying people that cannot be quite satisfied with the way I am.  What I mean is, although I make changes and have even completely transformed since let’s say five years ago, I know I can always improve.  To the people around me this comes across as though I am too hard on myself, as though I feel my accomplishments are not good enough.  They are good—in fact they are great, perhaps even somewhat astonishing considering the path I was on ten years ago—I just wouldn’t throw that word enough in there.  I don’t believe that when it comes to my children, the word enough should ever apply. 

Our children are our teachers.

Thanksgivakkuh by Serenity Gordon

Serenity writes: This year Hanukkah falls on Thanksgiving for the first time since 1888. It won't happen again until 70,000 + years from now. So this Thanksgivakkuh is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Hanukkah is a minor Jewish holiday.  Although it is often compared to Christmas, the meaning is actually much more  complementary to the meaning of Thanksgiving.  Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabees who fought for religious freedom, and the miracle of the oil that burned in the temple for eight nights, when there was only oil enough for one.  Thanksgiving commemorating the pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in pursuit of religious freedom and the gratitude for that first bountiful harvest.


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