What an amazing first week for our writing workshop. The kids are pumped! They have all determined what their stories are about…and homework includes character formation. I can’t wait to see what they accomplish next week. Great Job Authors!
Have you ever heard the sun come out in the morning? Did you hear the moon cone out last night? No doubt there are many things we can not hear but we know it happens. You have only to look up in the dark night and see the moon glowing brightly above. You can feel the warmth of the sun shining powerfully upon us. These are very special things that take place among silence. It is true power coming through cooperation and silence that demonstrates no need for loud, forceful, aggressive and intimidating noise. It is in silence that we become attuned to the energy and forces that are unseen and unheard. Our thoughts until spoken are silent. So are our dreams until realized. In silence we nurture our dreams, develop our hopes and create our destination.
No one truly knows what thoughts you play over and over in your mind. But you do. Outwardly you may appear confident, determined and successful but it is in your silence that you evaluate every aspect of your journey to where you dream to be. There are no circumstances around you more powerful than the power within you. You are responsible for your life through consciousness. If you believe in yourself, you are assured success and a dynamic positive force that responds and produces awesome results!
Do not be afraid of silence. Fuel your inner mind with positive possibilities and you will create all that you believe to be possible. Fill you mind with positive words like faith, integrity, worth, value, accountable.
Change will happen. It won’t happen overnight…but it will happen.
This past summer, I was fortunate to fascilitate a Children’s Writing Workshop. The workshop was sponsored by Village of Promise, a non-profit organization that supports the educational needs of University Place Elementary School in Huntsville AL. It was an amazing journey for me and working with these budding young authors was a blessing. The link below is the Huntsville Times article on our journey from creation to Author Celebration. This was our first workshop, but I hope next summer’s workshop will be bigger and better as more children are given the opportunity to tell their stories.
I have always loved the smell of a bright new morning. I grew up in Birmingham Alabama, where the summers were just hot. The sunlight would burst through the curtains momma made and wake me every morning. In the air was the sweet smell of honeysuckle which grew underneath my window. Sometimes, when we were favored with a night breeze, I would lie in bed with my eyes closed with that scent flowing into the darkened room. I imagined myself far away from the southern heat of summer. Flying a jet plane or saving a life in the operating room. I would fly through the galaxy perhaps even discovering a brand new star or solar system. I would see myself living in Europe and speaking French on the Champ-Elysees while shopping in the most prestigious shops. I really enjoyed my tour of the Castle Neuschwanstein near Munich. My dreams were limitless. Not because I was special. I didn’t feel special. As a matter of fact in my home I was invisible. I come from the era of “children are to be seen and not heard.” That was practiced well in my family. Don’t get me wrong, I love my parents for all they did for me and my sisters. However, they never engaged the village for help. They were proud African Americans who wanted to do things on their own. They lived the life they were taught. I have always been an extravert and I am sure my mother had no clue what to do with me and all that energy. So, she sent me to the library! There I fell in love with books because it was through books that I could travel anyplace I wanted and be anything I wanted to be. One of my favorite books is the Bible. Imagine a little child of 6 sitting on the carpet reading a huge edition of the Bible. I found the stories in the Bible more interesting and very relative. God spoke to me through his word and I knew at an early age that I was special to Him. I wrote God letters which developed into journals that I still have today. I grew up with God. Imagine now those children who did not. Imagine further being a child who doesn’t dream of the future because they are struggling with their present. I believe that every child has a story. I don’t know what I would have done if I did not have God to help write my story. I have a grandson whose name is Benjamin. Through the eyes of that precious little child I realized what God wanted me to do. I write children stories. Not just any story. My stories are written to demonstrate the character of the child. They show where the child wants to be in the future and all the things, people and places the child loves. Actually, it was more like an assignment. I believe God has gifted me with the ability to not only write a story but help children discover their story. God moved me to Madison, Alabama nearly four years ago. During this time, I have retired from a fulltime job and devoted myself to this assignment. I contacted Village of Promise and asked to volunteer. Actually, what I said was, “God sent me here to volunteer doing whatever you need me to do, but I really would like to work with children and write stories”. Gloria Batts, co-founder of The Village of Promise chatted with me for a bit before she introduced me to Linda Riley, professional storyteller. Bam! God had moved three women together for a purpose and a journey that was simply awesome. The Children/Parent Writing Camp- 2012 developed from that first meeting and has produced amazing stories from 10 young elementary school authors. I am so proud of the work they all produced during the two week camp. I am already thinking of how to improve and include more children next time. I believe that no child should grow up dreamless, hopeless or limited. Children should always have a voice and a vision of their future. Children that know God understand how special they are and strive to be like Jesus. With that kind of love and support these children can move mountains! I am a permanent part of the proverbial village needed to raise a child. I have been assigned by God to ensure every child in my village has the chance to dream, imagine, plan, enjoy and tell their story. It is a journey that has become a walk of joy, love and God’s amazing grace, and I am loving every step.
I am aware that it does nothing to place a problem or a bunch of issues on the table if we are not provided tools in which to work on them. People, me included seem to be a bit lost. I never heard or learned this until I was an adult, but this is a good rule to know. I used to work for the Army…not as a soldier but as a civilian. It was difficult work sometimes and more than likely my boss was a military officer. Now Army officers are different from ordinary people. But more unique in this breed were the Warrant Officers. I learned a lot from them. So, here’s something you can put in your tool box for caring.
If you bring me a problem, bring me a solution.
Let’s talk on this a bit. I don’t know about you, but I can walk outside my front door and sooner or later I will see a problem. It is the same with children. We need only look at the lines of children waiting for the school bus to come. Are they dressed appropriately? Are they standing with the group or on their own? Are they smiling and laughing or do they appear tired? You could come up with any number of answers for these questions. Now, what if the child is yours. Now, are you more tuned in for the answers to those questions? I think parents have gotten a collective judgement on their child raising skills. Collective because we only remember the horrible parent…and the minute we see a child acting up…”It’s the parent’s fault!” Here lies the first problem….blaming parents for everything their children do wrong. Remember when you were a kid? Did your parent teach you right from wrong? I bet, some of us still chose to do the wrong sometimes. How is that the parent’s fault? Well, somebody has to be responsible, right?
Solution: Stop blaming anyone!
It doesn’t deal with the problem. I recall saying that if the fire department came to your house because it was on fire but instead of putting out the fire…decided that they must decide “blame” first….what happens to the house? Well, not a happy ending at all.
I will leave you to ponder this for awhile. Look around and see if you can identify “problems” and come up with possible “solutions”. I will continue to share tools from my tool box that I have picked up along my journey. You are definately going to need to fill up your tool box so that you too can be empowered to help give a voice to a child or perhaps even help them write their own story. It’s a process. Won’t happen over night, but I believe that when you know better, you do better.