We have all had those days when it seems like we cannot get anything done because there are so many things or people vying for our attention. Some people have the gift of flexibility and can be stopped in mid project and continue to be joyful. They are able to change their minds and happily give someone or something else their attention. But then some of us do not have that gift and it is oh so difficult to change our plans for what we wanted to accomplish. For those of us in the latter group who have children it can turn into a power struggle between the needs of the children and getting accomplishments met.
My mom is one of the hardest workers I have ever met. She woke up in the morning and began her day with breakfast and then read her Bible. Then she would set out with an agenda of what she wanted to get accomplished that day. She did not write things down but we all knew she had a mental agenda that she was bound to accomplish that day. We lived on three acres that needed mowing along with a small pond that needed cleaning regularly. We also had a few livestock and some dogs. Along with the house work that needed done and the cooking this was a big job. Dad’s work took him out on the road during the week and by this time we kids were in school so she was pretty much on her own. But on the weekends or in the evenings she was still going strong and our help was solicited.
We did our chores but it was nothing like the hours my mom put in. If anything would come up to change her agenda she was not a happy camper. Now I am not saying that if one of us was hungry or hurt that she would not take the time to stop because she was a very loving mother. But if you just wanted to chit chat or asked her to stop and do something, anything, else it did not go over well. She would gently explain that she had to complete the work she had planned for the day. This sometimes got very annoying and even sometimes hurtful because of her lack of flexibility. If someone would drop by she would acknowledge them but tell them she was extremely busy and did not have time to talk.
Over the years we have gotten very upset with mom over this work ethic of hers. Since she is a Christian and loves the Lord very much and reads her Bible every day over the years He has changed her heart. He has shown her the opportunities she has missed in doing His work or blessing someone else because of her lack of flexibility. If you read the Bible you probably know the story of Mary and Martha and how Martha was busy with the work while her sister Mary sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him teach. This is an example of flexible and inflexible people. Jesus told Martha that Mary had chosen what was better. He was not saying that work did not have its place, but when something more important comes up we should be able to stop without it upsetting our whole day.
This is true when it comes to the things of the Lord but it is also true when it comes to our children or anyone in need. And for those workaholics like out there like my momma, that does not mean that you always stop because things do need to get accomplished. However you should make people a priority over getting things done.
Ken Myers is the founder of http://www.longhornleads.com/ & has learned over the years the importance of focusing on what the customer is looking for and literally serving it to them. He doesn’t try to create a need, instead he tries to satisfy the existing demand for information on products and services.
TRUE STORY….GABRIEL HAMMOND’S BIRTH
This is our true and heartfelt story of turning pain into passion. This is a true story of our beloved son, Gabriel Hammond.
It all started with the ultrasound at the local Mad River Community Hospital. The ultrasound revealed the possibility of Down syndrome. The two-dollar question was did Gabriel have Down syndrome? Meeting with the doctor, she told us that yes, Gabe did have Down syndrome.
No one prepares you for the disappointment, loss, fear, and many of life’s potentials forfeited when you learn that you have a baby who has Down syndrome. The feelings of new parents of kids with down run from anger to depression to frustration to resignation. It is like the six phases of grieving. It feels a bit like a death within the context of birth in that it is a death of a vision. A parental hope and dream of what could have been most likely will not be now with this new twist of having a “special need”. It is a feeling, ultimately, of being lost in a world of unpredictability and not having a map of where you are going. This is truly “uncharted water”. That feeling of fear and sense of loss will be forever ingrained in my heart and mind. We knew nothing of Down syndrome or special needs kids. To this point, we’d had six healthy children and had never met anyone with Down syndrome or any similar disability.
As we learned that our Gabriel had Down, we really had to dig deep and see if we could find the upside of Down syndrome. But, fear ruled the day. Who is our boy? What will he be when he grows up? Can he play football? Will he go to college? Will he be “normal”? Will he get married? Will he have children?
The lessons learned have to do with my deciding to have the right perspective, attitude, actions, and behaviors. The decision to love unconditionally is ours alone. This unconditional love, stemming from the decision to love Gabriel, has transferred some of my pain into a perspective which is surprising, refreshing, and very interesting.
The lessons we learned include:
• There is no one-time fix. This is a long-term journey requiring a long-term approach.
• A positive mental attitude and my positive confessions are not enough to get me through.
• Whereas Gabriel may have a disability of his intellect, there is none of his spirit.
• His worth has very little to do with his intellect or ability to contribute to society.
• We’ve learned to give without expecting anything in return and love him unconditionally.
• We learned to love freely, regardless of the payback.
• We learned that everyone has special needs. Some of us just hide them better!
My commitment as a father begins with loving my son and equipping him by helping him receive the best- In every way I am compelled to maximize his potential. I also need to maximize my potential to love, accept, understand, and help Gabriel where possible. My commitment is also to help my family to love Gabriel, to be patient with him, and to see past his challenges and focus on his many positive attributes.
My Mission Statement is this: “To personally and practically love, accept, and go forward in raising my son to his fullest potential with God’s help”. As I do this, I know that Gabriel has the potential to teach us to look for the things in life that are truly important. May I be as good a student as he is a teacher.
My hip surgery journey all started with an accident body-surfing in Hawaii. We are body surfing at the beach in Kona, and I came up and my knee was really sore. That soreness developed over the next four days into a really gnarly knee injury. When I got back to the mainland, I had an X ray done and it turned out my knee was fine, but my hips were not.
Turns out I had early arthritis in both my hip joints and boy did that come as a surprise! As 2012 progressed, I discovered more stiffness and soreness to the point of actually taking medication. I tried it all– I tried Pilates, massage, Rolfing, working out, training, physical therapy, and more. None of it worked. I was stuck till I got a referral to the foremost authority on hips at Stanford Medical.
I finally went to Stanford University on a referral to a doctor Michael Bellino. Upon reviewing my most current x-ray he revealed that I had progressive arthritis in both hips. He assured me that he would be glad to perform a bilateral hip replacement surgery on me as the pain increased and I was ready to come in. So, in early 2013, I decided to pull the trigger and scheduled a surgery date for a bilateral hip replacement surgery at Stanford University. I was so glad I did.
As June 4 rolled around I was ready to go. I was quite excited and fearful at the same time. As I rolled into my new blue scrubs for surgery, a chill came over my heart and soul but was quickly replaced by sense of opportunity. I realize I was going to get a half-million dollar surgery on two joints that were shot. I realized the gift that was being given me, I became anxious and a good positive way–Real paradigm shift…
The surgery went well and I was told it was textbook in every way. The stay at Stanford is awesome. They’re like I five-star hotel in every single way. The trip home was long and hard and I got sore. Once at home, I realized that’s where healing begins. The home environment is the perfect healing environment and I have an awesome wife who made that happen. What I realized is that I needed time and medication and patience.
It’s been 50 days now since surgery. I have done it all. Drugs, walking, physical therapy, crawling the walls, occupying myself on Facebook, and so much more. What I realize is just this:
Number one, the love of God.
Number two, the love of an awesome wife.
Number three, the sense of the need to relax and let Life and healing unfold.
One thing I learned is to let life happen. As a type “A” personality; it’s so easy to want to get things done and be accomplished and to be successful and busy. One of the lessons I’m learning is to slow down and to enjoy my relationships. I really have an opportunity to enjoy my family. I’ve had an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the area I live in as well as the simple pleasures of life.
Another lesson I’ve learned is to trust God and to not panic as life seems to carry on without me. Things like the trash getting taken out, people at work getting the job done, and just being provided for in general have all happened without my assistance. Imagine that! Life goes on without me and you? How dare it……!
So, I’m just moments and days away from returning to work and life is I knew it. My hope is that it will be life not as I knew it –but it has it can be in some sort of a new permeation. I’m hoping to be is more relaxed and more grateful and more appreciative. One thing I am learning is to let life happen. With my DNA, it’s so easy to want to get things done and be accomplished and successful and busy. One of the lessons I’m learning is to slow down and to enjoy my relationships. I really have an opportunity to enjoy my family. I’ve had an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of the area I live in as well as the simple pleasures of life.
Imagine that! Life goes on without me and you? They key is my relationships with people. My hope is that I can be quiet and be present and experience life, people, and God in the new more profound way. I’ll keep you posted…
My fear of being a dad started pretty young. It probably had a lot to do with how I was raised. I was raised mostly by my mother and grandmother, and my father was not a large part of my life in any way. It really hurt me, but it also taught me how important the role of father is.
Then when I started dating I went into it with the mentality of trying to find a wife and mother for my kids. I mean, that is a lot of pressure for a young man to put on himself… and on his dates. But I had no wish to fool around in my search. I am the type of person that locks onto a goal and doesn’t let go. I wanted a loving, strong, smart, and submissive Christian wife and fourteen kids.
After a few dates in my late teens and early twenties I just stopped looking for a while. No one seemed to match what I was looking for and I decided to focus on getting my life in shape to become the kind of husband and father I wanted to be. After all, if my future wife was out there I wanted to be the perfect match for her as well.
As I grew older however I realized what I was trying to get myself into. I had the childish thought that once you got to be an adult you just would know how to be a dad too. Well, by my late twenties I had figured out that nothing came naturally and everything had to be learned, mostly through trial and error. That terrified me. I didn’t want to screw up my kids. And I had no one to look to as an example. I certainly did not want to be like my father, or my grandfather, or my great-grandfather. My uncles did not do so great either.
I had hoped to get the advice of the same older man that had helped me to learn what a man was in my teen years but he passed away shortly after I graduated. I was alone and floating, trying to find something to hold on too.
I tentatively started dating again, not really sure I was ready for the responsibility. Twice I found a woman who looked good, but it was all an act. After a couple of months they dropped the charade and I saw the woman underneath. Yikes. Lying, scheming, manipulating… was this the only kind of woman out there?
I almost gave up in disgust, figuring that maybe I wasn’t called to be a husband and father like I thought I was. Then I met her.
It was a blind date. Well, sort of. We had connected through friends and had exchanged an email or two mostly validating the claims we had heard about each other. Both Christian? Check. Good age range? Check. Both not casual daters? Check. Although I was not too hopeful as she seemed kind of distant and cool via email I still figured it wouldn’t hurt to eat dinner together.
I was waiting outside the restaurant when she walked up and questioningly called my name. I looked up from whatever I was fiddling with and in an instant fell in love. I know, love at first sight is a bunch of hooey but that’s how it happened. It wasn’t that she was ‘hot’, though she is beautiful. It was everything I could tell about her at once.
She didn’t bother with a lot of makeup. Her clothes were simple but fit her well. She wasn’t trying to show off her cleavage. And when she smiled… she did not hide anything. Everything about her screamed honesty and simplicity.
It was all I could do not to grin like an idiot. She was still cool and cautious at first but as we talked she started to relax and let down her guard. Like me, she had been though a few liars and actors. By the end of the date I knew she felt as strongly about me as I did about her.
As our relationship progressed I shared with her my desire for children and my fear that I did not know how to be a good father. Her response really helped me.
She reminded me that our Heavenly Father was the best example anyone could have. Every man on Earth is flawed in some way. We should not take our example from them. Instead we should look to the Lord to be our example. This holds true in all aspects of being a man; being a husband, a father, a worker, and a friend.
As I have gotten older and we have had our kids, I found out how very true this was. I could not pattern myself after any person I knew in my life or that I saw on television. I had to read and stay in the word to see what it really meant to be a good father and husband.
That does not mean I have not made some mistakes. However I trust that the Lord will take care of my kids and help me to give them what they need, especially Him.
Ken holds a master’s in business leadership from Upper Iowa University and multiple bachelor degrees from Grand View College. As president of morningsidenannies.com, Ken’s focus is helping Houston-based parents find the right childcare provider for their family. When he isn’t working, he enjoys spending time with his three children and his wife. Ken can be reached at…. http://www.morningsidenannies.com/
Name: Gabriel Hammond Profession: Young Man (Downs and Autism—Don’t Judge him!) Years in Business: 14 1/2 Family Info: #6 of 8 Kids Hobbies: I Pad apps, swinging, manipulation of the Earth. Activities of Interest: Animals, trampoline fun, hot tubbing, eating, cruising, being mellow and observation of his surroundings. Super Power: He spreads joy around as if it was candy…..he is joyfully in the moment and causes others to stop and joyfully participate with him! Burning desire: To be an awesome player in the Universal Narrative. Something no one knows about me: A Hippie Chick observed Gabe with Grandpa Tom on the Arcata Plaza and said: ” He is so joyful—I seek moments of joy—Gabe lives in Joy”…..”I think he is more evolved!” Gabe has a tender heart toward God and people—a rare combo! Keys to Success: Total, absolute joyfulness—This guy is rarely unhappy or angry! Favorite Quote: Abby—Abby—Abby!!
In honor of Father’s Day and fathers everywhere….
www.becomeabetterfather.com is sponsoring our 5TH Annual Father’s Day Writing Contest.
We want to know our readers opinions of what it takes to be a AWESOME father.
We value your opinion and would love to hear from you and what you think makes a great dad.
The question we pose is:
” MY DAD IS AWESOME BECAUSE__________________.”
Here are the official rules…
- Write about what you think an AWESOME father is (A poem,essay, or other writing form) LIMIT 300-500 WORDS and simply email to us!
- Email your entry to email@example.com
- You must have your entry posted by midnight, Pacific Standard Time, June 30th, 2013.
- July 1st, 2013, the lovely Mrs. Hammond will pick a winner based on what she think rocks!
- The winner receives a free full one-hour consultation with Scott Hammond, an Every Day Book, a full-featured blog post on www.becomeabetterfather and much more!
- We will post an entry on this blog in July 2013, containing links to the winning entry…… so you will get a free link out of the deal.
- You will win an autographed copy of the Every Day Dad: the Guide to Becoming a Better Father!!
- You will feel good about your life and mission….
That’s it and good luck! The question remains: “MY DAD IS AWESOME BECAUSE…..”
Scott Hammond FO-9
Father of Nine
Name: Micah Hammond
Years in Business: About 9
Family Info: Large
Hobbies: Construction of amazing contraptions from duct tape, cardboard, and other household items
Activities of Interest: Legos, Video Games, Mine Craft, anything with Video
Burning desire: To become King/Ruler/Emperor
Something no one knows about me: Has an amazing tender heart
Keys to Success: Total, absolute creativity—-Is able to move on after blowing up
Life is a game with a glorious prize,
If we can only play it right.
It is give and take, build and break,And often it ends in a fight;
But he surely wins who honestly tries
(Regardless of wealth or fame),
He can never despair who plays it fair
How are you playing the game?
Do you wilt and whine, if you fail to win
In the manner you think your due?
Do you sneer at the man in case that he can
And does, do better than you?
Do you take your rebuffs with a knowing grin?
Do you laugh tho’ you pull up lame?
Does your faith hold true when the whole world’s blue?
How are you playing the game?
Get into the thick of it – wade in, boys!
Whatever your cherished goal;
Brace up your will till your pulses thrill,
And you dare to your very soul!
Do something more than make a noise;
Let your purpose leap into flame
As you plunge with a cry, “I shall do or die,”
Then you will be playing the game.
For every man who has ever been scolded by his wife for encouraging a child to “run faster” or “swing higher” or “try harder,” or who has been admonished for teaching them to make mouth, hand or armpit fart noises, I salute you.
Mothers are excellent at nurturing children. Fathers are good at riling them up before bedtime and testing their physical limits. We show kids how to cannonball into swimming pools, skateboard down steep hills and jump BMX bikes over poorly constructed plywood platforms.
We also instruct them in the fine art of belching, breaking wind, turning random objects into guns and lightsabers, toilet “pee-sword fighting,” and other uncouth behavior. We have to do this. It’s our job.
Moms and dads have different parenting styles. Moms comfort kids when they’re feeling down. They encourage them to discuss their problems. Dads teach them to look for a solution and move on. We wrestle our kids to the floor and tickle them and until they forget what they were depressed about. Moms express their disapproval with a tsk-tsk sound and accuse us of acting like children.
We take that as a compliment.
For decades it was assumed that the mother-child relationship was the most important one in a kid’s life. Within the last several decades, however, psychologists have realized just how much fathers matter. Raising kids is about balance. Moms are great caretakers. Dads have a more relaxed attitude toward parenting. Together, they form the perfect unit. When a child comes home crying with a scraped elbow, mom will console them with tender words. Dad will distract them by saying “Just walk it off” or “That’ll feel better once it stops hurting.”
If someone gets stuck on a homework problem, it’s usually mom who offers assistance. Dad will glance around the edge of his newspaper and shout “For God’s sake, give it another try.” When there’s a tantrum, mothers do their best to reason with a child. Fathers correct the problem with a stern glare and a threat to “jerk a knot in somebody’s tail.”
Fathers serve another important purpose. They give kids a realistic look into the male world. Girls learn from their dads how men should act toward women. Boys learn how to control their anger and deal with their masculinity in positive ways.
Kids learn lots of other cool stuff from their fathers, like not to bully or be bullied, and how to maintain a healthy balance between timidity and aggression. Dads roughhouse with their children in order to show them that kicking, scratching and biting are wrong. Kids learn self-control when a father says “Now, enough is enough,” and “Take that noise down a notch.”
In other words, moms protect children and dads give them self-confidence. We throw our kids into the air amid shouts of “Not so high.” We bounce them on the bed and mothers cry “Someone’s going to get hurt doing that.” Men know that cuts and scrapes are part of life. Women know to stock up on the bandages and antibiotic cream. Either of these parenting styles by themselves might spell disaster. Together, they keep kids safe while increasing their self-reliance.
One of my favorite confidence building moments as a father took place when my three-year-old son, Tyler, was learning to ride his bike. The training wheels were off, his helmet was on and he was ready to face the big challenge … . Well, almost.
”Dad,” he called out nervously, “Do I have to do this?”
”Of course you do,” I replied. “This is the only day of the year zombies allow three-year-olds to ride their bikes without training wheels. I saw it on the news.”
”But I’m scared,” he said.
”Just keep your wits about you and stay balanced.”
Tyler tightened the chin strap on his helmet and sighed. “Okay, I guess I’m ready.”
I gave him a push and he was off. A few yards down the street his bike hit the curb. Tyler fell to the pavement and scraped his knee.
”Dad, I hurt myself,” he cried.
”Naw, you’re just shedding worn skin” I said, applying a Band-Aid to the wound. “Keep it up. You’re doing great.”
And so it continued. There were a few more crashes that afternoon, and several more Band-Aids, but Tyler hung in there. At one point his mother stepped outside and shouted, “Don’t you think he’s had enough for one day?”
”We can’t give up now,” I hollered back. “He’s almost got it.”
On the next try Tyler kept his balance for a second or two longer. Then he was on his way, wobbling down the street on two wheels. I can still call up that old memory as if it was yesterday. It was every father’s Hallmark moment.
”You did great, son,” I told him when he pulled to a stop. “Now, let’s head inside. Your mom needs a hug.”
Tim Martin resides in McKinleyville.
“If you’re in business for just the money—you’re about half paid.”
R.L. Hammond (1921-2004)
My dad was an insurance agent in San Diego County in the 1970-80’s. He lived a life of serving others and his country in WWII. He taught and tutored me in much of what I know and do in business today.
The following practices/ideas of his are sure to ratchet up your business acumen:
- BE KIND TO EVERYONE—“It doesn’t cost anything to show kindness to others, Scott,” he would say. Be nice. Play nice. A smile and a small kindness go a long way.
- HAVE A FIRM HANDSHAKE/SHAKE HANDS AND GREET PEOPLE- People love to feel important (because they are!). An appropriate handshake and a greeting really affirm others and establishes rapport-quickly. Give the gift of appropriate touch.
- TELL GREAT STORIES—People live in stories…We all relate to a good tale and learn more from a compelling story than a lecture. Stories bring relevance to our topic and to our relationships.
- BE A GOOD LISTENER—This tells people you affirm them and value them. Empathy is a powerful relationship builder and establishes credibility, reliability, and shows you really care.
- BE AN ABOVE AVERAGE SPEAKER—Learn the art of public speaking. Good speakers know how and what to communicate and when. You can learn to speak well if you apply yourself to the disciplines and use the tools available to you. “Go to a Toastmaster Meeting”, he would tell me.
- HAVE AN AWESOME SENSE OF HUMOR—Laugh sometimes. Have fun with people and stop the somberness that permeates some business cultures. Be appropriately playful with people who like to play and laugh, and cultivate the ability to really laugh at life.
- DEVELOP LIFELONG RELATIONSHIPS—Be the person who reaches out and calls and takes the initiative in your relationships. Be that person who spends the time and effort to get to know and serve others. Givers really do gain!
- GIVE ENCOURAGEMENT…FREELY—Be that person who can freely affirm, encourage, and genuinely build others up in a truly authentic fashion. Heck—tell those you love how you feel.
- BE A GIVER—Share your life, world, resources, experiences, gifts, and time as freely as you feel able and willing. Be that person who “walks the talk” in your actions and your words. Give to others expecting nothing in return—you will be blessed.
- BE SPECTACULAR ON THE PHONE—Learn to use the phone like no one else. Make purposeful and powerful calls that build rapport and relationship. Learn to network using the phone to make great calls and reach out to those you hope to build alliances with. Know how to relate to people via the phone on a regular basis.
10.5. BE YOU—Just be yourself not a second rate version of someone else. Trust yourself, be yourself and others will resonate with the “authentic you”. There is only one of YOU—be the best you possible and you will succeed in life, business, and awesome relationships!